Smoked Pulled Brisket {Shredded for Sandwiches!}

Pulled brisket is one of the easiest and most delicious things you can cook on a smoker.

Pulled Brisket Sandwich

Let me show you the steps needed to make shredded brisket and, after the recipe card, you can read the story of how Rick introduced this glorious technique to Kevin and Patti!

The steps for making pulled brisket are:

  • Trim and season the brisket.
  • Smoke for 4-5 hours at 275F with hickory wood for smoke.
  • Place the the brisket in aluminum foil pan with marinade, tightly cover and smoke 3-4 more hours until an internal temperature of 210F.
  • Remove the brisket from the smoker, reserve the pan juices and shred the meat.
  • Return the shredded meat to the pan juices and let soak for 15-30 minutes.
  • Serve the meat as sandwiches or with standard bbq sides.

Prepare the Brisket for the Smoker

You can use this technique with a whole packer brisket or just a flat if that is all that you can find.  Ideally you would want to use a whole packer since you get so much flavor and juices from the point.

Trim the brisket of excess hard fat, silverskin and any gray bits that just don’t look right.  You will want to leave a fat layer of about 1/4 of an inch.

You want to get some flavor into the beef so you can either marinate it overnight or inject it with the marinade an hour before it goes onto the smoker.

Season the brisket with your favorite brisket rub.  You can use our Award Winning Brisket Rub if preferred.

Place the brisket in an aluminum foil pan, fat side DOWN.

Smoke the Brisket

Set your smoker to 275F using hickory and some fruit woods for smoke.

Let the brisket cook in the smoke for four hours.

Add a cup of the marinade to the foil pan, cover the pan tightly with more foil and smoke four more hours or until the brisket reaches an internal temperature of 210F.

Smoked Brisket in Foil pan with Juices

Shred and Serve the Pulled Brisket

Remove the brisket from the foil pan and reserve all of the amazing juices.

Use a pair of forks to shred the meat and discard any large pieces of fat.

Return the shredded meat to the pan with the juices and let soak for at least 15 minutes.

You can serve the shredded brisket on a sandwich or as a stand alone meat along with some sides like potato salad and baked beans.

How to Pull Brisket with Forks

The shredded brisket is amazing right out of teh pan and anything you don’t eat today can be used for any of these amazing leftover smoked brisket recipes.


Pulled and Shredded Brisket Sandwich

Pulled Brisket Shredded for Sandwiches

A full packer brisket is trimmed, marinated overnight and smoked until fall apart tender.
Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 20 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 500 kcal


  • 1 Brisket - 10-12 lbs

For Marinade

  • 1 c Beef Broth
  • 1/4 c Worcestershire
  • 1/4 c Dale's
  • 1/4 c Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 c Real Maple Syrup
  • 1 can Coke or Beer your preference
  • Reserve about 1c marinade for wrap stage.
  • See Award Winning Beef Brisket Rub Recipe


  • Trim meat side of brisket so there is almost no fat. This helps maximize your bark.
  • Trim fat cap down to about 1/4 inch thickness.
  • Marinade brisket overnight.
  • Remove from marinade, pat dry, and sprinkle a heavy coat of rub all over. I use my Beef Rub.
  • Smoke brisket at 275F for at least 4 hours using a mix of hickory and fruit woods.
  • If possible, place an aluminum pan underneath the brisket to catch the delicious natural juices.
  • Place brisket in a pan with natural juices and a cup of the reserved marinade.
  • Cover and cook until internal temp hits at least 210. Approximately 4 more hours.
  • Let rest for at least 30 minutes before pulling.
  • Cut brisket into chunks and tear apart using 2 forks. Discard excess fat.
  • Place pulled brisket back into delicious mixture of juices and marinade and watch your guests drool.


To make amazing shredded brisket sandwiches use toasted buns and offer toppings such as pickles and coleslaw.
Keyword Smoked Pulled Brisket

This is the story of how Rick introduced this glorious technique to Kevin and Patti.

Ever so often in our lives we meet someone with no idea of the impact they will have on us in the future.

About 12 years ago when I was a manager at Enterprise, a new guy started at my location and I trained him.  We hit it off from the start.  I could tell he was sharp and a genuinely kind individual.  My time working with him was over quickly, however, as I moved to a different location and then eventually left the company.

We stayed in contact over the years, and I always enjoyed our conversations.  When I entered the world of competition BBQ, he was one of the guys I thought would enjoy it.  I invited him to a few events but his schedule usually conflicted, until finally over the past year the stars started to align.

There was another small stumbling block in the way of him and I joining our BBQ interests – his beautiful wife, Jenn, really doesn’t like BBQ.

And then there was brisket.

She loves brisket.  So he quickly made brisket his passion.  If I had to guess, he’s made about 30 briskets over the past year.  Tweaking rubs and marinades, woods and temps.

In our first competition using our combined brisket recipe and process, we came in 6th place.  Not too shabby, I’d say.

This recipe is not our competition recipe – this is our everyday enjoyment now my favorite bbq to eat over anything else recipe.

Several months ago I posted a recipe on my attempt to turn a Chuck Roast into pulled beef.  It was good, but a semi-failed attempt, and I was determined to find a delicious pulled beef recipe for my family and for entertaining.

This is that recipe.  I wish I could take credit.  Sure, he started with my recipes, but he made this his own and has absolutely mastered it.

