Smoked Brisket Sandwich

Disclosure: This post and the Smoked Brisket Sandwich recipe is sponsored on behalf of Arby’s, but all opinions and ideas are my own.

This Smoked Brisket Sandwich is absolutely delicious!  Making a homemade smoked brisket is the perfect recipe for a warm summer day!I’m happy as a clam right now!  (Or maybe even a bug in a rug…although that’s a tall order.)  Warm weather has finally returned to upstate New York!  Yup, the snow blower has been stored away for the summer, and I got the lawn mower out for the first time earlier this week.  In fact, that very same day, I also broke out the smoker and started the season off with a tasty beef brisket.  Smoking meats is a bit more involved than grilling, but if done right, you will create some of the tastiest food you’ve ever eaten!

I hopped up early and got the smoker all ready, and the beef brisket was on the smoker by around 8:00am.  Asking me to do anything productive before my morning cup of coffee is a risky little game.  But I made an exception this time because smoked meat was involved!  Let me tell ya…that smoker was absolutely making my mouth water by about lunchtime.  Every time I rode by on the mower, I caught another whiff.  It was torture!  It was all I could do to keep that mower going in a straight path and not veer off and over the flowers instead.  (I hate to think how I’d tell my wife that I mowed down the flower bed…)

This Smoked Brisket Sandwich is absolutely delicious!  Making a homemade smoked brisket is the perfect recipe for a warm summer day!I was born in Texas, and I still have family living in east Texas.  Barbecue and smoked meats are a way of life down there.  Heck, I remember visiting my Dad a couple of years ago for Thanksgiving.  We ate Thanksgiving lunch with the family and then headed back home to Dallas.  For dinner that night, we stopped and grabbed brisket sandwiches.  Seriously?  Who eats smoked brisket on Thanksgiving Day?  Folks in Texas, that’s who!  Even though I’ve moved all over the South and I now live in upstate New York, I still have an unstoppable craving for delicious, smoked meats.  I had the opportunity to try Arby’s new Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich last week, and I must say that it was quite tasty!  I absolutely love making my own brisket sandwiches, but it takes a bit of time, so it’s nice to know that I swing through Arby’s when the smoked brisket sandwich craving hits.  (Haha…like that craving ever goes away!)

This Smoked Brisket Sandwich is absolutely delicious!  Making a homemade smoked brisket is the perfect recipe for a warm summer day!Arby’s recently sent me an awesome grilling kit (the Bris-KIT…get it?) so that I could create my own brisket sandwich recipe inspired by their Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich.  You know me…it didn’t take long before I had that kit out and a brisket on the smoker!  I gotta say…this is one delicious Smoked Brisket Sandwich.  I usually chop my brisket when making brisket sandwiches, but I was inspired by Arby’s to thinly slice the brisket instead.  I thought about adding other toppings, but I decided to keep it simple.  The smoked meat is loaded with flavor, and I did add just a touch of barbecue sauce to the top.  That’s pretty much it.  Nice and simple.  Just the way I like it!

Have you ever wondered how restaurants come up with items for their menu?  I have!  Well just the other night, I had the opportunity to chat with Arby’s Executive Chef Neville.  He mentioned that the Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich is the most successful new product in Arby’s 50-year history.  I know smoked brisket is delicious…but most successful new product ever? That’s pretty awesome.  He also said that he can pretty much drink the Arby’s Horsey Sauce.  As Chef Neville pointed out, “You have to like the food you make.  If you don’t like it, no one else will.”  Forget like, that’s straight love…even though I do agree that horsey sauce is quite tasty!

This Smoked Brisket Sandwich is absolutely delicious!  Making a homemade smoked brisket is the perfect recipe for a warm summer day!

Just the right temperature!

My wife got me a smoker for my birthday several years ago, and I absolutely love it!  Here’s a couple of handy smoking tips that I’ve picked up:

  • Use Lump Charcoal.  Unlike charcoal briquettes, lump charcoal is actually made out of wood.  It also burns much longer and produces less ash than briquettes…it’s absolutely a must when it comes to smoking!
  • Use Wood Chunks instead of Wood Chips.  Similar to lump charcoal, wood chunks burn much slower than smaller wood chips.  Wood chips are great for grilling, but I prefer chunks when smoking.
  • Use a probe-style meat thermometer.  This is absolutely essential!  When smoking meat, it’s important to leave the lid of the smoker closed as much as possible.  (When you’re lookin’, you aren’t cookin’!)  A probe-style thermometer makes it possible to monitor the internal temperature of the meat without ever opening the lid of the smoker.
  • Adjust the temperature gradually (if needed).  Adjusting the temperature on a smoker is more like driving a boat rather than a car.  Just make slight adjustments to the air valves as needed.
  • Leave yourself plenty of time!  Smoking isn’t hard at all, but it does require time.  Pick a day when you have chores to do around the house or in the yard.  You won’t need to stand there and watch the smoker all day (I mean I guess you could), but you should plan on being nearby!  (Tip: Since smoking takes a good bit of time, I usually don’t try to have it ready for dinner that night.  The time crunch just adds stress…and you can’t rush low-and-slow!)
  • Have fun creating different rubs.  I really like the one included in this recipe!  It’s slightly spicy with just a hint of sweetness…and it works perfectly for the brisket.  Remember, only the outer portion of the meat will have the rub on it, so it’s totally fine if the rub is a bit on the sweet or spicy side!

