Mar 18, 2021

Hogtown Smoke’s signature brisket


ark Wasserman, co-founder of the new barbecue-centric food truck HOGTOWN SMOKE in Toronto, insists on one rule – call it a dress code – for anyone savouring his smoked-meat sandwiches: "No white shirts allowed for eating saucy barbecue."

Tell that to the suits who line up outside his mobile smoker, which he owns with brothers Scott and Kevin Fraser. Better yet, tell it to your guests before you invite them over for your own rendition of Hogtown's popular smoked brisket on a bun.

According to Scott, the brisket can be topped with a variety of sauces, from hot to mild. Among his favourites: a quick and easy horseradish aioli made by stirring a tablespoon or two of horseradish and lemon into a cup of mayonnaise. Scott's sweet Carolina-inspired slaw, meanwhile, can be piled right on top of the meat inside the sandwich, making cutlery unnecessary. One thing that isn't dispensable, Wasserman says: "Paper napkins and finger bowls. Mandatory."

Servings: 14

Ready time: 14 hours, 10 minutes


2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme


1 whole beef brisket, about 10 to 15 pounds

1 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

1 teaspoon cayenne


Preheat smoker to 200 F.

Make dry rub by combining all spices in a bowl or jar. Mix well.

Season brisket liberally with dry rub. Place in preheated smoker and smoke for 10 to 12 hours, or 1 1/2 hours per pound. Shift the position of the brisket every 2 hours among the various quadrants of indirect heat, since their temperatures tend to vary. Remove when the brisket is tender when poked by a toothpick, or when internal temperature reaches 185 F (if slicing the meat) or 195 F (if pulling it). Transfer to a cutting board and slice on the bias. Arrange on a platter and serve with an artisanal bread like ciabatta, along with coleslaw and a variety of sauces.


Soak hickory and fruit-wood chips in a bucket of water for an hour or two. While soaking, tear 16 sheets of aluminum foil into pieces that are 18 inches long. Put two handfuls of chips in the centre of a foil sheet and form a sealed pouch. You will need one pouch for every hour of smoking. Place a pouch directly on the heat source on the barbecue and the meat on the unlit side, for indirect cooking. Monitor the barbecue to maintain a temperature range between 200 to 220 F. Change pouch every hour.

Follow Hogtown Smoke on Twitter @hogtownsmoke.