Smoked Brisket Pachanga Recipe

Smoked Brisket Pachanga Recipe

I am no expert but I am a cook, and after smoking on the Bradley digital 6 rack for about three years, I think I am qualified to relate my experiences. Following is one man’s opinion and interpretation of brisket. I record recipes that I have created or modified that are family and friend’s favorites. The following recipe is one of these. And yes, I use a lot of ingredients. Salt and pepper would work just fine but I need the therapy.


5 Tbsp dark brown sugar

4 Tsp each dry mustard, onion powder, and granulated garlic powder

3 Tsp dried sweet basil

2 Tsp ground bay leaves

1½ tsp each ground coriander, ground savory, dried thyme, freshly ground black pepper, and white pepper

¼ Tsp ground cumin

2 Tbsp each sea salt or Tender Quick (“smoke ring”), beef flavored granules, New Mexico ground Chile or chili powder, and cayenne

1 Tsp celery seed

¼ Tsp cinnamon

2 Tsp powdered dry ginger, and Yellow or Dijon mustard


With a sheet of aluminum foil under an inverted or cross-ways Bradley rack, place another rack on this rack in the sink. This keeps the brisket from coming into contact with any smooth surface that would remove seasonings or slather.

Apply the rub and pat it into the meat well. The brisket is wet enough that most of the seasoning sticks. Press the seasoning in to the lean side first. This direct contact with the meat seasons it deeper.

After seasoning the lean side, ends and sides, gently slather with a thin film of French’s yellow mustard or Dijon Mustard. Leave all the spices in contact with the meat. Then, flip the brisket onto the rack, placing it so that it will not move and disturb the slather.

Check the Details:

Since I am doing several briskets, I let all the droppings accumulate on the foil and use them on the last one. Then I throw the foil away and check to see which way my next rack will sit in the oven, reversing the racks in the sink as necessary.

Cover with clear wrap in the fridge for 24 hours because of the low salt content of the rub (do not use this step with high salt content rubs unless you like your jerky in large size), or put the brisket in the Bradley after letting the meat come to close to 40°F or 50°F.

Smoking Method for Three Briskets in a Six Rack Bradley:

The following step is important in order to get even heat in the Bradley and maintain water for this long smoke. Prior to preheating the smoker, I cover the back half of the V shaped deflector loosely with heavy duty foil, which forces more heat to the front and middle. The water pan is replaced with a large foil turkey pan that just fits in the bottom. Fill pan with boiling water just before putting the briskets in. I have not used an Original Bradley Smoker but I suspect that three briskets will fit into it easily and smoke just fine. You will need at least one inch clearance between the brisket and the rack above it.

Load the smoker with the largest brisket at the bottom and the smallest at the top. If a brisket doesn’t fit on the rack, I wrinkle it a little (it’s going to shrink to fit anyway).Put the bottom rack in the Bradley in the basket position on the lowest position. As I place each brisket, I generally reverse the ends so that the deckle of one is dripping on the next lower flat.

Give Yourself Lots of Time:

I start the smoking process between 6:30 pm and 9:00 pm. Insert a probe into the bottom two briskets and place a chamber probe on front of the lower rack. Setting the temperature at about 280°F is important when you intend to smoke it overnight. The vent is about 5/8 open (definitely no smoke out of the generator).I have tried 225°F, but my Digital Bradley seems to click off and never achieve heat at this setting.

Load the generator with apple, hickory and some mesquite. In the morning, I reload the generator with 3 to 4 hours worth of bisquettes and open the door to see if anything crazy is happening. Submerge any used pucks that are stacked in the water pan and refill with boiling water as necessary. At this time I also baste or spritz. The oven temperature still hasn’t arrived at 225°F. I use a Maverick dual probe temperature monitor and mount the chamber probe on the lowest rack toward the front and side. When the bottom brisket hits 168°F internal temperature, I monitor the smoker temperature and try to keep it about 225°F, which is 250°F to 260°F on my oven setting.

Temperature Control is Crucial:

I want a slow rise to 190°F or 195°F internal temp. At 185°F, I will test the bottom brisket for fork tender and continue to test every five degrees. The 195°F internal is as hot as I have ever gotten to.When the bottom brisket is done, I foil wrap it and place it in a cooler lined with newspaper and towels.

No more rotating racks, basting, or watching. My briskets come out with a very dark to black bark, are moist throughout and people say “taste better than any BBQ shack or joint in Texas.” Putting sauce on this Q “is a waste.” I recently took some briskets to a church dinner and put out two types of sauce. They used very little of it.

20 Hours Later:

Next, I move each brisket down one level and repeat the process until all are finished. The last brisket usually comes out at about 18 to 20 hours, but let the brisket tell you if it wants to stay longer; 22 hours is not uncommon. I stack each one on top of the other in the cooler for two to four hours. Take them out of the cooler, pour a little apple juice over each brisket and wrap in two or three layers of heavy duty foil. When cool, freeze for reheating later. I was used to smoking brisket 8 to 12 hours max, and thought that this long smoking time would dry the meat but it didn’t happen. This is moist, fork tender, fall apart brisket.

Before slicing, move a little of the fat aside on the flat and determine which way the grain runs. Use a non serrated sharp knife and cut it across the grain.
We usually end up eating around the deckle and end up with a hunk of brisket that has a lot of bark missing. Trim the fat off of this, reserving any bark off the fat cap. Throw one inch chunks into a food processor and pulse a few times. Pan toast a buttered hamburger bun until brown, coat with a little BBQ Sauce on one side, whole grain mustard on the other, add onions and hot sweet pickles and you are next to heaven.


Apple Bisquettes for Bradley Smokers

A light, fruity and slightly sweet smoke aroma that pairs with poultry, beef, pork, lamb, and cheese.

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