Smoking a Corned Beef Brisket

Smoking a Corned Beef Brisket

Are you someone who loves food and enjoys trying new things in the kitchen? If that’s you, then smoking a corned beef brisket is something you’ll absolutely enjoy! It might sound a little scary at first, but don’t worry! We’ve got a simple and easy-to-follow guide that will take you through every step. You’ll end up with a mouthwatering corned beef brisket that will impress your family and friends. Smoking your brisket will open up a world of amazing flavors, and we’ll show you how to become a pro at it in no time. So, put on your apron, get ready, and let the delicious smell of smoked corned beef brisket take your taste buds on a fantastic adventure!

What is Corned Beef Brisket?

Corned beef brisket is a flavorful cut of meat that has been cured in a brine solution, typically containing salt, sugar, and spices. It’s called “corned” beef because the curing process traditionally used large grains of salt that were referred to as “corns.” This process not only preserves the meat but also infuses it with a delectable taste that intensifies when you smoke it.

Why Should You Try Smoking a Corned Beef Brisket?

As a food lover, you should try smoking a corned beef brisket because it offers an irresistible and unique flavor. When you smoke the brisket, it absorbs the delicious smokiness, making it taste even more delicious. It’s like taking your taste buds on a thrilling culinary adventure! Smoking introduces you to a traditional cooking technique that’s been passed down for generations, giving you a chance to explore new flavors and cooking methods. Plus, when you serve a perfectly smoked corned beef brisket to your friends and family, it’s sure to impress and leave them wanting more. So, why not give it a try and savor the mouthwatering delight of a smoked corned beef brisket? You won’t regret it!

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients and Tools

Before diving into the smoking process, ensure you have everything you need:

  • Corned beef brisket: Choose a good quality, well-marbled piece, preferably between 5 to 6 pounds.
  • Smoker: You can use an electric, charcoal, or wood smoker. Each method offers unique flavors, but for simplicity, we’ll focus on a charcoal smoker.
  • Charcoal and smoking wood: Lump charcoal or briquettes work well. For wood, use chunks or chips of hardwood like oak, hickory, or applewood.
  • Water pan: To keep the meat moist during smoking.
  • Meat thermometer: Essential for monitoring the internal temperature.
  • Aluminum foil: For wrapping the brisket during the smoking process.
  • Spices and rub (optional): You can create a simple rub using salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
Also read: chris lilly pork injection recipe

Step 2: Preparing the Brisket

  • Rinse the brisket: Take the corned beef brisket out of its packaging and rinse it under cold water to remove any excess brine. Pat it dry with paper towels.
  • Trim the fat (optional): You can trim excessive fat from the brisket if you prefer a leaner cut. Leave a thin layer to add flavor and prevent the meat from drying out.
  • Apply the rub (optional): If you want to add extra flavor to your brisket, gently rub the spices and seasoning mix all over the meat’s surface. Don’t overdo it; a little goes a long way.

Step 3: Preparing the Smoker

  • Soak the wood chunks: If you’re using wood chunks instead of chips, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before using. This keeps the wood from burning too fast.
  • Set up the charcoal smoker: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble and light your charcoal smoker. Place the water pan inside to add moisture to the smoking environment.
  • Heat the smoker: Once the coals have turned ashy gray, add the soaked wood chunks or chips directly on top of them. The wood will start smoking, enhancing the flavor of the brisket.

Step 4: Smoking the Brisket

  • Place the brisket on the smoker: Put the prepared corned beef brisket on the smoker grates, directly above the water pan. This allows the meat to absorb the delicious smoky essence while staying moist.
  • Monitor the temperature: Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the brisket, away from the bone. Close the smoker’s lid, and adjust the vents to maintain a temperature around 225-250°F (107-121°C).
  • Let it smoke: Smoking a corned beef brisket takes time. Expect to smoke the meat for about 1.5 to 2 hours for each pound of meat. The total cook time may vary between 8 to 12 hours.
  • Wrap in foil (optional): After the brisket reaches an internal temperature of around 160°F (71°C), you can wrap it in aluminum foil to speed up the cooking process and further retain moisture.
  • Continue smoking: Place the wrapped brisket back on the smoker until it reaches an internal temperature of 195-205°F (91-96°C). This is the magic temperature range where the meat becomes tender and juicy.

Step 5: Resting and Slicing

  • Rest the brisket: Once your corned beef brisket reaches the target temperature, remove it from the smoker, and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and tender brisket.
  • Slice and serve: Use a sharp knife to slice a brisket against the grain into thin, succulent pieces. Arrange it on a platter, and get ready to enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Also read: bacon wrapped smoked meatloaf

Smoking a Corned Beef Brisket on Pellet Grill

Smoking a corned beef brisket on a pellet grill is a fantastic way to make it taste super delicious and smoky without much effort. Pellet grills are super easy to use, which makes them great for beginners and experienced grillers alike. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Preparing the Brisket: First, take the corned beef brisket out of its packaging and rinse it with cold water to remove extra brine. Pat it dry with paper towels. You can use the spice packet that comes with the brisket, or make a simple rub with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  1. Preparing the Pellet Grill: Fill the pellet hopper with wood pellets like hickory, applewood, or mesquite to give your brisket a yummy smoky taste. Plug in the pellet grill and set the temperature to around 225-250°F (107-121°C).
  1. Smoking the Brisket: Once the pellet grill is hot enough, put the prepared corned beef brisket right on the grill. Shut the lid and let the grill work its magic! The grill will keep the temperature just right for cooking.
  1. Adding Smoke: Pellet grills have a special system that automatically puts wood pellets into the fire to make smoke. The delicious smoky flavor will surround the brisket and make it taste amazing.
  1. Monitor the Temperature: Stick a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the brisket, away from the bone. Check the temperature while it’s smoking. You want the brisket to reach a temperature of 195-205°F (91-96°C) to be tender and juicy.
  1. Resting and Slicing: When the brisket reaches the right temperature, take it off the grill carefully. Let it rest for about 30 minutes, so the juices inside the meat spread out and make it even tastier. After resting, cut the corned beef brisket into thin slices against the grain for the best texture and look.

That’s it! Now you can enjoy your super yummy and smoky corned beef brisket from the pellet grill. Everyone who tries it will surely love it!


Smoking a corned beef brisket may take some time and effort, but the taste is well worth it. With the right preparation and patience, you can transform a simple piece of meat into a mouthwatering delicacy that will have everyone asking for seconds. So, gather your ingredients, fire up the smoker, and get ready to indulge in a deliciously smoked corned beef brisket that will leave a lasting impression on your taste buds and your guests!

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