Start with a brisket (flat or point) within the 5-pound range. Rinse it under cold running water and blot dry with paper towels.
Trim as much of the excess fat off the brisket that you can.
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the beef rub; stir with a whisk to mix and remove any clumps.
Apply a light coating of yellow mustard all over the entire brisket and apply the beef spice rub, coating the brisket on all sides.
Place the rubbed brisket on a wire rack over a lined sheet pan. Place the pan with the brisket inside the refrigerator uncovered and let it cure for at least 4 hours or as long as overnight.
Fire Up the Grill or Smoker
Preheat the charcoal grill or smoker to between 225 to 250 degrees F and set up for indirect heat. To maintain this low temperature, use only half as much charcoal as usual. (A half chimney-full.)
When the coals are ready, throw a chunk of cherry wood onto the coals, place the grate on the grill, and cover with the lid so that it comes up to temperature.
Smoking the Brisket
Meanwhile, add the carrots, onions, celery (mirepoix), garlic, thyme, and bay leaves to the cast iron pan. Place the brisket on top of the vegetables.
When the grill or smoker is ready, carefully place the cast iron skillet on the cooler side. Pour the beef broth around the brisket into the pan, being careful NOT to pour it on the meat. The pan should hold the entire can, if not add the broth until it comes up about 1-inch on the side of the pan. Since there is no drip pan of broth and vegetables underneath the meat will help stabilize the temperature.
Insert the temperature probe into the thickest part of the brisket (if using a probe thermometer) and cover with the lid and smoke the brisket. Bring the temperature up to 225 degrees F, using the vents, coals, and wood to regulate the temperature. You will need to add fresh coals and wood chunks almost every hour for at least the first 4 hours.
Whenever you open the lid, use clean tongs to toss around the vegetables as best as you can with the brisket on top.
Low and Slow
It’s more important to monitor the temperature of the brisket versus the amount of time. Check the temperature of the grill or smoker every hour, staying as close to 225 degrees F as possible. Resist the temptation to open the lid unless you need to add more charcoal or soaked wood chips to maintain temperature and smoke.
Testing For Doneness
Smoke the brisket until a nice reddish-black “bark” (outside crust) forms. The internal temperature of the meat should be around 150 degrees F; about 4 hours. Use an instant-read meat thermometer to test for doneness in other areas of the brisket that are not close to the probe.
Wrapping the Brisket
Although the goal meat temperature for this brisket is between 205 to 210 degrees F, don’t over-smoke the au jus and vegetables in the pan. When the brisket has a good color, remove the cast iron pan from the smoker.
Carefully remove the brisket from the pan reserving the vegetables and all the pan drippings. Wrap the brisket as tightly as possible with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Stoke Up The Heat
At this point, there is no need to continue to smoke the brisket with wood since it will not penetrate through the foil. With the meat covered, it also allows you to shorten the cooking time a bit by stoking up the heat!
Bring up the heat of the grill or smoker to between 275 and 300 degrees F and continue cooking the brisket. Return the foil-wrapped brisket back to the grill or smoker.
The internal temperature of the brisket can rise up to 10 degrees once it is removed from the heat. Normally for brisket, an internal temperature of 190 degrees F is ideal for removing it from the heat because it will rise to an optimal 200 degrees F. However for a smoked brisket French Dip sandwich you want the meat to be as tender and juicy as possible and just about to fall apart. It will make the sandwich easier to bite into and chew.Continue to smoke the meat until the internal temperature is between 205 to 210 degrees F.
Make the Au Jus
Use a sieve and/or colander to strain the vegetables from the broth and pan drippings into a medium saucepan. Discard the vegetables. Pour in the beer Worcheshire sauce, and remaining can of beef broth. Bring the au jus to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Give the au jus a taste and season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste. If the au jus is too smoky you can add more beer or beef broth if needed to dilute it.
Keep the smoky au ju warm until needed for serving.
Holding helps tenderize by allowing some carryover cooking which helps melt tough connective tissue. The foil captures the natural au jus for use in a sauce, and holding allows the surface parts that have dried out during cooking to absorb some of the juices.
When the brisket reaches the goal temperature of 205 to 210 degrees F, remove it from the grill or smoker. Wrap the foil-wrapped brisket in a towel and place it inside a cooler for about an hour before slicing.
Build A Smoked Brisket French Dip Sandwich
Use a sharp knife to slice the brisket thinly, against the grain, about ⅛ to ¼-inch thick. For best results, slice only what you are serving. Reserve the juices from inside the foil to store any unused meat with the leftover juices.
Place the hoagie roll on the hot grill and toast on both sides. Add the cheese and stack on the sliced brisket. Place the sandwich on the grill, cover with the lid, and warm the sandwich through; about 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove the French dip sandwich from the grill, slice it, dip into the smoky au jus, and enjoy!
Rubbing The Brisket: Smoking the roast right away is ok, but sitting in the refrigerator for several hours allows the rub to penetrate the meat. The rub also forms a very nice crust.Temperature Vs. Time:It’s more important to monitor the temperature of the brisket versus the amount of time. The time may vary depending on the cut of the brisket, how long it may stall and even the weather you’re smoking in.Knowing the temp in your grill is crucial, and you really shouldn’t trust the one on top of your grill. You should definitely purchase a digital BBQ thermometer. David uses a Smoke™ from Thermoworks. This thermometer has 2 channels, one for the meat and one for the smoker, with remote control. Having the remote control saved him a lot of worrying about the smoker temperature. We highly recommend getting one. You can read more about this thermometer here and get the link to purchase one HERE.
Did you try this recipe? Tell us what you think!Give this recipe a star rating, leave a comment below and share pictures of your food with us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter! We can't wait to see them! Don't forget to mention @TheMountainKitchen or tag #TheMountainKitchen!
Thanks for visiting TheMountainKitchen.com We hope you like this recipe. Please share your thoughts about this recipe with us!