To Smoke or Not to Smoke | Brisket Recipe - Wah Gwan®

To Smoke or Not to Smoke | Brisket Recipe

There are so many options and I get asked a lot what my preference is when it comes to grilling and smoking meats. The answer is all of them.

Simple Rice Recipe | Works Every Time Reading To Smoke or Not to Smoke | Brisket Recipe 6 minutes Next Ceviche Challenge Accepted!

Marcus grilling

As you may have noticed I am a huge fan of cooking outdoors. There are so many options and I get asked a lot what my preference is when it comes to grilling and smoking meats. The answer is all of them. 

Cooking outdoors is all about balance, you are either balancing elements out of your control, flame to food or the many things that seem to be unpredictable every time, cooking outdoors is never the same twice. 

There are some techniques that are tried and true and whether your food comes out the same every time or not, I believe you should have more fun making it. Let’s be honest its really hard to mess up a great cut of meat, slow cooked over any fire!

Jump to Recipe


Treager grill with different proteins on it

I’ve never met a piece of smoked protein I didn’t enjoy. That’s why when I have the time, opting for the low and slow flavor and texture is just worth it. The slow heat melts fat and breaks down connective tissue and the time allows for the smoke flavor to penetrate.  By no means am I anywhere close to a pit-master, but getting a nice smoke ring on a hunk of brisket or that smoky to the bone flavor on some Wah Gwan® Jerk Chicken is something I enjoy immensely.  In most cases I suggest taking the simple approach to outdoor cooking. I use the same ingredients over and over, olive oil, salt and Wah Gwan®. 



Beer can chicken

I am a huge fan of keeping a propane grill nearby. When the objective is getting things going quickly other outdoor methods are just not as convenient. A propane grill allows you plenty of versatility and can still do a lot of things that a smoker can do. Now the ideal situations would be to have both smoker and propane or gas grill. If you have to opt for only one and you enjoy grilling outdoors frequently, I would say go for gas or propane. Reason being, you have way more options and the ability to smoke on your propane grill as well. Now I’m not saying you get the same flavor and nuanced of a smoker, but you can still get a pretty good smoky result using wood chips, wood planks and smoked salts.




Chicken drumsticks on an open fire

Cooking on an open fire is one of the most gratifying cooking methods there is.  I advise when approaching open fire cooking to always approach with extreme caution but the more frequently you do it, the less intimidating the process will be and you will start to learn the fire, the heat and the personality of the open fire vessel you are cooking on. Of course open fire is just as much about the wood as it is the ingredient you grilling. Getting good dry woods such as Hickory Mesquite, Oak are commonly used and pretty easy to acquire depending on your location. If you can get your hands on different woods i.e pecan, cherry, peach, alder, pimento, etc, I recommend experimenting to add different elements and flavors.




Green egg grill with chicken

Cooking over charcoal always gives amazing flavor and texture, thats why the old tried and true kettle grill is a favorite and why bbq purist worldwide swear by it. While it may take a bit more time to get the coal ready for cooking, I’ve found using a charcoal and a chimney starter is the path of least resistance for that immediate summertime bbq feeling! When setting up a charcoal grill, high heat or low and slow cooking, the way your charcoal is laid out in your grill will have an impact on your cooking times and temps. I always suggest a nice, offset charcoal setup. This is done by piling the majority of coals on one side, giving you a high heat zone and a low heat zone on the same grill. This will give you time and control when things start to heat up.





For this delicious brisket I did use my pellet smoker however feel free to adapt to which ever grill style you have. I have made this every possible way, including in the oven and it never disappoints.


Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours


  • 1 brisket with 1/4 in fat cap. you can ask your butcher do this for you
  • 2 cups of yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup of decaf coffee grounds
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • Wah Gwan® Enough to coat the outside – 1 tin
  • A spray bottle with fruit juice I use apple juice mostly


Slather yellow Mustard all over your brisket, coating evenly.

Next, from high up, sprinkle liberally and evenly with Kosher salt.

Combine Wah Gwan® and the coffee grounds in a bowl, mix well and coat the brisket generously all over.

At this point you can wrap it in plastic wrap and let it marinate and set overnight if you are preparing ahead. Otherwise Preheat your smoker/grill to 185°.

Next, place your brisket on the smoker, fat cap side up, and if you have a probe thermometer available, insert it into the thickest part of the brisket.

Close the lid and smoke until internal temp reaches between 185°-200°.

This can take anywhere between 6-10 hours. After the first few hours, every hour or so, give a generous spray of fruit juice to add moisture and flavor. 

Once the internal temperature is reached, remove from the grill, wrap with butcher paper or a kitchen towel. Set in a warm sealed place, a cooler is ideal, or your oven with the heat off and let it rest for a minimum of one hour. 

Slice and serve

Brisket being made

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.