There is nothing like the smell of a brisket smoking away on a Weber kettle and, despite the reputation of brisket as being a difficult meat to smoke, it can be pretty easy if you start with the right cut. For this cook I was working with a small brisket point and it was spectacular.
How to Smoke a Small Brisket on a Weber Charcoal Grill
I was working with a beautiful 6 pound trimmed brisket point for this cook instead of a massive whole packer. If you are cooking a small brisket flat then I will point out what I would do different.
Start by seasoning the brisket with your dry rub of choice. I went with a simple Salt and Pepper rub but if you want something fancier then check out my article on Championship Competition Brisket Rubs.
Since there is so much fat in a brisket point I did not inject it with anything. If you are smoking a flat then I suggest shooting it full with one of these Brisket Injection Recipes.
I set up the kettle for indirect low heat. I used a charcoal basket filled with Kingsford Blue and a split of wood on the left side of the grill and kept the brisket over on the right. Hickory and oak are the best woods for smoking brisket but pecan and cherry are also nice choices.
Use a starter cube to light one side of the charcoal bed and the fire will slowly burn across the basket. I keep the bottom vent about 25% open and the top vent was wide open and located over the brisket.
When you use this technique you will be running at about 250F at the cooking grate and are going to have to refill the charcoal basket about every two hours.
Once the brisket is on the grill we are simply into a waiting game. Even though a piece of brisket is small it still takes a long time to cook due to the thickness and the need to melt the collagen. This point took just over 6 hours to finish.
I really didn’t do anything else for this cook except filling up the charcoal baskets every two hours.
If you are cooking a small brisket flat then I would probably wrap the brisket in aluminum foil with some beef broth around the four hour mark when it has some nice color on it. This will speed up your cook while also preventing the lean flat from drying out.
After six hours of smoking the internal temperature of the brisket was 203F but the real “done” test was the way the thermometer just slide right through the meat.
Ideally I would have let the brisket rest for an hour or two but after six hours of smelling the deliciousness I didn’t have the willpower to wait any longer! The brisket sliced up cleanly and ended up being enough brisket to easily feed four people.
The point was so juicy that we didn’t even think about using any barbecue sauce. However, if you are working with a flat it might be a good idea to have some sauce on hand just in case it comes out drier than you want. When I do go with sauce I really like to use something spicy like Head’s County Hot.
Two other things that I would do differently if I was working with a flat instead of a point are:
- I would put a small aluminum pan filled with water on the cooking grate between the charcoal and the brisket for extra moisture.
- I would spritz the brisket with water every 30 minutes starting at the three hour mark (if I wasn’t going to wrap in foil).