How to Smoke a Brisket in an Electric Smoker

By Mason Howard

As a favored barbecue meat with strong ties to Texas cuisine, beef briskets are well suited for smoking. Coming from the breast area of a cow, beef brisket is tough. The slow process of smoking allows the tissues to break down, resulting in tender meat. Using an electric smoker rather than a wood smoker prevents cooks from having to continuously maintain a fire. Ensure a succulent, flavorful beef brisket by preparing the meat in advance and by smoking at the correct temperature for the right amount of time.


Step 1

Apply a dry rub or a marinade to a non-frozen brisket the day before smoking. Trim the fat to 1/4 inch. You can also use mustard in conjunction with the dry rub.

Step 2

Keep the brisket in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic and take it out one hour before smoking to let it come to room temperature.

Step 3

Fill the base pan of the heating element with lava rocks. For flavor, place wet oak or pecan wood chips on top of the lava rocks. Do not let the wood chips come into contact with the heating element. Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees F.

Step 4

Place the brisket on the smoking rack with the fat side facing up. Placing the fat side up lets the juices filter into and flavor the meat.

Step 5

Smoke the brisket for about 1 hour and 20 minutes for each pound. Leave the top on the smoker at all times to retain heat. Only open the smoker periodically to baste the meat. Insert a meat thermometer in to thickest part of the meat. Once the beef brisket reaches 165 degrees, tent it with foil to capture smoke.

Step 6

Remove the beef brisket at 185 degrees F. Loosely cover the meat with foil and leave it to cool for 2 hours before serving.