Easy Brisket Taco Recipe

Published By Kevin Turner

Last Updated Feb 5, 2024

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Brisket Tacos on a plate
Table of Contents

    This easy brisket taco recipe is a fantastic way to make a tasty meal out of your BBQ beef brisket leftovers. Slow-cooked and smoked over wood, it’s an amazing combination of flavors that everyone will love. In a total time of just 15 minutes, you can make Brisket Tacos any night of the week! (If you have leftover brisket.)

    This article will explore how simple it is to create amazing beef brisket tacos. We will go over the steps of smoking an entire brisket from the beginning, or you can utilize leftover brisket that’s no more than three or four days old.

    This tasty combination of flavors is one of the quickest meals to make and can be enjoyed at any time of the day. Whether it’s for lunch, dinner, or even breakfast with scrambled eggs, these tacos are sure to please the crowd.

    What is Brisket

    Brisket is a big cut of beef from the cow’s lower chest area that is used a lot. Therefore, brisket is typically a tough cut of beef. Our favorite way to get around that is to smoke it in the BBQ pit over low heat for several hours.

    This causes the fat and connective tissue to melt into the beef, making it really tender and juicy.

    More reading: Hot and Fast Brisket

    Trim the Brisket

    If you have a full brisket, which includes both the flat and point cuts, it’s best to separate them. The weird shape of the brisket won’t cook evenly, but splitting it into two parts will make it much easier for the pieces to cook evenly.

    The brisket’s shape can be a bit rough, so put it on a clean cutting board with the fatty side facing up. Cut off any areas that are thicker than a quarter inch of fat.

    Flip it over, so the fat side is facing down, and you should be able to see the meat. Remove the silver skin and cut off any excess fat you see, but don’t stress it out too much; just give it a quick trim with the knife.

    Spice Rub

    Every BBQ expert usually has their own preferred blend of seasonings, but here’s an easy one for your brisket.

    Just mix together equal amounts of coarse salt, coarse ground or cracked black pepper, and some fresh, chopped oregano.

    If you want to make it spicier, add some ground cumin, chili powder, and paprika. Mix enough to ensure you can cover the entire piece of brisket with the rub.

    Some grill masters believe an overnight marinade will make the brisket absorb more flavor.

    Cook the Brisket

    You can read about the final preparation of the brisket here. Fire up the smoker and let it preheat while the brisket absorbs the seasoning. Once you’re ready, fire up the smoker and leave your brisket to absorb the spice rub.

    Make sure you calculate how long to smoke your brisket based on how large it is (number of pounds).

    Heat up your smoker to 225°F using indirect heat and your preferred hardwood smoke. Put the brisket on the smoker with the fattier end facing the primary source of heat, since it can handle the extra warmth.

    Brisket in smoker

    Close the lid and be prepared for the cooking process to take about 6 to 8 hours on medium heat.

    You might want to use one of many blends of fluids to spritz the brisket to prevent it from dying out while cooking.

    Another important aspect of the low and slow cooking process is monitoring the internal temperature of the brisket.

    Wrap the Brisket

    Once the brisket has reached an internal temperature of 165°F, lay out a large piece of butcher paper (or foil) on a work surface and place the brisket on one end.

    Carefully wrap the brisket, folding the edges over each other until a secure, airtight seal is formed.

    Put the wrapped brisket back onto the smoker, with the seam side down, so the weight of the meat holds the paper wrap in place.

    Complete the Smoking Process

    After replacing the brisket parcel in the smoker, shut the lid and keep the temperature at 225°F.

    Cook until the internal temperature of the brisket in the thickest part reaches 195°F, which usually takes between 5 and 8 hours.

    Brisket with meat thermometer

    By that time, the thermometer probe should slide in and out of the meat easily, similar to sliding into softened butter.

    Let the brisket rest for about one hour, during which time the internal temp will rise to about 205 to 210°F, the ideal temperature for brisket that is done.

    Other Methods to Cook Brisket for Tacos

    Cooking brisket tacos using slow-cooking techniques is an effective way to ensure the meat is tender and flavorful. This is because the connective tissue is broken down, and the fat is rendered, making the texture less chewy and adding extra flavor.

    1. Slow cooker brisket

    Using a slow cooker or crock pot is a suitable option if you are looking for a low-effort way to make a brisket. Adding a few bay leaves and the lengthy cooking time in the slow cooker will result in the meat becoming flavorful, tender, and moist, making it easy to shred before serving.

    2. Braised brisket

    If you’d like to take a more active approach to slow cooking, you can begin by searing the brisket on high heat, then continuing to cook it in liquid on the stove for at least four hours.

    Storage of Brisket Leftovers

    Leftover beef brisket can be refrigerated in airtight containers for 3 to 4 days.

