We use a simplified smoking method here just to give a hint of smoke. We do this when the the meat is coated with the cocoa powder-lending an even richer depth of flavors.


  • 1 4-7 pound brisket

    6 tablespoons cocoa powder

    Seasalt, pepper and coriander as needed to coat

    2 cups hickory chips for smoking

    2 pounds mire poix( about 2:1:1 ratio of diced onion, carrot and celery)

    1 28 ounce can tomatoes, diced with juice

    Grape seed oil, as needed



Coat brisket with cocoa powder and seasonings. Rig your smoker using discarded pan and cooling rack, or use disposable pan and rig a foil lid.  Place chips, dry, on bottom of pan. Place rack over wood chips and then put brisket onto rack. Place over high heat and when smoke rises and accumulates, cover and start timiing 1 1/2 minutes. Turn off heat and time for 30 seconds more. Take container to back yard and uncover carefully to remove smoke.

Sear smoked brisket in pan in heated grape seed oil on each side. It is difficult to see the sear because the coaco is dark and will darken. It is okay. Remove meat from pan and set aside. Add mirepoix to pan and cook to color slightly; add tomatoes. Bring to simmer and add meat back to pot. Cover and bake at 325 degrees F for 3-3 1/2 hours, or until roast is very tender. Cool slightly before attempting to cut, or it might break apart and shred, which is okay for BBQ sandwiches.

Alternative: Remove roast from oven about 45 minutes early. Cool completely in the sauce in the refrigerator. When cool, remove any solid fat. Discard. Remove the meat to cutting board and slice. Then add meat slices to pan and cover with pan dripping sauce. Reheat to 165 degrees, about 30 minutes. Serve hot with sauce. This way slices are formed and remain so for serving.



printable page