Smoked Brisket


I do like a smoked brisket, but I had to drag out my big smoker that takes up to 16 hours to get done. Well today we’re sharing a recipe for an easy smoked brisket, with a BONUS burnt ends, and we’re doing it all in 5 1/2 hours! 

Folks, today I’m using the Pit Barrel Smoker. I’ve been to a lot of cook-offs, and always see these little barrels everywhere. I got to talking with folks and they all love them, so I wanted to take it for a spin myself. I’m going to go ahead and give you a spoiler alert with my top things I like about the Pit Barrel.

  1.      It’s light and compact. I can pick this thing up and take it anywhere. You could even take it with you camping!
  2.      It holds heat well. I fired it up with hardwood lump and it stayed hot for nearly 10 hours.
  3.      Veteran owned
  4.      It’s design creates a circular smoke for all over flavor.
  5.      Regulates heat easily with vents and doesn’t take a lot of wood/charcoal to cook.

If you’re interested, check them out here:

And right now they’re offering free shipping!



You know me… I’m not going to use charcoal briquettes! We’re going to use hardwood lump charcoal. This hardwood lump, or real wood, is going to give better flavor, more heat and last longer. It’s also all natural. Today I’m using a mixture of  oak and mesquite.

Don’t ever use lighter fluid to start a fire. I like to use a torch or a chimney. 

Once you get the coals lit, I like to add a little more lump on top and let that get to going. For a little more smoke flavor, I’m also going to add a few chips of mesquite.

Pit Barrel Tip: use a rack in the pit barrel which you can open ‘cause you’re going to add more wood later. The 18. 5 hinged grate we used: 

Make that Brisket Tender

Ok, now back to the brisket! Today we’re using a whole Certified Angus Beef brisket. I’ve trimmed it up to where it’s about 9 lbs. (after trimming). You can also have your butcher trim it for you, or for a guide on how to trim a brisket check here:

Of course, we’ll need to season it. As I told you many times, lime juice is a natural meat tenderizer so go ahead and apply some. You can use whatever seasoning mix you like, but we suggest you check out our Mesquite and Original seasonings. I applied Mesquite on one side and Original on the other. Just be sure to rub them in well.

Regulating the Heat

When that grill is hot, add the brisket  to the grate, with the fat side down. We have to maintain the temperature and keep it around 200 F to 240 F range. 

At lower elevations, leave the bottom vent closed, or nearly closed. As you go up in elevation, open the vent up wider to allow more air flow.

Be sure you have a thermometer inside to regulate your temp, and adjust the vent as needed.

There are also four holes at the top, which you can open up or shut down to regulate your temperature too. I’m plugging three of the four holes with tinfoil to shut down my heat a little. Check the video below to see how we do this. 

We’re cooking this brisket for 1 hour. Then flip it over and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Be sure you check your heat when flipping and adjust the vents as needed.

Give It a Little Moisture

For the last 3 hours, we’re going for more flavor and tenderness. 

Remove the brisket from the smoker and we need to give it some moisture. I love to use our Green Chile Chipotle Relish (you can get you some here.) and generously cover it. You can also use your favorite salsa some light bbq sauce or even spray it well with some juice (apple, cherry, etc.).  

Now, wrap the brisket in tin foil and seal it well. We’re going to cook it this way for another three hours. And at this point, you can open up any holes on the top since the meat is nicely sealed in tin foil to get some tenderness. I like to add a little more charcoal to for some heat.  

What I like About This Pit Barrel Smoker and You Will Probably Do Too

You can grab our easy brisket recipe below. But folks, this is probably the easiest smoker I’ve ever used. 

The reason that I think it cooks better than a smoker in a way, is that you have the air circulation that goes all around, not just up and over. I’m still surprised how light it is, but yet still holds in heat so well.  This is something you can stick in the backyard, take camping, etc. 

Pit Barrel Smoker – click HERE

No you don’t want to miss our Burnt End Bonus recipe! Check below for the recipe and also our video for the how-to steps. Y’all get the fire hot and the meat smoking!

Smoked Brisket with Burnt Ends – Cowboy Kent Rollins

Servings 6


  • 11 lb. whole brisket trimmed to about 9 – 10 lbs.
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Mesquite Seasoning
  • Original Seasoning
  • Green Chile Chipotle Relish
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder


  • Generously rub lime juice on both sides of the brisket. Sprinkle the mesquite seasoning on the fatty side of the brisket followed by the original seasoning on the opposite side. You can use any seasoning blend preference you wish. Seasonings available at
  • Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. Remove the brisket from the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Heat the smoker to 200 to 240 degrees using hardwood or hardwood lump charcoal. We prefer an oak and mesquite blend. Place the brisket in the smoker, fat side down, and smoke for 1 hour.
  • Flip the brisket over and cook for 1 ½ hours.
  • Remove the brisket and generously rub with the Chipotle Relish ( You can also use your favorite salsa, BBQ sauce, or spray with a fruit juice.
  • Wrap the brisket with tinfoil and seal. Place back on the smoker for 3 hours.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the Worcestershire, honey, brown sugar and garlic powder.
  • Remove the tinfoil and cut off the cap. Cut into bite-sized pieces and toss into the Worcestershire sauce until well coated.
  • Place the pieces on the hot smoker and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the sauce caramelizes and chars, rotating occasionally. For a smokier flavor, close the lid while cooking.


Tip: Cut the brisket against the grain for tenderness. We used the Pit Barrel Smoker for this recipe. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!