I’m here to tell you you CAN smoke a Certified Angus Beef ® brand brisket on your grill! I smoked mine on my gas grill. GAS GRILL people! With some time, love, and patience this Grill Smoked Brisket is tender, moist, and super delicious with hickory and applewood flavors. This post is sponsored by the Certified Angus Beef ® brand in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC. All opinions are my own.
I know what you’re saying, you can’t smoke meat with your gas grill. And I’m here to tell you, of course you can! Now, you might not get that infamous ring that you get with traditional smokers. However, you can get great smoke flavor with some wood chips, aluminum pans, and some time.
No, this is not something you can do quickly.
Those professional smokers or pellet smokes don’t work quickly either. Smoking meat is a labor of love. A lot of love, some time, and some creativity can provide you with some delicious Certified Angus Beef ® brand brisket (or other cuts of meat) that has great, smoky flavor without the cost of all those pellets, wood, or a completely different outdoor appliance? What do you call them? Different grill? Different smoker? I’m calling them outdoor appliances!
I remember when I was growing up that Dad used a smoker box on the grill to get some smoky flavor on steaks and roasts. He used to be the grill master of the house. Now, it’s my step-mother. Dad has a tendency to forget to set the timer and, well, overcook things. R on the other hand is on top of things, checks the time and temperature, and cooks meat really well on their charcoal grill.
That little smoker box is the inspiration for this recipe/method. Smoking a brisket requires prep work. First and foremost, you need a brisket. Not all briskets are alike. Some are far better than others. And it’s all in the marbling. If your brisket is too lean, it will just be dry. Luckily, Certified Angus Beef ® brand knows the importance of marbling. It is one of the 12 different qualifications to be labeled as a Certified Angus Beef ® brand product. I trimmed about 1/4 of the fat cap off. This left approximately 1/4″ of fat on the brisket. Some trim it completely off, but I wanted some of that delicious fat to keep the meat moist.
From steaks, to roasts, to even burgers Certified Angus Beef ® brand beef products are FAR superior in flavor tenderness than any other beef I’ve tried. I cannot stress how amazing their beef truly is. Even when I’ve butchered a flat iron roast and overcooked it. It still tasted AH-mazing. Just a little try. I never said I was perfect!
Next, you have to create a rub for the grill smoked brisket.
It could be something as simple as salt, pepper, and a little brown sugar. Or it could be the rub I used. It’s sort of a marriage between two of my favorite rubs; Coffee Rubbed Flat-Iron Roast (also a Certified Angus Beef ® brand roast) and Spicy BBQ Rub. It has some kick and some depth of flavor which adds a great layer of flavor the brisket.
Next, you’re going to need some juice. You don’t want the brisket to get dried out during that long cooking time. Since you’re not wrapping it in foil like I do when I cook mine in the oven, some moisture helps to keep it from becoming a large, 4 pound hockey puck. #ALLCAPS Not only did I spray the brisket periodically, but I also injected the mixture into the brisket prior to cooking as sort of marinade.
I tried a spray bottle. It didn’t work. My juice was too chunky for the bottle. And I didn’t strain it because I wanted those bits of flavor from the spice to combine with the rest of the spray and add another layer of flavor to this yummy brisket. So, I took a plastic water bottle and poked holes in the top with my corn holders. You could use an ice pick, the end of a corkscrew, or other round tool to punch holes in the lid. I wouldn’t recommend a knife. It would make slits and you need holes.
Finally, there’s the wood chips. I had four readily available to me. I tried a combination of mesquite and pecan initially, but like the combination of the hickory and the apple wood. The richness of the hickory and the sweet of the applewood was a great combination for smoking brisket. It also elevated the rub and the spray.
With all the food stuffs ready, it’s time to work on the grill stuffs. Previously, I’ve used aluminum foil to make smoker pouches. While this is good for shorter cooking times, the brisket took a while to smoke. My smoke started to run out so I had to bust open the pouches on the first attempt and add more chips. For the third attempt, I used foil pans which allowed me to add chips as needed.
Last but not least, you’re going to need a few thermometers.
I purchased one of those wifi ones. It didn’t like being outside in the heat and said it was 14F when it was actually around 80+. So, I ditched that and went with my fave pen style instant read thermometer.
You will also want an oven thermometer. That’s the best way to ensure your indirect temperature is in the 250F range. We have thermometers on the front of the grill, but I didn’t feel they were accurate. And I was correct. They’re off by about 75 degrees. That’s a HUGE difference when grilling indirect for long periods of time.
Once I had everything in one place I was ready to start!
Okay, I was ready! However, the weather did not really cooperate with me on this grill smoked brisket. I feel like it has rained EVERY weekend for the last month plus? It would be fine in the morning and about the time I would need to start the brisket it would start raining. Since this could have altered the cooking temperature of the grill I wanted to wait. If we were grilling steaks or burgers, I’d be there with my trusty umbrella. Since this was a long and slow cooking time I didn’t want there to be any variables like rain cooling the grill and extending the cooking time.
The weather was ready, the brisket was ready, the rub was ready, and the basting juice was ready. I was ready to smoke this brisket!
The night before I planned on cooking the brisket, I sprinkled it all over with the rub. Then I wrapped it in plastic and let it sit overnight. This allowed the rub to get into the meat a little. Which is why the rub is really important. It can make or break a good brisket.
About 2 hours before I was planning on putting the brisket on the grill, I used an injector and injected some of the basting juice into the meat. I injected against the grain and slowly pulled the needle out as I pushed the plunger in. In theory, this was ideal. However, I must have gotten a little excited and wound up getting juice EVERYWHERE! It shot out and up into the air raining down on me, the counter, the dogs, and anything within a 3 foot radius of the brisket. Talk about REALLY getting into your work.
