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What Colour Should a Brisket Be? (Smoking Brisket Hacks)

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Brisket is a popular beef cut that many people love across the world. While the task of smoking a brisket can be a little exhausting, it is worth it! This juicy, delicious, tender cut is perfect for a big holiday for your friends and family. 

What colour should a brisket be?

Brisket is a tough cut of meat. It is essential to pay attention to the colour and temperature of the brisket while smoking it. The key is to smoke the brisket low and slow. Most people wait for it to turn a satisfying mahogany colour. The fat is generally soft, looking nice yellow & brownish. 

Now, imagine you’ve put in all those hours of smoking your brisket and it comes out chewy, tough, and just unpleasant!

Not to worry, we are not going to let that happen!

In this post, we have discussed everything you need to know about smoking the perfect brisket for the big holidays! Continue reading to see how. 

Best hacks to smoke a brisket 

There are certain things you should get right while smoking a brisket to get it tender and tasting delicious! Here are some tips you can use while cooking your brisket: 

Picking the right cut 

The first step to smoking the perfect brisket is getting the cut right. Choosing a suitable piece of meat plays an important role.

When you go to your local supermarket or the butcher, ask for a high-quality piece of beef that comes with a nice layer of fat. 

Going for a big whole packer brisket should usually be your first choice. It has leaner meat while also having a considerable layer of fat.

A full packer meat results in a more tender end result. If the packer meat is unavailable or you think it is too big, pick the one that is more marbled. 

Preparing the brisket 

Briskets come with a fat cap. It is best to trim the fat down to half or a quarter of an inch. This will let the meat absorb the smoke without drying it out. Also, if you see any silver skin, trim that off too. 

Fat always helps cook your brisket better. It helps protect your brisket from any excess smoke trying to enter it. The fat helps your brisket smoke better 

Cooking it right 

The key to cooking the right brisket is smoking it low and slow. Most people prefer keeping their smoking temperature between 225- 250 degrees f. This is generally considered the most suitable temperature to smoke a brisket; it’s safe!

If you are seasoned to smoking briskets for a longer time, you probably have the experience to increase it a little.

Experienced smokers can raise the temperature from about 275 degrees f to 300 degrees f to speed up the cooking process. 

If you want to a very tender piece of beef, smoke it till it reaches an internal temperature of about 195 to 200 degrees f. 

On the contrary, some of us prefer a rare or medium-rare cut of meat. So, raising the temperature is probably not what you’d want.

Keep checking the colour and the temperature of the meat with a thermometer to get it exactly the way you want. 

Talking about brisket, here an article on the query is brisket supposed to be pink?

Injecting the brisket 

Want to jazz up the taste of your brisket? Inject it! There are so many homemade ingredients you can inject into your brisket. They add so much more flavour and make your brisket more tender. 

As brisket is cooked slow at a low temperature, it loses a considerable amount of moisture during the process.

Injecting your brisket doesn’t just add flavour but also helps the meat retain its moisture as well.

Many smoking enthusiasts say this is one of the easiest ways to add flavour and moisture to the brisket. 

A brisket is generally injected well below the surface of the meat. There could be several variations of injection recipes. They could be thin to thick mixtures with different kinds of herbs and spices. Here are some ingredients commonly used to inject a brisket: 

  • Water 
  • Beef broth/ stock 
  • Butter 
  • Brine 
  • Brown sugar 
  • Garlic 
  • Apple juice 
  • Soy sauce 

Many chefs also love slathering on their brisket. This, of course, is optional. If you want to take it a level higher, slather some mustard, oil, or water-based sauces that will add a whole lot of flavour to your brisket! 

Wrapping your brisket 

Take your brisket off the smoker and wrap it in either pink paper or foil when it reaches a temperature of about 170 degrees f.

Wrapping a brisket allows the internal temperature of the brisket to rise faster. 

If you don’t have any material to wrap the brisket in, you can go ahead and continue smoking it without any wrapping. It may take a bit longer on the smoker but it finally reaches the same temperature in the end. 

Letting it rest 

Once the internal temperature of the brisket reaches about 195-200 degrees f, you can start using a thermometer to check if it is done. 

While putting the thermometer in, if you feel a certain resistance from the meat, it means the intramuscular fat hasn’t been rendered completely yet.

While inserting the thermometer in the meat, it should feel like going through a block of butter at room temperature; that’s how tender the meat should be! 

When a brisket is cooked to perfection, it generally retains a lot of energy from the meat. Letting your brisket rest makes it even more tender.

You can use some foil to wrap it in. Storing it in an insulated cooler is another option. 

Please make sure you allow your brisket to rest for at least 15-30 minutes. 

Using the right smoker 

Smoking a brisket can be quite daunting. There are many factors associated with smoking a brisket correctly.

One other thing that could help you smoke the perfect brisket is having the right smoker. Many smokers offer various features that will only enhance the way your meat cooks.

Here is a list we have put together for you with the best smokers on available in the market today: 

  • Traeger pro 780
  • Masterbuilt bullet smoker
  • Z grills zpg-450a 2020 upgrade wood pellet grill & smoker
  • Kamado joe big joe ii
  • Weber smokey mountain cooker  

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) 

How long does smoking a brisket take? 

The answer to this depends on the size of the brisket you are planning to smoke. Of course, a larger brisket takes a longer time to cook than the smaller cuts. Typically, a brisket about 12-14 lb will take about 8 hours to cook. 

What should the internal temperature of my brisket be? 

The internal temperature of a brisket can be anywhere between 195 degrees f to 205 degrees f. It also helps to remember that the internal temperature rises by up to 10 degrees f once you take it off the grill. 

When does a brisket become tough? 

A brisket is tough when it is not cooked long enough. It becomes more tender the longer you cook it. So, keep checking to see if it’s tender enough. If you think it’s too tough for your liking, leave it to cook for some more time. 


We have reached the end of the article! Now, are you ready to smoke a juicy piece of brisket?

Smoking a brisket is an art that requires technique and precision. Controlling the heat of the smoker plays a trivial role. But once you’ve gotten a hang of what needs to be don, everything falls into place. 

Smoking a brisket is a time-taking affair. It needs to be taken care of with utmost attention and love throughout!

Again, this is all worth it! What matches up to the smell and taste of a tender, juicy, delicious piece of meat. We hope our article helped you understand the fundamentals of smoking a brisket. 

Have a great holiday!