    Easy Brisket Taco Recipe

    This delicious taco dish can be made with any leftover brisket, smoked or not. It’s a quick and easy recipe you’ll want to make again and again.

    To reheat the brisket before creating the tacos, just pop it in the microwave, add a bit of beef broth and cover it with a damp paper towel to prevent drying out, and heat it until it’s warm. The reheating time will depend on the quantity of brisket you’re warming.

    Shredded beef for brisket taco

    However, if you want to add sauce like an enchilada, chipotle, or BBQ sauce, add it to the brisket in a deep skillet and stir it to combine, and heat it until it is hot.

    This taco dish is built around the brisket, which is very versatile since it can take on a variety of flavors. However, the slow-smoked beef is the star of the show, so it’s important to not let the toppings overpower it.

    Here’s an easy brisket taco recipe, simple but packed with flavor.

    What you will need:

    (The quantities depend on the number of taco eaters you expect)

    1. Taco shells—you can use flour tortillas or corn tortillas.

    2. Shredded or cubed brisket

    3. Guacamole—a creamy and flavorful element to the dish that complements the other ingredients well.

    4. Pico de Gallo, also known as Salsa Fresca—a chunky mixture of chopped fresh tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lime juice to add a fresh, crispy element to the taco.

    5. Mexican Crema—a slightly sour cream made with heavy cream and buttermilk, similar to sour cream.

    6. Cotija cheese is a hard, crumbly cheese Mexican cheese similar in texture and flavor to Italian Parmesan cheese.

    7. Fresh lime slices.

    Brisket Taco Recipe

    Method:

    • Heat the Taco shells in a dry skillet or a microwave for a few seconds until they become pliable. This will make it easier to roll and fold for those who prefer to fold the tortilla into a burrito.

    • Spread a thick layer of guacamole on the taco shell for a creamy and flavorful element to the dish that complements the other ingredients well.

    • Add 1/4 cup of cubed or shredded brisket

    • Add Pico de Gallo, also known as “salsa fresca,” a chunky mixture of chopped fresh tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lime juice. It is typically uncooked and has a crisp, fresh flavor.

    • Top the filling with crumbled Cotija cheese.

    • Add a drizzle of fresh lime juice.

    As you can see, there are no hot and spicy ingredients, which many people would expect when you serve them beef tacos. Although the Tex-Mex version of tacos usually served in Texas are typically hot and spicy, not all diners will prefer excessive spiciness.

    However, that is why our favorite way to serve a group of people is a taco bar. That allows everyone to add additional toppings they choose. Although this requires more prep time, it will leave you free to enjoy the company of friends and family.

    Those who love extra heat can pile up with hot toppings and spicy sauces, while others can enjoy simpler flavors.

    More Brisket Taco Toppings for a Taco Bar

    Brisket Taco Bar

    Here are some yummy taco toppings you can serve but don’t forget to put out extras of the ingredients you already have in the prepared tacos because there are sure to be some of your guests who will go for seconds.

    • Pickled onions

    • Diced white and red onions

    • Jalapeño slices or the much hotter serrano peppers

    • Poblano peppers are a mild chili version

    • Shredded Monterey Jack, Colby, or Cheddar cheese

    • Shredded cabbage—a mixture of green and purple looks appetizing and adds a nice crunch.

    • Shredded lettuce

    • Diced tomatoes

    • Chopped fresh cilantro

    • Avocado slices

    • Salsa

    • Hot sauce

    • Barbecue sauce

    • Black beans

    • Refried beans

    • Corn

    • Sliced olives

    • Queso Tex-Mex cheese dip along with a bowl of nachos

    The list of options is endless, and you’re free to build on this one.

    Variety of brisket tacos

    In a Nutshell

    Our simple and flavorful smoked brisket taco recipe is sure to please any crowd, especially if you serve it up at your next taco bar and let your guests add the toppings of their choice. A variety of extra ingredients at the bar will give everyone more choices in toppings for their tacos. From guacamole to jalapeños, cilantro to onions, there’s something for everyone’s taste. Enjoy!

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    Kevin Turner
    Hi there, I'm Kevin Turner, Founder and CEO of thegrillingmaster.com. I started this website to share my passion and knowledge with you. You can leverage my years of experience as a pit master and professional to grill great food!

    About The Grilling Master

    Hi there, I'm Kevin Turner, Founder and CEO of thegrillingmaster.com

    My passion has always been grilling, smoking and BBQ delicious meats that satisfy my inner carnivore!

    I started this website to share my passion and knowledge with you, the hungry reader who wants to prepare the perfect meal. 

    You can leverage my years of experience as a pit master and professional. 

    Send me a message and let's connect on Twitter here.

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