Southern Honey Glazed Ham

I grew up in the South and a big part of the culture was covered dish suppers for any social event.

  • Church function? Covered dish supper.
  • PTA meeting? Covered dish supper.
  • Holiday party? Covered dish supper.

But you could always count on someone bringing a great Southern style ham – smoky and sweet.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love a savory ham glaze with the typical allspice, nutmeg, and clove flavor profile. But the hams that I remember from those get togethers were all about the sweet.  Think cola glazes and brown sugar crusts.  For my Southern ham, I cook it on my Char-Broil Charcoal Grill 780 with a little pecan wood and then use a glaze using some of the best Southern sweet things – sweet tea, local honey, sweet BBQ rub, and maybe even a smoky sweet shot of bourbon.

Southern Honey Glazed Ham

Honey and Sweet Tea Glazed Ham


  • 8-10 lb bone in, spiral sliced cooked ham
  • For the Glaze
  • ½ cup local honey
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup sweet tea
  • 1 tablespoon sweet BBQ rub
  • 1 tablespoon coarse grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon [optional]
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water


  1. Preheat your grill to medium heat (300-325°f), set up for indirect heat. For the Charcoal Grill 780, this was done by having coals on the two ends of the charcoal tray and the ham over the empty space between the two ends. Using a “fuse burn” will give you longer cooking times.
  2. Make the glaze. Combine the honey, sugar, tea, BBQ rub, mustard and bourbon (if using) in a small sauce pot and bring to a simmer over low heat on a grill with a side burner (or over medium high on stove top). Simmer until reduced – about 10 minutes.
  3. Thicken the glaze. Make a slurry by whisking together the corn starch and water. Whisk this slurry into the glaze and cook the glaze for another minute. Remove and allow to slightly cool
  4. Place the ham, cut (flat) side down in a half sized steam pan or casserole dish. Drizzle about half of the honey/sweet tea glaze over the ham and brush it on, evenly. Cover tightly with a sheet of aluminum foil.
  5. Cook the ham. Place the ham on the grill over indirect heat, close the grill and let cook for 2 ½ hours.
  6. Glaze and smoke the ham. Pour and brush the rest of honey and sweet tea glaze on the ham. Place two chunks of pecan wood on/near the hot coals and smoke the ham for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Drizzle with any remaining glaze and serve.
Honey Glazed Ham and ingredients
Sweet Southern ingredients! Use local honey – it helps your allergies and supports your local beekeeper.
So this happened...I was making the glaze when this little dude came along, landed on my whisk, and took an interest in what I was making.  He told me that he's an expert on local honey but I've never seen him before so I can't vouch for him.
So this happened…I was making the glaze when this little dude came along, landed on my whisk, and took an interest in what I was making. He told me that he’s an expert on local honey but I’ve never seen him before so I can’t vouch for him.
Gas2Coal and Performance Charcoal 780
I used my Charcoal Grill 780 because the adjustable coal tray and 4 vents provide a lot of options. I used the Gas2Coal just for its side burner for the glaze.
Honey Glazed Ham on Grill
Here’s the set up for this specific grill. I have the tray fully lowered and the coals banked to the sides so the ham isn’t cooking directly over the heat. Also notice the fuse burn – that provides extended cooking times. More about that in a minute.
Honey Glazed Ham cooking over coals
Place the ham flat side down in a half sized steam pan and then brush with half of the glaze.
Charcoal for Honey Glazed Ham recipe
So the “fuse burn” is just what it implies. You put un-lit briquettes on your charcoal tray and then place live coals at one end. As those burn, they catch the neighboring coals on fire and it burns like a fuse – maintaining heat. For this cook, I used about 20 unlit coals on each end and pushed them back (but make sure the tray holes are clear). Then I started a chimney of coal and dumped half on the front of each side like this.
Char-Broil Charcoal Performance 780
I target 300-325°f. I like that every Char-Broil grill that I have has a quality temperature gauge so I don’t have to guess as to what “medium hot” is.
Glazing Honey Glazed Ham
The second round of glaze is going to give you another layer of flavor and the glossy sheen.
Smoldering Wood in Charcoal Performance 780
For Southern hams, I like to use pecan or hickory because back in the day, people smoked with the woods in their region. Hickory and pecan are all over the South. Put the wood chunks (not soaked) over the hot coals to get it started while you are glazing the ham. Then move it to near the coals to let it smolder.
Glazed Ham over coals
The glaze will also capture the fresh smoke. The hams were smoked when originally cooked, this is just a quick fresh kiss of smoke. Think of the glaze as lip gloss. It helps the smoke stick to the ham. I picked this trick up from one of the top competitive BBQ teams a few years ago.
Southern Ham
Smoky and sweet, just like a Southern ham should be.
Southern Honey Glazed Ham
Just looking at this picture makes me want to grab a dinner roll and make a sandwich.

