Smoked Corned Beef Brisket

Made with just a few pantry staples, this Smoked Corned Beef Brisket delivers a surprising amount of flavor.

Smoked Corned Beef Brisket
Photo: Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Rishon Hanners, Prop Stylist Heather Chadduck
Prep Time:
30 mins
Stand Time:
45 mins
Grill Time:
4 hrs
Rest Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
5 hrs 35 mins

You'll love this corned beef sandwiched between white bread, mixed into a hash, or served as part of a plated meal with side dishes like macaroni and cheese or baked beans. The first step is to soak the brisket in water for 45 minutes to draw out some of the salt. Corned beef contains a lot of salt, and smoking condenses flavor, so soaking the meat will keep it from tasting too salty when it's ready to eat. Once it has soaked and dried thoroughly, the brisket is rubbed with honey-mustard mixture which softens and moistens the surface of the brisket, and infuses the meat with tangy flavor without taking away the natural flavor of the beef. Unlike other smoked meats, this brisket does not have a smoke ring; the meat will be a beautiful red color after coming off the grill.


  • 1 (3 1/2-lb.) corned beef brisket

  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon honey, divided

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


  1. If applicable, discard seasoning packet from brisket. Place brisket in a Dutch oven, and add water to cover. Let stand 45 minutes. While brisket soaks, whisk together mustard, paprika, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and 2 tablespoons of the honey in a small bowl.

  2. Remove brisket from water, and pat dry with paper towels. Place brisket on a rimmed baking sheet. Spread 2 tablespoons mustard mixture evenly all over brisket. Whisk apple cider vinegar and remaining 1 teaspoon honey into remaining mustard mixture to make honey mustard sauce; set aside.

  3. Open bottom vent of a charcoal grill completely. Light charcoal chimney starter filled with briquettes. When briquettes are covered with gray ash, pour them onto bottom grate of grill, and then push to 1 side of the grill. Adjust vents as needed to maintain an internal temperature of 275°F. Place brisket, fat side up, on oiled grates on side of grill without coals. Grill, covered, 2 hours.

  4. Remove brisket from grill, and wrap tightly with aluminum foil. Place wrapped brisket, fat side up, on side of grill without coals. Close grill cover, and continue to cook until a thermometer inserted through foil into brisket registers 200°F, about 2more hours. Remove brisket from grill, and let rest 20 minutes before thinly slicing against grain; serve with honey mustard sauce.

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