East-West Brisket

East-West Brisket

More Recipes from Episode 202: Brisket 24/7


East-West Brisket

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 12 to 14
  • Equipment: Pink butcher paper; heat-proof gloves; a digital instant-read thermometer (preferably remote)


  • 1 packer brisket (14 to 18 pounds)
  • 1 cup gochujang (Korean chili paste), or as needed

For the Rub

  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds (or whole seeds if you don’t have a spice grinder)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika)
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander

Recipe Steps

1: Using a sharp knife, trim the brisket, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick layer of fat.

2: Place the brisket on a rimmed sheet pan.   Brush or slather it on all sides with the gochujang and refrigerate it to marinate, 30 minutes.

3: In a small skillet, toast the fennel seeds, cumin seeds, and peppercorns. Grind in a spice grinder. Combine all the ingredients for the rub.

4: Meanwhile, fire up your smoker following the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat to 225°F.   Add the wood as specified by the manufacturer.   Place a large bowl of water in the smoker—this creates a humid environment that will help the smoke adhere to the meat and keep your brisket moist

5: Sprinkle the rub over the meat and rub it in to coat it on all sides.   Place the brisket on its sheet pan, fat side (point side) up, in the smoker. If using an offset smoker, position the thicker end toward the firebox.   Cook the brisket until the outside is darkly browned and the internal temperature registers 160°F on an instant-read thermometer, 8 to 10 hours.

6: Wrap the brisket: Lay 2 sheets of butcher paper, each about 3 feet long, on your work surface so they overlap in the center to form a 3-foot square. Wearing heatproof gloves, transfer the brisket to the center of the paper square so the long side of the meat runs parallel to the edge of paper closest to you.  Fold the bottom section over the brisket. Fold in the sides, and roll the brisket over so it’s completely swaddled in paper. Note the orientation: you want the point (the fatty part) of the brisket to remain on top. Ideally, the seam will be on the bottom. Return the wrapped brisket to the cooker.

7: Continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 205°F and the meat is darkly browned and very tender when tested, another 2 to 4 hours, or as needed. (You’ll need to unwrap the brisket to test it, and rewrap it once you’re finished.)

Recipe Tips

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Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2019 Barbacoa, Inc. Photos by Chris Bierlein.