Last updated November 22, 2014

Within a week of owning my Big Green Egg, I was ready to go big and grill one of the toughest pieces of meat out there – the brisket. I’ve been grilling and smoking meat for years, but I had never tried the Big Green Egg.

Just as a barrel smoker is different than an offset smoker, I knew the Big Green Egg would require a bit of a learning curve. So the first place I turned to was the Big Green Egg video tutorials.

Dr. BBQ has a great video on brisket:

I fired up the egg and followed his tips.

I was pleasantly surprised that throughout the smoking process, I didn’t have to add coals. The temperature maintained a steady heat. With my offset smoker, especially in the winter, I am always adding charcoal and adjusting the vents. Not with the egg. I just grabbed a beer and relaxed.

I chose to stick a pan under the brisket with some apple cider. This is completely optional, and was done mostly out of habit. The Big Green Egg retains moisture much better than other smokers, so liquid is not really needed. In the end, I’m glad I used it though because it caught a lot of the drippings, making cleanup really easy.

First Time Lessons Learned

Through trial-and-error, I learned that my 5-pound brisket reached 165 degrees after 4 hours. Unfortunately, I hadn’t flipped it yet, so I didn’t get quite the bark I was hoping for.

I also left it wrapped on the smoker longer than needed because I was also smoking a pork butt, and I wanted them ready at the same time. This overcooking dried the brisket out more than I wanted.

I’ve adjusted the below recipe to account for both of these mistakes. Well, they’re mistakes in my eyes, but the family didn’t even notice. They were in awe of the beautiful smoke ring and loved every slice.

Brisket on the Big Green Egg

Brisket on the Big Green Egg


12 hours before smoking, rub the brisket with mustard and dry rub. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to smoke.

Remove the meat from the refrigerator. Place the wood smoking chips in a bowl of water.

Add lump charcoal to the Big Green Egg, filling to the first line. Tuck a natural charcoal starter into the charcoal and light it. Let it burn for about 10 minutes with the lid open.

Remove the wood chips from the water and sprinkle on top of the coals around the perimeter of the egg.

Add the plate setter into the egg, feet up. Place an aluminum pan on the plate setter and fill with 2 cups apple cider. This will add more moisture to the meat and will collect drippings. Add the grill rack.

Shut the lid and set the temperature for 225-250 degrees F. To do this, leave about one-inch open on the bottom

And a quarter-inch open on the top vent.

Place the brisket on the grill fat side down (that's a pork butt on the left). Close the lid; making sure the top vent is properly set. Smoke for 2 hours, keeping an eye on the temperature.

After 2 hours, flip the brisket over. Close the lid and smoke another 2 hours until it reaches 165 degrees.

Once it reaches 165 degrees, place the brisket fat side up on multiple pieces of foil. Pour about ½-cup of coffee onto the brisket and wrap it up tightly.

Place it back on the smoker. Close the lid and cook to 200 degrees. Remove from smoker and let rest, wrapped for about 30 minutes in a cooler.

Remove from the foil and slice against the grain. Serve with pickles, raw white onions and bread.