Brisket Sliders are a delicious and unique twist on the classic burger, perfect for any occasion. Perfect for game day gatherings or any occasion, the key to a great slider is using high-quality brisket. From selecting the right cut of meat to creating unique toppings and sauces, in this guide, we will explore the art of smoking and seasoning brisket to create mouth-watering sliders.
Brisket sliders are a type of mini burger made with a small portion of smoked brisket as the main ingredient. They are often served as an appetizer or party food, known for their smoky, tender, and juicy flavor. To make brisket sliders, start by preparing coleslaw, a salad made of shredded cabbage, red onion, carrot, and red bell pepper, and its dressing. The buns are then cut and layered with brisket, barbecue sauce, and coleslaw, and finished off by basting the top of the buns with butter and sesame seeds. The brisket can be cooked using various methods such as smoking, slow cooking, or conventional oven. There are many ways to build sliders, and tips for reheating the brisket using sous-vide, vacuum sealer, stove or oven are also provided.
- Smoked brisket
- Coleslaw mix
- Barbecue sauce
- Hawaiian rolls
You can either shred the brisket, or cut it into small slices. You don’t want the slices of brisket to go any longer than the length of a bun, so cut them between one to three inches.
For a coleslaw recipe, either buy a pre-made coleslaw mix, or prepare the vegetables yourself.
- Shred 1 cabbage
- 1 red onion
- 1 carrot
- 1/2 thinly sliced red bell pepper
For the dressing, add:
- One cup of mayonnaise
- Lime juice,
- 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
- Black pepper,
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
- Mix half a cup of vinegar
- Half a cup of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon of sugar.
1. Cut your mini buns as a whole piece and place them in a pan.
2. Lay brisket over the bottom layer of the buns. Don’t hold back. Put a nice thick layer over the bottom.
3. Squirt some barbecue sauce over the brisket, and use a basting brush to spread the sauce.
4. Take your coleslaw , and place it over the top of the brisket.
5. Place the buns back on top of the sliders.
6. Take some melted butter, and with a basting brush, bast the top of the buns and cover with sesame seeds.
7. Take a knife and separate all the buns both ways.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 240
The Best Buns For Sliders
The best buns for brisket sliders are Hawaiian rolls, known for their small, light, fluffy texture and being attached as one piece. Other suitable options include brioche or dinner rolls. When preparing brisket sliders, it is recommended to assemble them by keeping the buns attached and cutting them in half for a one big top piece and one big bottom piece. To do this, take a knife and cut the bunch of rolls in half, placing the bottom layer of the buns in a baking dish and building the sliders in the pan. Check out these Hawaiian rolls on Amazon to get an idea.
|Hawaiian Rolls||Small, light, fluffy, and attached as one piece||These rolls are perfect for sliders because they are small in size, light and fluffy, and come attached as one piece which makes it easy to assemble the sliders|
|Brioche||Rich, buttery, and slightly sweet||Brioche buns are known for their rich, buttery and slightly sweet flavor which makes it a great option for sliders. It adds a touch of sweetness that goes well with the smoky and savory taste of the brisket.|
|Dinner Rolls||Soft and fluffy||Dinner rolls are soft and fluffy, and are a great option for sliders because they can hold up well to the sauce and ingredients of the sliders.|
|Potato Rolls||Soft, fluffy, and buttery||Potato rolls are known for their buttery, soft and fluffy texture which makes them perfect for sliders. They are also known for their ability to hold up well to the sauce and ingredients of the sliders.|
|Sesame seed rolls||Soft and fluffy with a sesame seed topping||Sesame seed rolls have a nice sesame seed topping which gives a nice crunch and an added nutty flavor to the sliders.|
Cooking brisket for sliders is a slow and methodical process that requires patience and attention to detail. The two main cuts of brisket used for smoking are the point (or deckle) and the flat. The point cut is the fattier of the two and is often used for making burnt ends, while the flat is leaner and is typically used for slicing.
When smoking brisket, the ideal temperature range is between 225-240°F and the cooking time can vary depending on the size and type of cut of the brisket, but typically takes between 12-16 hours. To achieve the best results, it’s important to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process.
There are several methods and equipment that can be used to smoke brisket, from pellet grills, offset smokers to kettle grills.
If you don’t have access to a smoker, you can also cook brisket in a conventional oven or slow cooker. When cooking in an oven, the brisket should be wrapped in foil and cooked at a low temperature, around 225-240°F for 12-16 hours. Slow cookers are also a great option, as they allow you to set the temperature and walk away, leaving the brisket to cook low and slow for several hours.
