Skip to Content

How To Cook A Brisket On A Charcoal Grill

Brisket is one of the three main forms of meat served at a barbecue. It’s right up there with ribs and pork shoulder in terms of deliciousness. A charcoal grill is your best ally when cooking a brisket, as it imparts an incredible smoky flavor to the meat while cooking it low and slow. Despite the fact that it takes a long time to prepare, it is well worth the effort.

In my opinion, an expertly smoked beef brisket might end up being anyone’s all-time favorite smoked meat, owing to the fact that it’s made of beef, which I enjoy. So if you enjoy beef, this is one beautiful recipe you’d fancy.

Prepared, sliced brisket on cutting board.

Brisket Nutrition Facts

How To Cook a Brisket on a Charcoal Grill

Tips To Cook a Brisket on a Charcoal Grill

  • Soak a few handfuls of wood chips – instead of chunks – in water for about 30 minutes before laying them on top of the embers. This will prevent them from burning out too quickly and increase the amount of smoke produced.
  • Charcoal baskets are ideal for keeping charcoal clusters together. The baskets also help them burn for extended periods of time.
  • Beef brisket is naturally chewy and rough since it comes from a part of the steer that bears a lot of the weight. To tenderize the meat, it must be cooked slowly and at low temperatures.
  • Whether in a hot skillet or over an open flame, most steaks get seared quickly. If you want to make brisket steaks, you’ll need to use a different method. If you’re going take the trouble of chopping a whole packer into steak-sized parts, make sure you’re prepared to cook them properly.
  • The importance of resting a brisket for juicy, tender meat cannot be overstated. Make sure you set aside at least 2 hours for relaxation.
  • Though brisket should not be grilled over high heat like a steak, it is permissible to trim the full packer down into smaller pieces. Just keep in mind that they’ll need to cook for a long period or the flesh will be too tough.
  • Put the brisket steaks in a marinade with an acidic element, such as vinegar or citrus juice, for the best results. The acid will aid in breaking down the meat’s fibers, making it considerably softer.
  • Set the smoker temperature to 225 degrees when you’re ready to cook. Don’t make the mistake of cooking these over a hot fire like you would sirloin.
  • Trim the brisket. If you’re smoking a packer brisket, be prepared to remove a lot of fat.

The butcher should have already trimmed the other side, which is opposite the fat cap. Simply scrape away any leftover fat and blueish silver skin. Finally, as you take the brisket from the wrapping, you may notice some browned areas. This isn’t any cause for concern, but you should cut these spots away.

How To Cook a Brisket on a Charcoal Grill

Prepare The Beef Brisket

You can begin with a 5-pound brisket – the exact size to fit on the grill. Trim the brisket with a sharp knife to leave a somewhat fat crown – any less trimming will cause the brisket to dry up, and also prevent the rub and smoke from seasoning the meat.

Wipe the brisket dry with some towels, after rinsing it under cold running water.

In a small mixing bowl, combine all of the rub ingredients and stir to allow it to mix well. Make sure you rub all sides of the brisket.

You can wrap the brisket in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to cure for at least 4 hours or overnight. It’s fine to smoke the brisket right away though, but chilling it for several hours helps the fragrant rub to enter the flesh.

Prepare The Charcoal Grill

Preheat the grill to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Since there is heat loss when the cover is removed to place the brisket on the grill, you can preheat the grill about 25 degrees higher than where you would smoke the brisket.

You can start by igniting only 10 – to 16 – pieces of charcoal and setting up the grill for an indirect Three-Zone Split-Fire to maintain alow temperature. You should separate the coals into two equal stacks on opposing sides of the grill grate to achieve this though.

You can go ahead to heat some water for the drip pan in the meantime. Place a stainless steel bowl or aluminum pan between the two heaps of coals on each side of the bottom charcoal grate after the water is hot.

After that, add the warm water and the cooking grate. You should allow the grill to get up to temperature before closing the cover.

Smoking The Brisket

Remove the cover and set the brisket fat side up on the hot grate over the drip pan when the grill is ready to cook. On each mound of embers, toss a chunk or two of mesquite wood.

Raise the temperature to 225 degrees F, adjusting the temperature with the vents.

For at least the first 4 hours, you’ll need to add fresh coals and more wood chunks to either side of the grill every hour.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Prepared, sliced brisket on cutting board.

How To Cook a Brisket on a Charcoal Grill

Save Recipe



  1. Build an indirect cooking charcoal fire by placing the coals on one side of the grill and leaving the other vacant.
  2. Apply the beef bouillon paste to the entire brisket. Combine the dry rub ingredients in a small bowl and coat the brisket with it.
  3. Place the beef brisket on the vacant side of the grill and close the lid when the cooker reaches 225°F. Cook for 4 hours, or until the brisket reaches an internal temperature of 160 to 170°F.
  4. Place the brisket in a shallow baking dish after removing it from the grill. Then pour a cup of beef broth over the brisket.
  5. Proceed to place the baking dish in the oven for another 1–2 hours, or until the brisket reaches an internal temperature of 185°F.
  6. Remove the baking dish from the grill and set it aside for 20–30 minutes to allow the meat to rest.
  7. Serve the brisket (cut across the grain.)


Watch video recipe on how to cook a brisket on a charcoal grill.

  • Author: Bobby