Brisket 101

Tender, juicy brisket can be achieved in the Barrel House Cooker with these basic cooking instructions.

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Brisket 101

Items Needed

  • Seasoning
  • Aluminum foil
  • Towel
  • Cooler
  • Prep Time: ~45 minutes
  • Cook Time: About 5-7 hours or more + resting time
  • Meat Internal Temp: ~200°F



It is important to follow the easy lighting instructions. When the cooker is lit correctly, it operates at the correct temperature for the entire cook.

We highly recommend the use of a digital instant read thermometer, such as the Javelin Instant Read Thermometer, to check the internal temp of food for doneness. This quickly ensures perfectly cooked food to your preferred level of doneness (e.g. rare vs. well done).

Brisket Hooked

Brisket with daisy chained hooks.

Brisket Hanging

Brisket being hung in the Barrel House Cooker.

Foiled Brisket Hanging

Brisket wrapped in foil being hung back in the BHC.

  1. Prepare the brisket for cooking. Our preference is to trim off 60-90% of the fat from the sides and folds, leaving a thin layer on the brisket to lock in flavor and moisture during the cook.
  2. Model 14D: The whole brisket (up to 15 lbs) can be hung in the cooker for the entire cook, even after wrapping.
    Model 18C: If hanging any sized brisket, we highly recommend separating the point (thick part) from the flat (thin part) or placing the whole brisket flat on the grate on the middle level, fat side down (up to 18 lbs).
  3. Daisy chain several hooks down the center of the brisket or brisket pieces for hanging. Two rows of hooks can be used as well.
  4. Generously apply a seasoning of your choice.
  5. It is very important to light the Barrel House Cooker according to instructions. Be sure to fill the charcoal basket to the top rounding it off. Only light the charcoal for 15 to 20 minutes, or by pouring some lit charcoal on the unlit charcoal. For any brisket larger than 12 lbs, you will likely need to add hot charcoal around the 5-hour mark. We recommend refueling with hot charcoal from a charcoal chimney.
  6. Hang the hooked brisket on the H-Frame from the top level of the cooker or set the brisket on the grate on the middle level (18C model recommendations for grating).
  7. Let cook undisturbed until brisket reaches an internal temperature of about 160°F. For briskets that are 12 lbs or more, this should take about 5 hours. Remember to add burning coals via a chimney around the 5-hour mark. If the internal meat temperature stalls, carefully dump the ash that has collected in the base under the coal basket.
  8. Once you reach 160°F in the center of the brisket (somewhere close to where the point meets the flat), remove the brisket from the cooker and wrap in several layers of foil or butcher paper. If using the 14D, we recommend wrapping so that the juices cannot drip out of the bottom and the hooks are poking out at the top so it can be hung back in the cooker. If using the 18C, simply place the wrapped brisket back on the grate on the middle level.
  9. Once you get to at least 200°F, remove the brisket. We recommend removing it around 203°F.
  10. Wrap entirely with a towel and place into an empty cooler to rest for one to three hours.
  11. After resting, remove from cooler and foil, slice it up, and enjoy!