Gail Johnson
Tailgate Texas-Style Smoked Beef Brisket

Tailgate Texas-Style Smoked Beef Brisket

By Vancouver’s Railtown Café chef/owner Dan Olson

Photo credit: Serious Eats

Serves 12-16 people


Lump Charcoal
Apple Wood


1 10-12 pound AAA beef brisket, fat trimmed to ¼ inch thickness
¼ cup Dijon mustard

Dry Rub

1 cup sugar
½ cup kosher salt
15 g garlic
15 g onion
10 g mustard
10 g chili
5 g cayenne
10 g paprika
13 g pepper
5 g cumin
5 g coriander
5 g bay leaf
4 g thyme
5 g rosemary


The day before cooking, rinse the brisket, pat dry and rub with Dijon mustard.

Generously season the brisket with the dry rub mixture on all sides. Using your hands, rub the mixture into the meat.

Refrigerate overnight (12 hours).

The next day, light the lump charcoal in the smoker. Heat to 225 F.

Place your brisket inside the smoker (make sure there is no direct heat).

Insert a water pan under the brisket to catch all the juicy drippings. Set your vents to keep a constant temperate of 215 F-225 F.

The thickest part of the meat should register 200 F (about 12 hours cooking time).

Wrap in tin foil and let rest for 45 minutes. Enjoy.

Photo credit: Epicurious

Gail Johnson is an award-winning journalist based in Vancouver who has earned national and local nominations and awards for her work. She contributes regularly to the Georgia Straight, Globe and Mail, Yahoo Canada, and other publications and websites. She is also the food columnist for CBC Vancouver’s On the Coast program, appearing weekly on air during prime time. A mother of two, she speaks fluent French and conversational Spanish and is a certified fitness instructor, teaching high-intensity classes regularly.


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