Recipes Main Courses Beef and Veal Smoky Root Beer Brisket

Smoky Root Beer Brisket

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 300 minutes
Servings: 8

Using a smoker box while grilling adds even more layers of barbecue flavor to this beef brisket. We call for hickory chips, but feel free to substitute another type of aromatic wood.


  • 1 whole brisket, 4 to 5 lb., fat trimmed to 1/4 inch
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia, cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 bunch green onions, white and green portions, cut into 4-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup root beer barbecue sauce, plus more for serving


Place the brisket on a baking sheet and generously season on all sides with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 

Prepare a hot fire in a grill. Place a steel grill roaster in the center of the grill, cover the grill and preheat.

Place the brisket, top side down, in the pan and sear until well browned, 8 to 10 minutes, then turn the brisket over. Meanwhile, place a smoker box filled with hickory chips over direct heat. After searing the brisket, turn off the center burners and reduce the outside burners to medium-low, adjusting them as needed to maintain the internal grill temperature at about 325°F. Cover the grill and cook the brisket for 3 hours.

In a bowl, stir together the red, sweet and green onions with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Brush the top of the brisket with the 1/2 cup barbecue sauce and place the onions along the sides of the pan. Fill the smoker box with more chips. Cover the grill and continue cooking until the brisket is fork-tender, 1 to 2 hours more.

Transfer the brisket to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 15 minutes. Slice the brisket across the grain and serve with the onions and extra barbecue sauce on the side. Serves 6 to 8.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

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