Smoked Corn on the Cob

Smoking isn’t just for big cuts of meat, though, let’s be honest, it is pretty darn amazing at bringing out the top flavors after a long slow cook of just about every cut of meat. It’s also a versatile tool for prepping all varieties of foods with it’s signature hardwood flavor.

At our Char-Broil Nights celebration in Mooresville, North Carolina, Chef Jonathan used the Char-Broil SmartChef® Digital Electric Smoker to prep corn on the cob to go alongside his grilled flank steak tacos with charred pineapple salsa. Talk about the perfect summer fiesta. Inspired by his creation, we wanted to bring a little bit of that bold flavor combo home, using the best of the seasonal produce, putting a fun spin on a classic barbecue side dish.

This Smoked Corn on the Cob packs so much flavor, you may never go pack to just butter again. First we lightly smoked the corn while it cooked, then we slathered it in a rich mayo based sauce to really bring out a full bounty of flavors. It’s the perfect way to make use of all that farm fresh produce.

Smoked Corn on the Cob


  • 6 ears of corn (For this recipe, look for fresh corn with plump kernels as they will hold up better in the smoker)
  • ¼ cup Mayo
  • ¼ cup Sour cream
  • 1 handful fresh basil (or cilantro), chopped
  • 1 teas Paprika
  • ½ teas Cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 oz Spicy chipotle cheese, shredded
  • 1 lime, sliced


  1. Prep your smoker for 2 to 3 hours around 200 degrees with a mild wood.
  2. Carefully fold husks back on the corn and remove the silk. Tie the husks together around the bottom and arrange the corn in your smoker.
  3. Smoke for 2 to 3 hours. The corn will have a nice char in some spots.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk the may, sour cream, basil, paprika, cumin and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.
  5. Remove from smoker and chop in half for fun portions if desired. Using a cooking brush, immediately slather the hot corn with the mayo mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and serve with sliced limes for garnish.

Smoked Corn on the Cob

Best Smoked Salmon Recipes

One of the best things about salmon is how the natural flavors of the fish pair with the taste of smoke, not to mention the great health benefits of salmon.  No matter if you prefer a light and lemony taste or a savory spice blend, our top four favorite recipes for smoked salmon will have something for everyone to love. Try all of these easy smoked salmon recipes and find your favorite today!

Char-Broil’s Top Fantastic Four Smoked Salmon Recipes

1. Salt ‘n Pepper Smoked Salmon Recipe


You don’t need any fancy spices or seasonings with this easy recipe.  Salt and pepper bring out the best taste of smoked salmon without covering the fresh flavor of the fish.  For a clean, simple recipe, try this back-to-the-basics salt ‘n pepper smoked salmon.

2. Bourbon Marinated Smoked Salmon

Bourbon marinated smoked salmon

This smoked salmon takes on the delicious sweet taste of bourbon as it marinates before smoking.  Complete with hints of brown sugar and soy sauce, this recipe hits the high notes of sweet and salty flavor profiles.  Just be sure to make extras – you’ll definitely be going back for more!

3. Easy Smoked Salmon on a Grill 

Smoked Salmon on the grill

Just because you don’t have a smoker doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on smoked salmon goodness – try making this easy grill-smoked salmon recipe for simple and quick salmon with a true smoky taste.

4. Brown Sugar Brined Smoked Salmon Recipe

Orange-Ginger Glazed Salmon

Using a brine is a great way to ensure your fillets of salmon are still moist and flavorful after smoking.  Brown sugar, fresh ginger, and soy sauce marry to make an asian-inspired brine for this smoked salmon.

Now that you have a great recipe to use for your smoked salmon dinner tonight, check out this article on the Char-Broil community site to find out How Long to Smoke Salmon.  

Easy Recipe for Spicy Smoked Fish Fillets

Smoked fish is making its way onto the plates of people everywhere because of its delicious, light flavor and tender, flaky texture.  This versatile protein is amazing grilled, oven roasted, or pan fried, but our favorite fish dish is cooked up in the smoker.  In this blackened smoked fish recipe from Char-Broil, fish fillets of any variety get a generous dusting of spicy jerk seasoning for kickin’ smoked fish fillets that will leave you craving more.