One hour before go time, I took 2 cups of each of the hickory and the applewood chips and soaked those in water for about 30 minutes. I didn’t want to soak them all. For my grill, soaking them all would impede the smoke production. I soaked most of the chips on the second attempt and the smoke took a while to start.
I feel like I should state the obvious right about now. Make sure you have gas for this long cooking time! For my first grill smoked brisket attempt, the tank ran out. Thankfully, it was a much smaller brisket, I realized it shortly after putting it on, wrapped it, and put it back in the fridge. That one had some smoke flavor, but it was such a fail I didn’t even count it really as an attempt. So, make sure you have enough gas (or charcoal if you’re trying this on a charcoal grill).
Now it’s time to heat your grill and check the temperature. I would put the pans of chips on at this time. You will want the grill smoking before you put the brisket on. For my grill, it’s a three burner. I turned the left and right burners on all the way down in order to put the brisket in the middle.
The oven thermometer reads about 225 on my grill. Adjust the right and left burners accordingly for your grill to achieve about the same temperature. For your grill, this could mean having one burner on. You just have to play around with it to achieve between 225 and 250. I wouldn’t go much higher than 250, but you can if you want. The cooking times will just vary.
Once the grill is good and smoky, you are ready to cook your brisket!
I placed grill smoked brisket fat side up. I wanted that fat to keep the meat moist as it renders while cooking. I checked the temperature on the oven thermometer and I let it cook for about an hour. I checked the temperature and then the brisket. I lifted it up to make sure it wasn’t getting too cooked on the bottom and then sprayed some of the juice on it and turned it slightly. I closed the lid and cooked it for another hour. I continued doing this until it either reached 160 or looked like it was getting too done.
At this point, I wrapped the brisket in foil and allowed it to continue cooking until the temperature reaches 195. Then I removed the foil packet and wrapped it in some towels to sit on the cutting board for half hour. I see the look on your face. And I get it. But this method has been used in my family before in cooking a country ham. We always wrapped it in newspaper and blankets to insulate and allow it to continue cooking.
The wait is worth it. It allows the brisket to continue to get tender and maintain that delicious, juicy, Certified Angus Beef ® brand flavor. I could taste the flavors of the rub with all it’s spice and rich flavors. The baste kept it moist and delicious while cooking. And then there’s the sweet and rich smoke flavor. Even the hubs was surprised by the smoke flavor that was in the meat. So, yes, you can smoke meat with your gas grill!
Tips and tricks for grill smoked brisket:
- Make sure you have plenty of gas!
- Use foil pans for the smoker chips if you do not have a smoker box.
- Use a homemade rub! They’re much more flavorful than store bought, and you have ingredients to make one in your kitchen right now!
- Keep the meat moist during cooking with a spray! This can be beef broth, apple juice, or a mix like I made for this recipe.
- Get smoking before you cook! Make sure the chips are smoking before you put the brisket on the grill.
- HAVE PATIENCE! Even cooking in the oven, brisket should be cooked low and slow!
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- 3 1/2 to 4 pound Certified Angus Beef brisket, trimmed of excess fat
- 6 to 8 cups apple wood and hickory wood chips for the gas grill
- For the rub:
- 4 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 4 tablespoons sea salt
- 4 tablespoons cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons ground cumin
- 3 tablespoons instant coffee (or regular, unflavored coffee)
- 3 tablespoons granulated garlic
- 2 tablespoons mustard powder
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried chives
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- For the spray:
- 1 cup root beer (I used a hard root beer)
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 cup apple juice
- For the barbecue sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup minced onion
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons dry rub
- 1 cup Fruit Chup
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup dried bell pepper (or 2/3 cup finely chopped fresh bell pepper)
- 2 teaspoon celery seed
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
For the rub:
- Combine ingredient in a spice or coffee grinder and pulse until coarsely ground and combined. Store in an airtight container up to one month.
For the spray:
- Combine ingredients in a quarter jar or large mixing bowl. Pour into a water bottle with holes punched in the lid to spray the brisket with as it cooks. Store remaining spray in a jar in the refrigerator up to one week.
For the barbecue sauce:
- Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and stir until melted. Sauté the garlic and onions in the butter until they begin to soften. Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the brisket is finished.
For the brisket:
- Trim the brisket of excess (or all) fat cap. Sprinkle with the rub, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove the brisket 2 hours prior to cooking and inject with spray. Insert the need and go against the grain, being careful to slowly pull the injector needle out as you press the plunger. Or you’ll get showered in juice like I did.
- One hour before cooking time, preheat your grill and check the temperature of the part of the grill using indirect heat. Adjust the burners to maintain 225F to 250F. Place half of the wood chips in water.
- Thirty minutes (or possibly more depending on your grill) place the wood chips in the aluminum pans and then on the heated side of the grill. When they’ve started smoking, place the brisket, fat side up, on the grill.
- After about an hour, check the brisket to make sure it’s not getting too cooked on the bottom. Turn it slightly, sprinkle with juice, and check again in another hour.
- Continue checking and spraying the brisket until it reaches 160F in the thickest part or it appears to be getting too browned on the bottom. Wrap in foil and continue to grill until the internal temperature of the thickest part reaches 198F – 203F.
- Wrap the foil wrapped brisket in towels and allow to rest at least one hour. Thinly slice the brisket across the grain and drizzle with the juices. Serve with baked beans and the barbecue sauce.