Smoking a brisket Kiwi-style

3:05 pm on 15 April 2016


  • One full-size whole brisket from a pasture-raised well cared for animal
  • 250g of salt
  • 250g of cracked blacked pepper
  • Manuka wood chips or whole pieces of manuka
  • Lump Charcoal (available from Commodities NZ)


Rinse the brisket under cold running water and blot it dry with paper towels. Remove any heavy fat deposits, but leave at least 2cm to 3 cm cover.

Combine the salt and pepper in a bowl and toss with your fingers to mix. Rub the  mix on the brisket on all sides.

Set up a charcoal grill for indirect grilling and preheat it to low. No drip pan is necessary for this recipe.

When ready to cook, toss 1 1/2 cups of the wood chips on the coals (3/4 cup per side). Place the brisket, fat side up, in an aluminum foil pan (or make a pan with a double sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil). Place the pan in the center of the hot grate, away from the heat. Cover the grill.

Smoke cook the brisket until tender enough to shred with your fingers - 6 hours will likely do it, but it may take as long as 8 (the cooking time will depend on the size of the brisket and heat of the grill). Baste the brisket from time to time with the fat and juices that accumulate in the pan. You'll need to add 10 to 12 fresh coals to each side every hour and toss more wood chips on the fresh coals. Add about 3/4 cup chips per side every time you replenish the coals during the first 3 hours.

Remove the brisket pan from the grill and let rest for 15 minutes. Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and thinly slice it across the grain, using a sharp knife, electric knife, or cleaver. Transfer the sliced meat to a platter, pour the pan juices on top, and serve at once.

Serve with homemade pickles and a vinegar-forward BBQ sauce to cut the delicious fat and smoke flavours.

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

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