Smoked Brisket with Harissa

The weekend arrived and I was itching to cook. Anxious to use my Camerons stove-top smoker, I bought brisket at the grocery and headed home. I found several recipes that inspired but didn’t really approach what I wanted to try on a Friday night. I decided to experiment with harissa for a Tunisian spice profile.

When I arrived home, I mixed together a dry harissa spice rub with minced garlic, chopped Italian parsley, olive oil and a little bit of water. The cut of brisket I bought was enormous (5.6 lbs) – more than I wanted to smoke, so I reserved half of it for a later time and stored it in the freezer. With the remaining half, I rubbed the spice mix into the meat and placed it on the rack of my Camerons smoker.

I used hickory wood chips in the Camerons smoker.

I smoked the brisket on a low-to-medium heat on the gas stove for 1 hour. I then roasted the brisket in a new pan in a pre-heated oven at 370 degree F for another hour with a potato dish. I decided to heat only one of my two ovens to conserve energy. Had I used 2 ovens, I would have preheated both of them to 350 degrees F. ⭐️⭐️


I made a batch of Pommes Anna in a cast iron skillet: thinly sliced potatoes layered in melted sweet butter, kosher salt and cracked black pepper. When I assembled all the ingredients, the potatoes roasted in the oven with the brisket for 1 hour at 370 degrees F. At the half hour point, I switched racks for the potatoes and brisket. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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To accompany the brisket, I slow roasted some cherry tomatoes tossed in olive oil, red wine vinegar, kosher salt and cracked black pepper for 2 hours on parchment paper at 275 degrees F in a toaster oven. This foolproof dish is simply delicious. ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Smoked Brisket with Harissa, slow roasted tomatoes and Pommes Anna.

The flavor was tasty, but the meat was tougher than I would have liked for brisket. The best brisket is tender and juicy. After sleeping on it, here’s what I would do differently:

  1. Rub the harissa paste into the brisket 8-24 hours in advance.
  2. Roast the brisket in a cooler oven (say 300-325 degrees F) for 90-120 minutes by itself to give the meat an opportunity to cook more slowly.

I usually include a detailed recipe, but I need to try this a few more times to get it right. I welcome your feedback on smoking a tender and juicy brisket.

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