The Ultimate Guide to the Brisket Sandwich | Rock the Grill

The Ultimate Guide to the Brisket Sandwich: Varieties, Virtues, and Recipes

Austin
AustinPublished: May 13, 2024
The Ultimate Guide to the Brisket Sandwich: Varieties, Virtues, and Recipes

The brisket sandwich, a staple of culinary delight found in smokehouses, kitchens, and backyards across the globe, offers a tender, flavor-packed experience that can vary widely depending on preparation and regional influences. However, just because there are a million different ways to make a brisket sandwich doesn't mean they're not good — they're all delicious!

This hearty sandwich isn't just a meal; it's an exploration of texture and taste, where the succulent brisket meat plays the starring role.

Whether you're a barbecue aficionado or a sandwich enthusiast, understanding the different types of brisket sandwiches, why they're so revered, and how to make them can elevate your cooking game and satisfy your taste buds.

What Makes Brisket Sandwiches Better than the Rest?

At its core, the brisket sandwich is celebrated for its rich flavors, which are often enhanced through slow cooking methods.

We're not going to get in too deep with how to make the perfect brisket as we'll save that for another day. However, we'll discuss some of the basics.

Brisket itself is a cut of beef from the lower chest of the cow, known for its tough connective tissues that magically transform into melt-in-your-mouth tenderness when cooked properly.

This transformation, achieved through long hours of smoking or braising, allows the meat's natural flavors to deepen and develop, making it the ideal filling for a substantial sandwich.

Of course, we're like you and hate waiting hours upon hours for it to slow-smoke, but it's totally worth it in the end.

Juiciness and Flavor

The cooking process used for brisket, whether smoking, braising, or slow-roasting, ensures that every bite is infused with deep, smoky, and savory flavors. That's why the process is so important.

The juiciness of well-cooked brisket provides a satisfying contrast to the crispy toasted bun, making each mouthful perfectly balanced.

Versatility

Going well beyond just the chunk of meat itself, brisket can be dressed up with a variety of sauces and accompaniments, from classic barbecue sauce to spicy horseradish or tangy coleslaw. We've seen some real crazy sauces for these tender sandwiches, so feel free to get creative.

This versatility makes it easy to adapt to different taste preferences and cuisines, turning the basic brisket sandwich into a customizable delight.

Different Types of Brisket Sandwiches

Brisket sandwiches come in an array of styles, influenced by regional tastes and cooking techniques. Here are some of our favorite variants that you might want to give a shot.

Texas-Style Smoked Brisket Sandwich


In Texas, where barbecue reigns supreme, the brisket sandwich is often served with a simple slather of original barbecue sauce (Stubbs, Sweet Baby Ray's, etc.) and a few pickles or onions on a soft bun. Nope, we didn't mess that one up; it's that simple.

The meat is the main event, typically smoked over oak or pecan wood for that signature flavor.

This gem is a staple at just about any BBQ joint throughout the Lone Star State. There's nothing fancy to it, but it's delicious.

Korean Brisket Sandwich


This version incorporates flavors like soy, garlic, and sesame. It's a great spin on the classic that brings in some original flavors from the ROK.

The brisket is marinated in a Korean BBQ sauce, then grilled or roasted. It's commonly topped with kimchi and served on a soft bun or a steamed bun for an Asian twist.

It's one of the harder-to-find sandwiches, but when you do find a place that serves them up, you'll want to keep going for more. Or, if you're like us, just learn to make it yourself.

Jewish Deli Brisket Sandwich


One of the best things about a brisket sandwich is that you can mix and match it with different flavors to go with your own style. This deli sandwich is no different.

Traditionally braised with onions, carrots, and herbs, this brisket is tender and savory. Served on rye with mustard and sometimes accompanied by pickles or coleslaw, it's a nod to classic deli fare.

Italian Brisket Sandwich


Slow-cooked with Italian seasonings, tomatoes, and garlic, this brisket is often shredded and piled on a crusty roll. Topped with provolone or mozzarella and sometimes pepperoncini or roasted peppers, it offers a Mediterranean flair with a bit of spice if you want to go that route.

How to Make a Classic Smoked Brisket Sandwich

Creating the perfect brisket sandwich at home can be a rewarding meal. Here's an original recipe to get you started. If you want to spice it up a bit, change out any of the ingredients for the best-of-the-best sandwiches we mentioned above.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 pounds of beef brisket
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Your choice of dry rub (paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and chili powder work well)
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Pickles and onions for garnish
  • Buns for serving

Preparation:

  1. Season the Brisket (the most important step!!)
    • Pat the brisket dry with paper towels.
    • Generously season all sides with salt, pepper, and your dry rub.
    • Let the brisket sit at room temperature for about an hour before cooking.
  2. Smoke the Brisket
    • Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Place the brisket fat-side up on the grill and smoke until the internal temperature reaches 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit, about 6-8 hours.
    • Wrap the brisket in foil if you prefer a moist end product.
    • Optional twist: Smoke for 4-5 hours unwrapped, then smoke for 6-8 hours wrapped.
  3. Rest the Meat:
    • Let the brisket rest for at least 30 minutes after removing it from the smoker. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it even more tender. It's tempting to jump in, but you need to take this step seriously.
  4. Assemble the Sandwiches:
    • Slice or shred the brisket.
    • Toast the buns lightly, if desired.
    • Stack the brisket high on the buns and top with barbecue sauce, pickles, and onions.

Now you've got the perfect smoked brisket sandwich. At least it's a starting point. You can mix it up how you see fit and add your own twist to the traditional meal.

Need more than one brisket sandwhich?

With 4-5 lbs of brisket fresh out of your smoker, you can actually make all four variations if you'd like. Never tried a Texas Brisket Sandwich? How about a Korean Brisket Sandwich?

5 pounds of beef goes a long way when it comes to brisket sandwiches, so give all of them a try.

Austin

Austin

Professional Backyard Chef

Austin, a trained chef and graduate of the The Art Institute of Washington, has a deep passion for locally sourced ingredients. He spent several years working in farm-to-table restaurants, forging relationships with local farmers and learning about the benefits of fresh, local produce. As a regular contributor to various food and lifestyle magazines, Austin specializes in creating delicious, seasonal recipes for the backyard bistro. His dedication to local ingredients helps readers discover new flavors while supporting their local economy.