What Do You Spray on Brisket When Smoking?

What do you spray on brisket when smoking? Usually nothing but it helps to know you have this tool at your disposal when you need it.

What do you spray on brisket when smoking? For me, generally, nothing at all, but sometimes a spritz comes in handy. From flavor-enhancing ingredients to the perfect spritzing techniques, spraying your brisket while smoking can sometimes help form a delicious bark. The spray won’t affect the juicy, flavorful meat under that bark. 

The general rule of thumb is that brisket is not sprayed when smoking, but I’m all for experimentation, so if you feel like trying it, this article is for you! 

Smoking brisket is an art that requires skill, patience, and attention to detail. While the meat is the star of the show, the right brisket spray, or spritz, can take your smoked brisket to the next level or perhaps save a cook that has gone wrong.

Let’s dive into the world of brisket sprays, exploring their purpose, the ingredients used, when to start spraying, and even providing you with a couple delicious smoked brisket spray recipes that will leave your taste buds craving more.

Reasons to Use a Brisket Spray

The primary purpose of using a brisket spray during the smoking process is to enhance the meat’s flavor, moisture, and tenderness. Smoking brisket takes many hours and can cause the surface to dry out, potentially resulting in a less desirable texture. 

By spraying the brisket, you introduce moisture, which helps prevent dryness and creates a favorable environment for developing a beautiful bark. I would counter that by asking why you need to introduce more moisture. If your smoker is set up correctly, this should not be necessary. 

Furthermore, a brisket spray can infuse additional flavors into the bark of meat, although it will not affect the taste profile of your smoked brisket itself. It’s an opportunity to add layers of complexity and tantalizing aromas that will have your guests eagerly awaiting their first bite.

Do the Pros Spray Their Brisket When Smoking? 

You’ll find mixed advice on this. If the brisket appears dry, then yes.  A popular approach is to spray the edges of the brisket to keep them from drying out too much

But then again, if the brisket appears dry, your process needs to be reviewed. 

Myron Mixon, “the winningest man in bbq” spritzes his brisket every 15 minutes. Aaron Franklin recommends spritzing with water, apple juice, and/or apple cider every 15 minutes after the brisket has been smoking for 2-3 hours.

I tend to think of spraying brisket as a band-aid for a cooking process that has somehow gone awry – which happens! So it’s a good tool to have in your arsenal. 

One thing to consider is that spraying the brisket requires opening the door which counters the “if you’re lookin’, you ain’t cookin'” mindset

What Ingredients Are In a Brisket Spray?

The ingredients used in a brisket spray can vary depending on personal preference and desired flavor profiles. Here are some common ingredients found in homemade brisket sprays:

Apple Cider Vinegar: This is the stand-by or default base for just about any spritz we use. Apple cider vinegar adds a tangy and slightly fruity flavor to your brisket, and it also helps tenderize the meat and contributes to a well-balanced bark formation.

Apple Juice: Apple juice provides a touch of sweetness but also helps add moisture to the brisket. It complements the meat’s natural flavors and can contribute to a caramelized exterior.

Beer: Adding beer to your brisket spritz can introduce unique flavors and complexity to the meat. Depending on your chosen beer, it can impart malty, hoppy, or even smoky notes.

Beef Broth: Using beef broth in your spritz adds richness and flavor to the brisket, and it helps maintain moisture and provides a savory base for the spritz mixture.

Melted Butter: Melted butter is a fantastic ingredient for imparting a rich buttery taste to your brisket, and it can also enhance the texture and promote a luscious mouthfeel. Using butter can contribute to a luscious texture in your spritz and can also help with flavor distribution when applied to the surface of the brisket.

Worcestershire Sauce: Worcestershire sauce is known for its umami flavor profile. Adding it to your spritz can help enhance the savory notes in the brisket, adding complexity and depth.

Plain Water: While it may seem simple, plain water can play a vital role in keeping your brisket moist during smoking, and it prevents excessive drying and contributes to a juicy final result.

Combine different ingredients to achieve a well-rounded flavor profile when creating your brisket spritz recipe. For example, you could try a mixture of apple juice, apple cider vinegar, beef broth, and a splash of beer for a spritz that balances sweetness, tanginess, and savory notes. Experimentation is key, so adjust the ratios based on your taste preferences.

What Ingredients to Avoid in a Barbecue Spray?

While the options for a brisket spray are vast, there are a few ingredients to avoid.

Avoiding ingredients with high sugar content in the spray is essential, as excessive sweetness can lead to burning or charring during smoking.

Additionally, ingredients with strong overpowering flavors, such as excessive spices or hot sauces, should be used in moderation to maintain balance and prevent overwhelming the taste of the brisket.

When Do You Start Spraying the Brisket?

The timing for when to start spraying the brisket largely depends on personal preference and the smoking method employed.

Some pitmasters prefer to begin spraying when the meat is placed on the smoker, while others choose to wait until a specific point in the cooking process.

