There are few things more delicious than a low and slow-cooked beef brisket. It’s tender. It’s flavorful. It can make your taste buds dance. Then came smoked pork brisket; believe me, this cut of meat stands on its own. Wow, is it delicious!
A Kansas City favorite!
Smoked pork brisket was first popularized in Kansas City, then moved into Nashville, where the Smoked Pigsket (a smoked pork brisket) has made a lasting impression. This cut of pork has popped up all over the country but remains popular among the barbecue community. Please note that smoking this meat cut differs slightly from pork belly.
What is pork brisket?
Pork brisket is the pectoral muscle of the pig. It is a tougher cut of meat, and, based on its location on the animal, it is a great candidate for low and slow cooking. It’s much smaller than a beef brisket, weighing only 3 1/2-4 pounds. It contains two types of muscle structures, with one side (the flat) containing mostly fat. This fat renders during the cooking, so don’t worry about trimming it away.
If you are interested in smoking a pork brisket, read on. Keep in mind that pork briskets can be tricky to find in some locations; for that reason, we sourced ours online at Porter Road. It arrived within a few days, nicely packaged and perfectly trimmed.
What does pork brisket taste like?
Smoked pork brisket tastes like a cross between smoked pork shoulder, pork belly, and beef brisket. Texturally, it is tender and easy to cut, and when cooked properly, the meat will melt in your mouth.
How to smoke a pork brisket:
- Being a tougher cut, low and slow cooking is the best option. However, there are two ways to do this.
- First option: Plan on a temperature of 225 degrees F. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Wrap it with butcher paper and let it go until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F.
- Wood chips or pellets: oak, maple, cherry, or alder.
- Second option: Use the same cooking temperature listed above, but let it go for 4 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees F. No wrapping. However, I do recommend using a BBQ spritz for this method.
- Oven option: Yup! You can also cook pork brisket in your oven. Just follow the second cooking option listed above.
- We tried the first option and thought it worked out perfectly. However, we plan to test the second option to get a good idea of the best method. Stay tuned.
- If you order your pork brisket from Porter Road, it will come pre-trimmed and ready to cook. However, if there are still some loose pieces of fat on the meat, cut it off.
- We used a Kansas City dry rub for this recipe. Apply liberal amounts of the rub onto both sides of the brisket—no need to apply mustard or use larding on this cut.
- Once seasoned and your smoker is up to temperature, place the meat into the smoker (charcoal smoker or pellet grill), close the lid and let it cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
Time to Wrap:
- Wrapping helps the pork brisket retain a nice, strong bark and steady temperature. You’ll need a good-quality pink butcher paper for this job. Use a sheet that is approximately 2 feet in length. Note that for this cut, butcher paper is a better option for than aluminum foil.
Remove the pork brisket from the smoker (or grill) using large tongs or heat-resistant kitchen-safe gloves. Set it onto the top end of the butcher paper and fold down the center.
Fold the left corner much like you’re wrapping a gift.
Fold the right corner down and straighten out the ends of the paper.
Roll it up and secure it, and place it back into the smoker or grill, seam side down. Close the lid and let it cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 190 degrees F.
- Remove wrapped pork brisket from the smoker. Let it rest for 30-40 minutes. Unwrap, and slice with a sharp knife.
- To carve, cut the meat against the grain into 1/4″ thick slices. Serve with sauce or use in sandwiches and enjoy that deep flavor.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days. Freeze in vacuum-sealed bags for up to 3 months.
- 1 pork brisket about 4 pounds
- butcher paper
- Wood chips or pellets depending on smoker used
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon paprika not smoked
- 1 tablespoon chili powder mild
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- Prepare smoker for 225 degrees F., 4 hour cook time.
- Combine rub and apply liberally all over the pork brisket. Let stand for 15 minutes.
- Place the brisket onto the smoker, close the lid and let it go until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
- Remove brisket from smoker, and wrap in butcher paper, creating a parcel. Place it back into the smoker and let it go until it reaches 190 degrees F.
- Once done, remove from the smoker still wrapped and rest it for 30 minutes before carving. Slice into 1/4″ thick slices and enjoy.