Great smoked brisket begins with this tip

Pitmaster John Lewis shares his #1 brisket tip.

If you’ve ever been intimidated by smoked brisket at home, you’re not alone.

Brisket is one of – if not the hardest – cuts of meat to master. A lean slab of beef full of connective tissue, brisket is often smoked low and slow for upwards of 16 to 18 hours in order to break down those tough fibers.

And even then, you can still end up with shoe leather instead of delicious, juicy, meaty goodness.

John Lewis, Pitmaster at Lewis Barbecue in Charleston, South Carolina, does not have this problem. Having fine-tuned the art of smoked brisket in Austin, Texas, John is now slinging hundreds of pounds of insanely juicy brisket every day in the Holy City. If there was ever someone to offer up advice on how to better your brisket, John is the guy.

So what is his number one tip for cooking a better brisket?

Finding the best possible cut of meat with a high amount of fat marbling.

Prime brisket is best, but if you can’t find it at your grocery store, choice works well too. But don’t just pick the first one at the top of the pile.

You want to turn the meat over and really check for good intermuscular marbling. Those turn out to be the juiciest.