Joe's Kansas City-Style Brisket

Lunch / Dinner

Joe's Kansas City-Style Brisket

After flipping through The Brisket Chronicles, we chose to feature Steven Raichlen’s brisket recipe based on barbecue-obsessed Kansas City's style. This sandwich has a shaved-beef texture similar to Chicago’s Italian Beef Sandwich, and is loaded with good ol' barbecue flavor.

Jeff Stehney, founder of Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, starts with brisket flats and follows the typical rub and smoke treatment. Then he slices the brisket paper-thin resulting in a sandwich with a shaved beef texture.

The Slaughterhouse 2.0 Championship BBQ Rub is classic Kansas City, with sugar to make it sweet, and mustard, chili powder, and cayenne to turn up the heat.


12 servings

Total Time

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FOR THE RUB, COMBINE (Makes 1 1/4 cups rub):


Using a sharp knife, trim the brisket, leaving a layer of fat at least ¼-inch thick. Be careful not to over-trim. It’s better to err on the side of too much fat than too little.

Place brisket fat side up in a 9×13-inch aluminum foil pan. Sprinkle rub over brisket to coat on all sides, rubbing it into the meat with your fingertips.

Heat your smoker following the manufacturer’s instructions to 250°F. Add wood as specified by the manufacturer.

Place a metal bowl or aluminum foil pan with 1 quart of warm water in the smoker — this creates a humid environment that will help the smoke adhere to the meat and keep your brisket moist.

Place brisket in its pan fat side down in the smoker. Smoke the brisket for 1 hour, then turn brisket fat side up. Continue cooking brisket until the outside is darkly browned and the internal temperature registers about 155°F on a thermometer, 5–6 hours, rotating the brisket 180 degrees halfway through so it cooks evenly. Spritz the brisket every hour with apple juice. Refuel your smoker as needed, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Wrap brisket tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil, crimping the edges to make a tight seal. Insert the probe of a digital thermometer into the meat (it’s best to pierce the foil only once). Return the wrapped brisket to the smoker and cook to an internal temperature of 185°F, 2–3 hours more.

Transfer wrapped brisket to an insulated cooler and let rest for 1–2 hours. (This allows the meat to relax and its juices to redistribute.)

Unwrap brisket, working over a rimmed baking sheet to collect the juices. Slice brisket paper-thin on a meat slicer or transfer it to a welled cutting board and slice it with an electric knife.

To serve, pile sliced brisket onto prepared buns; spoon on reserved brisket juices and top with barbecue sauce and sweet pickles.

Slaughterhouse 2.0 Championship BBQ Rub

For the rub, combine salt, sugar, chili powder, mustard, paprika, garlic, onion, lemon peel, black pepper, white pepper, and cayenne pepper in a bowl; stir to mix, breaking up any lumps with your fingers. Store rub in a sealed container at room temperature away from heat and light for up to several weeks.

Nutritional Facts

Nutritional Facts

Per serving

Calories: 495

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 15g 23%

Saturated Fat 6g 30%

Cholesterol 167mg 55%

Sodium 1173mg 48%

Carbs 28g 9%

Protein 58g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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