• Delightfully succulent, beef brisket will blow your mind! (Dean Cambray)Source: Dean Cambray

The barbecue in Texas is all about the pure beef flavour with minimal extra seasonings. I have lightly brined my beef using pickle juice and mustard. The rub is essentially salt and pepper with a touch of sugar to help with the caramelisation of the beef. Like most meats in Texas, post oak is the wood of choice, followed by hickory if you cannot get oak.






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (60 votes)



  • 1 beef brisket
  • 2 cups pickle juice
  • ¼ cup American mustard
  • 2 tbsp salt


  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 4 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar


  • 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tbsp fat, drippings from the beef

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Brining time 3 hours

Trim your brisket (see Note).

Mix the brine ingredients and combine with the brisket for 3 hours. 

Turn the brisket hourly. 

Remove the brisket from the brine and sprinkle with the rub. 

Place the brisket fat side down in your smoker. Cook at 110°C–125°C for around 7 hours until the bark has formed

Spray the meat with water, hourly if you are awake to do so. The meat will only absorb the smoke until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 60°C. 

At this stage, you can wrap the meat in foil with the flavouring ingredients, feel free to add or change any ingredients of your choice at this stage. Often beef broth, barbecue sauce, vinegar or water are also used at this stage. 

Return the beef to the smoker and cook for a further 2 hours. 

Check the beef by opening the foil and inserting a skewer or thermometer probe to check for tenderness. Rewrap and continue to cook if the meat still has resistance. (I would usually allow just under 2 hours per kilogram as a rough guide for cooking.)

When you are satisfied with you beef, remove it from the fire and allow the beef to rest until the internal temperature reaches around 65°C before cutting the beef

This resting time can be hastened by unwrapping the beef, or extended by wrapping in plastic wrap and placing in an Esky. Use this guide to have your meat ready when you want to serve it.

Slice or chop you beef and serve it with some of the Texas vinegar barbecue sauce on the side of you are that way inclined, alternatively serve with its own juices, naked Texas style.


How to trim brisket
1. To keep your brisket from drying out, it is important to retain a consistent fat covering that will protect the meat throughout the cooking process. Some trimming however is required.
2. Trim the fat on the side of the brisket between the flat and the deckle (also known as the point).
3. Trim the fat on the top until it is ⅔ cm thick.
4. Trim any excess “chunks” of fat that might be on the side of the brisket.
5. Remove all the silver skin from the underside of the brisket.
6. Trim the shape of the brisket into a uniform size for even cooking.


Recipe from Temples of BBQ (self-published, hbk, $49), by Lance Rosen, with photography by Lance Rosen and Dean Cambray. View our Readable feasts review here. 


See more recipes from Lance Rosen in our Ultimate BBQ series, including pulled pork and BBQ chicken.