For the brisket and rub:
  • 1 trimmed brisket (5 to 6 pounds), with a layer of fat at least 1/4-inch thick
  • 3 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. coarse salt
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
For the vinegar-beer mop sauce:
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic salt
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
Rinse the brisket under cold running water and blot dry with paper towels. Combine all the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl and stir to mix. Rub this mixture onto the brisket on all sides. If desired, let the brisket stand in the refrigerator, covered, for 4 to 6 hours.

Combine all the ingredients for the mop sauce in a nonreactive bowl and stir until the salt and brown sugar are dissolved.

Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to low. If using a gas grill, place all the wood chips in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and preheat on high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to low.

When ready to cook, if using a charcoal grill, toss 1 cup wood chips on the coals. Place the brisket, fat-side up, in an aluminum foil pan and place in the center of the hot grate, away from the heat and cover the grill. Grill the brisket until tender, about 6 hours. (The cooking time will depend on the size of the brisket and the heat of the grill.) Baste or mop the brisket with the mop sauce once every hour for the first 4 hours. If using a charcoal grill, you'll need to add 12 fresh coals and 1/2 cup wood chips per side every hour. To test for doneness, use an instant-read meat thermometer: The internal temperature should be about 190°.

Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice across the grain, using an electric knife or sharp carving knife. Transfer the sliced meat to plates or a platter; pour the pan juices on top.