Smoking Brisket in an Electric Smoker – The Best Way to Cook Beef

In this article, we have gathered all tips and advice on how to make the best smoking brisket on an electric smoker. We also took a look at different spices you can use for smoking.
Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
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Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
Expert Consultant
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: August 27, 2023
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One of the greatest meats for barbecuing is smoked brisket. Brisket is the slice of beef from around cow’s breast, for those who aren’t familiar with this term. Cooking it all while maintaining its softness, juiciness, and deliciousness might be challenging. The great news is that different outdoor grills can recreate the delicate and juicy meat aroma and flavors of classic coal barbeque while smoking brisket in an electric smoker.

Smoking is a type of airflow cooking that uses a moderate amount of heat. For example, when a piece of meat is smoked, it is surrounded by hot smoked air, which raises the inside temperatures and provides a deep, smoky flavor. Numerous grilling experts use electric smokers, which produce heat with an electric heating rod while adding pieces of wood to the pot for a simpler process that still involves wood smoking.

Tools and Spices You Need for Smoking

Smoking Brisket in an Electric Smoker – The Best Way to Cook Beef

Brisket is a tasty, low-cost cut of beef that is suited for a family dinner or a big holiday gathering. A brisket rubbing mix is the greatest approach for seasoning this type of meat. If you don’t want to go the distance to collect all the spices needed, consider getting a FreshJax Grilling Spice Gift Set that consists of five organic sampler spice glass bottles.

Most brisket flavoring recommendations are more focused on how to season your brisket and achieve the greatest outcomes rather than the spices you chose to use. The tastiest and juiciest results arise from preparing your beef overnight and having it rest in the fridge or chiller for at least 6-8 hours. This approach simply consists of dry marinating your brisket before cooking it.

The most crucial aspect of seasonings is to stick to the basics and don’t go overboard. Even though many pre-made spices mixes are available, we strongly advise you to make it yourself from Smokehouse Ultimate Grilling Spice Set. You may customize it to your desires, and it’s also more exciting to assemble it yourself. Powdered garlic, red pepper flakes, or paprika are all excellent options, but you can also experiment.

As for tools, a wireless thermometer is a must. If your smoker comes with a built-in lid thermometer, set it aside. These are well-known for being misleading. A dual probing grill thermometer is the perfect option since it allows you to monitor your cooker’s temperature and the heat of your meat from the very same tool.

Also, make it a routine to wipe your grill after each cooking process using a quality grill brush, so your life will become significantly easier.

You’ll also enjoy having a decent pair of long grilling tongs if you don’t want to burn your hand. Think about investing in two sets of tongs if you’re going to be an expert: one for spreading embers and the other one for rotating meat around the grill.

When smoking, an instant-read thermometer is necessary, specifically when cooking steak, when even a few degrees might make a significant difference. And yes, the one we mentioned before isn’t enough.

To slice your brisket perfectly, you’ll need a sturdy, sharp chef’s knife.

How to Choose a Beef Brisket?

Brisket is produced from the bottom of the cow’s chest or under the breast. It is composed of two cuts: flat and pointy. The pointcut is high in fat, whereas the flat edge is leaner. When choosing your brisket, there are a few factors to take into consideration:

  1. Opt for a brisket that effortlessly bends or stretches. It shows that the brisket has less connective tissue. The outcome will be more delicate if the brisket has less of those.
  2. Briskets could be available in a variety of sizes and shapes. The size and weight you choose would be affected by many circumstances, including the number of people you’ll be preparing it for, the size of your electric smoker, and the finances.
  3. The flat point is the most preferred cut of beef, comprising the bigger half of an entire brisket. But there is a bigger fat content in the joint, something many people favor.
  4. When the fatty part hasn’t been removed, and the flat and point are still bonded, it’s termed a packer cut. If you choose to go for this cut, look for one with a thicker flat point so that both sides cook consistently.
  5. The more marbling the brisket has, the higher the quality is. It’s the fat distribution between the meat’s leaner parts.