Tips for this Smoked Fish Recipe:

  • Go for fresh fish whenever possible.  Look for fillets that have a bright color, with no extra moisture or liquid pooling in the package.  The fillets should have no smell – if they smell fishy, they aren’t fresh and frozen fillets would be a better option.  If using frozen, be sure to let fish come to room temperature before smoking. Check out this article for tips about buying fresh or frozen fish.
  • In a 200 degrees F smoker, most types of fish will take about 2 hours to cook.  When the meat begins to take on a light brown color and easily flakes apart, use a digital meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.  You want it to be at 160 degrees F.  Check out this article for more information about how to smoke fish.  
  • Choose a smoking wood flavor that will complement the spicy flavor of the fish, but not overpower it.  We suggest using alder wood chips for this smoked fish recipe.
Kickin' Smoked Fish Recipe


  • 4-5 lbs. fresh fish fillets
  • Olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne (or more for KICK)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper


  1. Dry fillets and lightly coat with olive oil.
  2. In small bowl, mix together remaining ingredients.
  3. Generously coat fillets with seasoning (will be spicy!).
  4. Preheat smoker to 200 degrees F and add wood chips. Place fish in smoker and let cook for about 2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F or until the meat is tender and flaky.

Looking for more great smoked fish recipes?  Try our recipe for Creole-Cajun Spiced Smoked Catfish, or visit the Char-Broil community site for more great ideas.

Smoking 101: How to Make Smoked Salmon

Make a perfect fillet of smoked salmon that will not only be a tasty treat, but will also be a feast for your eyes!  After slow roasting in the smoker, salmon transforms into a true culinary masterpiece – thick flaky sections of meat become tinted in a beautiful light pink color.  Rich and buttery, the flavor of salmon is unique from any other protein when smoked because of its blend of essential oils naturally in the fish.  In this guide, we’ll show you the 4 simple steps for how to make smoked salmon.

Steps for How to Make Smoked Salmon:

  • Step 1: Select fish – Thanks to modern technology that allows fisheries to freeze fish immediately after catching them, frozen fillets are now an equally good option as fresh.  When buying fresh salmon, look for a bright, orange-pink color and no fishy smell.  The meat should feel firm with a little give, but not squishy.  If using frozen fillets, set in the fridge the night before cooking to let them thaw safely.  
  • Step 2: Season – Quality salmon doesn’t need much added flavor, but if you are craving a more savory piece of smoked salmon, you can use a dry rub or brine to create layers of seasoning.
    • Dry rub – Use a simple dry rub of brown sugar, Old Bay Fish Seasoning, salt, and pepper to coat the surface of the salmon.  Gently press the spice rub into the meat to ensure that it sticks during cooking. 
    • Brine – A simple brine of salt and water can also help pack moisture and flavor into to salmon.  Check out our recipe for Asian-Style Smoked Salmon Brine
  • Step 3: Preheat Smoker – The key to getting perfectly smoked salmon is to keep the temperature of the heat low and steady.  Set your smoked to 120 degrees F and add wood chips to get them started smoking.  Choose a smoking wood flavor of a sweet variety like apple or cherry.  Cedar planks are also a great option for grill-smoked salmon.  
  • Step 4: Smoke – Let salmon cook in the smoker for about 3 hours or until the internal temperature of the fish reaches 150 degrees F.  Use a digital meat thermometer to check.  When it’s done, smoked salmon will have a deep pink color and the meat should gently flake apart.

Quick Tip:

Keep salmon from sticking to smoker grates by brushing the skin with olive oil or melted butter. Try placing a sheet of aluminum foil under fillets to make for a simple clean up.  

Simple Salt 'n Pepper Smoked Salmon Recipe


  • 2 lbs. fresh salmon fillets
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • Juice of two lemons
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Preheat smoker to 120 degrees F and add wood chips to begin smoking.
  2. Generously brush butter over fillets. Squeeze the juice of lemons over fillets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Place salmon in smoker and let cook for 3 hours. Check the internal temperature of the fillets using a digital meat thermometer.
  4. Once the fillets reach 160 degrees F, or begin to flake apart, remove from smoker. Serve immediately.

Looking for more delicious recipes for smoked salmon?  Visit the Char-Broil community site to find other great ideas like How to Smoke Salmon on a Grill.

