• Whole Packer Brisket
  • 1/3 Cup Kosher Salt (1)
  • 1/3 Cup Ground Black Pepper


  1. Get your smoker of choice dialed in to 225*. (2)
  2. Trim brisket to desired fat content remaining. (3)
  3. Combine salt and pepper to create an even blend of the seasoning. Season the meat all over. (4)
  4. Place a probe thermometer in the middle of the flat portion of the brisket. Place brisket in your smoker, fat side up or down depending on where your heat is coming from. (5)
  5. Smoke until the middle of the flat registers 200*, and/or you can insert a thermometer into the flat with little to no resistance. (6)
  6. Wrap the brisket in 2 sheets of aluminum foil, then in a towel, and place into a cooler for 2-5 hours until ready to serve. (7)
  7. Slice the flat, against the grain, into slices of your desired thickness.
  8. When you get to the seam fat, stop slicing and cut along the fat to separate the remainder of the flat from the point. (8)
  9. Continue slicing the flat against the grain.
  10. Cut the point into chunks to be eaten as is, or to use as burnt ends later. (9)


  1. To be honest I’ve never measured so I’m not sure how much to go with here. You want about a 50/50 blend. Start with a few tablespoons of each, see how you like the color, then adjust the salt or pepper to your desired taste. As you’ll see this dish is totally customizable in every way.
  2. I’ve done cooks where I go 175* overnight and then crank it the next day. I’ve done 225* the whole way, 275* the whole way. 225* is just a standard way. If your smoker has a “Super Smoke” feature put that on for the first 3-4 hours.
  3. Typical fat content is 1/4 inch on top and none on the bottom. I’ve done em were I really only cut off the hard fat and leave it very fatty. You just have to cut a lot off when eating and that side of seasoning becomes moot.
  4. Another chance where you get to use as much or little as you like. Don’t go too heavy directly onto the meat, go a little heavier on the fat side. The flat is thin and will shrink up a bit so you can over-season here.
  5. Everything I’ve seen/read is that you want the fat towards the heat. The fat helps protect and insulate the meat from the heat so you want it getting the brunt end of the heat. If the open meat is hitting the air first it can dry out before the fat side does. On my Traeger that means fat side down. You can do whatever, I usually do it the opposite of my last cook to change things up and keep trying new ideas.
  6. Knowing when the brisket is done is the hardest part. I’ve temped all over but I think the flat in the middle of the brisket is the best barometer. The very end of the flat might be overcooked but it should be all good. Some people don’t go to temp, they go to feel, but that takes a lot of practice.
  7. If you have time I like this method. If you want to eat in 1-1:30, just tent it in foil. Leave your probe thermometer in the meat and slice when it’s at 155* internal.
  8. I like separating at this portion of slicing. Some people just keep slicing the entire thing. The biggest takeaway is always slice against the grain.
  9. Burnt ends are a bit of a manmade creation but if you desire that, cut for it now.

© 2020 Mitchell Schwartz

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