True Texas Brisket

By: VIRGIL'S BARBECUE ROAD TRIP COOKBOOK. Copyright 2014 by Neal Corman with Chris Peterson, reprinted by permission of St. Martin's Press, LLC.
True Texas Brisket
True Texas Brisket
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The next time you are hosting a crowd of friends and family, try making this recipe for True Texas Brisket. If you have always wondered how to make brisket, now is the time to learn because making this smoked brisket recipe couldn't be simpler. Beef brisket is coated in a homemade dry rub made from a combination of paprika, sugar, chili powder, onion, garlic, parsley, and salt. The brisket is then smoked for at least 13 hours until it is tender. When serving the juicy and flavorful meat, be sure to cut across the grain for truly tender slices of brisket.



  • 2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
  • 1 (11-15 pound) beef brisket, excess fat trimmed to within 1/2-inch all around
  • 2 cups Virgil's Dry Rub (see below)
  • For Virgil's Dry Rub:
  • 2 1/2 cups sweet paprika
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Texas-style chili powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated garlic
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup dried parsley flakes
  • 6 tablespoons kosher salt


To Make the Brisket:

  1. Mix the salt and pepper and sprinkle evenly over the brisket. Follow with a coating of the dry rub, applied evenly all over. Enclose the brisket in a tightly covered container and refrigerate overnight.

  2. Preheat the smoker or grill to 240 degrees F, and load with a generous amount of apple wood (or substitute other fruitwood, as desired) mixed with oak or hickory. Place the brisket to the side of the heat source and cook for 13 to 15 hours, or until tender. The brisket is properly cooked when the meat thermometer reads 185 degrees F, and the meat provides little resistance to the probe.

  3. Remove the brisket and allow it to rest for 45 minutes. Cut into thin slices, slicing against the grain.

To Make Virgil's Dry Rub:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together until completely incorporated. Transfer to a covered bowl with a tight-fitting lid. Store in a cool, dry place.

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Mywife and I followed the instructions and added a little chipotle to the Texas rub and we carefully marked with a small sliced "v" across the grain because it is so hard to see cut cross grain after smoking. We sliced thin slices and our deliveries with sides of bbq beans, potato salad, and deserts of fruit cobbler were received extremely well by all the shut-ins at home due to the COVID-19 regulations. They texted, emailed, and telephoned stating the brisket was so tasty and melted like butter. We were truly blessed to hear all enjoyed it!

I had no idea that one could get brisket as enormous as 11-15 pounds! However, that aside, ours was a lot smaller but really very delicious. Virgils Dry Rub is the best rub I have tasted and I am so looking forward to brown wholewheat sandwiches with leftover brisket for lunch tomorrow

I also wanted to point out that they used a whopping 11 to 15 pound brisket for this recipe - that is a lot of meat to season, so this spice rub seems about right. I just had a question - what is the difference between Texas style chili powder and regular chili powder? I have never seen that variety in the stores around here.

Hi kmcartoonity, that's a great question! It looks like Texas-style chili powder sometimes has a few additional ingredients, like ancho chile powder and black pepper. However, there are a lot of different spice recipes for both Texas-style and regular chili powder. Here's a recipe for Texas-style chili powder: I hope this helps! - Natalie, Editor of FaveSouthernRecipes

2 1/2 CUPS of Paprika...Really?

Hi buzzardbut, yes, 2 1/2 cups seems like a lot but that is to make the dry rub. However, you'll only use 2 cups of the finished dry rub for this recipe, so the paprika goes a long way. - Natalie, Editor of FaveSouthernRecipes

I love brisket. My mom makes a really good version, so I'm curious to see how this recipe stacks up.


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