How to Make Smoked Tuna Steaks at Home

You can find smoked tuna on the shelf of any grocery store, but why settle for canned, commercial tuna when you can make homemade smoked tuna in a snap?  Smoking tuna at home is a breeze.  This no-fuss fish just needs a quick brine, a little seasoning, and about an hour in the smoker for perfectly smoked tuna.  Enjoy it simply on its own, or transform tasty tuna into a smoked tuna dip like in our recipe below.

Find Your Fish – What’s the difference between types of tuna?

When shopping for your tuna fillets, don’t be confused by the many different varieties of tuna to choose from.  One of the best things about cooking with this fish is that there are lots of options to choose from to make your tuna dish a success.  We suggest using yellowfin tuna, a hearty variety that’s perfect for tuna steaks cooked on the grill or smoker.  For more information, check out this article on tuna varieties.

Quick tip:

If the packaging of raw tuna doesn’t say what variety it is, it’s most likely skipjack.  Don’t take a chance, though.  By from a seller that proudly labels the variety of tuna they’re selling to be sure you get exactly what you want.

How to Make Smoked Tuna:

Step 1: Brine

Create a simple brine out of warm water and salt.  Let tuna brine in the fridge overnight to have extra-moist tuna steaks.  Be sure to gingerly rinse the steaks before smoking to remove any excess clumps of salt.  

Step 2: Season

Pat tuna steaks dry and lightly brush with low-sodium soy sauce.  Even though this flavor is typically used in Asian cooking, the seasoning of the soy sauce is a great complement to the natural flavor of the tuna and will add a subtle, salty bite to the smoked fillets.  

Step 3: Preheat

Because tuna is a stronger-fleshed fish, it can hold up at a hotter temperature.  Set the smoked to 250 degrees F and add wood chips.  We suggest using a smoking wood of mild flavor, like apple or cherry, to best flavor the tuna.

Step 4: Smoke

Cook for about one hour. To ensure that tuna smokes evenly on all sides, roast steaks on an elevated surface, like a rack placed in a dish pan, or flip steaks once during cooking.  Fillets should be a light brown color and should easily flake apart.

Eat fillets as whole smoked tuna steaks, or use in a delicious smoked tuna dip recipe.  Check out ours below.  

All-Time-Best Creamy Smoked Tuna Dip Recipe


  • 2.5 lbs. fresh yellowfin tuna steaks
  • Warm water (to cover fillets)
  • ½ cup salt
  • Reduced sodium soy sauce to coat
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup red onion, diced
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon hot sauce (or more for taste)


  1. Prepare brine by mixing water and salt. Add tuna steaks and let brine overnight.
  2. Rinse, dry, and lightly coat with soy sauce.
  3. Smoke at 250 degrees F for one hour. Remove, and let cool. Chop to desired consistency.
  4. Mix cream cheese and mayonnaise in a medium-sized bowl. Add red onion, parsley, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Mix until combined.
  5. Add chopped tuna and gingerly fold into mixture. Let rest in fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to marry,

Serving suggestion:

  • Serve with pita chips, or thin slices of toasted bread for tuna dip bruschetta.

You may have heard of smoked tuna, but have you ever tried smoked sturgeon?  Check out our recipe for Lemon-Thyme Smoked Sturgeon and tons of other great recipes on the Char-Broil community site.

Smoked Sturgeon with Fresh Lemon and Thyme

Watch out caviar connoisseurs – sturgeon is getting a makeover with this tasty recipe from Char-Broil.  Most frequently used for caviar dishes, sturgeon is a large, meaty fish that can also be used to make delicious smoked fish steak fillets.   This recipe takes advantage of the sturdiness of the flesh by slow roasting it in the smoker with lemon and thyme for a light and tender smoked sturgeon dish.  Simple clean flavors to complement fresh light fish – yum!

Make Smoked Sturgeon the Star

Similar to swordfish, sturgeon has a hearty flesh that cooks up nicely in the smoker.  What sets this fish apart from the rest, however, is the ample amount of natural oils that keeps the meat moist even through long cooking periods.  While the meat is moist and delicious, the flavor is relatively mild, so use your favorite spices and seasonings to complement the taste of smoke-infused sturgeon.  We suggest trying soy sauce and garlic for an Asian-style smoked sturgeon, or use lemon and garlic to lighten things up, like in our recipe for lemony smoked sturgeon below.

How to make smoked sturgeon:

1. Select fish:

Try to find fresh sturgeon at your local grocery store.  Because sturgeon is not frequently bought year round, it may be easier to find at a specialty fish market.  If you have trouble finding it, don’t be discouraged from making smoked sturgeon!  Ask your butcher for suggestions and help – it’s definitely worth the extra time!

