Smoked Brisket Flat with Hardcore Carnivore Rub Black


1 Beef Brisket Flat (untrimmed)

Hardcore Carnivore Rub Black

Killer Hogs Steak Seasoning (or Montreal Steak Seasoning)

½ cup black coffee

Prep 30 mins; Cook time 8+ hours; 2 hour rest before slicing

I stopped at my local butcher shop today and he had a 10.5 lb brisket flat.  I don’t think I have ever seen a flat that large and I knew I needed that thing on my smoker this weekend.  For those newbies on here a Beef Brisket has 2 parts.

There is the Flat (also known as the first cut or lean) and there is the Point (sometimes called moist).  The names literally describe the muscle shape.  The Flat is a rectangular flat muscle that is lean and the point is, well a point and has plenty of marbled fat.  When purchased together they are called a Whole Packer. I love both parts but without getting too far into this let’s just focus on the flat for this recipe.

Your Brisket Flat certainly does not have to be 10.5 lbs, in fact odds are it is smaller so your cooking times could be shorter than mine.  Remember a brisket is done when it is done.  A specific time or temperature is not how you know it is finished.

1. First let’s unwrap that brisket.  Odds are it is in Cryovac so when you cut it open it may have a little bit of a smell.  Some folks mistake this for something being wrong with the meat.  Hang in there, the smell will dissipate.  Give the brisket a rinse in the sink and pat it dry.

certified angus beef


2. Brisket comes with a lot of fat.  On one side you have the fat cap and on the other you have patches of fat and silver skin.  The fat cap should be trimmed to about a ¼ inch thick.  You do not want to take this off.  The fat cap is what will keep your brisket moist while you cook it.  On the other side you want to take those pieces of fat off and try to trim most of that silver skin.  Your rub will not penetrate it so you don’t want it on there.

beef fat

trimmed brisket

3. For today’s cook I am trying a new rub out.  Grab that bottle of Hardcore Carnivore Black and cover the fat side first.  Press it into the meat and then flip the Brisket over.  Cover the meat side well and make sure you get all sides.  If you don’t have Hardcore Carnivore Black you can use any rub you like but this is Brisket and you do not want a rub with too much sugar. Check out my recommended products if you need some ideas.

seasoned meat

4. For Brisket I really like to layer some flavor on there so after the rub is on I shake some Killer Hogs Steak Seasoning on for some texture and flavor.  You can sub in Montreal Steak Seasoning which is basically the same thing but I really like the Killer Hogs products.  This seasoning adds some large granules of salt, pepper and garlic that I think will top this off nicely.  You don’t need to do the fat side for this, just the meat side.

5. At this point let the meat hang out on the counter while you go and fire up your cooker.  For this cook I am using my Yoder YS 1500 Pellet Cooker.   You can use whatever smoker you have.  I’m also using Pecan pellets for this cook but you can use whatever your favorite wood is for beef.  I do highly recommend pecan if you have it; it goes great with brisket.  You are shooting to keep a consistent temp of 250 degrees on your cooker.

6. Once your smoker is steady at 250 put your brisket on fat side down.  This is a point debated on by every pitmaster whether you should cook fat side up or down.  I don’t know if one is better than the other but I know I have gotten my best results fat side down.  Close the lid on the smoker and leave things alone.

7. After about 4 hours I like to take my first peak at the Brisket.  Open your smoker and look for a nice bark to be forming.  Take a look at my pictures to see what I am looking for.  Ideally if you probe the meat it should be around 165 but every brisket is different.

Sometimes your bark is perfect and the internal temp is higher or lower than 165.  If your brisket has the bark you want it is time to go to the next step.  If not then give the meat a spritz with some water or apple cider vinegar and close your smoker.

smoking meat

8. Once you have the color bark you want it is time to take the Brisket off the smoker and wrap it in heavy duty aluminum foil.  I lay out 2 large pieces of foil on the counter and put the brisket on top of it.  I wrap it once and right before sealing it up I pour about a half cup of black coffee in.  You can use beef broth or even beer if you like but I’ve always liked coffee.

Wrap the foil tight so not too much steam builds up and then wrap it up a second time.  If you leave the foil too loose you run the risk of steam softening up the beautiful bark you just worked so hard to get. Now put the brisket back on the smoker.  At this point you should put a temperature probe into the thickest part of the brisket.  You are going to want to monitor the internal temperature.


9. The internal temperature i am shooting for with a brisket is 205 degrees.  Now that said it is not always done at this point.  You can start probing the brisket around 200 and see if your thermometer moves in and out of the brisket with little to no resistance.  It should feel like it is going through butter. Once you reach that tenderness it is time to remove from the smoker.

10. Take that brisket and let the steam out of the foil and then close it up again.  Wrap it up in an old towel or blanket and put it in a dry cooler for at least 1 hour or up to 4.  You need to let that meat rest and reabsorb some of the juices.  If you slice it too early you will end up with dry brisket.  I have actually let it sit in a cooler for almost 6 hours and I still needed gloves to slice it.


11. When your meat is done resting it is time to slice.  Take that meat out and put it on a cutting board. You want to cut your brisket across the grain and into about ¼ inch slices.  The rule of thumb is your slices should be as thick as a No. 2 pencil.  If you lay a piece of your sliced brisket over a finger it should fold over it but not break.  The brisket slice should break with a light tug.  If you have done everything right you will get one of the greatest pieces of meat you have ever tasted.

sliced brisket

12. Last but not least take all the the collected juices and pour off the fat then use the remaining au jus to coat those slices.  You can put some BBQ sauce on the meat and I won’t judge you but most people will.  Great brisket needs no SAUCE!!!  Enjoy.

juicy brisket


Nutrition Facts:

Amount per serving (10 total servings)

Calories 723, Fat 33 grams, Carbohydrates 5 grams, Protein 94 grams

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