Should You Brine a Brisket Before Smoking or Cooking it?


Brining meats such as pork and turkey is a rather common trick to retain the juices of meat and make it tender.

This method gives us meat that is juicy and flavorful and doesn’t dry out during the long cooking hours.

Juicy Brisket After Cooking

Therefore, brining a brisket is no different. Yes, you should brine it to retain its juices and prevent it from potentially becoming dry and tough.

Why You Should Brine a Brisket Before Smoking

Putting a brisket in a brine solution helps make it juicy, flavorful, tender, and the right amount of moist.

This is especially useful in long smoking processes when the brisket is more prone to becoming dry and tough under long exposure to heat.

A brine solution is mostly concentrated in salt. During the smoking process, the moisture and juices from brisket naturally evaporate and leave the meat. 

The salt of the brine helps reabsorb this evaporated moisture into the brisket.

See: How to Brine a Brisket

Can You Brine a Brisket For Too Long?

The time needed for a brisket to be fully brined depends on its size. The solution needs enough time to work itself into the meat so that you can smoke it without worrying that it will dry out.

However, it can be estimated that a brisket needs to be brined for at least 2 hours before smoking.

But it’s highly recommended that you let it rest for 12 to 24 hours. So the best option for you is to put brine solution on it and refrigerate it overnight.

Is it Better to Brine or Inject a Brisket?

The brine solution can be applied to the brisket as dry brine, wet brine, and even injection.

Dry brining is the best option to go with when it comes to red meat. This is because wet brine would wash away some of the natural flavor of the brisket.

Whereas a dry brine will not only preserve and enhance its flavor, but will also be an easier and cleaner process for you.

However, still, if you’re made to choose between dry brine and injection, injecting the brisket would be a better choice to go with.

This is because dry brine only covers the surface that is rubbed with it. By the time the brine reaches the insides of the meat, the brisket is sometimes cured.

Injection would prevent this by brining the insides of the brisket fast and making it even more juicier and flavorful.

Wrapping it Up

Brining is an effective way of making your brisket juicy and moist. Therefore, you should learn to do it the right way to enjoy yourself more!

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Tyler Lachance is a cookout professional. His expertise on cooking grilled food, creating marinades, formulating sauces and matching his food with the perfect drink is unrivaled.

Born and raised in a family that has a long history of cookout, he has treated this activity as a part of his culture and who he is.