2. Prepare:

You may choose to brine your fish before smoking it.  With sturgeon already being naturally moist, this step would be more about adding flavor than moisture.  Dissolve 1 cup of salt in 7 cups of warm water and add fillets, or here’s another great brine recipe for smoked fish.

3. Preheat smoker:

Sturgeon meat cooks best over a low temperature for a relatively long period of time.  Set smoker to 200 degrees F and add wood chips of a mild flavor, like apple or cherry.

4. Smoke:

Smoke sturgeon at a steady temperature for about 3 hours.  Use a digital thermometer to check the internal temperature of the fillets periodically throughout cooking.  The sturgeon will be done once it reaches 160 degrees F or when the meat begins to flake apart.

Quick Tip:

Place sturgeon on a sheet of foil on a baking sheet while it cooks in the smoker.  This will make it easy to transport the fillets and will be an easy cleanup.

Light Lemon-Thyme Smoked Sturgeon Recipe


  • 7 cups warm water
  • 1 cup salt
  • Sturgeon:
  • 4-5 fresh sturgeon fillets
  • Olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper


    Make brine:
  1. Mix water and salt together until salt dissolves. Add fish fillets to brine and let rest in the fridge overnight. Remove from brine and rinse.
  2. Make fish:
  3. Dry sturgeon fillets. Lightly drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over fillets and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay sprigs of thyme over each fillet.
  5. Smoke for 3 hours at 200 degrees F or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from smoker.
  6. Top each fillet with a slice of lemon as garnish and serve.

If you love the taste of smoked fish, check out other recipes like Simple Smoked Tuna Dip and Gourmet Smoked Halibut, found on the Char-Broil community site.

Creole Smoked Catfish Recipe

You can find catfish on almost any restaurant menu down south, and you can certainly bet that that catfish will be served lightly breaded and fried to crispy, golden-brown perfection.  While fried catfish is an uncontested treat, another delicious way to prepare catfish is to smoke it.  Thin-cut catfish fillets are able to soak in the delicious flavor of smoke as they slowly roast in the gentle heat of the smoker.  When seasoned with a spicy, creole seasoning mix, smoked catfish may be the new favorite fish recipe.

Tips for Smoked Catfish:

  • Use fresh catfish to get the best, natural flavor of the fish.  
  • Roast catfish directly on the grates of the smoker, or place the fish on a rack in a baking dish for an easy cleanup.  Keeping the fish elevated will also help smoke reach all sides of the meat.  
  • Set smoker to 200 degrees F.  Catfish will take about 2 hours to cook.  You can use a digital meat thermometer to check the internal temperature (you want it at 160 degrees F) or look for the meat of the fish to be light brown and flaky.  
  • This spicy Creole-Cajun rub recipe works great with any variety of smoked fish.  Try it with salmon, tilapia, or sea bass.
Spicy Smoked Catfish Recipe with Creole Cajun Rub


    For Creole Cajun Rub:
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne
  • For Smoked Catfish:
  • 4-5 fresh catfish fillets
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter or margarine


  1. Mix all ingredients of creole cajun rub in a small bowl.
  2. Lightly spread butter or margarine on fillets.
  3. Sprinkle desired amount of dry rub (will be spicy!) onto fillets.
  4. Set smoker to 200 degrees F and let fish smoke for 2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.

There’s plenty of fish in the sea to try cooking in your smoker from Char-Broil.  Visit the community page for other great smoked fish ideas like our recipe for Simple Smoked Tilapia.  

Char-Broil’s Top 5 Best Smoked Brisket Recipes

Smoked brisket is definitely a cookout party crowd pleaser.  When you’re serving up smoked brisket, be sure your recipe will have family and guests coming back for seconds.  Char-Broil has selected our Top 5 Favorite Smoked Brisket Recipes for the all-time best smoked brisket.  Whether it’s slathered with Mississippi Sweet Sauce or coated with spicy Texas dry rub, all of these great recipes will give you flavorful and juicy smoked brisket.  Try them all and find your favorite today!

Here are Char-Broil’s Top 5 Best Smoked Brisket Recipes:

Texas Style “Low & Slow” BBQ Brisket

BBQ Brisket

What’s the key to juicy and tender smoked brisket?  Letting it gently roast in the flavorful aroma of smoke.  This recipe for slow-roasted smoked brisket uses the best Tex-Mex flavors for a smoked brisket with a kick!

