Smoking beef brisket is a labor of love, so you don’t want to go and ruin it by serving up sides that don’t quite cut the mustard.
After spending 12 hours smoking the perfect brisket, you want sides that heighten the eating experience but aren’t too labor-intensive.
We’ve come up with a list of dishes we know complement a low and slow-smoked brisket to ensure your efforts are rewarded.
Elevate your brisket with these unforgettable side dishes
This slaw is perfect with brisket and super easy to make. In fact, you probably have all the dressing ingredients in your cupboard already.
The crunch of the cabbage is a nice contrast to the soft, tender brisket, and the dressing, which is tangy and savory, is refreshing and complements the smokey flavor of the BBQ meat.
Recipe: Southern Style Coleslaw
What could be better than beef, beans, and bacon?
Beans are a classic side for BBQ, with big bold flavors of smoke and caramel. You can’t deny this dish is always a winner.
Recipe: Smoked Baked Beans with Bacon
The beauty of this mac and cheese is that it is all done in a single tray.
You literally add all the ingredients; pasta, cheese, cream, rub, and milk to the tray and onto the smoker for one hour.
BBQ doesn’t get any better than comfort food in a foil baking tray.
Recipe: Easy Smoked Mac and Cheese
Yes, we know, but don’t knock it till you try it. These are delicious!
The sprouts have a nice sweet nuttiness to them, and the bacon is crisp and salty. Serve them alongside your brisket with the lemon garlic dipping sauce and it really is a side dish that can’t be beaten.
Recipe: Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts
These corn ribs are slightly easier to eat than a whole cob because we cut it into quarters.
A little brush with a wet rub of butter and a Mexican-inspired blend of spices. On the grill for 20 minutes till they get a nice little curl going, and they’re done.
If Mexican is not your thing, we have some alternative flavor suggestions you might like.
Recipe: BBQ Corn Ribs
There’s a reason this is in our Top 10 recipes. Need we say more?
This salad has got it all: tender, chewy pasta, fresh tomatoes, salty olives, crunchy cucumber, and soft creamy mozzarella, all coated in a zingy Dijon vinegarette.
Recipe: The Best Pasta Salad for BBQ
We’re not going to kid you by saying these are healthy because there’s a vegetable involved, but we are going to say they are definitely a great way to eat carrots, and they look good, too.
The carrots are soft, the sweetness is enhanced by the maple glaze, and, of course, you get a nice contrasting saltiness from the crispy bacon.
Okay, technically a condiment. But they are a must-have with any good piece of BBQ meat, sweet, tangy, and crispy.
Make these the day before you want to eat them. Slice up your onions, make your brine, fill up the jar with both, and let sit for 24 hours.
You’ll find many uses for them, pulled pork sandwiches and tacos, to name a few.
Recipe: Quick Pickled Red Onions
If you love pickles, you’ll want to give this one a go as well.
These pickle chips are essential with any smoked meat, they act as a palette cleanser with their sharp tangy flavor.
Pretty quick to make and ready to eat in 2 to 4 hours (24 is better). They will also last a good four weeks in the fridge.
Make a double batch, as they are also good on sandwiches or a cheese board.
Recipe: BBQ Pickle Chips
Potatoes, oh, how we love you, no matter how you are cooked.
It doesn’t get much simpler or tastier than these baby potatoes. Pop them into a cast iron skillet, drizzle with olive oil, season, sprinkle with herbs and parmesan, then into the smoker for an hour.
These turn your average baked potato into something a little more special.
After you’ve baked your potatoes, hollow them out and fill them with a mixture of cheese, bacon, and BBQ rub, then back on the grill to get crisp and take on a little smoky flavor.
Serve them up with BBQ meat and a little sour cream for a delicious combo.
Recipe: Loaded Smoked Potato Skins
Wrapping it up
Every BBQ needs a good side dish or two. When you’ve gone to the effort of an 8-12-hour cooked brisket, it’s essential.
Whether you want, tangy, creamy or cheesey we think you’ll find something in this list that will go perfectly with your next brisket.
Looking to level up your smoked brisket? Check out these essential guides next.
- Homemade Brisket Rub Recipe
- How to Trim a Brisket
- How to Slice Brisket
- Best Wood for Smoking Brisket?
- Choose your recipe and click the link above for the full list of ingredients and instructions.