Drunk Brisket with Bacon BBQ Sauce

13 reviews

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Drunk Brisket with a Bacon BBQ Sauce is a smoked and braised brisket with a robust and flavorful bacon BBQ sauce. It’s fall-apart tender and bursting with the most delicious flavors that can’t be beaten.

Drunk brisket covered in bacon BBQ sauce next to sliced pickles and onions with text overlay - Drunk Brisket.

Drunk Brisket

Drunk brisket 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!

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!

Seasoned brisket on the grill grates of a smoker.

Bacon BBQ Drunk Brisket

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 how to get it done!

Sliced brisket on a cutting board drizzled with bacon BBQ sauce.

How to Make Drunk Brisket

This recipe is simple enough. Only 5 “S”s to the most tender, flavorful, mind-blowing beefy brisket-y goodness of your whole life. Make sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for a full, detailed recipe card.

  1. Season. Salt, pepper, and garlic powder are all you need to season this drunk brisket.
  2. Smoke. With your favorite smoker preheated to 190-200 degrees F, smoke the brisket for 3 hours.
  3. Sear. Preheat a 12″ cast iron skillet to 500 degrees F. Sear the brisket for 8-10 minutes per side.
  4. Simmer. Make the bacon BBQ sauce/braise (ingredients and instructions are available in the recipe card below). Dunk the brisket in the sauce and turn down the heat on your grill to 350 degrees F. Braise for 1 1/2 hours or until the brisket reaches an internal temperature taken with an instant-read thermometer of 205 degrees F.
  5. Sauce. Remove the brisket and rest. Add cider vinegar to the braising sauce and boil until the sauce is reduced to a nice BBQ sauce consistency. Slice the brisket and drizzle with the BBQ sauce.

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.

Drunk brisket covered in bacon BBQ sauce next to sliced pickles and onions.

More Brisket Recipes

If you’re looking for a more traditional recipe for brisket, or you’re into taking your brisket to the next level, Hey Grill Hey has a bunch of recipes to help you make the best brisket ever.

Drunk Brisket Recipe

This drunk brisket continues to be one of the most popular recipes on Hey Grill Hey, and we can’t wait for you to try it. Make sure to come back here to the comment section to let us know what you thought of the beef! You can also find us on social media @HeyGrillHey!

Like our new look? This post was originally published in December 2015. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.

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Drunk Brisket with Bacon BBQ Sauce

5 from 13 votes
Drunk Brisket with a Bacon BBQ Sauce is a smoked and braised brisket with a robust and flavorful bacon BBQ sauce. It's fall-apart tender and bursting with the most delicious flavors that can't be beat.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time6 hours
Resting Time15 minutes
Total Time6 hours 30 minutes
Servings5 people



  • 1 4-6 pound beef brisket
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

Bacon BBQ Sauce

  • ½ pound country style bacon
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic minced
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 jar chili sauce or sub 1 ½ cup ketchup
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 bottle dark beer
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar


  • Preheat. Start your smoker and keep the temperature low. We're looking for lots of smoke and the temperature around 190-200 degrees F.
  • Season and smoke. Combine the salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl. 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.
  • Wrap. 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.
  • Grill. 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.
  • Make the bacon BBQ sauce. 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.
  • Dunk the brisket. When the brisket has finished searing on both sides, nestle it into the hot bacon BBQ sauce. Turn the temperature setting on the grill down to 350 degrees F. You can also complete this last step in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F.
  • Braise and add the beer. 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 ½ 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 ½ hours or until the brisket has reached an internal temperature of 205 degrees F.
  • Rest the brisket. Remove the brisket from the baking dish to a cutting board and allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes.
  • Finish making the BBQ sauce. 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 and serve. 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!


Calories: 619kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 1212mg | Potassium: 422mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 7IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Susie is the BBQ Brain behind the Hey Grill Hey website. Her passion for smoked meats and developing fun, new recipes have landed her on the Food Network, cooking turkeys with Shaq, and on a couple of Guinness World Records. When she’s not grilling, she is hanging out with Todd and their three kids, preferably outdoors!

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Recipe Rating

Reader Reviews

75 Reviews

  1. Suz in the Koots says:

    I know my husband will LOVE the Bacon BBQ sauce so thought I would impress him this weekend since I usually do pork. I was wondering if I could wrap in butcher paper instead of plastic wrap…It’s what I’ve got?? I also am expecting that Homer drool that “Sara | Belly Rumbles” mentioned lol

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      I wouldn’t. The plastic holds the moisture in and seasoning against the meat. The paper will absorb it over time and probably leak.

  2. Thomas Hickey says:

    Might try this for Super Bowl. Can you do this with a whole packer (17 lb) brisket?

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:


  3. Chuck Bakker says:

    In my rating system there are a few 6s. That has been the top rating!!You caused me to review and amend my rating system. There is now a seventh rating and your brisket recipe is the sole inhabitant. OUTSTANDING!!!But you already knew that. New to your group, you guys have your stuff together!!