Sourcing and smoking meat for friends and family is an enjoyable pastime made easier with electric smokers.
Smoked brisket wows family members and guests if done right. With an electric smoker, you can still achieve the mouthwatering smoky flavor of charcoal smokers but with none of the mess or hassle.
These three simple steps with bonus hints and tips will get you smoking the perfect brisket in your electric smoker and leave your loved ones craving for more.
Choosing the Brisket
Choosing a good cut of meat determines whether you’ll end up delicious and tender results.
So, when buying your brisket:
- Choose a piece, ideally the “packer’s cut,” which has minimal connective tissue and is as even as possible. Place the meat on your hand – the more the piece bends, the better and more tender it is
- Make sure the meat is fresh; a natural and deep red color is essential
- Choose brisket with a thick upper fat layer and small amounts of marbled fat throughout the meat. Higher fat levels ensure that the meat retains its moisture as it smokes
Consider the size of your electric smoker before buying the meat to avoid a piece that can’t fit in your smoker. A piece of brisket 10 lbs. or less should be fine for most smokers.
Make sure your prep area is clean, and that you have all the ingredients needed at hand. Trim your brisket off the upper-fat layer to approximately ¼ inch thick.
Season your meat well by injecting it with some beef stock and then rubbing it with your choice of dry rub. There are plenty of rubs that using flavorful ingredients like garlic, ginger, paprika, chili, cumin, brown sugar, mustard, cayenne, dried oregano, and black pepper.
We recommend resting your meat in the refrigerator wrapped in aluminum foil for at least 24 hours before smoking.
When you’re ready to smoke, remove your meat from the fridge and allow it get it up to room temperature for an hour or two. Smoking meat straight from the fridge results in tough brisket.
Marinating the meat with an acid like vinegar or lemon juice breaks down the tough connective tissue and fibers tenderizing the meat.
Smoking the Brisket
- Fill the wood chip box of your electric smoker with wood chips of your choice; hickory, mesquite, cherry, or apple are lovely choices
- Pre-heat your digital electric smoker to 225°F
- Place your brisket into the smoker, fat side up. Carefully position your digital meat thermometer inside the thickest part of the meat, at a set temperature of 190°F
- Close the door and smoke your brisket for approximately 10-12 hours or overnight
- When the meat’s internal temperature reaches 190°F, the digital smoker will stop cooking and switch to warm mode to keep the brisket warm until ready to serve
It is advisable to not wrap the brisket with aluminum foil at the beginning of the smoke; foil prevents the smoke from the wood chips from flavoring the meat.
When the beef hits an internal temperature of 150⁰ F you could wrap it in aluminum foil or butcher’s paper and then put it back in the smoker. This process is optional, and is known as the “Texas crunch.”
Keep in mind that different electric smokers have different temperature settings so always refer to your user manual
Checking for Doneness
One pound of brisket takes about an hour to cook in an electric smoker, however, always use a digital meat thermometer to check for doneness. Brisket is ready when the internal meat probe reads 190 – 195⁰ F.
Remember to let the meat rest for an hour double-wrapped in parchment paper and aluminum foil after smoking. It is essential to do this to allow the meat juices to redistribute, yielding tender and juicy meat. After all, no one enjoys a dry cut of meat!
Always cut against the grain with a sharp knife for tender meat slices.
Wrapping It Up
Whether you are smoking brisket for yourself or your family, choosing the correct cut of meat and preparation process is crucial for determining the final result.
For more inspiration check out our other electric smoker grilling recipes that’ll get you smoking like a pro.