Smoked Pulled Brisket

by Kevin H. on September 10, 2013 · 38 comments

Pulled Brisket 5

Ever so often in our lives we meet someone with no idea of the impact they will have on us in the future.

About 12 years ago when I was a manager at Enterprise, a new guy started at my location and I trained him.  We hit it off from the start.  I could tell he was sharp and a genuinely kind individual.  My time working with him was over quickly, however, as I moved to a different location and then eventually left the company.

We stayed in contact over the years, and I always enjoyed our conversations.  When I entered the world of competition BBQ, he was one of the guys I thought would enjoy it.  I invited him to a few events but his schedule usually conflicted, until finally over the past year the stars started to align.

Pulled Brisket 2

There was another small stumbling block in the way of him and I joining our BBQ interests – his beautiful wife, Jenn, really doesn’t like BBQ.

And then there was brisket.

She loves brisket.  So he quickly made brisket his passion.  If I had to guess, he’s made about 30 briskets over the past year.  Tweaking rubs and marinades, woods and temps.

In our first competition using our combined brisket recipe and process, we came in 6th place.  Not too shabby, I’d say.

This recipe is not our competition recipe – this is our everyday enjoyment now my favorite bbq to eat over anything else recipe.

Pulled Brisket 1

Several months ago I posted a recipe on my attempt to turn a Chuck Roast into pulled beef.  It was good, but a semi-failed attempt, and I was determined to find a delicious pulled beef recipe for my family and for entertaining.

This is that recipe.  I wish I could take credit.  Sure, he started with my recipes, but he made this his own and has absolutely mastered it.

Thank you, Rick, for sharing your passion with me.  Thanks for the time you put into nailing this recipe.  But most of all, thank you for your friendship.


Pulled Brisket

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 7 hours

Total Time: 8 hours

Pulled Brisket


  • 1 Brisket - the bigger the better.
  • For Marinade
  • 1c Beef Broth
  • 1/4c Worcestershire
  • 1/4c Dale's
  • 1/4c Soy Sauce
  • 1/4c Real Maple Syrup
  • 1 can Coke or Beer (your preference)
  • Reserve about 1c marinade for wrap stage.
  • See Beef Rub Recipe


  1. Trim meat side of brisket so there is almost no fat. This helps maximize your bark.
  2. Trim fat cap down to about 1/4 inch thickness.
  3. Marinade brisket overnight.
  4. Remove from marinade, pat dry, and sprinkle a heavy coat of rub all over. I use my Beef Rub.
  5. Smoke brisket for at least 4 hours using a mix of hickory and fruit woods.
  6. If possible, place an aluminum pan underneath the brisket to catch the delicious natural juices.
  7. Place brisket in a pan with natural juices and a cup of the reserved marinade.
  8. Cover and cook until internal temp hits at least 200. Approximately 2-3 more hours.
  9. Let rest for at least 30 minutes before pulling.
  10. Cut brisket into chunks and tear apart using 2 forks. Discard excess fat.
  11. Place pulled brisket back into delicious mixture of juices and marinade and watch your guests drool.

Leave a Comment

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Stacey G January 31, 2018 at 11:45 am

what is Dale’s?


Kevin February 3, 2018 at 9:48 am

It’s a beefy marinade I find in the local STL supermarkets. It’s similar to Soy and Worcester and Allegro…so if you have the other ingredients, it’s not as important to add.


Ephraim Jacobson July 4, 2017 at 7:06 am

Can you reuse the marinade from the meat since you will be still cooking for a few more hours?


Kevin July 11, 2017 at 12:46 pm

I think you can add some into the pan during the cook safely. I do!


Tim December 27, 2016 at 11:58 am

I smoked brisket for Christmas Eve using this recipe. Everyone loved it. The taste was incredible. It took about 5 hours on the smoker to get to 165 degrees and another 3 hours in the oven. I didn’t pull the brisket, just sliced and served. I used the beef rub listed minus the cayenne and chili powder to keep it from being spicy. Great recipe!!! Will be using it again.


James November 22, 2016 at 9:00 am

Thank you Kevin, this is going to be my Thanksgiving starter! Could I also mix with bbq sauce? I’m making the day before so was thinking of maybe leaving in a slow cooker on low with the juices, marinade and bbq sauce… or would that be overkill?


Kevin November 27, 2016 at 7:17 pm

James – sorry for my late response to this, but yes, I actually like mixing a small amount of bbq sauce with the brisket juices.


James November 27, 2016 at 7:33 pm

Thanks Kevin, that’s exactly what we did using your bbq sauce recipe and it was a great success, thank you!


Susie August 12, 2016 at 4:08 pm

Hey kevin this looks awesome, i will be trying this out for labor day,however, can i make this the day before? Heading on the road for 3 hours, have you ever reheated this than served? Help, hate to pull an allnighter than drive 3 hrs……


Kevin August 13, 2016 at 8:19 am

Absolutely! I actually think it’s better when you cook it the day before and reheat.


Justin August 5, 2016 at 9:41 pm

Do you smoke it fat side up or down on the grill?


Kevin August 8, 2016 at 11:43 am

You can really do it both ways. I flip it halfway through, but most will tell you to cook brisket fat side up so the fat can seep through the meat while smoking. That’s usually the safest bet with brisket.


