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Smoked Brisket


We are now in possesion of Billy Purdom’s smoked  Brisket  recipe.






Humble Hill-Billy’s Brisket Recipe




  1. I use ½ Italian dressing and ½ beer
  2. I do not always use a marinade, just depends on the amount of time I have.




  1. Make out of 1/3 Cayenne Pepper, 1/3 Salt, 1/3 Black Pepper and add a little Sugar.
  2. Coat the brisket generously.




  1. Buy the vacuum packed ones, its ok if they are fatty.
  2. Don’t buy the trimmed ones for this recipe.




  1. Use Hickory, Oak or Pecan.  I use a mix of Hickory and Oak only.
  2. Don’t use Mesquite as it is a very strong wood and makes the meat bitter if smoked in a smoker.  I find Mesquite is ok if you are cooking in an open fire pit, but not in a closed one.
  3. Try and remove as much of the bark as possible as this can add an acidic taste to the meat.
  4. If you use charcoal briquettes to start your fire make sure they are completely burned down and white before you add wood and close up the smoker.  




  1. Build your fire with wood and let it get good and hot with some coals on the bottom.  Close the dampers about 10 minutes or so before you add the brisket.  
  2. Add your brisket to the rack in the smoke box with the fat side up and smoke at about 250 to 300 degrees for about 4-6 hours.  This is the temp I use for my smoker yours may be different as the gauge is not completely accurate.  There are warm/cold spots in smokers.  You can tell if you are close because their will be a lot of warm moist smoke (White in color) coming out of the pipe.  If it is too hot there will be little smoke (Grey in color) and too much heat.
  3. After you have smoked it, the meat should be black on the outside and will have juice on the top.  There should not be any blood and the meat is cooked enough to eat at this point but will be slightly bitter.  
  4. Put the meat in a throw away turkey pan and add 1 stick of butter (not margarine) and 2 beers (I use dark beer as it adds better flavor).
  5. Cover the meat up with foil tightly and cook at low heat (less than 200 degrees) for a minimum of 8 hours.  I usually do about 24 hours for the whole process.
  6. The beer removes any bitter taste and it will keep the meat hydrated.


Additional Info:


  1. You can use a Webber Grill by building the fire on 1 side and putting the meat on the other.  Smoke the meat until the fire burns down (4-6 Hour) and then finish it in your oven starting with step 4 above.  Use a smaller cut of meat if you do this.  A Brinkman smoker is the same way.
  2. If you overcook the meat by accident it is ok add a little more butter and beer after a few hours as it will re-hydrate the meat.
  3. Try and buy the best cut of meat you can find and select the best wood possible.  These two items make a big difference.  
  4. Buy good beer and not light beer, it does make a difference.  Sam Adams Boston Lager or Shiner Bock are excellent choices.




  1. This recipe was originally created by my long-time friend Marc Erickson.  I have added my changes and this is the one I use.  


Good luck and have fun ?  Billy P.