Drunk Brisket with Bacon BBQ Sauce

December 11, 2015


Drunk Brisket with Bacon BBQ Sauce


Drunk Brisket with a Bacon BBQ Sauce is still holding strong as one of the most popular posts on my site, and it was one of the first I ever wrote. I get requests for this at parties and some of my friends have even used it as currency, asking that I pay them for goods or services with brisket. Honestly, I’m not surprised. This recipe is so special and beautiful and flavorful and I just think your family will love it! Let me give you a little back story:

Every once in a while, there is a recipe that comes to you in a dream. A vision, if you will. About 4 years ago I was thinking about brisket.

I spend a lot of free time thinking about food, actually. It’s not weird. Promise.

Back to my brisket thoughts, I wanted a super tender fall apart brisket and I wanted bacon. I knew there had to be a solid way to combine my two desires in a ridiculously flavorful way. And guess what? I couldn’t find one. So I decided to create the ultimate Bacon/Brisket combo!


Sliced smoked brisket arranged on a wood cutting board and topped with bacon BBQ sauce. Grape tomatoes in the background.

This recipe, specifically, represents a big turning point in my cooking career where I went from following or adapting other people’s recipes to stepping out and creating my own. I used it to enter a national competition (where it ranked in the top 8 out of thousands of entries), it is the first recipe I ever cooked on TV, and when I entered the video into a CreateTV contest I came in second place!

All those years ago, I wouldn’t have thought food blogging and living the BBQ life would even be something I was doing but I’m so glad I got the encouragement to get my butt outside and turn on my grill! So, enough of my sentimental explanation about my attachment to this particular recipe. Let’s talk about to how to get it done!


This recipe is simple enough. Only 5 “S”s to the most tender, flavorful, mind blowing beefy brisket-y goodness of your whole life.


And Boom! Drunk Brisket with Bacon BBQ Sauce and the invitation from your guests to be the official food cooker person for all events hereto-forth.

sliced brisket, topped with bacon barbeque sauce, served on a wood platter with sliced bell pepper and cherry tomatoes

Drunk Brisket with Bacon BBQ Sauce

A smoked and braised brisket with a robust and flavorful bacon BBQ sauce.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time : 10 mins
Cook Time : 6 hrs
Total Time : 14 hrs 10 mins
Servings : 5 people


  • 4-6 lb beef brisket
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 lb country style bacon
  • 1 sweet onion (diced)
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic (minced)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 jar chili sauce (or sub 1 1/2 cup ketchup)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 bottle dark beer
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar


  • Start your smoker and keep the temperature low. We're looking for lots of smoke and the temperature around 190-200 degrees.
  • Season the brisket on all sides with the salt/pepper/garlic mixture (reserve 1/2 tablespoon of the seasoning for later use). Place the brisket on the grill grate, close the lid, and smoke for 3 hours.
  • After the brisket has smoked for 3 hours, remove to a large sheet of plastic wrap. Tightly wrap the brisket with the plastic wrap, then wrap again with foil and place in the refrigerator overnight. This step is important for well penetrated smoke flavor, but if you're cooking same day, just skip the wrapping and go on to the next step.
  • The next day, preheat your grill or a cast iron grill pan to high heat (around 500 degrees). Unwrap the brisket and place it fat side up on the hottest part of your grill. Grill for 8-10 minutes per side, or until the brisket has developed a nice char on both sides.
  • Meanwhile, preheat a large dutch oven over high heat. Cook the bacon until golden brown and crisp. Add the diced onions to the pan and cook until tender (about 6 minutes) then add the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, chili sauce (or ketchup), brown sugar, molasses, beef stock, and the remaining salt/pepper/garlic mixture. Bring to a simmer.
  • When the brisket has finished searing on both sides, nestle it into the hot bacon/onion/tomato barbecue sauce. Turn the temperature setting on the grill down or preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cover the dish with a lid or tin foil and place directly on the grill or in your oven. Close the grill lid and cook for 1 1/2 hours. The liquid will have decreased by about half. Pour in the beer to bring the liquid back above the brisket. Put the lid back on and return to the grill or oven for an additional 1 1/2 hours or until the brisket has reached an internal temperature of 205 degrees.
  • Remove the brisket from the baking dish to a cutting board and allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes. While the brisket rests, add the cider vinegar to the braising liquid and cook over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a boil and stir frequently until it is reduced to a thick BBQ Sauce consistency. You may need to separate any excess bacon fat from the top with a spoon.
  • Slice the brisket in 1/4 inch slices (about as thick as a pencil) and drizzle with the warm BBQ sauce. Serve immediately and enjoy!
    Smoked brisket, sliced and covered in bacon bbq sauce, arranged on a wood platter
Ready to Become a Backyard BBQ Hero?Join The Grill Squad today!

