Slap Yo’ Daddy Texas-Style Beef Brisket

September 4th, 201343 Comments

Slap Yo Daddy Texas-Style Beef Brisket

Slap Yo Daddy Texas-Style Beef Brisket



5.0 from 3 reviews
Slap Yo’ Daddy Texas-Style Beef Brisket
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
When you’re in North Carolina and you ask for barbecue, you’ll get pulled pork with vinegar sauce. When you’re in Kansas City, you’ll get sweet pork spareribs. When in Memphis, it’s dry or wet tangy sweet baby-back ribs. When in California, you’ll get salty garlicky beef tri tip. When in Texas, you’ll get Texas-style brisket.

In my travels across the barbecue states I’ve always been impressed by the diverse barbecue traditions and styles of this only true and authentic American food. During the 2012 Christmas break I had a great time eating my way through over a dozen barbecue joints in Austin, Texas]. I wanted to return to Texas as that was where my first blush with American barbecue began when I arrived in Lubbock, Texas, as an international student in the early 1980’s to attend Texas Tech University. My classmate took me out for some brisket and I fell in love with Texas-style barbecue brisket. Brisket in Texas has a distinctive smokey, salty, and peppery flavor that will melt in your mouth and transport you to beef heaven. That experience left an unforgettable memory and I spent the next 20 years trying to replicate that magical first bite.

As a professional pitmaster since 2008, I’ve cooked my fair share of first place briskets in KCBS, IBCA, and PNWBA sanctioned contests. In 2010, I was pleasantly surprised that I won first place in the nation in the 2010 KCBS Ranchers Reserve Brisket Cup Grand Championships. My 2012 trip to Austin rekindled my taste buds for Texas-style beef brisket which is quite different than the briskets I’ve cooked and won on the West Coast (CA, AZ, NV) contest circuit. For example, I’ve done well on the West Coast by saucing my brisket but I suspect the practice would be frowned upon in Texas as I did not taste any sauce on briskets during my Austin barbecue crawl. I’ve also notice that the California flavor profile leans towards spicy flavors while Texas has more peppery nuances.

In this article, I share my version of a Texas-style brisket recipe which uses no brisket injection. Instead of aluminum foil, the brisket is wrapped in pink butcher paper which seems to be a page (pun intended) taken from the French en papillote technique of cooking in parchment paper. When I talked to pitmasters in Texas about their use of butcher paper, I got the impression that they felt butcher paper was superior to aluminum foil as it allowed the brisket to “breathe” better. This resulted in a crust that was crispier than the somewhat soggy crust resulting from foiling. Also, the oil from the brisket coats the paper and forms and water tight seal so the juices don’t leak out. The butcher paper also minimizes over-smoking and also helps to keep the brisket moist.

Whether you use regular brown or white butcher paper is up to you but I went the extra mile to order pink butcher paper from because I wanted to stay true to the Texas technique. Trimming is also minimal as it’s common to serve the charred beef fat with the brisket meat. You can ask for lean which is the flat slice with the fat cap attached or the fatty brisket which is the point with the fatty bits attached.

