Can You Smoke Corned Beef Brisket?

corned beef brisket on a smoker

Remember that summer camp of playful games, lively fishing, yummy food and bottled drinks. Well, to top it up, sometimes we decide to barbecue the meat ourselves and end up missing one flavour or the other.

So, now you ordered a corned beef brisket on one of the best favorite online meat delivery services and wonder how to smoke this great piece of meat?

This challenge to ‘get it right’ is especially true of smoking corned beef briskets which ends up as either too salty or less smoky. Let’ see how to do it right.

Corned Beef Briskets are smoked by placing them on a hot grill at a temperature of 250°F for about 10-18 hours until the internal temperature of the brisket hits closer to 200°F. Before smoking, the briskets have to be brined, cured and rubbed with spice mix. During the smoking process, apple juice should be sprayed regularly to keep the briskets moist.

As you may know, corned beef briskets are pieces which are cut off from the breast or lower chest pieces of mostly cows and which are then preserved through salt-curing.

Because of its long expiry duration, corned brisket is popular all across the world. But the best err-free way of smoking these briskets remains a puzzle to many of us. So, let’s crack this out.

How to Smoke Corned Beef Briskets (Easy Recipe)

sliced corned beef brisket

Smoking corned beef briskets is seen as a tough task by many people because of two obvious reasons.

  • The long preparation time: It takes at least 8-18 hours for the pieces to be smoked, while the soaking process can take 8 to12 hours.
  • Variations in flavour: Sometimes it gets very salty. At other times, you miss that spicy as well as smoky flavour.

To avoid these situations and make the perfect smoked beef briskets, we have to diligently follow the step-by-step process listed out below.

Step 1: Decide the Size of Briskets

As you know, corned beef briskets are available in different sizes. So, when you buy them, you have to consider whether the size suits your purpose. If you buy large pieces, you can serve a larger number of people.

However, the larger the size, the longer the time it takes to get the pieces smoked. It will also take much time to get the pieces soaked as well. Therefore, decide whether time or quantity is your priority at that moment.

Step 2: Soak the Corned Briskets

This is a crucial step. As you know, the corned briskets are salt-cured during the brining process. Therefore, it will have a good amount of saline content. Therefore, soak them in cold water.

The soaking time should be a minimum of 8 hours and a maximum of 12 hours.

If you don’t soak it for the minimum period, the excess salt won’t be flushed out and the smokes briskets will have that intense saline flavour.

Some people, on the other hand, may soak it for 24 hours. This is a mistake you should avoid. If you soak the briskets too much, you will have to spend a long time getting them smoked inside. You can use some various methods to reduce salt as well

Step 3: Change the Water

We have included this as a separate step because we like to warn you about a very common error that people tend to make while soaking corned briskets. That is, they don’t change the water at regular intervals of time.

If you don’t change the water, then the briskets would turn out to be way too salty, spoiling the entire flavour of your planned dish.

Therefore, it is better to change the water at least three times during the soaking period. We recommend you to do this at a gap of 2-3 hours.

Step 4: Make the Spice Mix

To enhance the flavour of smoked meat, you can rub a spice mix on the surface of the briskets after you have soaked and removed the saline content.

To make the spice mix, you can choose a variety of ingredients – ranging from coriander, paprika, fennel seeds, cayenne pepper, mustard seeds, garlic powder, onion powder etc. You can try out a variety of possibilities.

Also, since it’s a solid mix, you can actually use your hands to make the mix.

Step 5: Rub the Spice Mix onto the Briskets

You have to be very patient and diligent at this stage. Because if you don’t thoroughly rub the briskets with spice mix, the final product will lack the desired flavour.

So, place the briskets on a glass dish, apply the spice rub slowly and forcefully so that the insides of the briskets will also get the spice flavour

Step 6: Marinate the Briskets

Once the spice rub is done, cover the briskets with a plastic wrap and let it rest in a refrigerator for two hours.

Step 7: Let the Smoking Begin

This is a step that can test your patience. But the end result – smoky, chewy, tender, delicious meat – is worth the time and patience.

So, preheat your smoker to a temperature of 25O°F. Place the briskets in the lower grill gates.

You have to spray apple juice or cyder to keep the meat moist during the smoking process. This can be done every 90 minutes.

You can insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the meat to check the temperature regularly. The insides of the briskets should ideally register around 200°F to be properly cooked.

The time it takes to get the briskets properly cooked can vary from 8 to 18 hours, depending on the size of the meat.

Step 8: Add Barbecue Sauce

This is an optional step. If you want the smoked briskets to have that unique barbecue flavour, add some barbecue sauce.

Step 9: Cool them down

Once the briskets are thoroughly smoked inside and outside, you can rest it for15 to 30 minutes to cool them down.

