baby brisket

While looking for a full sized brisket at my local butchers, I came across this baby brisket.  At only 1.2kg (around 2.5 pound) cut from flat/point, I wondered how it would go in the smoker.  Could I start smoking in the morning (at a decent time, no 4AM wake up here) and have it well and truly ready by dinner time?  Could it be as smoky, as barky, as tender and as juicy as a full sized brisket if I managed everything well and used some ”enhanced” brisket techniques?  I just had to find out. Full disclosure – it was a very well marbled wagyu cross brisket, and it would be tricky doing a brisket of this size in the smoker and having juicy results!

perfect for brisket burgers for a small family

If this works out at 1.2kg (around 2.5 lb) there’s enough in this baby brisket to easily fill four brisket burgers as well as have spare.  Once it cooked down there was around 700 grams (around 1.5 lb) of cooked brisket, and because it was small there was a deliciously generous bark/meat ratio!

I’m loving using my Akorn Jr kamado style smoker, so I tossed this baby brisket on there.  With the lump charcoal I placed some pecan chunks and some hickory chips.

Brisket (especially one so small) isn’t a forgiving or easy cut to work with, but don’t let that intimidate you.  Nor should you let the many steps noted below intimidate you either.  While there’s a lot of steps none of them are particularly difficult, and with the right tools and care I’m sure you’ll be pleased with the results.

method for smoking this baby brisket

  1. On the night before I trimmed fat cap to around 1/4 inch and slice off any extra hard and fatty bits, as well as any end part of the flat smaller than an inch. The important part is to have the fat trimmed uniformly and any large chunks removed down to around the 1/4 inch mark.
    Important!! Keep all the offcuts to put in homemade burgers, sausages or make your own tallow.
  2. Apply a very light amount of table salt, then return to fridge to dry brine overnight.
  3. Around 7am on the morning of the cook, I took the baby brisket out of the fridge and applied a light coating of rock salt. Applying salt before the rest of the rub brings moisture to the surface and acts like a binder.
  4. A bit after 7am started up the Akorn Jr with lump charcoal and some Pecan lumps and Hickory chips, aiming for a temp in the vicinity of 235f-260f (112c-125c) which the Akorn Jr seems to sit at easily.
  5. With the Akorn coming up to temp, mix 3 parts coarse ground pepper with 1 part garlic powder and 1 part onion powder  into a shaker.  Provide good coverage all over the brisket, then return to the fridge.
  6. Put 3-4 tablespoons of beef fat in a shallow dish to soak up some additional smoke – this will be used to mop and rest the brisket in.  For a larger brisket you would use more.
  7. Once your smoker up to temp and stable, place the baby brisket and tallow in the smoker and let it ride for a couple of hours (~7:45am). Place brisket fat cap down. I do fat cap down as the heat source on a kamado grill is below the meat, and the fat cap will provide a bit of protection.
  8. It took only around 2 hours to get to the normal stall temp of around 160f. Either at the two hour mark or when it hits around 160f (whichever happens first) hit it every 45 minutes with a mop of the tallow. Around this temp your baby brisket might stall (where the temp hardly moves for a long time).  For me this baby brisket stayed between 160f-180f for a bit over 2.5 hours.
  9. At around 180f (for me this was just before the 5 hour mark) I made a foil “boat” for the baby brisket. Lay a wide heavy duty sheet of aluminium foil out on a table that can easily fit the brisket on. Take brisket out of the smoker and lay it on the middle of the sheets fat cap up, then roll up the foil until you have “boated” the brisket, paying particular attention to protecting the end parts.
  10. Put the boated brisket back into the smoker and hit it every 45 minutes with a tallow mop. Leave in the smoker until it’s measuring around 200f.
  11. Once at 200f, probe every 10-15 minutes until it feels like everywhere is probing like your sticking the probe into warm butter. It was probing tender around 6-6.5 hours into the cook.
  12. Wrap the brisket in tallow soaked butchers paper and hold it in a oven at around 160f for at least two hours (you can even do this overnight) or into a cooler with towels for insulation.
  13. Once ready to serve, slice against the grain and enjoy.  If you have any leftovers (I did, this joy was just for me the first day) keep the butcher’s paper and wrap it back up in the tallow soaked paper, then in some foil and placed in the fridge in the foil tray.

Ingredients I used

(This Baby Brisket could easily fill five brisket burgers)

  • 1.2kg (2.5 lb) Brisket Wagyu MB4/5
  • Table Salt for overnight brine
  • Light covering of Himalayan Pink Salt
  • 3 Parts freshly ground black peppercorns, one part Garlic Powder and one part Onion Powder
  • Brisket fat for tallow


  • Akorn Jr Kamado Grill
  • Char Griller lump charcoal
  • Pecan chunks and hickory chips
  • Ozito Electric Charcoal starter
  • Inkbird 1HT-1 instant read thermometer

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