There is a special searing phase in my recipe where you char the fat to get that special Texas brisket flavor. Regardless of which cuts you prefer, the Texas-style brisket is always smokey, salty, and delicious! It should look charred like a meteorite.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6 to 8
  • 1 Angus Choice Grade packer brisket, about 15 lbs (packer means the point and flat muscles are attached)
  • 3 tablespoons beef paste (Tones Beef Base brand)
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Rub 1 – combine 3 tablespoons SYD Hot Rub with 1 tablespoon of black pepper and 1 teaspoon of celery seed powder (Rub 1 is much better than Rub 2)
  • Or, if you don’t have my SYD Hot Rub, mix Rub 2 – combine 3 tablespoons Kosher salt + 1 tablespoon black pepper + 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon granulated garlic + 1 tablespoon sugar
  1. Trim excess fat from all around the brisket including the point, flat, and fat cap. Trim the fat cap so it is only between ¼ to ½ inch maximum thickness
  2. Mix the beef base with Worcestershire sauce to form a slurry. Slather the mixture all over the brisket including the fat cap
  3. Sprinkle an even coating of the Rub 1, or Rub 2 if you don’t have my SYD Hot rub available, all over including the fat cap
  4. Let rest for at least 30 minutes or wrap in cling wrap overnight in the fridge to marinate. Start your pit and get it to 200F
  5. Put the brisket fat side down in the pit. After about 6 hours and when some bark has begun to form, spray copiously with tap water from a spray bottle.
  6. Increase the temp to 250°F. Continue to spray every 20 minutes. When the crust has formed all over the brisket (about 2-3 hours later), increase the temp to 300°F for 30 mins to sizzle the bottom fat cap.
  7. Remove and wrap in pink butcher paper with the fat side down. If you don’t have pink butcher paper, use white butcher paper; else as a last resort, use aluminum foil. If you use aluminum foil, it will give you a wetter and softer crust than the drier crispy Texas pink paper technique
  8. Lower your pit temp to 250°F and cook until the paper-wrapped brisket it is probe-tender (about another 2-3 hours). I opened the paper pouch and used a thin bamboo skewer to check for tenderness.
  9. Remove at the level of doneness and tenderness you like.
  10. Open the paper pouch to vent the excess steam. Allow to rest until the internal temp is 170°F when measured by an instant read thermometer.
  11. Spoon the au jus onto the top of the brisket before you cut into pencil-thick slices. Serve immediately. Enjoy! Wrapping in pink butcher paper ala Texas-style!
  12. Wrapped brisket going back on pit

43 comments... read them below or add one

  1. martin says:

    I agree with you Harry as I have been to Austin many times and yes that thick barked crust is to die for. Aaron Franklin pointed that out in BBQ Pitmaster shoss also. Funny you should mention the usage of butchers paper to wrap the brisket in. I was watching the show that Diva Q now has and she was in Austin and one of the places she visited did have their briskets wrapped in paper. Another place had their briskets on cardboard in the pit – now that was very interesting – what the heck would the cardboard do?

    As for the sauce versus no-sauce, I prefer the flavor of the meat without the sauce – as you have pointed out, the aujois from the brisket is most heavenly and sauce really covers up the beautiful flavor of the meat. Rod Gray has shown this to be true in his competitions. However as we know, sometimes sauce is what the judges want and helps pay the bills.

  2. ShortyLeDoux says:

    What is the biggest brisket you could probably fit on a WSM 18? Should I trim the edges of the brisket if it overlaps the extent of the water bowl or touches the metal lid?


    • Jason P. says:

      That price is pretty high for a packer. Are you sure it wasn’t a trimmed flat? Just picked up a Prime packer from Costco for $3.39/lb.

  3. OrangeBBQ says:

    I live in orange county. Where can I get the pink butcher paper??

    • Harry Soo says:

      I get mine online
      Good luck and send me pics!

  4. Mike says:

    What is the meat internal temp when you take off pit? Everything I read says to smoke until it reaches between 190-205. Do you have any tips for smoking it on a WSM 22.5"?

    • Harry Soo says:

      Hey Mike:
      I’m not a time and temperature cook. I cook based on the feel of the meat as this is much more accurate as every animal will become tender at different temperatures. The temp by which meat is tender is also dependent on the cook temp and duration, as well as type of pit, airflow dynamics, and pit infrared reflectivity index.
      In general, the lower and longer you cook your barbecue meats, the lower the final temp will be. Alternatively, if you cook hot and fast (>275F) your final finish temp will be higher. My "feel" technique results in a more consistently tender end-product.
      Good luck.

  5. PorkPorn says:

    There was no mention of smoke wood. Mesquite? Oak?

  6. NYCamps says:


    Much love on all the success. Your method for brisket is straight forward enough on a bullet. However, it seems a bit cumbersome for large pits where multiple cuts are being smoked at once. I’ve got a larger offset with six rotating racks. I want to "Set it and forget it"…within reason of course! Additionally, hard to do if planning for an overnight smoke. Suggestions?

    • Mimi says:

      Commercial cooking is not the same process as backyard/comp cooking. There is no foiling involved and the loading and unloading of meats happens when the cut is ready. For rotating racks, you need to distribute the weight so you don’t strain your motor

  7. Bubba says:

    I’m using the WSM 22.5" smokers. If I’m smoking 2 briskets can I put 2 briskets on the top rack or not or 1 brisket per smoker?


    • Harry Soo says:

      Either way works as the 22 has plenty of real estate on the top and bottom grate.
      You can put two on top and two on bottom. Or one on top and one on bottom.
      Remember that the temp on the top grate is hotter though (about 5-10 degrees F).
      Good luck!

  8. David Gordon says:

    gonna take this on Thursday – got the whole 15 pound packer in the fridge

    two questions

    1) – the brisket is about 21 inches long and I have a WSM 18.5 with top grade about 17 inches and bottom about 15 – should I cut something off or fold it somehow, or let it curl up the sides

    2) – any good instructions to make burst ends with the point after it’s done

    • Harry Soo says:

      Hey David:
      Just fold the brisket around once you trim all the fat off the point. I’ll post a pic on Facebook SYD later today to show you how it’s done when I cooked at 27 lb brisket on an WSM-18
      Remove the point after the brisket is cooked and cook for another 30 minutes to render more fat. Wrap in foil and add some water to rehyrdrate the point. Cut into cubes and sauce a bit if you like.

    • David says:

      thanks so much – you and your site are amazing – looking forward to tomorrow

  9. Michael Glaser says:

    Hi again Harry! Quick question – I’ve never smoked brisket before, but have smoked pork, using your recipe. I called the local market here and asked what they charge for CAB brisket, they said, $6.99/lb? Does that seem correct?

  10. Leroy Oller says:

    Hello Harry,
    I would like to ask you if with this recipe have you tried using the Butcher paper wrap technique in Competition or if you Have tried Holding in a Cambro with the Paper on & did the Bark still stay crisp being in the Cambro for several hours ..! just 1 man low Budget trying to finish a dream from the late 1980’s

    • Harry Soo says:

      I found that the grease from the brisket will soak through the butcher paper.
      Wrapped brisket will not have crispy bark as the purpose of the wrap is to soften the hard bark.
      If you want hard bark, you’ll have to cook it unwrapped until the brisket is tender which may cause it to dry out.
      When I compete, I use foil and hold my brisket in my Cambro.
      I finish cooking my brisket at 7 am and like to hold for 6 hours before turn-in.
      I find it tastes better after resting a few hours (kinda like next day spaghetti sauce)

  11. Leroy Oller says:

    Thanks Harry ,
    Saved me Money & wasted experiment time ,I’ve BBQ since the 80’s wanted to go to the Jack after seeing Paul Kirk win the First one in 89′ Cooked for lots of backyard parties cause people new I made good food or we were just real Intoxicated I always wanted to compete to see with my reciepes I made up. People thought I was Crazy back then using tang & country Time lemonade in stuff But my Dr. Pepper London broils & Briskets were a Hit always A Family Life & over the Truck Driving stoped my Dream.. BTW My CB Handle when I was driving, the Guys I worked with Gave me Was K-Town Daddy cause I had six Kids & when They saw you on Pitmasters some years ago They got me to come Watch cause of your name Slap Yo Daddy & my wife said that what they want to do to you, (Referring to me) it was Cool & my Fire was reignited to Finish my Dream of winning a Award for my Food & this year we scraped enough together to compete in KCBS Sanctioned Amateur Backyard events we’ve done 3 & only will be doing KCBS judges events would have Loved to had the opportunity to be in your Charity Event coming up soon but Knoxville Tn. is a Long ways from You & a 51 year old Amateur not exactly the youth movement needed to Grow BBQ to it’s Potential Thanks for the Inspiration you Give to All that Love what you Do & the love you Give Back to Them

    Bubba Oller

  12. Nate says:

    Hey Harry,
    I got the chance to try my hand at my first brisket this weekend. I was doing a test run on before I cook a big packer brisket for a 4th of July party. I followed a modified version of your recipe as my brisket was only about 5lbs. I was never able to get the bark to set for some reason. Was this because of the three hours at 200 was not enough time for bark formation, or was something wrong with the rub? Anyway the taste and tenderness was spot on at 6.5hrs on the smoker with the last two being wrapped in butcher paper. The meat was juicy, tender and flavorful. Thanks again for putting these recipe’s online for guys like me who are new to the BBQ game and can now use award winning and wonderful receipes to learn off of.

