The Tennessee Brisket Sandwich as Served at The Dining Car in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as seen on DDD Nation, special.
Recipe courtesy of The Dining Car

Tennessee Brisket Barbecue Sandwich

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 2 days 11 hr 45 min (includes brining and resting time)
  • Active: 1 hr 5 min
  • Yield: 10 servings


Brisket Brine:

Tennessee Rub:

Barbecue Sauce:


Special equipment:
a smoker; 3/4 pound hard wood (preferably hickory)
  1. For the brisket brine: Put the water, salt, stock, brown sugar, peppercorns, parsley, garlic, bay leaves, carrot, celery and onion in an 8-quart stainless pot. Bring to a boil, then stir and turn off the heat. Allow the brine to completely cool.
  2. Place the beef brisket in a glass or stainless pan and pour brine over the top of the brisket. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 48 hours.
  3. Remove the brisket from the brine and pat off excess liquid with paper towels.
  4. For the Tennessee rub: Mix the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cornstarch, paprika, chili powder, salt, cumin, onion powder, black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne and white pepper in a bowl.
  5. Rub both sides of the brisket with the Tennessee rub. Set up your smoker with 3/4 pound of hard wood (preferably hickory). Put the brisket on a wire rack. Set your smoker temperature to 190 degrees F.
  6. Smoke the brisket 8 hours. Remove the brisket from the smoker and allow it to rest for at least 45 minutes.
  7. For the barbecue sauce: Heat a stainless steel or lined 4-quart saucepan on medium heat until the pan is hot. Add the oil along with the onions, garlic and ginger. Saute for 5 minutes, then add the ketchup, mustard, brown sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire, salt and lemon juice. Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally to keep it from burning on the bottom. You may make your barbecue sauce ahead and keep in your refrigerator for 7 days. The sauce also freezes very well.
  8. To make your sandwiches, slice and warm your Italian rolls in a toaster oven or nonstick pan. Cut a generous portion of brisket for each and place on a toasted roll. You can either top with the barbecue sauce or serve it on the side and dip your sandwich as you eat it. Repeat to make 9 more sandwiches.

Cook’s Note

When selecting a brisket or brisket piece, select one with the top deckle attached. That layer of fat and well marbled meat will give immense flavor to your finished roast. As you carve your smoked brisket, try to serve both top well marbled pieces along with the lean bottom pieces in each sandwich.There are many different types of home smokers. There are solid wood, wood chip and pellet models. Cooking/smoking times may vary. I find 190 degrees F to be the best temperature for this recipe. I use classic brown sauce in my barbecue sauce; however, a jar of already prepared brown gravy works well as a time saving substitute.