Taft Street’s Smoked Brisket

Summer means barbeque and there are not many things better than smoked brisket. We usually go with the traditional Taft Street Zinfandel, but on very hot days a well chilled Taft Street Russian River Valley Pinot Gris hits the spot. This was a big hit at our recent “Grill 116” – wine and food pairing event we hosted with our neighboring wineries.


  • 1 beef brisket (5-6 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 6 cups oak or hickory chips soaked in water


  1. Combine chili powder, salt, sugar, pepper and cumin. Rub the mix over brisket, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Set up grill for indirect grilling and heat to low. Place ¼ wood chips on top of heat source.
  3.  Place brisket, fat side up, in an aluminum pan away from heat.
  4. Cook until tender with an internal temperature of 185. Replenish chips every hour for the first 4 hours, and spray meat with the apple juice-olive oil mixture to keep moist.
  5. Remove brisket and let rest for 20 minutes. Slice against the grain, pour the pan juices on top, and serve.

Makes 10 – 12 servings


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