Grill Smoked Brisket Has Fantastic Flavor

Topped with bacon, this grill smoked brisket ends up juicy and with loads of great flavor. It's also grilled in a roasting pan so the flavorful juices aren't lost.

You can use all that juice to make a super fantastic beef brisket gravy, or just pour it over the finished sliced brisket to add flavor and moistness.

A whole brisket is used in this recipe, but a trimmed brisket flat will work well too. Remember, the smaller the brisket and less fat there is, the shorter the total grilling time.

Use a cooking thermometer, or simply test the meat with a fork for tenderness, and you'll know when it's done.

Grill Smoked Brisket Recipe

I think the best thing about this recipe is that it takes a whole lot less time to finish than a smoker cooked brisket. The 10 pound brisket you see here took just 1 hour to prepare and 4 hours to grill. In only 5 hours you'll be enjoying your smoky, bacony brisket.

You will need a large roasting pan of some sort. It has to be large enough to hold the brisket, and at least 2 inches deep to catch the juice.


  • One whole brisket, 10 to 12 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon paprika ,
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder ,
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper ,
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar ,
  • 2 teaspoons salt ,
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder ,
  • One 12 ounce package thick sliced bacon ,

In a small bowl, combine the paprika, onion powder, pepper, sugar, garlic powder and salt. Mix thoroughly. If you want a little heat, add about 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder.

Trim the larger fat deposits from the brisket, but leave it at least 1/4 inch thick. As the fat melts, it adds flavor and keeps the brisket moist.

One side of the brisket is just about completely covered with what is called the fat cap. With a sharp knife, cut through to the meat in a crosshatched pattern.

Rub the dry brisket rub into the grooves, and onto all sides of the brisket.

Place the seasoned brisket into the baking pan, with the fat cap down, and cover the top with bacon. Why put the fat on the bottom?

When cooking briskets, you usually position the fat cap on top, so it bastes the meat as it melts. But in this case, the fat protects the brisket from scorching where it lies on the pan. And anyway, you have that bacon on top, adding juice and flavor.

Making Grill Smoked Brisket

Set up your grill for indirect cooking, with heat on either side and a cool area in the middle. Place the roasting pan in the center. I use my large Weber kettle grill. A pair of charcoal baskets make things easier by containing the charcoal on opposite sides of the grill.

Be sure to use plenty of smoke wood chips or chunks in your grill. Since the brisket in in a pan, it'll take more wood smoke than if it were placed directly on the grate. Use two foil packs every 30 to 45 minutes, as needed, for the first 3 hours of cooking. 

After three hours of grilling, cover the pan with aluminum foil. This will trap heat and steam, and really speed up cooking time. Before covering the grill, insert a remote thermometer probe into the thickest part of the brisket, right through the foil.

When the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees, remove the pan from the grill and let the meat rest for 30 minutes.

Place the brisket on a large cutting board. Drain the pan juice into a large Pyrex measuring cup or bowl. After sitting for 30 minutes, the fat will have separated, so you can scoop it all off the top. Discard the fat and save the juice for gravy, or to pour over the sliced brisket.

Slice the brisket across the grain, arranging the slices in a baking dish or deep serving tray. Pour the brisket juice over your sliced grill smoked brisket, and keep warm until it's served.