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True Texas Brisket

Updated on March 6, 2023
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Down South Mama brings you the best of Southern cuisine with recipes ranging from classic comfort foods to refreshing cocktails.


Smoking Woods for Delicious BBQ:

If you're looking to take your BBQ game to the next level, then smoking your meat with wood is a must-try. Each type of wood adds a unique flavor to your meat, and knowing which wood to use can make all the difference. Here are some of the most popular smoking woods and their ideal pairings:

  1. Apple: This wood has a mild, sweet, and fruity flavor, making it a great match for poultry, beef, pork, ham, game birds, and lamb.

  2. Cherry: With a sweet and fruity flavor, cherry wood is a versatile option that complements all types of meats.

  3. Hickory: Hickory wood produces a strong, almost bacon-like flavor that pairs well with all meats. Its smoke can be intense, so use it sparingly.

  4. Maple: Maple wood has a mild and sweet flavor that works well with poultry, small game birds, and vegetables.

  5. Mesquite: If you're looking for a wood that imparts a solid and earthy flavor to your meat, mesquite is a great choice. It's particularly popular in Texas and is ideal for most red meats.

  6. Oak: Oak wood has a medium smoky flavor that is stronger than apple and cherry but lighter than hickory and mesquite. It's a good all-purpose wood that works well with any type of meat.

  7. Pecan: Pecan wood is stronger than fruit wood but milder than hickory and mesquite. It's particularly popular in Texas and is a great choice for grilling poultry.

Now that you know which wood to use, let's move on to a classic Texas-style brisket recipe. This recipe is all about that delicious beefy, smoky, and sweet flavor that only a wood smoker can deliver. But before we dive in, remember that you'll need an authentic offset wood smoker for this recipe, not an electric one.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 13 hours

Ready in: 13 hours 30 minutes

Yields: Serves 12


10-12 lb brisket, well-marbled

Dry rub (see recipe below)

Dry Rub Recipe:

1 cup sweet paprika

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup chili powder

1/4 cup fresh cracked black pepper

1/4 cup onion powder

1/4 cup garlic powder

1/4 cup dried parsley flakes

1/4 cup cumin

3 tbsp cayenne pepper


Trim the exterior fat, loose meat, and silver skin from the brisket. Rub the outside generously with the dry rub and let the meat come to room temperature with the rub on it.

While the meat is coming to room temperature, get your smoker going to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Put the brisket onto the grill, with the thicker end toward the fire and the fat cap facing up. Cook for 10-13 hours, allowing 45 to 60 minutes per pound. During this time, watch the fire closely, check the temperature every 20 minutes or so, and adjust to keep the heat even. Do not poke the brisket with a fork, and do not turn it.

When a thermometer registers 190 degrees Fahrenheit, the brisket is done. It will continue to cook as it rests, so let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour.

grain, and serve immediately. You can add a side of BBQ sauce if you like, but avoid putting it on the brisket while cooking.

And there you have it, a classic Texas-style brisket recipe that will leave your taste buds wanting more. Remember to use the right wood for smoking, and an authentic offset wood smoker for best results. Enjoy!

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. We would love to hear from you!

© 2017 Down South Mama


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