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+ servings
Sliced corned beef brisket flat.

Smoked Corned Beef Brisket Recipe

A step-by-step guide on how to make your own corning spices and smoked Corned Beef Brisket.
Course Entree, Holiday
Cuisine Irish, St. Patrick's Day
Keyword corned beef brisket, corned beef spices, smoked corned beef
Prep Time 7 days
Cook Time 5 hours
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 7 days 6 hours
Servings 6 people
Calories 850kcal
Cost $45.00


  • 5 pound Brisket Flat Half (trimmed of excess fat)
  • 3 tablespoons Beef Rub

Corning Spices

  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar (dark or light will work, as will cane sugar if that is all you have)
  • 2 teaspoons Prague Powder 1 (otherwise known as pink curing salt. Do not use Prague Powder 2)
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
  • 1 tablespoon whole mustard seed
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 6 large cardamom pods, crushed
  • 4 bay leaves, crushed


Prepare Brisket and Brine

  • Make The Brine – In a large stockpot, add the water. To the water add sugar and salts. Stir until the solids incorporate into the water. Finally add the Corned Beef Seasoning. Note – If you plan to boil your Corned Beef, this is the time to reserve 2 tablespoons of the spices to use for the boil. If you aren’t saving spices for a boil, then just throw all the ingredients in the pot.
  • Boil – Bring to a boil, then turn off the burner. Stir the brine to incorporate the flavor from the spices. The heat helps the aromatics escape the seeds and spices versus leaving the water cool. At this point you can cool the brine in the refrigerator or you can add ice to bring the temperature of the water under 45 degrees F.
  • Trim – While the brine cools, this is a good time to trim the Brisket of any excess fat.
  • Brine – Once the brine is cool, place the Brisket into the stock pot. You do not want to place the meat into a warm brine to prevent food borne bacterial growth. If you have a thick cut, or you don’t have a full 7 days to brine, inject the meat in 1-inch cubes using the brine to help incorporate the cure faster. Store the Brisket and cure in the refrigerator throughout the curing process.
  • Rotate – Each day remove the Brisket from the pot and flip it over, then re-submerge the meat. This flipping allows a more even cure. If the Brisket floats, consider adding something heavy to the brisket to weigh it down.
  • Rinse – After 7 days for a Brisket flat, and up to 10 days for a thicker cut like a round or sirloin, remove from the brine. Rinse the beef of excess brine and pat dry with a paper towel. Discard the brine. Now it’s time to smoke it.

How to Smoke Corned Beef

  • Preheat Smoker - Prepare the smoker targeting 250 degrees Fahrenheit using a fruit wood like apple or cherry. Oak and hickory are good options if you want a more pronounced smoke flavor.
  • Season - Season the rinsed and dried corned Beef with your favorite Beef rub. We go light on the rub because there is already salt in the brine. If you have any aversion to salt, consider a rub that is salt free or low salt.
  • Put on Smoker - Place the Brisket flat on the smoker, fat cap side down. Insert a meat thermometer probe into the flat (if you have one) and smoke, unwrapped.
  • Smoke - You will smoke the Brisket Flat Half until the internal temperature of the Beef is 200 degrees F, or when the meat thermometer easily inserts into the Brisket Flat Half with little resistance. Plan roughly one hour per pound.
  • Rest and Serve - Remove from the smoker, wrap in foil, and place in a cooler with no ice. The cooler will allow the meat to rest while keeping the temperature of the Beef over the 140 degrees needed for the safety zone. Remove the Brisket from the cooler and then slice to serve.



Note on Brining Time - Injecting the brine into the meat can help speed up the brining process to as little as 5 days. Use a food safe injector to inject meat throughout. And then place into the brining solution.
Curing - Be sure to use the right ratio of Prague Powder 1 based on weight and volume of meat and liquid. 
Warning About Seasoning - The cure will add a good salt base to the meat. Add your favorite beef rub, but if you have any aversion to salt, then pull back on salt in the seasoning. This is really important to avoid an overly salted flavor. Taste your Beef rub prior to using and adjust as needed to minimize the salt.


Calories: 850kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 57g | Fat: 58g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 204mg | Sodium: 24665mg | Potassium: 1249mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 81IU | Vitamin C: 105mg | Calcium: 127mg | Iron: 8mg