The Best Smoked Brisket Recipe 


Keep things plain and simple with this easy recipe for the best smoked brisket.  All you need is a little salt, pepper, and cayenne to bring out the natural flavors of the meat.  If you want the best traditional smoked brisket taste, this recipe can’t be topped.

BBQ Smoked Brisket Recipe in an Electric Smoker

Smoked brisket recipe in digital smoker

There are three steps to getting savory barbecue flavor is this smoked brisket recipe.  First start off with a bold BBQ dry rub.  Then, mop brisket while it smokes using a beer sauce marinade.  Finally, slather on a special homemade brisket BBQ sauce.  It will be impossible to have just one serving!

Smoked Beef Brisket on a Charcoal Grill

Smoked Brisket Taste Straight from the Grill

There’s no substitute for the smoky flavor that comes from making a brisket on a traditional charcoal grill.  In this recipe, All-Star blogger Chris Grove shares his best secrets for BBQ dry rub, sauce, and smoke to use for a delicious brisket.

TRU-Que Brisket on a Gas Grill

brisket on a gas grill

Making brisket without a smoker is simple – just transform your grill into smoker using wood chips and a smoker box.  This recipe for smoked brisket tells you how to make brisket using your grill.

Bonus: Oklahoma Joe’s Smoked BBQ Brisket

brisket entry

Want more tips for making tasty smoked brisket? The Char-Broil community page has more great articles, like our Beginner’s Guide to Making Smoked Brisket.  Check it out and learn how to be a brisket pro.

Smoking 101: How to Smoke Brisket

You’ve probably seen smoked brisket on the menu at your favorite barbecue restaurant, and maybe you’ve even ordered it once or twice.  Making that same, smoky brisket on your own is much easier than you might think.  Char-Broil will show you 5 simple steps for  smoked brisket in this beginner’s guide.  When your neighbors smell the delicious aroma of smoke and BBQ wafting through the air, they’ll have you begging to teach them how to smoke a brisket, too.  

Before we begin: What is brisket?

Brisket comes from the chest of the cow and is most frequently used for barbecue dishes.  The cut is a long, thin, rectangular shape and can weigh in anywhere between 5 – 12 lbs.  With ample connective tissue and fat, brisket is typically extremely tender and flavorful when cooked over low temperature for a long period of time.

Whole Packer v. Trimmed: What’s the difference?

A full brisket (known as a whole packer cut) is actually made up of two different muscles.  The flat muscle runs along the bottom, and the fatty point muscle rests on top of one side, creating a slight, triangular shape.  A thick layer of fat tops off both muscles and keeps them connected. When you go to the grocery store, the cut of brisket that you will most likely find is a trimmed brisket, meaning that the point muscle and some of the fat has been removed and discarded.  While this makes for a nice, neat, rectangular package, a lot of the flavor is lost when that marbled point muscle is removed.  We suggest cooking a whole packer brisket for a juicy and tender smoked brisket.

How to Smoke Brisket:

Step 1 – Prepare: Slice and Spice 

Cut off a thin layer of the fat from the top of the brisket, leaving about ¼ inch.  This will help more smoke flavor the meat under the fat. Coat the brisket in salt and pepper, or use a smoked brisket dry rub. Another great option for seasoning brisket is to use a marinade and let it rest overnight.  

Step 2 – Preheat smoker 

Set smoker to 225 degrees F and add wood chips to smoker box.  We suggest using a more savory flavor of smoking wood, like hickory or mesquite.  Let warm for about 15 minutes to get wood chips smoking.

Step 3 – Smoke: Low and slow 

Smoke brisket at a steady temperature and periodically check the internal temperature using a digital meat thermometer.  Small briskets of about 5 lbs. will take around 6 hours and larger briskets, closer to 15 lbs., will take around 10 hours.  No matter what size, the brisket will be done once it has reached an internal temperature of 200 degrees F.

Step 4 – Rest

Once removed from the smoker, let the brisket rest for about 30-45 minutes.  This will let all the juices settle back into meat.

Step 5 – Slice

Use a fork to anchor the back of the brisket while you cut slices with a sharp kitchen knife.  Cut perpendicular to the grain for tender, full slices.


  • Elevate the brisket while it’s in the smoker to help smoky flavor reach all sides of the meat.  Simply place a rack in the bottom of a pan to rest your brisket on during its cook time.  
  • Use a homemade bbq sauce on the brisket during its last few minutes in the smoker or serve brisket dry with a few different varieties of prepared sauces.

Now that you know all the secrets to making a great smoked brisket, check out our article for the Top 5 Best Smoked Brisket Recipes on the Char-Broil community site.