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Brisket Sandwich with Crispy Onions and Pickles
Matt Abdoo's Brisket Sandwich + Red Table Barbecue Sauce + Purple Coleslaw
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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(55 rated)
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I love this recipe because the moist, succulent rich brisket pairs incredibly well with the crisp and acidic bite of the pickles, the crunch of the onions, tangy barbecue sauce and the potato bun is the perfect soft, chewy vessel.


  • Quick pickles (makes 1 quart)

    • 2 pounds Kirby cucumbers
    • 2 cloves smashed garlic
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 3 tablespoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon mustard seed, whole
    • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • Rub (makes 2 cups)

    • 3/4 cup salt
    • 3/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
    • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • Brisket

    • One 13- to 15-pound whole beef brisket
    • 6 to 8 pieces cherry wood chunks
    • 1 cup yellow mustard
  • To assemble

    • 1 recipe cooked brisket (recipe above)
    • 1 recipe quick cured pickles (recipe above)
    • 2 cups crispy onions, homemade or store-bought
    • 2 cups championship barbecue sauce
    • 12 potato rolls


For the quick pickles:

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive container and mix well. Cover and place in your refrigerator overnight. The following day mix and serve.

For the rub:

In a bowl, mix all the ingredient together until well combined.

For the brisket:

1. Remove brisket from package and pat dry. Cut a long ways straight line cut down the fatter side of the brisket to expose the meat so you can easily see the layer of fat above the meat. Trim the fat so that only 1/4-inch remains covering the meat, being careful not to cut too deep exposing the meat. Next "wedge cut" the pocket of fat between the "point" and "flat" (this will help the brisket cook more evenly as well as help remove the excess fat that will not render during cooking). Flip the brisket over so the fat side is down, and with your knife at an angle cut the large overhang of the hard fat to remove.

2. Once the brisket is cleaned and trimmed, generously cover with brisket yellow mustard and seasoning. Let the meat sit for 30 minutes with the mustard and seasoning.

3. Pre-heat your smoker to 250°F and place a bowl of water just beneath or next to the brisket preferable closest to where the heat source comes from. Place the brisket fat side up with 2 chunks of cherry wood. Continue adding 1 chunk of wood per hour until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 150-160°F, then wrap in non-waxed lined butcher paper like a burrito and return to the smoker. Once the meat is wrapped there is no further need to continue to add wood since the wrap will prevent any more smoke from reaching the meat. Continue cooking the brisket until it reaches a temperature of 198-203 F and allow to rest in a warm place for at least an hour before slicing. Ideally, I like the temperature of the meat to come back down to 155°F before slicing.

To assemble:

1. Pour 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce on the bottom bun and layer with pickles.

2. Slice 3 ounces of brisket and shingle over the pickles and sauce.

3. Drizzle another tablespoon barbecue sauce over the sliced brisket and top with crunchy onions. Top with the top bun and serve.

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