    • Harry Soo says:

      I think 200F is too low to set the crust so try cooking at 250F or 275F to set the bark/crust.

      Good luck and send me pics to post of FB.

  13. Derik says:

    I also use a WSM. Why fat side down?


  14. Mel says:

    All ready to cook a Brisket tomorrow. A little concerned about the butcher paper, I got regular brown from the market it appears to have a waxy side Won’t this melt on the smoker?

  15. Omar Martinez says:

    Hey Harry,
    I wanted to ask where it is you get your pink butcher paper, I live in Victorville California and I can’t seem to find any in the area

    • Harry Soo says:

      I get mine on Amazon
      Get the handy roll cutter also

  16. Paul Yackulich says:

    sounds great, can’t wait to try it.. has to wait, temps outside are n the snigle digits right now.

  17. Apollo says:

    You don’t let the brisket rest for 2-4 hours? Or should I say is it better to let it rest? And how long?

  18. Marc Ward says:

    What is "Tones Beef Paste? On Amazon, I see Tones Beef Base. Am I supposed to squash a couple of those cubes and create my own Beef Paste?

    • Harry Soo says:

      You can use this

    • Harry Soo says:

  19. Randy Hunley says:

    Do you cook brisket with indirect heat?

  20. Daniel says:

    Harry, first off, a huge thank you for all the amazing recipes, content, and info. You have helped me serve many good meals to my family and friends!

    I have followed the brisket recipe a few times now, cooking in my traeger, and I can never achieve close to the level/doneness of bark in your pictures. At first, I thought it was just a matter of being patient, but even waiting it out did not do the trick. Any suggestions? Is it a lack of seasoning to start, perhaps?

    Thank you!

    • Harry Soo says:

      Here are some videos that will help you
      SRF comp brisket –
      Comp Brisket –
      Best Brisket Injections –
      H-n-F Texas Brisket Baby Back M –
      Coaching brisket –
      10 Backyard Fundamentals –
      12 H-n-F Fundamentals –
      7 Fundamentals Weber Kettle –
      Ultra Low Slow –
      $220 Wagyu v $50 Angus –
      S&P v Moola Rub –
      Gold v Black SRF –
      Umami Brisket –
      Impossible 2-hour –
      Instapot Brisket Calderata –
      REDO 7 Fundamentals –
      Brisket Cooked in Butter – httpss://
      Brisket Aged in Butter –
      SRF Gold –
      Chicken Fried Brisket –
      Whole Fried Brisket –
      Post Oak Brisket WSM-22 –
      Walmart Brisket –
      Costco v Sams Brisket –
      Corned Beef Walmart SmokeFire –
      Creekstone Brisket Franklin Style –
      Crawfish Boil Brisket –

  21. Mike Landry says:

    I love how brisket changed your life in a way. If you hadn’t studied in Lubbock Texas but gone to mit instead you would be as clueless about brisket as me. That being said, thanks for sharing all of your hard earned wisdom with everyone.
    Following this recipe I made what I thought was an awesome brisket on my gmg pellet smoker. Full packer. Couldn’t have done it without you Harry. Love you man

  22. Rod says:

    Hi Harry, what adjustments should be made to approximate times for a 6.5 lb brisket?

    • Harry Soo says:

      No adjustments. First, lock your watch and thermometer in a drawer. Get out two bamboo skewers. Cook until crust sets, wrap and put in oven. Remove when one skewer in cold peanut butter matches the feel of the second poked into your brisket. Trust me and you will be 100% consistent.

  23. Mike says:

    Hi Harry just finished a brisket at 250 on a Weber smokefire. After wrapping and putting in the oven for about 4 hours at 250. I find that the point of the brisket is very tender with the pole test but the flat is still a little tough so what should I do in this situation?

  24. GeneO says:

    Harry, I will be doing a brisket flat on my BGE. I’m assuming I can follow your directions just as I would if using a WSM? Just cook until the flat is done using the skewers.

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