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Easy Backyard Brisket

Easy Backyard Brisket recipe by Myron Mixon. Photo Jeff Marini.

The down-and-dirty fast ’n’ easy way to make a brisket is to buy a smaller one that will cook faster. This is what I do when I’m not cooking in a competition. A five-pound flat-cut brisket is just perfect for a Sunday family supper.

Brisket Trimming Tips
1. Use a sharp paring knife. A 3- to 5-inch blade is what’s best for this job.
2. Start by cutting off any thick chunks of fat.
3. Hold your knife parallel to the meat while trimming. Be careful not to cut too deeply into the meat; take care to make shallow horizontal cuts. Remove a little bit at a time (do not scalp your brisket), and do it as smoothly as you can.
4. Next, remove the silver skin. You may be able to do this by pulling at it with your fingers, gripping with a kitchen towel and pulling, or you can use a thin sharp boning or paring knife.

Easy Backyard Brisket recipe by Myron Mixon. Photo Jeff Marini.

Easy Backyard Brisket

Myron Mixon
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people


  • Smoker or grill


For the brisket

  • 1 (5-pound) flat-cut brisket, trimmed
  • 1 recipe Beef Marinade (see recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup Jack’s Old South Hickory Rub or make your own (see recipe below)
  • 2 cups Jack’s Old South Hickory Sauce or make your own (see recipe below)

For the Beef Marinade (Makes 1 quart)

This is tailor-made for your brisket, and the idea behind it is to infuse as much rich, beefy flavor into the beef as you can. It’s simple and effective.

  • 1 quart water
  • 3 tablespoons Minor’s Original Formula Beef Base or other beef bouillon powder
  • 1 15-ounce can strong beef broth

For the rub (Makes about 3 cups)

This rub is a good basic rub for almost any food you want to smoke. You can use it as a jumping-off point or a template, and then once you’ve mastered it, you can use the basic formula to create your own rubs.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper

For the Barbecue Sauce (Makes 3 1/2 cups)

This is the kind of sauce that most people have in their minds when they think of barbecue sauce—it’s a down-the-middle, universal variety that approximates the sweet and strong woodsy flavor of hickory. It’s very good on beef, pork, or lamb.

  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons Freshly ground black pepper


Make the Beef Marinade

  • In a large stockpot over high heat, bring the water to a boil.
  • Add the beef base and the broth and stir to dissolve. Do not bring to a boil. When dissolved, remove the pot from the heat. Allow the marinade to cool completely and pour into a quart-size container. This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Make the rub

  • In a large bowl, combine all the rub ingredients. Stir to combine thoroughly. You can store this rub in an airtight container indefinitely, but it’ll begin to lose its strength after about 3 months—and if I had any left after 6 months, I’d make a new batch.

Make the barbecue sauce

  • Combine all the barbecue sauce ingredients in the base of a blender; pulse until thoroughly combined. Pour into a medium pot. Over medium heat, stir continuously until the sauce is heated through. Do not allow it to boil. Remove from the heat and use the sauce immediately, while hot.
  • If reserving for a later use, allow the mixture to cool, then pour it into a large bottle or container. Store in the refrigerator for up to six months.

Make the brisket

  • Place the brisket in an aluminum pan. Pour the marinade over it. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours, or preferably overnight.
  • Thirty minutes before you are ready to cook the brisket, heat a smoker to 350°F. Alternatively, prepare a charcoal grill for smoking.
  • Remove the brisket from the marinade and discard the marinade.
  • Using paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, pat the brisket dry all over. Using your hands, apply the rub all over the meat. Place the brisket in a clean aluminum baking pan, place the plan in the smoker, and cook uncovered for 1 hour.
  • Remove the pan from the smoker and cover it with aluminum foil. Put it back on the smoker and cook for another 30 to 45 minutes, until the internal temperature registers 205°F.
  • Remove the pan from the smoker and let the brisket rest, covered, for at least 30 minutes. One hour is preferable.
  • Remove the brisket from the pan and transfer it to a cutting board, reserving the accumulated pan juices. Using a sharp serrated knife, slice the brisket against the grain in slices about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Try to cut the slices in a consistent size. Place the slices on a warm platter, pour the pan juices over the brisket slices, and serve immediately.


Excerpted with permission from BBQ&A with Myron Mixon copyright © 2019 Myron Mixon. Published in 2019 by Abrams, an imprint of ABRAMS. All rights reserved. Photo © Jeff Marini.
Keyword barbecue, BBQ, Beef, Brisket, Comfort Foods, Grilling, Smoking

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