Since the first time I sank my teeth into this recipe, it’s been my favorite way to make brisket. Spicy Smoked Brisket is prepared with a dry rub, then cooked low and slow on your smoker until the meat is tender. We serve it on slider rolls with homemade horseradish sauce. It’s perfect for game days and family get-togethers!
Don’t have a smoker? There are instructions for making this one in the oven, too!
Good brisket is a staple of southern cooking and many are always searching for the best brisket recipe. I personally think the best way to prepare brisket is to smoke it. Smoked meats are in a league all of their own and perfect for a large crowd. This is hands down the best smoked brisket recipe for the electric smoker or a pellet smoker.
But never fear – if you don’t have a smoker, you will find the method for making this recipe in your oven, too.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS SPICY BRISKET RECIPE
The homemade beef brisket rub combined with the technique in this recipe will produce the perfect brisket with just the right amount of spice. It is amazing on its own or wonderful for brisket sandwiches with homemade horseradish sauce or BBQ sauce.
WHAT IS BRISKET?
If you are not familiar with brisket, it is a large cut of beef from the cow’s lower chest. Historically, brisket means “breast” or “breast meat”. This particular cut has a lot of connective tissue that has to be broken down. Slow cooking with low heat or using a smoker is the best method to break down the connective tissue and tenderize the meat.
The BEST BRISKET SLIDERS
The first time I enjoyed this recipe was in 2018 in Cushing, MN at my friend, Michele’s home. She was hosting our group for a blogger’s weekend and she prepared this recipe that was close to her heart, as it was her mom’s recipe, and the first one that she ever posted on her blog, West Via Midwest. I was hooked.
I have made this recipe several times since then but never posted the recipe. But today I am sharing it with you in honor of my dear friend Michele, as she passed away a year ago today. She is so deeply missed by so many and I wanted to share one of her recipes to keep her memory alive.
Michele wasn’t a fan of having her picture taken so I have very few photos of her. Here is one from a few years back. We always had such an amazing time when we were together. I sure miss her.
All of her recipes are amazing, and her family is still keeping things going so her memory stays alive there. Please visit and find something to cook from her site, I promise you can go wrong with any of her recipes.
I also LOVE this recipe of hers for Braised Beef Short Ribs with Red Eye Gravy!
INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR SPICY BEEF BRISKET
Please note that you will find the complete measurements and instructions at the bottom of this post in the printable recipe card.
For the Spicy Brisket and Brisket Dry Rub:
- Beef brisket – You can use a whole brisket or just the flat portion
- Garlic salt – Garlic powder plus salt or kosher salt will also work
- Cayenne Pepper – Hot paprika is a good substitute for cayenne and you could use that in place of the cayenne and paprika. This recipe is spicy, but not over the top. You can adjust the amount of cayenne pepper to your liking, making it milder or even spicier.
- Paprika – regular or smoked paprika is great for this recipe.
- White pepper – If you don’t have white pepper, black pepper would also work. but the white pepper adds to the smoky flavor.
For the Horseradish sauce:
- Sour cream – the original recipe from my friend called for either sour cream or freshly whipped cream. I have always used sour cream. I think Greek yogurt would also work nicely.
- Horseradish – you can find this in a jar at your grocery store
- Lemon juice – Freshly squeezed lemon juice is always best!
- Black pepper
- Lawry’s seasoning salt – Here’s a recipe for a copycat version if you would like to make your own seasoning salt.
HOW TO MAKE SMOKED SPICY BEEF BRISKET
FIRST: Trim the excess fat off of the meat, and pound with your fist or a meat tenderizer. You will find information in “substitutions” for different tools you can use as tenderizers. Or ask your local butcher if they can do it for you.
SECOND: Place meat on a large heavy sheet of aluminum foil.
THIRD: Prepare the spicy brisket rub by mixing the spices together in a small bowl.
FOURTH: Press the brisket rub into the meat on all sides making sure to cover every inch.
FIFTH: Wrap the foil around the meat and place the wrapped brisket into a roaster. You can prepare your brisket up to this step and let it marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight but be sure to bring it to room temperature before cooking.
SIXTH: Prepare your horseradish sauce by whisking seasonings into the sour cream. Place it in the fridge.
SEVENTH: Prepare the smoker by filling it with hickory pellets. Turn the smoker to smoke for 10 minutes.
EIGHTH: Place the roaster on the smoker and leave it at the smoke setting for 30 minutes.
NINTH: Turn the heat up to 300 degrees F. Cook for 2 ½-3 hours. Pull the meat when the internal temperature of the brisket reaches 190 degrees F.
TENTH: Remove from the smoker and let the meat rest in the foil for 30 minutes before slicing.
ELEVENTH: Slice the brisket diagonally, against the grain with a sharp knife. Serve as is or on slider buns with horseradish sauce.
To Make Spicy Brisket Slider Sandwiches with Homemade Horseradish Sauce
Place the sliced brisket on a sliced slider roll.
Add a nice helping of homemade horseradish sauce.
Eat ’em up!
Love it? Pin it!
If you love this Spicy Beef Brisket make sure that you pin it to your favorite Pinterest recipe board before you go!
FAQs About Beef Brisket
When it comes to making brisket, there are a lot of questions. I tried to cover as many of them as I could. If you have other questions, please leave them in the comment section.
What is the best cut of brisket?
There are no different cuts of brisket, but there are two components; the flat and the point. Brisket is usually sold with both parts, but sometimes you see brisket sold with only the flat. The flat cut has some fat but is mostly meat and connective tissue. The point is attached to the rib cage of the cow and is the thicker part of the brisket.
The point has denser meat and large pieces of fat. This is the portion you would use to make corned beef. You will also want to consider the grade of your meat. Prime beef will yield a more flavorful and tender brisket due to more fat marbling. The lesser grades of meat would be Choice and Select.