A common approach is to start spraying after the initial few hours of smoking once the meat has had a chance to develop a desirable bark.

Smoked Brisket Spray Recipes

Now, let’s dive into a mouthwatering smoked brisket spray recipe that will take your culinary skills to new heights:

Beef Broth Apple Cider Brisket Spray Recipe:


  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Apple Cider Vinegar Brisket Spritz Recipe:


  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional, for a touch of sweetness)

Beer Brisket Spritz Recipe:


  • 1 cup beer (choose a type that complements your taste preferences, such as lager, ale, or stout). I’m an IPA guy, but due to the bitterness of the IPAs I usually drink, I do not use IPAs for brisket sprays. 
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Savory Brisket Spray Recipe:


  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional, for a touch of sweetness)
  • …admittedly, this is a bit off the beaten path, but give it a shot. I think you’ll like it!


1. In a spray bottle, combine the ingredients of choice

2. Shake the bottle well to ensure the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

3. Place your brisket on the smoker and begin the smoking process.

4. After the first few hours, once the meat has developed a nice bark, spray the brisket with the prepared mixture regularly.

5. Hold the spray bottle about 8-10 inches from the brisket and apply a light, even mist covering all sides of the meat.

6. Monitor the smoking process and spray the brisket every 45 minutes to an hour.

7. As the brisket reaches its target internal temperature, usually around 195-203°F (90-95°C), you can reduce the frequency of spraying to avoid over-saturating the meat.

8. Once the brisket is fully cooked and reaches the desired tenderness, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for about 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

Remember, these recipes are just starting points. It’s your job to find what works, then improve on it. This requires experimentation, so…experiment! 

You can incorporate additional spices, herbs, or even a hint of your favorite barbecue sauce to create a signature brisket spray that reflects your unique culinary style.


Should I spray my brisket while smoking?

Spraying your brisket while smoking can be beneficial, and it helps maintain moisture, enhances flavors, and forms a desirable bark on the meat’s surface.

What do you spray on meat when smoking?

Common sprays used when smoking meat include apple juice, apple cider vinegar, beef broth, water, Worcestershire sauce, or a combination of these ingredients. These sprays add moisture and flavor to the meat.

Does spraying brisket help bark?

Yes, spraying brisket helps in the formation of a bark. The moisture from the spray interacts with the meat’s surface, promoting the development of a flavorful crust.

Do you oil a brisket before smoking?

Oiling the brisket before smoking is optional. It can help enhance the meat’s surface browning, provide a barrier against moisture loss, and assist spice adherence.

What kind of oil do you use for brisket?

When oiling a brisket before smoking, you can use neutral oils with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil.

Do you put olive oil on a brisket?

While olive oil can be used on a brisket, it has a lower smoke point than other oils. Using oils with higher smoke points is advisable to avoid undesirable flavors or burning.

Does mustard help brisket bark?

Mustard can bind spices and rubs on the brisket’s surface. While it does not directly contribute to bark formation, it helps spices adhere to the meat.

When should I flip my brisket?

When smoking a brisket, it is generally recommended to avoid flipping it. Flipping can disrupt the cooking process and affect the formation of a consistent bark. Let the brisket cook undisturbed.

How do you keep brisket moist?

To keep brisket moist during smoking, ensure a consistent temperature and avoid prolonged exposure to high heat. Additionally, wrapping the brisket in foil or butcher paper during cooking can help retain moisture.

Can you spritz brisket with beer?

Yes, you can spritz brisket with beer during the smoking process. The beer adds flavor and moisture to the meat, resulting in a more enjoyable eating experience.

How often to spray brisket?

The frequency of spraying brisket can vary. As a general guideline, spray every 45 minutes to an hour or whenever the brisket appears dry on the surface. Monitor the meat’s moisture levels and adjust the spraying frequency accordingly.

Do you spritz brisket after wrapping?

After wrapping the brisket (in aluminum foil or butcher paper), or while brisket is resting, continuing spritzing is unnecessary. The wrapping helps retain moisture, and the brisket will continue to cook and develop tenderness without additional spraying.

What Do You Spray on Brisket When Smoking – it’s a wrap

While the act of spraying brisket during the cooking process has its merits in certain situations, it is generally not recommended as a standard practice.

Spraying can disrupt the cooking environment, hinder the formation of a consistent bark, and potentially result in a less desirable texture.

However, if you find your brisket at risk of drying out, a carefully timed and measured spritz can indeed help salvage the meat and retain moisture.

And, of course, it’s important that you experiment to find what works for you best. Push the boundaries, go against advice, and try something new.

Remember, achieving a perfectly smoked and succulent brisket primarily relies on proper cooking techniques, temperature control, and allowing the meat to rest adequately. The side dishes you serve with your brisket. Brisket is the center stage but don’t forget the supporting case.

So, approach the spritzing process with caution and ensure it serves as a last resort rather than a regular occurrence. With a balance of patience and skill, you’ll master the art of smoking brisket to perfection.

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