Smoked Brisket with Citrus Marinade

I had some other recipes lined up to post, but I didn’t expect as much of an overwhelming response when I posted this photo online the other day.  Therefore I made it my priority to get it posted for you as soon as possible.  I was shooting for yesterday but life sometimes has a way of throwing bumps in the road.  No biggie there, smile, throw some positivity into the world and move forward.  I know some of you have been around my site since day one or have read my about me and know that I have been an active duty United States Marine for 11 years.  I had every intention of doing my 20 years and retiring but like I said earlier, life throws some bumps.  Well back in 2005 I sustained some pretty serious injuries to my legs and various other things over the years.  My legs have been slowly diminishing since my initial 4 surgeries and I am no longer able to complete my job like I used to.  I have been started on a Medical Board to determine if I am fit for continued active service and on my doctor’s recommendation I am not.  My life has been about the Marine Corps since I was 17 years old and now I am preparing to venture on a new journey in the near future.  My goals and priorities have shifted to taking care of myself and looking towards the future.  The next few months are going to be stressful and slightly nerving but I know it is nothing that I can not make it through.  I will still be on here (my website) everyday providing the best recipes I can and I just wanted to say thank you to each and every one of you that continues to support me.

Smoked Brisket

So enough of my life changing sob story and on to the most amazing meat I have ever tasted.  This was the first time I decided to marinade a brisket before smoking it, just to see what it would do.  Well to sum up what it did, I will never make a brisket again unless it is in this exact marinade recipe.  Yes it was THAT good.  I know some of you don’t have smokers which is ok, that is why I put oven instructions as well.  If you do have a grill though, do some google research on how to use your gas or charcoal grill as a smoker because you are really missing out.  I mean look up two inches at the juices flowing in that picture……Worth every hour I just let it sit and smoke.  I hope lots of you enjoy this recipe now and in the future, and please come back and leave me a comment with your thoughts.

4.6 from 14 reviews
Marinated Brisket
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
You need to prepare to make this far in advance, you need 90 minutes per pound of your brisket to smoke at 225
Serves: 10
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • juice of 4 limes
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  1. Wash your brisket under cold water and pat dry with paper towels
  2. Combine all of your marinade ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and stir well
  3. Place your brisket in a large resealable ziploc bag or container you can get as much air out as possible. I use 2 gallon ziplocs
  4. Pour your marinade over your brisket, remove as much air as possible, seal the bag and refrigerate for 24 hours
  5. An hour before you plan to start smoking, remove it from the refrigerator, remove it from the marinade and pat dry
  6. Mix your rub ingredients together in a small bowl and generously rub your brisket with as much rub as desired. Ensure before you rub the fat side you score it like a checkerboard to ensure your rub gets to the meat
  7. Preheat your smoker and keep the temperature as close to 225 degrees as possible
  8. Once your smoker is preheated, place your brisket fat side up on the smoker and close the lid. DO NOT OPEN IT FOR ANOTHER 6 hours at least. Everytime you open the lid you add 60 minutes to your cook time and there is no need since we marinated it to stay moist.
  9. I recommend using a meat thermometer that gets left in and you do not open your lid until you take the brisket off when it reaches 185 degrees fahrenheit
  10. Once your brisket is complete, slice against the grain and serve
  1. Follow steps 1-6 above but instead preheat your oven to 275 degrees fahrenheit
  2. Once your brisket is ready, place it in a large roasting pan, fat side up and cover with aluminum foil
  3. Place in your oven and cook for 1 hour per pound or until a thermometer reaches 185 degrees

 ****Disclosure: If you purchase any of the products linked in this post or products through the links on the right side of my page, I receive a small percentage from the respected affiliate programs****


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  1. Just an FYI for anyone making this with a smaller brisket, the 90 minutes per lb is completely wrong. I have a 2 lb brisket that has been in the smoker for 6 hours now and is still only at 173 degrees, unfortunately I believed the recipe and at this rate we will be eating at midnight!

  2. Thanks for your service to our country. We can’t thank our servicemen and women, and their families, enough for the service you provide. Just bought a big old brisket yesterday and I was searching for something different to try. Will be trying this tonight. But won’t be cooking it until Thursday. Is that too long for the marinade?

  3. Thanks for your service, sorry about what happened. If you don’t like the flavor you get from the Lime/Lemon combination, you can use fresh squeezed oranges/tangerines. I have used a citrus marinade many times over the years, and it has always worked out for me. Thanks for putting up a good recipe :-)

  4. I served this — using a much larger brisket and increasing the marinade and rub to match — to a large group last month. These were folks who know food, and they LOVED LOVED LOVED it. Said it was the best brisket they’d ever eaten. I’m doing it again this weekend — for fifty! Thanks, George! I, too, had never marinated my brisket and thought they were pretty darned good. And they were, but this is BETTER. BTW, it won’t let me give more than three stars, but this is FIVE STARS!

  5. I’m going to be attempting this recipe tomorrow. In the ingredients it says to use an 8 pound brisket (fat cap on), but someone asked in the comments and you replied 4 pounds.

    Which is the correct weight for the meat?

      1. Amazing recipe! Ok , I tasted the marinate, not my best moment, but it gave me an idea whether to add certain ingredients. Love your book used tons of recipes, my family loves to eat and appreciates good,legally healthy food.

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