Can you grill a brisket?

Joined Sep 5, 2008
A friend of mine bought a beef brisket by mistake (thinking it was a tri-tip). It's got to be around 3-4 lbs. I know that cut is perfect for smoking... but I have never smoked anything and don't have a smoker anyway. I was thinking of roasting it slow and low on a gas grill - could that work? How long do you think it's going to need, and at what temperature?



Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
Indirect heat, 225-250, for a long time. Well, not so long with a brisket that size, probably 3-4 hours.

It also makes a fine pot roast if you want to skip maintaining grill temps and so on.
Joined Sep 5, 2008
Great, thanks a lot Phatch. I won't be cooking at my place so I won't be able to marinate, but I'll improvise a rub and try to indirect grill @ 250 for 3-4 hours.
Joined Apr 3, 2008
I second Steve Raichlin, the things he can do outdoors is amazing.  I believe he doesn't use smokers either, which are very unecessary to tell you the truth.  You can achieve great smoke flavor simply by placing aromatic wood chips in your grill and an aluminum pan of water or other liquid on top of the coals.  The thing to remember about brisket is that it needs to cook for a long time in order to get tender.  When I have made it I used a rub and placed it on the grill for a couple of hours and then wrapped it in foil so that it did not absorb any more smokiness.  It also needs to rest for quit a long time after it's cooked. 
Joined Feb 1, 2007
When I grill/smoke a brisket I use an hour per pound at 225/250F as a rough guideline. But I've never done one that small, either, and that may or may not work.

I would also guess that, given both its size and shape (it was mistaken for a triangularly shaped tri-tip, right?) that it's the deckel end of the brisket, and I would cook that a different way, such as braising. Note that in the Steve Raichlin link he specifies center-cut brisket. It can make a difference.

Even so, low and slow is the way to do it on the grill.
Last edited:
Joined Sep 5, 2008
The brisket was only 2.6 lbs. I couldn't get the grill to less than 300F so I ended up propping it open with one of the tongs and the best I could do was about 250-275. It stayed there for about 3 hours. The result was a bit tought but delicious nonetheless. Thanks guys!! 

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