How To Build Sliders – 10 Ways
There are dozens of ways to build your brisket sliders. Check out this amazing Tasty video. It will give you lots of ideas on how to make a variety of brisket sliders.
Reheating Brisket For Sliders
Depending on your brisket, it will either be freshly cooked or reheated. When storing your brisket leftovers, keep them in a piece rather than slices. As soon as you slice or shred your brisket, it’s going to lose a lot of moisture. Only ever slice what you need, so if you have leftovers, you can store it as a larger piece.
The best way to reheat brisket is using a sous-vide bath. If you own a vacuum sealer, use it to store your leftover brisket. Vacuum packaged brisket can remain in the fridge for a few weeks, or you can put it in the freezer where it can last several months.
|Reheating Method||Equipment Needed||Internal |
|Stove||Stovetop, pan||135°F||Medium-Low heat|
|Oven wrapped in foil||Oven, aluminum foil||135°F||225°F|
|Sous vide||Sous vide cooker||135°F||140°F|
|Microwave||Microwave, microwave safe dish||135°F||Medium-Low power|
Reheating Brisket Sous-Vide
Sous-vide cooking is a technique that allows you to cook food at a precise temperature for a prolonged period of time, resulting in perfectly cooked, juicy, and tender meat. It’s a great option for cooking brisket for sliders, as it allows you to achieve a consistent and controlled cooking process without the need for a traditional smoker or oven.
You can sous-vide brisket without a vacuum sealer by using zip-lock bags, which is a process known as “water displacement.” To do this, you’ll need to seal the brisket in a zip-lock bag, making sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing. Then, you’ll submerge the bag in a pot of water that’s been heated to the desired temperature and cook it for the desired amount of time.
It’s important to note that when sous-vide cooking, the brisket should be cooked at a temperature of between 136-140°F, and the cooking time can vary depending on the size of the brisket, but typically takes around 24-36 hours.
Another alternative to sous-vide cooking is to use a sous-vide machine, which is a specialized kitchen appliance that allows you to cook food in a water bath at a precise temperature. Sous-vide machines are generally more expensive than traditional cookers, but they are also more versatile, and make it easier to achieve perfect results every time.
In any case, you should be sure to season the brisket well with your favorite dry rub and refrigerate it overnight before cooking to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat. Once the brisket is cooked, let it rest for a few minutes before slicing it against the grain for the best texture and tenderness.
Reheat Brisket On The Stove
Reheating brisket on the stove is a quick and easy method that can be used to quickly bring the meat up to a safe serving temperature without compromising the texture or flavor of the meat. Here’s a step by step guide on how to do it:
- Start by taking your leftover brisket out of the refrigerator and letting it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour. This will allow the meat to come up to room temperature and prevent it from getting too hot or drying out when reheated.
- Take a pan and place it over medium-low heat. Add two sticks of butter to the pan and let it melt.
- Once the butter has melted, add the brisket to the pan and start to slowly reheat it. Make sure to flip the meat occasionally to ensure that it heats evenly.
- As the brisket starts to heat up, you can add a little beef broth or any other liquid to the pan to help keep the meat moist. You can also add your favorite BBQ sauce or other seasonings, if desired.
- Once the brisket reaches a safe serving temperature of 140°F, remove it from the heat and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
It is important to note that when reheating brisket, it is important to be patient, and not to rush the process. Reheating the meat too quickly can cause it to dry out, while reheating it too slowly can cause it to become tough and rubbery.
It is also important to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the meat has reached the appropriate temperature before serving. This is to prevent any foodborne illness. Check out my Thermometer Guide.
Reheating Brisket in the Oven
* Ignore this method if you are making brisket sliders in the oven.
- Place the leftover brisket in a pan,
- If you have reserved some of the meat juices, pour it in.
- Place the brisket in aluminium foil, then seal.
- Set the oven to 225° F, and reheat until the brisket comes up to a safe serving temperature (140° F).
Shredded Smoked Brisket With Caramelized Onion and Cheese
- Mini buns
- Brown sugar (optional)
- Shredded brisket
- Cheddar cheese or Swiss cheese
- Barbecue sauce
- Melted butter
- Sesame seeds
- Cut the mini buns in half and keep them as a whole piece, then place them in a pan.
- Slice some onions and caramelize them in a fry pan with a knob of butter. You can also add some brown sugar, but be careful if using a sweet barbecue sauce.
- Add mushrooms to caramelize with the onions (optional)
- Put a layer of shredded brisket along the bottom of the buns and make it nice and thick.