GrowingTheBuchanans July 14, 2016 at 11:28 am

In instruction #7-8 you say to place in a pan, cover and cook. Is that in the smoker or in the oven and what kind of pan would you recommend?


Kevin July 20, 2016 at 9:29 pm

Smoker or oven – whichever you prefer. I use the throw away aluminum pans.


Alan December 4, 2015 at 6:44 pm

Hola Kevin,
In my experience, briskets take much longer than 7 hours to reach an IT of 200. I’ve read about but never tried hot and fast methods for brisket that take about 7 hours. How are you getting to an IT of 200 on a full packers brisket at 250 degrees in 7 hours? Thanks.


Kevin December 9, 2015 at 9:26 am

Alan – I am cooking full packer briskets and getting it there in 7. Sometimes it’s longer, depending on the weight and how much fat I trim. But the hotter/faster DOES work on brisket.


Alan December 12, 2015 at 1:17 am

Cool. So, at what temp are you running the pit to get it done in 7 hours? What , if any, difference do you notice between a low/slow cooked brisket and one cooked hot/fast? Thanks again.


Kevin December 13, 2015 at 7:49 am

I try to stay around 250. I personally like brisket cooked low and slow (I consider 250 still low and slow) over hot and fast (temp at 350). They’re both delicious, and I know many on the competition scene are winning with hot and fast, but I like slow. The difference? I personally feel like the fat is rendered out better when it’s low and slow. I’ll take my slow smoked pulled brisket over almost any brisket I’ve ever had. It’s awesome.


Alan December 14, 2015 at 2:08 pm

I can’t wait to give it try. Thanks Kevin.

Benjamin Smith July 22, 2015 at 10:49 pm

I just received my first smoker (Charbroil Vertical 365 charcoal)as bday present on Saturday and have already cooked your whole chicken recipe. Easy and fantastic. The hardest part was maintaining the cooking temperature. Thank you for this blog. I have read many of sites and watched many videos in the past few days and you are my first stop now.

So my question…During the 2nd stage of cooking once wrapped, is there still a need for wood smoke in the smoker or is heat alone ok?

Should you buy a brisket flat or point cut for this recipe or any smoking? My wife make a great brisket in the crock pot but we want variety.


Kevin July 24, 2015 at 8:51 am

Benjamin – thanks so much for the kind words! Once any meat is wrapped, there is no need for wood. I use straight charcoal at that point. Wood doesn’t hurt – it just doesn’t help either.
I cook the whole brisket, point on. That’s my favorite. And there is no better bbq in this world than great burnt ends – made from the point of a brisket. I have a recipe on my site. Try it, and you’ll never cook it in a crockpot again!


TJ June 5, 2015 at 1:52 pm

Going to try this out but will not have enough time to marinade overnight…probably only a few hours. How negatively will that effect the meat? First attempt at brisket…..


Kevin H. June 5, 2015 at 2:24 pm

I always think the longer you can marinade a brisket, the better, but you can still cook an awesome brisket no marinade. Especially if you wrap for the last couple hours, your brisket will be plenty to juicy.


TJ June 5, 2015 at 2:39 pm

Thanks for the quick reply. I should be able to get 4-5 hours in the marinade so at least that is better than nothing I suppose. Great site by the way. Very helpful for people getting started in smoking and you give out some great recipes/ideas.

Wrap the pan or the brisket itself?


Kevin H. June 5, 2015 at 2:41 pm

Thanks for the kind words, I appreciate it. I always wrap my brisket in the pan and add a little bit of juice for flavor. Whatever flavor you like, coke, beer, juice, whatever.


TJ June 5, 2015 at 2:47 pm

As in…you place the brisket in a pan and then wrap around that, or wrap the brisket tightly and put that in a pan?

Sorry, that always semi confuses me.

jan Miller March 29, 2015 at 6:32 pm

what is Dale’s that the recipe calls for???


Kevin March 30, 2015 at 1:04 pm

Dale’s is a beefy marinade available in the St. Louis area. Similar to Worcestershire or Country Bob’s or similar steak marinade.


jan Miller March 30, 2015 at 1:09 pm

Thanks, I found it at me local Fareway store. We are anxious to try it.


debbie June 27, 2015 at 2:05 pm

Love Dales’s but I’m out, can you suggest a good substitute!


Kevin H. June 27, 2015 at 2:27 pm

You’re good using Worcester and soy!

Toby November 16, 2014 at 8:57 am

After smoking, at what temperature are you cooking it covered?


Kevin November 17, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Toby – usually my smoker is in the 225-250 range.


Dennis Hunter September 21, 2013 at 9:26 am

In your pulled brisket marinade recipe you call for 1/4 c. Dale’s. What is that?


Kevin September 21, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Dale’s is a beef marinade available in the bbq section of your grocery store. It’s hard to describe, but an awesome addition to marinades.


Hook June 18, 2014 at 10:45 am

Where is your beef rub recipe?


Kevin H. June 18, 2014 at 2:07 pm

We have a whole Rubs and Sauces section under our Recipes: But here is the direct link to the Beef Rub Recipe:


Kevin H. June 5, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Around pan


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