The Perfect Texas Style Brisket

The Perfect Texas Style Brisket

The perfect Texas Style Brisket uses what is known to many as a Dalmation Rub - that is salt and pepper only.  Cook it low and slow (225-250) and wrap it in butcher paper when it hits about 165 °F.  Boom - the perfect Texas Style brisket.  Prefer a different Rub?  Follow these instructions exactly and replace the pepper with a salt-free rub instead (if you follow this recipe, you've already salted it the day before)!



  • 8-12 lb whole packer brisket (the flat & the point), preferably USDA Prime
  • 1/2C kosher salt (about) 

  • 1/2C coarsely ground pepper (about)


  1. Prepare the brisket by trimming the fat. If you don't know how, there are lots of videos showing how to do this.  Make sure to leave the flat and point attached (this is how it will come if you buy a whole packer brisket). Don't worry, you'll likely trim off a few pounds of fat!
  2. Apply about 2/3 of the salt (that is 2/3 of your 1/2C) evenly and on both sides of the brisket at least 24 hours before you plan to cook and refrigerate it, uncovered. This is called "dry brining" and it's worth doing!
  3. Prepare your smoker and set it to about 225°F. I use a pellet smoker and prefer Hickory, but you do you (Aaron Franklin uses Post Oak, for example)
  4. Remove your brisket from the fridge and inject it all over with your favorite beef broth (or similar). 
  5. Mix up the rest of your salt and all of the pepper and apply it evenly to both sides of your brisket.
  6. Transfer the brisket to the smoker (as far away from the heat source as possible). Smoke for 6-8 hours, or until the internal temperature has reached about 165°F (I usually temp the flat and the point and take a happy medium).  This is enough time for a great bark to develop but allows you to wrap it before the stall (and wrapping helps it power through the stall and helps keep your brisket moist). You could use aluminum foil or not wrap at all - but I've found wrapping in butcher paper to be the best option.
  7. Remove brisket from the smoker, tightly wrap it* in butcher paper and put it back on the smoker. Close the lid and leave it to cook (wrapped in butcher paper) for 4-6 hours more or until internal temperature reaches 203°F.
  8. At this point you can let it rest, still wrapped, in a faux-cambro (cooler with towels) for a few hours if you need to.  The longer you let it sit, the softer the bark will get but the more juices you'll retain. I usually let mine sit for an hour or 2, still wrapped, before serving.
  9. When you are ready to serve, remove the brisket from the butcher paper, slice it into 1/4" thick pieces*, and serve.

    *NOTE: See our blog posts on wrapping brisket as well as how to properly slice a brisket - or look for the many resources online (Aaron Franklin has great videos about these very things).