How to Smoke a Brisket in an Electric Smoker

Are you looking to spice up your weekend barbecues? Then try smoking a delicious brisket in an electric smoker. With this guide, you’ll be smoking like a pro in no time!

Grill up some juicy and tender brisket for your next outdoor party and impress your guests with flavors that will make their mouths water.


Smoking a brisket can seem intimidating at first, but with the right techniques and equipment, creating this tender and delicious smoked brisket is not that difficult. Smoking a brisket can involve an array of techniques and flavors, whether you use an electric smoker or a charcoal pit. This guide will walk you through all the steps needed to turn out a succulent brisket made in an electric smoker.

This guide will cover the following items:

  • Preparing the Brisket
  • Preparing the Electric Smoker
  • Flavoring the Brisket
  • Directions for Cooking the Brisket
  • Optional Techniques to Try with your Brisket

Explanation of smoking brisket

Smoking a brisket is a time-consuming process that requires tremendous patience and skill. In the simplest terms, smoking a brisket is the art of cooking with low and slow heat. By cooking at a low temperature for an extended period, fat and collagen slowly break down, resulting in tender, juicy cuts of meat that are rich with flavor. Electric smokers provide even heat control and can easily accommodate large cuts of meat like brisket.

While there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to smoking a brisket, here is an overview of what to expect:

  1. Explanation of smoking brisket:

-Preparing the Brisket – Prior to smoking, preparation involves trimming any large areas of fat off the surface of the brisket. After trimming the fat cap off the top of the brisket, season it with salt and pepper or your favorite BBQ rub. Make sure you pat dry so that your seasoning will stick to it better.

-Setting up your Electric Smoker – Fire up your electric smoker and fill up with wood chunks for smoke (mesquite or hickory works best for this recipe). Set your temperature at 250°F and preheat for about 15 minutes until ready to start cooking.

-Smoking Process – Place your pans onto dedicated lower racks inside smoker chamber and put in seasoned briskets on their flat sides (presentation side down). Close lid or door carefully make sure seals tight for efficient cooking process.

Purpose of the article

The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to smoking a brisket in an electric smoker. This guide will cover the basics of setting up the smoker for optimal performance, preparing the brisket for smoking and the different techniques for smoking.

It also includes information on safety precautions and other considerations when using electric smokers. Additionally, this article provides helpful tips and advice from experienced pitmasters on getting the best results from your brisket. This way, you can be sure that even a beginner can achieve professional quality results while smoking your first brisket!

Overview of the steps for smoking brisket in an electric smoker

Smoking a brisket in an electric smoker involves a few simple steps. Before getting started, make sure to check that your electric smoker is securely set up and properly ventilated so that your food will not be exposed to too smoke or other contaminants. Then, prepare the smoker for cooking.

The first step is to preheat the smoker and lightly spray the interior with non-stick cooking spray or apply a thin coating of vegetable oil or butter to help prevent sticking. Next, place your rack of beef brisket on the grills and add any desired seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc., before closing the lid.

Set up an indirect heat source by placing hot coals on one side of the grill and allow them to become completely hot before placing the main portion of fuel—either charcoal briquettes or wood chips—on top and around them. Next, turn on the air vents and adjust them so that you can achieve a desirable temperature between 225°F (107°C) – 250°F (121°C). Allow 10 minutes for preheating before loading your pre-seasoned brisket onto the grills inside your electric smoker.

At this stage in the process, you may want to mound charcoal around the outer edges of the firebox near any un-covered areas in order to generate more consistent heat inside your smoke box while reducing direct cooking exposure from resting against uncovered surfaces. Make sure that you monitor air flow with periodic adjustments as needed until you can achieve steady temperatures within your smoking chamber as recommended by most smoking experts at 225–250F degrees Fahrenheit (107–121 Celsius).

Finally, attach a thermometer probe into one end of each brisket before closing up all vents evenly; this should keep temperatures relatively stable inside while allowing minimal smoke escape during slow walk cook time*. After several hours have passed and depending on how patient you are willing to be — cook times typically range from 3–7 hr — it is time to remove everything from the pit! Once done pull out your smoked briskets from cooker using two sets of tongs placed around opposite sides just below their front shoulders then wrap tightly in aluminum foil for insulation before allowing them rest at least 30 minutes prior final serving if desired – otherwise dive right in! Congrats! You’ve now completed smoking a Texas-style beef brisket using an effective electric smoker appliance!

Choosing and Preparing the Brisket

The brisket is the main event when it comes to smoking. It’s vital that the freshest, highest quality meat be selected for an optimal flavor and tenderness. Most briskets sold in supermarkets are trim, with a thick layer of fat covering the flat (the thicker part of the cut) and the point (the thinner tip). The fat should be left on to keep the brisket moist as it smokes. When selecting a cut, also check for marbling—the streaks of fat in and around the muscle fibers. Briskets that have ample marbling tend to be more flavorful and will smoke more evenly.

Before starting your smoker, take your brisket out of its packaging, pat it dry with paper towels, rub it with oil or even better-a dry rub seasoning or a wet marinade filled with herbs and spices to make sure you have a smoky but also flavorful sensation.. This can be left on overnight if possible or anywhere from 2 hours up to 12hours before smoking. After this has been applied cover it with plastic wrap until ready for use in the smoker.

