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Heavenly Smoked Brisket

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Claire Spollen

Active time 10 mins
Total time 13 hrs, 20 mins

Serves 12 (serving size: about 1/2 lb. brisket)

Brisket is the legendary low-and-slow-cooked cut of the Lone Star State, but its fame extends far beyond Texas borders. This recipe came to us from a reader in Alexandria, Louisiana. Hickory-smoked with a bold brown sugar-Cajun spice rub, it topped our annual list of favorites in 1995. There's no barbecue sauce. None needed. The heavenly flavor of the brisket speaks for itself.


  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (5- to 6-lb.) beef brisket, trimmed

How to Make It

  1. Stir together dark brown sugar, salt, Cajun seasoning, lemon-pepper seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce. Place brisket in a large shallow dish. Spread sugar mixture on both sides of brisket. Cover and chill 8 hours.

  2. Combine hickory wood chunks with water to cover; let stand 1 hour. Prepare smoker according to manufacturer's instructions, bringing the internal temperature to 225°F to 250°F; maintain temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.

  3. Drain wood chunks, and place on coals. Remove brisket from marinade, reserving marinade. Place brisket on lower cooking grate. Pour reserved marinade over brisket, and cover with smoker lid.

  4. Smoke brisket, maintaining a low temperature inside smoker between 225°F and 250°F, until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 180°F, about 5 hours. Remove from smoker; wrap brisket in aluminum foil, and let stand 10 to 15 minutes. Cut against the grain into thin slices.

Recipe Revival, Oxmoor House, copyright 2016.