- Place slices of cheddar cheese or Swiss cheese along the top of the brisket.
- Squirt your barbecue sauce over the brisket and use a basting brush to spread it evenly.
- Place the tops on the mini burgers.
- Baste the tops of the buns with melted butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Place in the oven for 5 minutes at a low heat just to melt the cheese.
- Remove from the oven and slice between each bun so they separate easily when served.
Ground Brisket Sliders
If you have saved some brisket trimmings, they are great to make into burger if you have a grinder. You Also want to save brisket fat, and mix that in so you get a 70/ 30 meat to fat ratio. Take your brisket trimmings and run them through the grinder. Then take the fat and run that through the grinder and mix evenly. If you don’t have enough brisket, buy some chuck and grind that through. Chuck is a great and brisket substitute.
You don’t need to use any binders when making brisket burger patties. If you get the fat to meat ratio right, it will hold together well although we will place it in the freezer for an hour just so they are firm before cooking.
Ground Brisket: Step-by-Step
Roll the ground brisket into the size of a meatball. I like to weigh them as well so that they all cook evenly. Then I don’t have to measure the temperature of every burger in my smoker.
- Squash the meatballs into little mini burger patties, and lay them on a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Place the tray into the freezer for 1 hour so that the burger patties are firm but not frozen.
- Season the burger patties with salt, pepper, and some garlic powder.
- Fire up your smoker, and set the temperature between 250° F and 275° F.
- Use hickory wood, or mesquite for a real Texas flavor. You can also use oak, or your favorite smoking wood.
- Place the brisket burger patties on the grill, cooking with indirect heat.
- Since we are smoking these burger patties, don’t cook over a direct flame. We want them to sit in the smoker for as long as possible to absorb smoke. Pellet grills work well for this style of cooking, because they cook with indirect heat. If you have a regular kettle grill, place the coals on one side and cook on the other side, away from the fire. Kamado cookers and other styles have heat deflectors which keep the heat indirect.
- Sliders are small and will cook quicker than regular-sized burgers—so keep a close eye on them because they’ll burn easily.
- I highly recommend using an instant-read thermometer, and monitor the internal temperature by probing a burger after about 15 to 20 minutes.
- In the kitchen, caramelize some onions in butter on the stove.
- If you really want to take the sliders to the next-level, fry some bacon and mix through.
- After another 20-30 minutes, flip the burgers.
- Continue cooking until the temperature approaches 140° F for medium, and 160° F for well done.
- Use a good instant- read thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the meat.
- In the last 10 minutes, baste the mini burgers with a barbecue sauce using a basting brush. Then allow 5-10 minutes for the sauce to set.
- Then, place a slice of cheese on each burger patty, and leave it for 5 minutes until the cheese melts.
- Cut the mini burger buns in half, while keeping them connected. Place them on a tray.
- Place the brisket burger patties on each bun.
- Take the caramelized onions and cover all the sliders with a layer.
- Place the bacon along the bottom layer.
- Top the burgers with some pickles or jalapeno peppers. And whatever filling, such as shredded lettuce or tomato.
How To Smoke a Brisket
Take a brisket, and trim 1/4 inch of fat from the top. Cover the brisket with a barbecue rub. If you want a good rub recipe, check out this post.
Set the temperature of your smoker to 225° F. If you have a pellet grill, keep the temperature anywhere between 225° F and 250° F.
If you don’t have a smoker, you can use a kettle grill. If you’re using a kettle grill, use the snake method or the Minion method of setting out your charcoals, adjust the vents and get the temperature to stabilize between 225° F and 250° F.
If you want to learn more about smoking brisket on a Weber Kettle check out this article.
Smoke the brisket with a good smoking wood such as Hickory, Oak, or pecan. Smoke the brisket for about 3 or 4 hours, then spritz with apple cider vinegar or apple juice. After about 4 or 5 hours, wait for the bark to crack, and the internal temperature to be above 150° F then wrap the brisket in aluminium foil or butcher paper.