Step 10: Serve Your Smoked Beef Briskets

If you have followed all the steps laid out above carefully, then you will be having a platter of delicious smoked beef briskets on your table. Serve them to your guests or family with a variety of accompaniments.

How Long It Takes to Smoke Corned Beef Briskets?

Although the time required to smoke corned beef briskets depends on the size or quantity of briskets, generally it takes around 8 to 18 hours to get the smoking of corn beef done.

The calculation is made according to the rule of thumb that one pound might take a minimum of 90 minutes to get smoked at 250°F. The time-quantity chart shown below will help you in this regard.

Quantity of Corned Beef BrisketsTime Required to Smoke (250°F)
5 pounds7.5 -10 hours
8 pounds12 – 14 hours
10 pounds15 – 18 hours

What You Should Serve Corned Beef Briskets With?

Some of the best sides you can serve along with Corned Beef Briskets include Cabbage, Asian Cabbage Salad, Roasted Potatoes, Glazed Carrots, Blanched Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes etc. Let us look at some of them in detail.

Asian Cabbage Salad

Any kind of cabbage dish will go as a nice accompaniment with smoked corned beef. But to pair the briskets with Asian Cabbage Salad is something special.

Step 1: Take one or two fresh cabbages. Shred them into small pieces.

Step 2: Add some green peppers and chopped onion into the shredded cabbage

Step 3: Pour a few drops of olive oil and lemon juice to heighten the flavour. Your delicious Cabbage Salad is ready.

Note: Some people like to add cooked potatoes and carrots as well as a few teaspoons of beer into this salad mix. You can try that as well.

Roasted Potatoes

Potato – be it in gratin form, roasted or mashed – is a great side to corned beef.

Step 1: Cut one or two medium-size fresh potatoes into small pieces.

Step 2: Take a pan and roast the potato pieces along with some butter, garlic, pepper, parsley and other spices you like.

Note: It is advisable to take red potatoes as they will hold their shape even when they are roasted.

Glazed Carrots

The sweet flavour of carrots goes great with the salty and smoky flavour of smoked corned beef briskets. While carrots do have a natural sweetness to them, a bit of glaze would make them amazing.

Step 1: Chop some carrots and put them into a saucepan filled with water. Boil the water. Let it simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.

Step 2: Once the carrots have become tender and cooked, drain the water and transfer the carrots to another dish.

Step 3: Add some butter into the same pan and melt it. Add some brown sugar, salt and white pepper to it. Saut them well.

Step 4: Mix the cooked carrots with the brown sugar sauce in the pan. Cook and stir continuously for five minutes so that the carrots will be nicely glazed

How To Cure Corned Beef Yourself at Home?

Even though we generally buy corned beef briskets from shops, one can also make corned beef briskets at home by making a brine, adding necessary flavours and then curing it.

Curing corned beef briskets by yourself at home has many advantages. For instance, you will know how long it has been cured. Similarly, you will have control over the saline content in the corned briskets.

Let us look at step-by-step how to cure a corned beef brisket of 2 pounds.

  • Step 1: Mix the Ingredients for Brine

To make a brine, you need to mix in a saucepan the following ingredients.

  1. Salt – one cup
  2. Brown Sugar – ½ cup
  3. Pickling Spice – 2 tablespoons
  4. Water – 4 cups
  5. Dry Mustard – 1 tablespoon (optional; for flavour)
  • Step 2: Boil the Mix

Once the ingredients are properly mixed in the saucepan, you can boil it and simmer for a while.

  • Step 3: Cool the Brine

First, allow the brine to cool itself on the stove. Then keep it in the refrigerator for till you are ready to corn the briskets.

  • Step 4: Brine the Corn Beef

Take a plastic bag that can be sealed. Put the brisket inside the bag and pour the brine in. After removing as much air as possible out of the bag, seal it and keep it the fridge for 24 hours. Remember to flip the brisket after the first 12 hours.

  • Step 5: Rinse off the Excess Salt

After 24 hours, you can take the brisket out of the brine and rinse off the excess salt by keeping the brisket under cool running water.

Your corned beef brisket is ready.

Smoked Corned Beef Brisket – My Opinion

Corned beef briskets are pieces which are cut off from the breast or lower chest pieces of mostly cows. You can

  • Its advised to Smoke Corned Beef Brisket at a temperature of 250°F for about 10-18 hours
  • Corned Briskets needs to be soaked well to avoid saltiness
Photo of author

Peter Jameson

Peter Jameson is passionate about eating healthy food. While he is doing his search for this, he will share that with the Couch Potato Delivery's readers. As an experienced home cook, he knows what to look for in the food delivery services he reviews. You can find more about him here.