The Best Tools For Perfectly Smoked Brisket

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Unlocking the secrets to the perfect smoked brisket isn’t just about mastering the pitmaster’s technique. Sure, skills matter, but the real game-changer? The right tools! Forget about the brand or price of your smoker—what you need are the essential tools to smoke brisket that will elevate your brisket from good to legendary. Ready to discover the must-have tools for your smokin’ success? Let’s dive in!

Smoked and sliced brisket.

As owners of a BBQ catering company and chefs who cook around the country, we don’t always have access to our preferred equipment for events. But when we do travel there are a few things we always take with us so we can deliver a perfectly smoked brisket every time.

This round-up of tools has been in the making for 12 years and we’ve broken it down into the “must haves” and the “nice to haves”. And this isn’t about recipes or brisket rubs, this is about the hardware needed to get it done.

Must Have Smoked Brisket Tools

When we do BBQ school and teach classes this is the same list we mention every time. From preparation to cooking, these brisket tools are about making your life easy and making sure you are putting the best brisket onto plates when it’s done.

  • Large Sheet Pan – From seasoning your meat to holding in an oven (to keep warm), a large sheet pan is a great investment to make for easy preparation and cleanup. 
  • Extra Large Cutting Board – It is likely you will need to do a lot of trimming to prep your brisket. Most standard kitchen cutting boards are too small for a large brisket. We use this extra large cutting board for ease. Buy at least 18 x 24 inches.
Brisket packer on a cutting board.
brisket wrapped in pink butcher paper.
  • Two-zone thermometer – We use the Thermoworks Smoke Unit. A two-zone thermometer measures both the temperature of the smoker and the internal temperature of the brisket as it cooks continuously. This is key to avoiding under or overcooking. You can buy 2 or 4 zone units.
  • Instant Read Thermometer – We use the Thermoworks Thermapen One. The single digital thermometer allows you to probe several locations in the brisket as it smokes. It is important to monitor the temperature in several locations throughout the cook (in addition to continuously monitoring from a 2-zone). They are both useful. For a less expensive option, we recommend the Thermoworks ThermoPop ($35).
  • Large Tongs – Long tongs are helpful for any kind of BBQ or grilling. They allow you to move items without scorching your arms.
Temperature for brisket flat with a thermoworks digital thermometer

Nice To Have Smoked Brisket Tools

These are items we highly recommend. The reality is that they are not truly necessary for great brisket, but they do make your life easier and will make for a smoother BBQ experience.

  • Nitrile Gloves – When it comes to preparation – a good quality nitrile glove is a very nice option for food safety. While not necessary, it is nice to have. Consider buying a size up as the are tight and having them slightly loose is better than ripping when trying to put them on if too tight.
  • Injector – If you have a brisket flat or a less marbled brisket you may want to inject it with some additional liquid. A good meat injector is important to have and almost made the must-have list. It’s also great for pork butt.
  • Non-Slip Working Gloves – These gloves are reusable and great to wear under your nitrile gloves. They can handle some heat and are really nice to have on when taking on and off a hot brisket.
  • Food Safe Spray Bottle – Buy a food safe spray bottle if you are one who likes to spritz your brisket. Be sure it’s not a “mister” style, it should be a spray bottle for more volume.
  • Cooler – Resting your brisket is one of the most important steps when smoking brisket. You can go luxury with a Yeti Cooler or you can go with something a little more affordable. Allowing the brisket to rest in a cooler (with NO ice) will hold the temperature for hours which is great if it’s done early. It also allows the brisket to mellow out and maintain that tender bite you are looking for. You can also turn your oven to a low temp, like 150 degrees Fahrenheit, and rest the brisket covered.
  • Research GuideThis book covers some of the best advice for one of the greatest BBQ pitmasters in the world. Aaron Franklin runs Franklin’s BBQ in Austin Texas, named as one of Bon Appétit’s Best BBQ restaurants in the world. You can read our review of his book here.
  • Water Pan – If you have an offset smoker or pellet smoker, a steel or aluminum hotel pan is useful for adding humidity to the cooking chamber. We also use the water pan for brisket burnt ends.

Recipe Inspiration

Now that you have all your tools lined up it’s time to get cooking. Whether you are smoking brisket flat or your first whole smoked brisket we have you covered with our recipes.

Can’t find brisket near you? Check out our favorite places to buy brisket online.

Brisket Tips

Don’t forget to check out our key tips for smoking brisket to jumpstart your perfect smoked brisket experience.

Brisket Burnt Ends are a nice option when you are craving meat candy or you can use all of these tools with beef ribs too which we dub brisket on a stick.

We also have a Merlot Spritzed Brisket recipe only available in our cookbook Fire + Wine.

cookbook cover

Now on 2nd edition

Fire + Wine Cookbook

“This book is a one-stop guide for anyone truly interested in elevating their BBQ experience into a culinary work of art.”
5 out of 5 Stars
San Francisco Book Review

About Vindulge

Mary (a certified sommelier and recipe developer) and Sean (backyard pitmaster) are co-authors of the critically acclaimed cookbook, Fire + Wine, and have been creating content for the IACP nominated website Vindulge since 2009. They live in Oregon on a farm just outside Portland.

mary cressler headshot


About Mary

I'm Mary, a wine/food/travel writer, Certified Sommelier, mom of twins, former vegetarian turned BBQ fanatic, runner, founder of Vindulge, and author of Fire + Wine cookbook. Thanks for stopping by!

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