Place the brisket back in the smoker, and cook until the internal meat temperature reaches 203° F. depending on the size, it could take anywhere from 8 to 12 hours even longer to smoke a brisket. You can do a hot and fast brisket, although it won’t taste as smokey.
|Brisket Size||Temperature||Cook Time||Including Resting|
|12 lbs||225°F||18 hours||19 hours|
|18 lbs||250°F||18 hours||19 hours|
|12 lbs unwrapped||225°F||19 hours||20 hours|
|18 lbs unwrapped||250°F||19 hours||20 hours|
|16 lbs||275°F||10 – 12 hours||11-13 hours|
|16 lbs unwrapped||275°F||11-13 hours||12-14 hours|
- Barbecue rub
- Kosher salt ( for the dry brine)
- Yellow mustard or olive oil ( for the binder)
1. Select a brisket with good marbling.
2. Trim the fat but leave 1/4 inch of fat on top.
3. Dry brine the brisket by sprinkling kosher salt on both sides of the meat and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
4. Inject the brisket with broth or marinade. * Optional
5. Slather the brisket with olive oil or yellow mustard. *Optional
6. Apply an even layer barbeque rub. If the rub contains salt, skip the dry brine step.
7. Use hickory, oak, pecan or your favorite smoking wood.
8. Set the temperature of your smoker between 225°F to 250°F
9. Place the brisket in smoker away from the heat source.
10. Fill the water pan with hot water.
11. Insert a leave-in meat thermometer into the brisket.
12. Leave the brisket alone for the first 3 hours or so. Allow the brisket to absorb smoke and develop a bark.
13. Once the rub has fused to the meat, begin to spritz the brisket every hour with either apple juice, broth, apple cider vinegar or beer. Otherwise, mop with a mop sauce.
14. Once the bark is firm, wrap the brisket in foil or butcher paper. By this stage, the meat should have reached an internal temperature between 150°F and 160°F.
15. Insert the thermometer into the meat and place the brisket back in the smoker.
16. Continue cooking until the brisket is tender as butter when poked with a toothpick or probe. The internal meat temperature should read somewhere between 195°F and 203°F when perfectly tender.
17. Allow the meat to rest for about 1 hour before slicing. If you're not ready to serve, place the brisket into a dry cooler. Keep the brisket wrapped in foil or butcher paper, then wrap again with a towel or dish cloth. The brisket will remain hot for over 4 hours. Keep a thermometer probe inserted.
18. Slice against the grain and serve.
Serving Size:85 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 246 grams
My Favorite Brisket Tools
Thanks for checking out this article. I hope you learned a few things. Here are some of my favorite tools I use when smoking brisket that may be useful to you. These are affiliate links, so if you decide to purchase any of these products, I’ll earn a commission. But in all honesty, these are the tools I recommend to my family and friends who are just starting out.
Meat Injector: Injecting meat is a great way to take your barbecue to the next level and help you make competition-style brisket. An injector is the only way you will be able to get flavor and moisture into the middle of the meat. The Beast Injector is a stainless steel injector that is sturdy and affordable. Check the latest price on Amazon here.
Brisket Marinade: The best injection solution on the market is the Butcher BBQ Brisket Injection. This marinade is used in competitions and is made by World Barbecue Champion pitmaster, Dave Bouska. You can find the marinade on Amazon here.
Butcher Paper: Wrapping brisket in butcher paper has become a huge trend in barbeque thanks to Aaron Franklin. Wrapping your brisket in paper will give you a nice brisket bark. However, you can’t just use any old paper, it has to be unwaxed, food grade paper. You can find it on Amazon here.
Brisket Rub: These days I make my own rub when possible, but I always have a few pre-made rubs for when I’m running low. Barbecue guru Malcom Reed produces Killer Hogs, one of the best brisket rubs I’ve found over the years. Another great rub is Slap Yo Daddy, made by brisket master and multiple World Barbecue Champion, Harry Soo.
Meat Thermometer: There are dozens of fancy thermometers on the market, but I still use my trusty TP20. For around $50, I have a high-quality meat thermometer with two probes, and can track the temperature of my smoker with one probe, and my meat with the other probe. The ThermoPro TP20 is an Amazon Best Seller because it’s the easiest thermometer to operate, is durable, highly accurate, and comes with pre-programmed meat settings.
Instant Read Thermometer: Arguably, the second most important tool you need is a fast and accurate instant-read thermometer. These tools play an important role in the latter stages of the cook when the meat needs regular checking in multiple areas. I use the ThermoPro TP19 because it can do everything a ThermaPen can do, but for a fraction of the cost. You can check out the TP19 on Amazon here.
Advanced Thermometer and Automatic Temperature Controller: Once you’re ready to take things seriously, the FireBoard 2 Drive is a six-channel Bluetooth/Wi-Fi thermometer that can monitor up to 6 pieces of meat, control and graph your cook sessions on your smartphone, and attaches to an an automatic blower that will convert your charcoal smoker to a set-and-forget. This is one of the most advanced meat thermometers on the market. You can check it out on the FireBoard website here.