This is a recipe seven years in the making.
- 1 cup sugar
- 3⁄4 cup kosher salt
- 1 8-lb. brisket, untrimmed
- 6 tbsp. paprika
- 6 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tbsp. ancho chile powder
- 2 tsp. cayenne
- 2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Dissolve sugar and salt in 2 gallons of water in a stockpot. Add brisket, cover, and soak in brine in a cool place for 8–12 hours.
Drain brisket and pat dry. Combine paprika, pepper, chile powder, cayenne, coriander, and cinnamon in a bowl, then rub all over brisket. Set aside to let rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
Fill water pan of an electric smoker with hot water. Fit a grill rack into middle position in smoker. Preheat smoker, turning temperature gauge to high. Soak 1–2 handfuls of hickory chips in a bowl of hot water for 30 minutes.
Put brisket on grill rack, fat side up. Drain chips, then scatter onto reflective pan below electric coils. Close lid and smoke brisket until very tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp-pointed knife, 7–10 hours, adding 1–2 handfuls of soaked chips every hour and replenishing water pan with hot water as needed. Meat is fully cooked when internal temperature of meat registers 170°-185°. Transfer brisket to a cutting board and set aside to let rest for 15 minutes. Thinly slice across the grain.