Choosing the right brisket

A quality brisket is essential for a successful smoked brisket. Look for a USDA Choice or higher grade brisket that weighs between 10 and 13 lbs with about 1/4 inches of fat on top of the meat. This amount of fat ensures plenty of flavor, but not so much that it will keep the smoke from permeating the meat. Look for any discoloration or odors that may indicate poor quality, and be sure to pick one up at least 2 days before smoking, as this will give you time to marinate it if desired and let it rest in its own juices.

Quality is everything when it comes to smoking a brisket!

Trimming and seasoning the brisket

Once you’ve chosen the perfect brisket, it’s important to prepare it correctly before cooking. This includes trimming away any fat that might cause flare-ups, and seasoning the meat with your favorite rub or sauce.

Trimming of the fat: Trimming away some of the fat on the brisket will not alter its taste, but it does help in reducing flare-ups when smoking in an electric smoker. You will want to remove any excess fat from around the edges and then trim off any pieces that hang too far over the edge of your cut of meat.

Seasoning: Your brisket should be well seasoned with your preferred seasoning rub or sauce before it is added to your electric smoker. A liberal coating of rub or sauce ensures that layers of flavor penetrate as much as possible. For a milder version use a beer based rub or sauce, and for a more flavorful result try using garlic or garlic powder along with some chili powder or smoked paprika for a really great flavor punch! Remember to adjust seasonings to taste, as this can drastically change how your meal turns out!

III. Preparing the Electric Smoker

It is important to properly prepare the electric smoker before cooking the brisket. This will ensure that your final dish will be perfectly cooked and flavorful.

To begin, make sure that you have a full tank of fuel for your electric smoker and that all other parts are properly connected. Fill the water pan as far as it needs to go for the time you’ll be smoking, as having enough water in the pan helps maintain a constant temperature.

Creating smoke is also an important step in preparing the electric smoker. Put wood chips into an aluminum foil packet and make several tiny slits on top with a knife or scissors – this will allow them to smoke evenly when placed in the smoker’s bowl holder. It’s best to use about 4-5 cups of wood chips for your desired flavor, but be sure not to overdo it as this can lead to an overly smoky flavor. Alternatively, you can use sawdust or pellets which are designed specifically for creating smoke in an electric smoker.

Once all of these steps are complete, it is time to start cooking!

Preheating the smoker

  1. Preheating the smoker: Preheat your electric smoker to 225°F. Make sure you have plenty of time before the meal is ready, because it can take up to an hour for the smoker to reach this temperature.

Make sure you check for smoke at the exhaust prior to beginning your cook, as this is an indication that the burner is properly lit and burning correctly. Be patient and don’t rush! Having a hot smoker, rather than a cold one, results in a better tasting brisket with more even smoke penetration.

Adding wood chips

Now that your electric smoker is preheated and ready for your brisket, it’s time to add wood chips or pellets. The type of wood you choose affects the flavor of your final product. While each smoker comes with its own set of instructions, here are some general tips on selecting and adding wood chips or pellets.

It is generally best to use a light wood such as apple or cherry as it will produce a mild, sweet flavor. Heavier woods like mesquite are better suited for faster cooking meats such as chicken and pork chops, as they impart a quite intense flavor compared to the more delicate flavors imparted by lighter woods.

When you’re ready to add your selected chips or pellets, use the spoon provided with the smoker to sprinkle them over the burner located within your electric smoker. It is best to not overfill the burner with too many chips or pellets as this could cause flared up flames while cooking. Once they have been added, make sure all of them have had exposure to the flame and then close the pit door back up tightly.

Setting up the drip pan and water bowl

Before you start smoking your brisket in an electric smoker, you need to set up the drip pan and water bowl. The drip pan should be placed directly underneath the cooking surface so that it can catch any fat and juices that drip off the meat. The water bowl should be placed near the base of the electric smoker for added moisture throughout the cooking process.

Make sure both items are clean prior to use, as this will help prevent any food-borne illnesses from occurring. Additionally, adding liquid smoke or wood chips to either item can enhance the flavor profile of your smoked brisket. Be sure to check your manufacturer’s instructions for specific guidance on how to use these items in your electric smoker.


Smoking a perfect brisket is no easy task and requires a lot of practice and patience. However, with a little bit of work and proper technique, you can confidently produce a delicious meal for your family and friends.

When it comes to smoking a brisket in an electric smoker, the key is to control the temperature by regulating the amount of smoke and oxygen flow as well as using quality wood chips for flavor. After finding the right combination, maintain consistent temperatures throughout the smoking process which should take anywhere from one-and-a-half to two hours per pound at 225–250°F (107–121°C).

Finally, after 12 to 16 hours of smoking, you’ll know your brisket is complete when it reaches an internal temperature of 205°F (96°C) and you’re able bag yourself beautiful bark that is thick and dark brown mahogany color in texture. When you’re ready to serve it up, make sure that you remove all of the fat from around your brisket before cutting it or else your end product won’t have that coveted smoky flavor. While there are no hard set rules on how to smoke a brisket – everyone has their own preferences – hopefully with this guide you’ve learned some valuable tips so that you can make this iconic dish at home like true professionals do!

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