Culinary Arts

Smoke: Brisket Part III

Aaron Franklin

Lesson time 18:36 min

Learn Aaron’s technique for wrapping brisket, checking for tenderness, and assessing when to pull and rest your meat in the final phase of our brisket cook.

Aaron Franklin
Teaches Texas-Style BBQ
Aaron Franklin teaches you how to fire up flavor-packed Central Texas barbecue, including his famous brisket and more mouth-watering smoked meat.
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[MUSIC PLAYING] - So it's about 10:00 AM right now. I'm getting ready to wrap it. It's looking really, really nice. It got through the stall. And it's at the tail end of it. The bark looks really, really great. The edges aren't dried out. It's a beautiful looking brisket. I'm going to lay down some butcher paper. I'm going to pull it out, check it. It's the last time we're going to see this before it's finished. [MUSIC PLAYING] Ooh-wee. So the brisket's looking really, really nice-- great bark formation. This fat-- you can see the juice kind of coming out. The fat's rendering. That's that seam found on the bottom. So we're really going to serve that later. But it's a good indicator of how the meat shrunk up. You could see some little tiny cracks in here in the bark. It's really dark. It's kind of crusty. You can see how it's got a nice texture. The back side is not dried out. This is the part that kind of tends to dry out a little bit-- maybe a little dry right. There is no fat there. And then this didn't have any fat. So this is the part that we've been spritzing. If you get in there real good, you can kind of squeeze it. And you can see a little bit of moisture just kind of gurgling you out of the-- the fibers. This fat feels really soft-- a little patchiness right there. When I picked it up, you could tell how it's starting to kind of get a little tender. It's starting to pull apart right there. It looks pretty good, but the flat is still really firm. So it's got a long way to go-- great time to wrap. The way that this is going to go down is that this part's going to get tender. But it's got more fat. So it can actually get a little bit overcooked and still have a safety net with all of that marbling that's in there. But what we're really-- what we're really trying to do is, as this cooks like this, this part will get cooked. We've got to protect this. We've got to keep this tip moist. This is kind of the end cut. There's only one of these on every brisket, which means there's only two on every cow, which makes this piece extremely special. That's the first one. I can almost judge any brisket by just cutting that off and taking a bite. I can tell how it's seasoned, how it's broken down. And I can almost make a good guess on how the rest of the brisket happened. So we really want to try to protect that. That's-- that's the crown jewel of the brisket right there. So this is going to get tender. This is going to get tender. It's going to hang out. It's going to get a little overcooked while we're waiting for this section. So when I pick it up after it's wrapped and right now, I want to pick it up like this. I want my fingers to be on the underside just like that. And I'm going to hold my fingers up like that and possibly stick my middle fingers up a little bit higher to see how the meat fiber falls over my fingers. So I'm feeling the tightness of this flat right there. But I'm also f...

The art of smoke and fire

Once a backyard hobbyist, Aaron Franklin is now the James Beard Award-winning owner of Franklin Barbecue, where the line for his famous smoked brisket is hours long. Now the Central Texas barbecue specialist teaches you his meticulous low and slow process for mouth-watering ribs, pork butt, and brisket. With perfectly seasoned cuts and optimal temperatures, you'll learn to handle an offset smoker like a true pitmaster.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

This was an amazing course and Aaron Franklin did a really superb job in delivering the curriculum in a way all would be able to grasp the information.

Prior to taking this class I didn't know how to properly use my off set smoker, and my brisket was so bad I never tried to make another one. I just finished making brisket that Aaron would probably be proud to serve in his restaurant. This was a great class.

Brisket trimming, seasoning and smoking. Fire management is key to good bbq.

Validated some things I already knew about cooking bbq, but learned some new things about cooking temps, seasoning, wrapping, smoke quality, slicing, sauce and bbq history!


A fellow student

Thank you Aaron. I cooked 4 briskets for ~50 people this weekend (my first time cooking brisket) and followed your steps directly. They came out PERFECTLY

Aly S.

I have done a few briskets (including Franklin's way from his book) but I'm glad I watched this before my July 4th cook as I could not find my Mavrick thermometer. I had to go solely by sight and feel--something I was used to doing for stages prior to wrapping, but not something I used to do after the wrap - that was always thermometer and probing. Brisket turned out great.

Jeremy C.

I’m having trouble keeping the flat moist... when I’m waiting for the point to tender up, seems like the flat dries out.

David S.

My first brisket turned out great but my second turned out like a roast. Any suggestions on why that happened?

Todd G.

Amazing how many tips to improve the outcome of the brisket he has shared. A lot of details that all matter to the final product.

A fellow student

Wow the wrap. I have been screwing that up for years now :). I have to go practice with a sack of flour or something!

Kempton L.

Not sure about anyone else but I'm watching this lesson along with Lesson 08 Prep: Brisket Trim (33:00) on two computer screens. Fascinating to look at the before and after.


Hey guys, make sure you join Aaron's Community! There you can discuss BBQ techniques and other class material, network with other BBQ-loving students, trade recipes and stay up to date on class contests & activities. Here's the link:


Loved your book, enjoyed your PBS lessons. Was thrilled when I learned today of your Masterclass series! A natural teacher, thank you!