The Chefs – Smoking Beef Brisket


The Chefs column highlights our local culinary masters. They share a recipe that has a lot of meaning to them and thankfully, how to make it. (Well at least most of it, sometimes secrets must remain that.) This month’s chef is Steve Duncan of Dunc’s BBQ Kitchen.


I’ve had the chance to be in the restaurant business for many years. Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, BBQ is almost a religion in my family. Folks in Tennessee, especially in West Tennessee, pride ourselves on knowing a thing or two about how to smoke a variety of meat and get it to the table, hot, moist and mouth watering. At Dunc’s BBQ, we strive to accomplish that goal every day.

After college, I had a chance to work in the foodservice distribution business with the nation’s largest distributor and sold to local restaurants for almost 15 years. Those restaurant owners became my closest friends over the years. The one common denominator in all of the successful operators was that they took great care of their employees, had a passion to get to know their customers and purchased the highest quality ingredients available. I believe these same rules apply today.


Smoking meats daily requires a lot of attention to the type of wood we use. For us, it’s pecan as we believe it gives the perfect smoke flavor without being overpowering. Other key factors are keeping a constant pit temperature and always knowing the internal temperature of the meat we are smoking. Monitoring this process properly will give us the results we are looking for, and give our patrons the flavor profile they are looking for. In our world, we are trying to create one thing and one thing only – CONSISTENCY!

Years ago, beef brisket was an item mostly sold west of the Mississippi River in cattle country. Today it’s the fastest growing item on our menu.

At Dunc’s we start with the best product on the market today, which we believe is aged Angus beef brisket. We trim our brisket prior to applying our special rub. We use this brisket in many of our menu items from brisket plates and sandwiches to our award winning Brunswick Stew.


Trim brisket prior to smoking to approximately 1/4 inch fat cap. (please use a sharp knife.) This will also help reduce the cook time down to about 10 hours.

Apply your own special rub … we’ve got ours … I know you’ve got a special rub too.

Allow brisket to marinate in a chilled environment for several hours, or even overnight if you can.

Smoke brisket for 10 hours (FAT CAP UP) over pecan wood at 225 degrees, allowing internal temp of brisket to reach 190-200 degrees. This allows the interior fat of the brisket to caramelize into the muscle of the brisket, which keeps the product moist, tender and flavorful. Once the product comes off the pit, we wrap it in butcher paper and place it in a holding oven to keep the temp consistent throughout our day of service.

Once ready to serve, always cut thin slices AGAINST THE GRAIN, as this will allow the meat to be cut with a fork at the table.

Most brisket weigh around 10-12 pounds prior to trimming and cooking. The yield will be around 50-60 %. You will get approximately 6 pounds on useable  product which will feed 12-14 folks.

Thanks for the opportunity to serve the Coweta County and Newnan markets. We’ve been here for almost seven months and it’s been a wonderful beginning. Come meet our staff, as they are some of the brightest and most remarkable young people I’ve ever been associated with!

By the way, when you get a chance to come see us try the beef brisket, I think you’ll enjoy it!

Thanks, Dunc

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