How to Smoke a Brisket?Smoking Brisket in an Electric Smoker – The Best Way to Cook Beef

  1. Select smoking firewood that will complement your meat. We suggest using oak, mesquite, or hickory since they provide the most extraordinary smoky flavor. But don’t be afraid to experiment.
  2. Examine to ascertain if you have dry wood. Burning dry ensures that your smoke is free of any pollutions. Black smoke is not only horrible to be around, but it also infuses a slice of meat with a sour and bitter flavor.
  3. Waiting for the heat to stabilize for some time can aid the meat in being cooked more consistently without causing any scorching areas or undercooked sections.
  4. Before cooking, make sure the brisket has been out of the fridge for a minimum of an hour. It’ll also aid in getting it to room temperature, making it easier to smoke.
  5. Place the meat on the racks in your smoker when it’s prepared. Please ensure the fatty part is facing up when you lay it. Because when fat begins to melt, it should do so over the lean part, giving it a juicy, fatty taste.
  6. Install a wireless electronic thermometer with one of the probes in the meat and another one in the smoker chamber.
  7. Lastly, set up your water pot in the cooker and shut the lid tightly. Leave it alone and don’t uncover till the following stage, as the smoke and heat might flow away fast, causing your meat to cook unevenly.
  8. For the next 3 hours, you may leave it alone while your cooker does its job. Then, just after time has passed, uncover your lid and spray the meat with water or beef broth using a filled sprayer. As you are waiting for the beef to reach 190°F, repeat this process every 30 minutes. Then remove it and set it aside to rest.
  9. One of the most essential techniques in achieving that incredibly moist soft brisket with black caramelized skin is wrapping the beef. Experts disagree on whether to use foil or pink butcher paper, but after years of using tinfoil, we suggest peachy butcher paper. As a result, your briskets will have a more delicious bark and a richer smoke taste.

Since not all brisket cooking methods are similar, here are a few ideas to try:


To ensure the seasoning stick to the beef, some cooks add a binding ingredient, such as mustard. This not only makes the spice remain on the meat, but the acidity also aids in the breakdown of the meat’s exterior and the creation of a stunning crispy bark. It’s not required, but it’s worth a go to see whether you will enjoy it.


As previously discussed, we suggest butcher paper for wrapping, however, foil is also an excellent choice. Although the brisket’s exterior will become softer, it will retain a lot of juice inside the beef.


Some people favor the low and slow method for briskets, while others want the procedure to speed up a little. To cut down on cooking time, consider smoking at 275 ° F. There’s no such thing as an ideal time frame, so keep a close eye on the brisket’s internal temperature.

Tips for Smoking BeefSmoking Brisket in an Electric Smoker – The Best Way to Cook Beef

  1. You might need to season the electric smoker prior to using it for the very first time. The purpose is to burn off any debris that has developed on the frying racks, chip pan, or stainless-steel casing throughout the manufacturing processes.
  2. Cook at the correct temperature, especially if it’s your first time. Each variety of meat smokes better at a different range of temperatures. The brisket cooks nicely at 225°F.
  3. Experiment with a few types of hardwood. Although not every modern electric smoker has a wood-burning capability, the nicest smokers usually should. You can make your customized wood mix in addition to a customized dry rub or marinating.
  4. Ensure that you have plenty of time since electric smokers cook meat at a much lower heat than a traditional charcoal or gas smoker. So get ready to spend an entire day cooking if you want soft textures and a smoky taste.
  5. Maintain the cleanliness of your smoker. Electric smokers are popular since they burn efficiently and clean. Allowing burned food waste to accumulate in your cooker will counteract that benefit. Take a bit of time after every grilling session to wipe your cooking surfaces, including pans and frying grates. Using a drip pan can also aid in keeping your smoker tidy during the smoking process.


My beef is tough, what went wrong?

Brisket is one of the more difficult meat cuts to cook. Pork butt, poultry, or even ribs are relatively easier, but learning how to achieve that beautiful delicate outcome requires a while. Is there anything you can do if you actually end up with a tough beef? Sadly, this is not really possible. The toughness of the brisket is linked to the necessity of extra cooking time to tenderize and soft down the connective tissues.

How long does it take for beef to get marinated?

Take at least 1 hour for every pound of beef to marinate, and no more than two hours per pound. Most briskets will need longer, overnight marinating, so plan ahead. It’s also crucial that the marinating gets all the way throughout the meat. Therefore, you’ll want to rotate the beef frequently to keep it thoroughly covered.

Should I put the fat side up or down while smoking?

Most people seem to believe that when a brisket is grilled fat-side up, the fat melts, and the beef gradually braises. However, apart from not really braising the brisket, it also comes with consequences: The dripping fat might wash away the spice from the meat. Smoking the brisket fat side down results in a more appealing brisket, a more even bark, and reduces the chance of melting fat washing away spices.

Final thoughts

Even the hardest piece of beef can be cooked soft and tasty with a little patience and suitable cooking techniques. Brisket, which comes from the cow’s chest, is an excellent example— it’s one of the toughest cuts of beef, but when roasted, smoked, or gently grilled, it becomes tender and delicious.

It’s also high in protein, with a 3-ounce portion providing more than half of the recommended daily intake.

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