How to Smoke a Brisket in an Electric Smoker

How to Smoke a Brisket in an Electric Smoker

Brisket can be a more expensive cut of meat, making it a scary to smoke for the first time, but you can smoke a brisket in an electric smoker to make the process easier without compromising the great taste of a smoked brisket.



Choose the brisket. 

The key to a good smoked brisket is buying a good piece of meat. You want a brisket that is as tender as possible. Take the brisket and balance it across your hands. The more the meat bends, the less connective tissues that it has, so find a piece of meat the bends the most, as this piece will be your most tender. Also, look for a brisket that has ample fat marbling and a thick fat layer. The higher fat content will help the meat stay moist during the smoking process. Look for a brisket that’s about 10 pounds.


Prepare the brisket.

Ready your rub and massage it on the meat. This can be done 2 to 4 hours before smoking, but the brisket will have the best flavor if left to sit over night. We recommend putting the rub on the brisket the day before you plan to smoke. Liberally massage the rub over the entire meat section. You can use a thinner layer over the fatty area. Wrap the meat in aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.


Smoke it. 

Remove the brisket 1 to 2 hours before starting the smoker so the meat can get to room temperature. Some outdoor chefs use this time to inject a marinade into the meat, but we like to let the smoke flavor our brisket.

Fill your wood chip box with mesquite, hickory, apple or cherry wood chips.

  • Apple and cherry woods add mild, sweet flavor.
  • Hickory wood will add a hint of bacon to the brisket.
  • Mesquite wood is a traditional smoking wood, but it can be strong. Try adding a little apple or cherry to tone it down.
  • Blending apple or cherry wood with hickory will help balance out the sweet and savory flavors.

Charcoal can also be used, but wood chips provide better flavor to the meat.



If you’re smoking with a Char-Broil Digital Smoker, preheat the digital smoker to 225°F and set the internal meat temperature to 190°F. Stick the temperature probe into the thickest part of the brisket, and place it on a rack in the cooker. Press start on the smoker.


When the internal temperature reaches 190°F, the digital smoker will stop cooking and turn on warm mode to keep the brisket warm until you’re ready to eat.

HOT TIP: Other electric smokers will have different settings that you’ll want to check your manual for. The key, however, is going to be smoking your brisket to 190°F.

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