Smoked Brisket Sandwich

Ingredients

    For the Brisket
  • 6-7 pound beef brisket
  • 4-5 large apple wood chunks
  • lump charcoal
  • large disposable aluminum pan
  • 3/4 cup beef or vegetable stock
  • For the Spice Rub
  • 2 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp onion powder
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • For the Smoked Brisket Sandwich
  • fresh sandwich buns
  • butter
  • barbecue sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat the smoker to 225°-235°F.
  2. Using a small bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the Spice Rub.
  3. Generously apply the Spice Rub to all sides of the brisket.
  4. Once the smoker has reached a stable temperature, add the wood chunks directly to the coals. Put the grate in place and put the brisket on the grates with the fat cap (the fattier side) up. Insert a probe thermometer into the center of the brisket, close the lid, and walk away.
  5. Occasionally check the temperature of the smoker to ensure it stays around 230°F +/- 10°.
  6. When the internal temperature of the brisket reaches 165°F, remove the brisket and place in the disposable aluminum pan. Pour the stock into the pan and then wrap the pan (brisket and all) with aluminum foil and place it back on the smoker.
  7. When the internal temperature of the brisket reaches 200°-205°, remove the brisket from the smoker. Leave the brisket in the aluminum pan and let it rest for at least 1 hour before slicing.
  8. Generously butter the inside portion of both sides of the sandwich buns. Place the buns (butter side down) in a large frying pan and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Slice the brisket as thinly as possible and layer several pieces on top of the toasted bun. Add barbecue sauce and enjoy!
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Comments

  1. The warm weather definitely makes me want smoked brisket!! My father-in-law broke out the smoker last weekend too. So excited Upstate NY finally joined the rest of the world in Spring.

    • Haha, yes! It took long enough, but we finally found the warmer weather up here in upstate NY! What did your father-in-law smoke?? I’m always hunting for fun, new ideas!

  2. Man you’re killing me with all these brisket recipes, and I’m genuinely envious of that grilling kit.
    I so want one even if I don’t know where I could put it to good use!

  3. Oh my word! One of my classes in culinary school was specifically on smoked meats. I’ve been wanting to get a smoker for the longest time… just can’t ever seem to justify the cost. NOW I just HAVE to get one… this looks AMAZING, Dave! Oh, and it’s so awesome that you got to meet the executive chef for Arby’s! WAY fun!

    • Thanks, Becca! It was totally way fun to chat with Chef Neville. I always find it really interesting to talk to the folks behind the scenes. And yes, you definitely need to get a smoker! Good ones are indeed expensive, but I got mine as a birthday gift, and I’m pretty sure it’s paid for itself by now with all of the delicious smoked meats! :-)

  4. This brisket looks amazing! We have a smoker but for some reason we only really use it in the fall and early winter…. I think it needs to be added to the summer grilling list. The mowing over the flower bed doesn’t go well.. :) Not that I’ve EVER had my flower bed mowed over….

    • Thanks, Laura! You absolutely need to get that smoker out and use it during the summer, too! (I agree, though, there is something about using the smoker on a nice Fall day.) And I think I need training wheels on my mower…

  5. David, your brisket looks amazing!! I own a Pit Boss 620 wood pellet grill/smoker, do you have any advice for making the perfect brisket on a wood pellet grill? The grill has two thermometers, one that’s controlled by a digital dial, and the other is the other is on the dome lid, which one of the two is more accurate? On a finishing note, Texas is absolutely one of my favorite states!! Very friendly people there, and they know how to cook AMAZING food!! Have great summer!

    • **Correction. My Pit Boss is the 820 model, there is no 620 lol. http://www.pitboss-grills.com/

    • Wow! Thank you so much for your comments, Rick! Smoked brisket is by far one of my favorite things to smoke. I’ve never had the opportunity to smoke on a wood pellet grill, but I would imagine it would involve a similar process to lump charcoal. I use a plate setter (it’s an additional add-on sold by Big Green Egg) that goes over the charcoal and helps distribute heat evenly. (It also creates indirect heat which is one of the keys to making delicious smoked brisket.) As far as thermometers, I remember reading somewhere that the dome thermometers are surprisingly inaccurate. I think it was something up to 25° off! However, it’s the best I’ve got without opening and closing the smoker constantly. I’d guess that your digital dial thermometer is more accurate, but I can’t say for sure. And I always, always, always use a probe thermometer in the brisket so that I know when the meat is done. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask! Oh, and check out my Pulled Pork recipe when you have time…it’s another one of my favorite things to smoke in the summer. Have a great day!

      • Thanks David, I appreciate your response. I will definitely check out your pulled pork recipe, that’s a favorite of mine as well. After reading your post, I had to go Arby’s and try the Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich, which was amazing! I also like their Rubens!

  6. Nathan Holstein says:

    About how long did it take from start to eat? Looking to do this for my daughters BDay party but not sure how much time I need. Thanks!

    • Good question, Nathan! The time depends on the size of the brisket that you are smoking, but a good rule of thumb is about 1-1.5 hours per pound. I typically use about a 6-7 pound brisket, so it takes a good 6-9 hours or so. I know this sounds like a long time, but “low and slow” is the key to developing that delicious flavor! Plus, you really shouldn’t need to do much work once you have the smoker up and running at a stable temperature. I just keep an eye on it every 45-60 minutes to make sure the temperature hasn’t gone crazy on me. Since you’re planning on serving this at a party, I’d either start VERY early in the morning or just make it the day before. You’ll also want to leave yourself about an hour at the end to let the brisket rest before carving. This is a really fun and delicious recipe…but I’d probably just make it the day before to avoid any stress! Let me know how it turns out!

  7. How do u make this if you have a electric smoker?

    • Hey Shannon! I’ve never made this recipe in an electric smoker, but the process should be pretty similar. Just set the electric smoker to 250°F, and let it smoke away until the internal temperature of the brisket reaches about 180-185°F. The time will depend on the size of the brisket, but it should take anywhere from about 4-7 hours. I hope this helps! If you make it on the electric smoker, make sure to come back and let me know how it turns out! :-)

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