Where to Find the Perfect Brisket in Denver

Chef William Espiricueta's Smōk inside RiNo’s The Source is fabulous

Smok Brisket Sandwich (3)

Slow-roasted brisket has been my go-to for holiday entertaining for years, and now, I’ve found a restaurant brisket to rival my own. After five years at Boulder’s Oak at Fourteenth and Acorn in Denver, Chef William Espiricueta has opened Smōk inside RiNo’s The Source. His wood-fired cuts are smack-down fabulous.

Here, Chef Bill’s recipe and a Q&A that explains brisket perfection.



4-pound beef brisket, first-cut Kosher salt Coarsely ground black pepper Butcher paper (to wrap)


Preheat oven or smoker to 225˚. Generously season with salt and pepper on all sides of the brisket. Cook in oven or smoker until the internal temperature on an instant-read meat thermometer reaches 175˚, about 6 to 8 hours. Remove; then wrap the brisket in butcher paper (or foil) and continue to cook until the internal temp of the brisket reaches 195˚, about 2 to 4 hours. Then take it out, and let the brisket rest for approximately 4 hours.


What exactly is a brisket?

It’s a cut of meat from the breast section of an animal, under the first five ribs. It is a large cut that is sold boneless and is very flavor-packed. 

What should I look for when buying a brisket?

Fat content or marbling. Because brisket has to cook for a long time, you want to make sure there is a good fat content to ensure the meat stays as juicy as possible.

How big a brisket should I buy?

It depends on how many people you are cooking for. A 9-pound brisket should be able to fed six to eight people after it cooks. But remember, there’s so much you can do with the leftovers, so I always recommend making more than you think you’ll need. (Editor’s note: I buy my brisket at Costco.)

How do I trim a brisket?

This can be up to personal preference, but I like to leave a good bit of fat on my briskets. This makes them more flavorful, and it protects the brisket from drying out during the cook times. Some people don’t like any fat left over after cooking, so they may choose to trim a lot of the fat off before cooking.

What type of wood should I use when smoking brisket?

Great question! I like red and white oak, because it penetrates the meat nicely without overpowering it. Again this is a preference; use whatever you like.

How long should I rest my brisket?

Don’t skip this part! It’s one of the most important, and the one most people skimp on or forget. At the very least you should rest the meat for an hour, up to three or four hours, if you are keeping it warm. Depends on the size—a larger cut might need even longer rest times.   

What can we do with leftover brisket?

So many yummy things! I like to make a hash, or slice it up and put it on sandwiches; leftover brisket makes a really great stir-fry. Cut it into strips and add to fried rice; add it to your simple egg omelets in the morning for a day-after breakfast. At the restaurant we add it to chili; pile it on nachos; top a Cobb salad; make tacos, enchiladas and chimichangas. We’ve even topped fries with it!

Categories: High Points