Thank you, Rick, for sharing your passion with me.  Thanks for the time you put into nailing this recipe.  But most of all, thank you for your friendship.

45 thoughts on “Smoked Pulled Brisket {Shredded for Sandwiches!}

  1. I did this recipe at 250 and followed the recipe and it came out great I used au jus for the marinade along with the rub . Will be doing this again for sure. The meat flaked apart while slicing.

  2. I am going to make this, New to the smoker but there is a little pan on my smoker that I place the wood. Do I have to refill multiple times during the cooking period or just ones? Please advise. Thanks in advance

      1. I’m confused, directions above say 275 but you say 225-250 in comments? I know it’s not an exact method but I’m a beginner here and maybe need some more guidance on temps throughout the whole process. Are you adjusting temps based on stage? Like start at 275 for 4-5 hours, then drop it down once you move it to the pan with marinade?Thanks!

        1. John, I increased the temperature in the updated recipe to make sure that folks would get the brisket to the shreddable stage in a manageable amount of time. Any temperature between 225-300F works fine but the low temperatures just take a long time.

    1. It’s a beefy marinade I find in the local STL supermarkets. It’s similar to Soy and Worcester and Allegro…so if you have the other ingredients, it’s not as important to add.

  3. Can you reuse the marinade from the meat since you will be still cooking for a few more hours?

  4. I smoked brisket for Christmas Eve using this recipe. Everyone loved it. The taste was incredible. It took about 5 hours on the smoker to get to 165 degrees and another 3 hours in the oven. I didn’t pull the brisket, just sliced and served. I used the beef rub listed minus the cayenne and chili powder to keep it from being spicy. Great recipe!!! Will be using it again.

  5. Thank you Kevin, this is going to be my Thanksgiving starter! Could I also mix with bbq sauce? I’m making the day before so was thinking of maybe leaving in a slow cooker on low with the juices, marinade and bbq sauce… or would that be overkill?

  6. Hey kevin this looks awesome, i will be trying this out for labor day,however, can i make this the day before? Heading on the road for 3 hours, have you ever reheated this than served? Help, hate to pull an allnighter than drive 3 hrs……

    1. You can really do it both ways. I flip it halfway through, but most will tell you to cook brisket fat side up so the fat can seep through the meat while smoking. That’s usually the safest bet with brisket.

  7. Hola Kevin,
    In my experience, briskets take much longer than 7 hours to reach an IT of 200. I’ve read about but never tried hot and fast methods for brisket that take about 7 hours. How are you getting to an IT of 200 on a full packers brisket at 250 degrees in 7 hours? Thanks.

    1. Alan – I am cooking full packer briskets and getting it there in 7. Sometimes it’s longer, depending on the weight and how much fat I trim. But the hotter/faster DOES work on brisket.

      1. Cool. So, at what temp are you running the pit to get it done in 7 hours? What , if any, difference do you notice between a low/slow cooked brisket and one cooked hot/fast? Thanks again.

        1. I try to stay around 250. I personally like brisket cooked low and slow (I consider 250 still low and slow) over hot and fast (temp at 350). They’re both delicious, and I know many on the competition scene are winning with hot and fast, but I like slow. The difference? I personally feel like the fat is rendered out better when it’s low and slow. I’ll take my slow smoked pulled brisket over almost any brisket I’ve ever had. It’s awesome.

  8. I just received my first smoker (Charbroil Vertical 365 charcoal)as bday present on Saturday and have already cooked your whole chicken recipe. Easy and fantastic. The hardest part was maintaining the cooking temperature. Thank you for this blog. I have read many of sites and watched many videos in the past few days and you are my first stop now.

    So my question…During the 2nd stage of cooking once wrapped, is there still a need for wood smoke in the smoker or is heat alone ok?

    Should you buy a brisket flat or point cut for this recipe or any smoking? My wife make a great brisket in the crock pot but we want variety.

    1. Benjamin – thanks so much for the kind words! Once any meat is wrapped, there is no need for wood. I use straight charcoal at that point. Wood doesn’t hurt – it just doesn’t help either.
      I cook the whole brisket, point on. That’s my favorite. And there is no better bbq in this world than great burnt ends – made from the point of a brisket. I have a recipe on my site. Try it, and you’ll never cook it in a crockpot again!

  9. Going to try this out but will not have enough time to marinade overnight…probably only a few hours. How negatively will that effect the meat? First attempt at brisket…..

    1. I always think the longer you can marinade a brisket, the better, but you can still cook an awesome brisket no marinade. Especially if you wrap for the last couple hours, your brisket will be plenty to juicy.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply. I should be able to get 4-5 hours in the marinade so at least that is better than nothing I suppose. Great site by the way. Very helpful for people getting started in smoking and you give out some great recipes/ideas.

        Wrap the pan or the brisket itself?

        1. Thanks for the kind words, I appreciate it. I always wrap my brisket in the pan and add a little bit of juice for flavor. Whatever flavor you like, coke, beer, juice, whatever.

          1. As in…you place the brisket in a pan and then wrap around that, or wrap the brisket tightly and put that in a pan?

            Sorry, that always semi confuses me.

    1. Dale’s is a beefy marinade available in the St. Louis area. Similar to Worcestershire or Country Bob’s or similar steak marinade.

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