This post contains affiliate links. For more information on them, visit our Privacy Policy

58 thoughts on “Drunk Brisket with Bacon BBQ Sauce

  1. Tried this out this weekend and wow was it good, definitely telling all my friends and family this is my creation in hopes they don’t have internet!! Great post and looking forward to trying more of your creations!!!

  2. I’m going to try this!!! OMG, it looks so delish!!!! You wrapped it as soon as you got it off the smoker, correct? As soon as you wrapped it did you right then put it in the refrigerator? Just wondering, I was taught to never put hot food in the ref covered or wrapped? So, wrap it immediately after getting it off the smoker then let it cool before refrigerating? I’m wanting to get the ingred NOW!!!! lol Thanks so much!!

  3. i’m from texas and have to try this, but one question, i have asked everyone i know and we would like to know “what is excess bacon fat” we have never heard that statement before.

  4. Looks delicious! Definitely going to give it a try. What is the brand of pan that you used to cook? It looks awesome.

  5. We made this tonight for my son’s birthday and it was a huge success! No beer on hand. I used Apple Beer instead. Thank you for sharing!

  6. This sounds fantastic. Going to be making this this weekend, but my butcher is telling me the briskets will be more like ten to twelve pounds each (I’m doing two). Do you have an internal temp you shoot for when smoking? That way I can go by temp and not time. I’m guessing with two at that size I’m probably looking at a six hour smoke. I’ll let you know how it comes out!

    1. The first step really isn’t to temperature, it’s honestly about time (one of the few times I’ll ever recommend this in a recipe) after 3 hours the meat has taken on all the smoke it needs. So plan on three hours total for both briskets, you don’t need to double the time just because you are cooking two. Hope that helps!

  7. Is it really teaspoons of seasoning for the rub? You later mention setting aside 1/2 tablespoon seasoning. Just making sure it’s not a typo.

  8. Oh my goodness. Best brisket we have ever eaten my son said this is the best thing I have ever made from my smoker. I took a little of the sauce and added it to some baked beans for a side and made some coleslaw as another side. Will make again soon. Thanks for this recipe!

  9. WOW! Best smoked brisket tasted! FYI, I substituted fire-roasted diced tomatoes (for a little more smoked t’mater flavor), added roasted red bell peppers from the jar (as a little flavor enhancer), and, also added a pickled jalapeno pepper (no seeds or veins) for a gentle offset to the sauce sweetness … yum! Question: How long can the BBQ sauce be kept in the fridge?

  10. Hello, I’m gonna make this tonight for my birthday and I was just wondering if you have a good reason for adding the beer towards the end instead of just adding it from the start? I’m in somewhat of a hurry to get this prepared and thought if I could just add it from the start instead of removing the brisket from the heat and adding room temp beer. Hopefully that will save me a bit of time on the cook. Any reason you can see not to do this?

  11. Thanks for the recipe, had a bourbon and brisket party last night and the brisket was a hit. Definitely will cook again!

  12. I absolutely love this recipe, I’ve made it a half a dozen times and it’s always perfect. Two questions!

    1. How many days can I leave the brisket in the fridge after smoking? Would I be able to leave in the fridge for 48 hours or so before the final process?

    2. Do you think I could do the second step in a crock pot?

    Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating