Pepper Crusted Brisket Recipe

This grill smoked, pepper crusted brisket recipe gets a good jolt of spicy flavor from that glorious layer of cracked black peppercorns pressed into the fat cap on top. As the brisket barbecues, the black pepper flavor joins with beef juices and bastes the brisket sides and bottom.


For the brisket...

  • One whole brisket, 10-12 pounds, trimmed of excess fat
  • One-quarter cup thoroughly cracked or coarsely ground black peppercorns
  • One tablespoon garlic salt

For the brisket mop sauce (put the mop sauce together after the brisket starts smoking)

  • One cup apple juice
  • One-quarter cup Worcestershire sauce
  • One-quarter cup water
  • One-quarter cup vegetable oil
  • One tablespoon lemon juice

Season all sides of the brisket with garlic salt, then press the black pepper into the top layer of fat. Don't be afraid to use a lot, if not all of the black pepper. It's there to add flavor. Most will be scraped off before serving, anyway.

Smoked Brisket Recipe Cooking Instructions

To prepare your grill for smoking, bring it to medium low heat and toss in some oak, pecan or apple (or your other fave). Once the smoke starts rolling, add the brisket, fat & pepper side up.

Put together the brisket mop sauce ingredients, and start moppin' the meat after the first 4 hours of smoking. Hit the brisket with mop sauce every 45 minutes until done.

Continue grill-smoking the brisket until its internal temp reaches 180-185 for slicing tender meat, or 190-195 for shreddable beef. Before cutting the brisket, you can scrape some or all of the black pepper crust away. Or just leave it all on, like I do.

You can give this recipe for brisket a different slant by sprinkling a teaspoon or so of dried red pepper flakes on before pressing in the black pepper.