How long to cook a brisket?
Brisket is a fibrous and tough cut of meat due to so much connective tissue in the meat. To tenderize brisket you need to cook it for the right amount of time and at the proper temperature. The connective tissue will start breaking down around 140°F but it won’t fully break down until it’s peaked at 190 – 200°F.
It is somewhat of a debate about the amount of time it takes to cook an amazing brisket. It completely depends on the size of your brisket and what temperature you choose to cook it.
Here are some general guidelines for times for cooking brisket per pound:
225 degrees – 1 ½ – 2 hours per pound
250 degrees – 60 minutes per pound
275 degrees – 30 – 60 minutes per pound
300 degrees – 30 – 45 minutes per pound
What is the secret to moist and tender brisket?
Everyone has their different opinions, but here are some popular methods to attain the tastiest, moistest, and most tender brisket you have ever put in your mouth!
- Cooking time and temperature: Slow cooking at a low temperature is your best bet for breaking down that tough connective tissue and achieving the perfect brisket.
- Add Moisture: Some swear by spritzing your brisket continually through the cooking process with water, apple juice, apple cider vinegar, or even hot sauce. If using the oven, you can add a couple of tablespoons of liquid smoke to give it that smoke flavor.
- Wrap It: Wrapping your brisket in foil or butcher paper will keep all those juices inside and help to contain the moisture within the meat. You could even wrap your brisket in bacon before wrapping it with foil!
- Fat Side Up: That fat layer covering your brisket is called the fat cap. You will probably trim some of that, but make sure your meat is fat side up while cooking so it melts into the meat.
- Marinade or Rub: A delicious homemade rub such as the one in this recipe will take the flavor or spice to another level. Applying the rub to your meat at least 6 hours prior to cooking will yield the tastiest results. You can pre-season your brisket and let it sit overnight. Let it come to room temperature before placing it on the smoker or in the oven.
- Cayenne Pepper – Hot paprika is a good substitute for cayenne and you could use that in place of the cayenne and paprika. Red pepper flakes come from the same pepper as cayenne, so you could use finely ground red pepper flakes.
- White pepper – If you don’t have white pepper, black pepper would also work.
- Sour cream – Some substitutes for sour cream would be creme fraiche, Mexican crema, or mayonnaise. However, these substitutes may change the consistency or flavor of the traditional horseradish sauce. Greek yogurt would work, or whipped heavy cream.
- Smoker -If you do not have a smoker you can prepare this recipe in the oven! Follow the same instructions, but bake for 3 hours at 300 degrees F. You can pour about 2 Tablespoons of liquid smoke on the brisket before the rub to give it that smoked flavor from the oven.
- Meat Tenderizer – If you don’t have a meat tenderizer, you can use any of these household items: a rolling pin, empty wine bottle, large Pyrex or other shatter-proof measuring cups, a cast iron skillet or heavy saucepan, a hammer, or canned food.
I typically purchase my brisket from my local butcher. He trims the brisket for me and tenderizes it for me, too. Try purchasing your brisket from one of your local butcher shops instead of the grocery store. I find them to be better cuts of meat.
TIPS AND TRICKS
- Brisket is a large cut of meat, so chances are that you will have some leftovers. Store the leftover brisket in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in foil and place it in a resealable bag. It will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator or 2 months in the freezer.
- Consider the flavor of your pellets. Hickory, mesquite, pecan, and cherry are the most popular flavors for smoking brisket. These woods have bold, hearty flavors that stand up to the rich flavor of the brisket. If you prefer a milder flavor, you can mix your pellets with other woods such as apple or maple.
- Applying the rub to your meat at least 6 hours prior to cooking will yield the tastiest results. You can pre-season your brisket and let it sit overnight. Let it come to room temperature before placing it on the smoker or in the oven.
More Beef Recipes to Love
If you enjoy eating beef, I have tons of beef recipes right here on my website. Here are a few to get you started:
- Corned Beef & Cabbage in the Crock Pot (pictured above)
- Roast Beef Sliders
- Steak & Kraut Pinwheels with Caramelized Onions
- Copy Cat Bob Evans Pot Roast
- Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage
- Traditional Reuben Sandwich
I hope you enjoy this spicy beef brisket! Raise a glass to my friend, Michele and her mom above for this great recipe!
- 5 pound beef brisket
- For the brisket rub recipe:
- 4 teaspoons garlic salt
- ½ Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- For the Horseradish sauce recipe:
- 8 ounces sour cream
- 1 Tablespoon horseradish
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoning salt
- Trim the excess fat off of the meat, and pound with your fist or a meat tenderizor.
- Place meat on a large heavy sheet of aluminum foil.
- Prepare the spicy brisket rub by mixing the spices together in a small bowl.
- Press the brisket rub into the meat on all sides.
- Wrap the foil around the meat and place it into a roaster.
- Prepare your horseradish sauce by whisking seasonings into the sour cream. Place it in the fridge.
- Prepare the smoker by filling it with hickory pellets. Turn smoker to smoke for 10 minutes.
- Place the roaster on the smoker and leave at smoke setting for 30 minutes.
- Turn heat up to 300 degrees F. Cook for 2 ½-3 hours. Pull the brisket when the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F.
- Remove from the smoker and let the meat rest in the foil for 30 minutes before slicing.
- Slice the brisket diagonally, against the grain. Serve as is or on slider buns with the horseradish sauce.
To prepare this recipe in the oven follow the same instructions, but bake for 4 hours at 300 degrees F. You can rub about 2 Tablespoons of liquid smoke on the brisket before the rub to give it that smoked flavor from the oven.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 653Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 230mgSodium: 920mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 58g
Please note that nutrition is not guaranteed accurate.