Smoked Brisket – Protein Prep (Smoker or slow cooked oven option)

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Smoked Brisket - Protein Prep Smoked Brisket - Protein Prep

Brisket is one of those meats that I feel a lot of people are nervous about cooking. For one, its usually a big cut of meat and two, it can be a little pricey, so you don’t want to ruin it. Well, we are here to help! We have created a recipe for you that you can’t really mess up and it is 4 ingredients: brisket, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. The key to this recipe is that the smoke from the Traeger Grill (or whatever smoker you use) adds to the flavor of the meat. We are keeping this recipe simple because we also want to show you a few ways that you can repurpose and use  brisket as a meal prep for the week. 

We have two options for cooking on a smoker or in the oven. With summer temperatures starting to rise we are excited to be using our Traeger more and more. Don’t worry if you do not have a smoker, this recipe cooked in the oven is just as finger-licking good. You want to start by preheating your oven to 275 degrees or priming your smoker.

Smoked Brisket - Protein Prep

We used a 5-pound trimmed brisket, if you have a larger brisket, you’ll want to account for about 30-60 minutes per pound. If you buy a full brisket from your local butcher, you can ask them to trim it for you. If you buy it from the grocery store you can also ask the butcher there to trim it if for you and they usually say yes and are happy to help. I honestly haven’t met a butcher that hasn’t been willing to either cut a certain piece of meat for me or give me instructions on how to do it myself at home. Pretty much all BBQ experts will trim their brisket before smoking – if you need help with doing this yourself – this video is helpful.

Smoked Brisket - Protein Prep

For our seasoning rub you CANNOT get any simpler: 2 tablespoons of kosher salt or sea salt, 2 tablespoons of black pepper, and 2 tablespoons garlic powder. I measure the seasonings out and put them in a small bowl and give them a stir so that they are well combined. I’m not going to lie, I sniffed hard and deep into the spice mixture and that amount of pepper had me sneezing a few times. Feel free to get creative with your rub and add more spices, as you’d like.

Take half of the rub mixture and sprinkle it on top of the brisket and make sure that it is fully covered then flip it over and rub in the remaining mixture of the other side. If you are a planner, you can do this the night before you want to cook your brisket and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge overnight. In my opinion it does help tenderize the meat, but it is not a necessity. 

Smoked Brisket - Protein Prep

You will want to remove the meat and bring it to room temperature for about an hour before you start cooking it whether you had it in the fridge with the rub on it or if you just bought it from the butcher.

Once your cooking vessel is at temp, put the brisket in. Cooking in the oven, will have your house smelling so delicious in no time. If you love that smokey flavor and smell there are some nice natural “smoking liquids” that you can add, just make sure you follow the directions for whatever brand you buy. If you are using a smoker, your neighbors will be jealous of the smells wafting over into their yards. 

Once the brisket is cooked to the temperature that you prefer, I remove from the heat and allow it to rest for 30-60 minutes. Once you are ready to eat, get yourself a nice sharp knife and cut AGAINST the grain. I prefer slices where you can see a nice pull of the brisket where you can see the connective tissue or collagen that has broken down. Some people may choose to shred it but to each their own. Slice/eat the brisket any way you want.

Smoked Brisket - Protein Prep

How to Use Your Meal Prepped Smoked Brisket

Ok now comes some ideas for meal prep. The main reason I love this brisket for meal prepping for a week is that the rub is neutral so we can make so many different meals without getting board from our main protein. We will start with some breakfast ideas. You can’t beat brisket and eggs, it is literally a no brainer. This recipe for meal prep breakfast burritos is delicious with some of this leftover smoked brisket – you have to try it!!

For lunch I like to keep the brisket cold, chop about 6-8 ounces and put it on top of a cobb salad instead of poultry – use this recipe as a guide. Brisket is also in homemade gluten free quesadillas with almond flour tortillas, Mexican cheese, salsa, and avocado. It was a crowd pleaser to say the least.

For dinner this brisket is amazing as a main protein, we like it with a side of grilled zucchini, squash, some onion, and corn on the cobb as a classic dinner. We have even repurposed that same dinner and turned it into a stir fry with some jasmine rice.

Of course, classic brisket sandwiches with a smokey BBQ sauce without added sugar on a fresh sourdough roll (or on your favorite gluten-free bread or roll) with a side of local pickles and some of our oven baked crispy fries  – it was an amazing dinner!


Smoked Brisket - Protein Prep

When in doubt, stir fry it out! You can use the brisket for a breakfast stir fry with eggs and veggies. For lunch and dinner use the brisket with vegetables that are in season and one of your favorite sauces. Sometimes a stir fry may not look super pretty, but it will be nutrient dense and delicious. Stir fries are a time savor for sure. I always have a stock of frozen veggies in the freezer, and I add them to a pan, chop the brisket add it to the pan to heat, add some rice or brown rice pasta and a sauce that sounds delicious and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro or parsley if I have it on hand. 


Other Ideas for Your Smoked Brisket:

Do not be afraid to invest in a brisket for meal prep. There are countless ways that you can reuse it throughout the week. It is a nice alternative to a standard steak, and it also feeds a lot of people with one cooking session. We hope you enjoy this recipe for a batch prep of protein. Share with us the ways that you use this brisket as your protein prep on Instagram!

Smoked Brisket - Protein Prep

Smoked Brisket - Protein Prep

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Keto, Paleo, Whole30, AIP-friendly
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Servings: 10 -12 servings


  • 4-6 pound brisket
  • 1-1.5 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder


  • Bring the meat to room temperature for an hour before cooking it.
  • Preheat oven or smoker to 275ºF
  • Mix rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Coat both sides of the brisket with the rub. (you can rub the meat the night before, if you'd like)
  • Place on smoker or in oven set at 275ºF
  • Add a small oven/grill safe container filled with about a cup of water.
  • Cooking time will depend on the size of your brisket. The general recommendation is about 30-60 minutes per pound.
  • The internal temperature of the meat should read about 180-220 degrees.
  • Remove the brisket and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
  • Slice against the grain.
  • Serve as the main course with a side of vegetables, some oven fries, a salad or you can slather with your favorite BBQ sauce and build your own sandwich.


Did you make this recipe - or any others from the TY archives?

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One Response

  1. KIM says:

    I am a big fan of your blog. I just want to say thank you for all these inspiring ideas to prepare delicious dishes. Greetings from Canada.

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