How to Make the Best BBQ Brisket

Just in time for summer entertaining – my favorite tips on how to make the best BBQ brisket!

Just in time for summer entertaining - my favorite tips on how to make the best BBQ brisket!

If you’re like me – and a large percentage of the rest of the country – chances are you’re planning a holiday feast of some sort over Memorial weekend. Barbecue is my personal favorite, especially when it’s slow cooked and falling apart tender.

What I love about making brisket is that I can make it early in the day, and then have it ready to go for entertaining later on. Quite honestly, I love brisket warm, room temperature, or cold. I’ll eat it anyway I can get it…but shredded and piled high on a bun and covered generously with KC Masterpiece® barbecue sauce is my absolute favorite.

KC Masterpiece® is celebrating their 35th anniversary with the release of their limited edition blend, KC Masterpiece Kansas City Classic barbecue sauce. KC Masterpiece was originally created by Dr. Rich Davis in Kansas City in 1978. As a midwesterner and a Kansas native, it’s fun for me to talk about a product that has its roots so close to home. I love how rich and thick their sauces are – they’re great for broiling, baking, and grilling!

Just in time for summer entertaining - my favorite tips on how to make the best BBQ brisket!

Making a great BBQ brisket is easy – you just need to plan ahead to (1) allow for marinating time; and (2) allow for a long cooking time. Cooking for a long time (about 8 hours) on a low temperature, is the trick to getting tender, juicy brisket.

My mom makes the best BBQ brisket, and I finally wrangled her “recipe” to share with you here. Although truth be told, it’s more of a technique than a recipe, since I didn’t measure a darn thing. 😉

Just in time for summer entertaining - my favorite tips on how to make the best BBQ brisket!

I’ve always been a little intimidated to try making brisket myself, but this was so good, and so easy! Trust me, you’ll want to give this recipe a try!

How to Make the Best BBQ Brisket
  • 1 beef brisket, trimmed of all fat (about 6 pounds)
  • liquid smoke
  • celery salt
  • garlic salt
  • onion salt
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bottle KC Masterpiece Classic BBQ Sauce
  1. Lay out a large piece of heavy foil (big enough to cover the entire brisket) and place the brisket in the middle. Generously cover the top and the bottom of the brisket with liquid smoke - I used about half a bottle on mine.
  2. Next, sprinkle the celery salt, garlic salt, onion salt, salt and pepper on both sides of the brisket. Again, be generous. I did not measure my spices - I just sprinkled them on evenly until the brisket was well covered. Wrap up tightly with foil and place on a jelly roll pie or large baking dish. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Remove from the refrigerator and cover well with KC Masterpiece Classic BBQ Sauce - I used the whole darn bottle!
  4. Wrap back up and bake for 8 hours at 250 degrees. Check tenderness when brisket has been cooking several hours: stick in two forks and pull in opposite directions - the meat should come apart easily.

KC Masterpiece® barbecue sauce has been delivering authentic barbecue taste and creating culinary masterpieces for 35 years. For more recipe ideas, tips and tricks visit

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of KC Masterpiece®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Creamy Cilantro-Lime Pasta Salad

Packed with veggies and covered with a dressing made with Greek yogurt, this Creamy Cilantro-Lime Pasta Salad is the perfect addition to your summer cookouts.  

Packed with veggies and covered with a dressing made with Greek yogurt, this Creamy Cilantro-Lime Pasta Salad is the perfect addition to your summer cookouts.

I don’t know about you, but thinking up side dishes is one of my least favorite things ever.

Another one of my least favorite things?  Being in the kitchen preparing food while everyone else is visiting around the grill, drinking ice-beverages on the patio, and watching the kids play on the slip and slide.

So yeah, pasta salads are one of my favorite, easy, make-ahead dishes for summer entertaining.  I can throw it together in the morning {which gives the flavors time to meld anyway}, hand the meat and the bread to the Tall Boy for grilling, and my work is done. 😉

Packed with veggies and covered with a dressing made with Greek yogurt, this Creamy Cilantro-Lime Pasta Salad is the perfect addition to your summer cookouts.

What I love even more about pasta salads is that you can load ’em up with whatever veggies float your boat.  Since I went with a sort of Tex-Mex theme with this version, I used loads of bell peppers, corn, red onion, and cilantro.  I realized after I shot this that I forgot to add in the black beans, and I totally recommend that you do that.

Along with some sour cream, Greek yogurt, lime juice, and spices, I added in some Lowry’s Baja Chipotle Marinade to make a quick and easy dressing {NOT sponsored, I just really like using their quick marinades}.  You can find Lowry’s in your grocery store next to the salad dressings.


I crumbled some Queso Fresco {Mexican crumbling cheese, found in the refrigerator case–I get mine at Wal-Mart} on top just before serving, but cubed cheddar would work just fine here, too.

Packed with veggies and covered with a dressing made with Greek yogurt, this Creamy Cilantro-Lime Pasta Salad is the perfect addition to your summer cookouts.

Since grilling season is just around the corner, I’m looking for new side dish recipes to try.  What are your favorites?

Creamy Cilantro-Lime Pasta Salad
  • 12 ounces small pasta
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ⅓ cup Baja Chipotle Marinade
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (I used half green pepper and half red pepper)
  • ½ cup corn
  • ½ cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ¼ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • optional: queso fresco cheese, for topping
  1. Boil pasta until tender, 7 to 9 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, combine the sour cream, Greek yogurt, marinade, lime juice and spices in small bowl.
  2. When the pasta is done, drain and rinse with cold water to cool. Place pasta in a large bowl and add the bell pepper, corn, black beans, red onion, tomatoes, and cilantro. Add the sour cream/yogurt mixture and toss to coat.
  3. Keep covered in the refrigerated until serving. Just before serving, top with crumbled cheese.

XO, Ashley


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Raspberry Lemonade Fizzy

It’s still miserably hot here.  So hot that you need to take a gallon of water with you just to walk to the mailbox.  Or a huge $1 Diet Coke from McDonald’s to run errands at Target.

And, because this is the sort of grace and coordination I have, I dumped the entire cup of soda onto my foot today while loading purchases into the trunk.

At least it cooled me down for a bit.

Speaking of cold, sticky drinks, this is one of our favorites right now.

Thaw a one-pound bag of raspberries, reserving the juices.  Puree fruit and juice with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract in your blender until smooth.

Using a wooden spoon, press the puree through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.  Discard seeds.

To make your fizzy, fill your glass with ice and the juice of half a lime.  Fill glass halfway with lemonade or lemon-lime flavored drink.  Add in 2 tablespoons of puree.

Stir to combine, and fill remainder of glass with beverage.  Slurp and enjoy.

Refrigerate extra puree up to one week.  Use the remaining for ice cream or on French toast.

Cucumber Salsa

Apparently, my son has decided one of his new favorite activities is serving as my personal trainer.  Not that I don’t need one, mind you, but he’s tough.

When we get home after work in the evenings, he immediately sticks my iPod in the Bose and flips it to Pink’s “Perfect.”  And then insists I do sit-ups.

To the entire song.

This might be okay if I was in any sort of shape.  However, my exercise routine typically involves seeing how quickly I can hit the ice cream supply after dinner.

Anyway, this recipe may not give you a rockin body, but it might at least offset the margaritas that pare with it nicely.

Now, pay close attention.  This is pretty tricky.  Grab your ingredients:

Chop your cucumber, red onion and cilantro.  Drain a can of Rotel and dump it in.

Isn’t it pretty and bright?

Stir in 1/4 cup white wine vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar.  Combine, and serve with tortilla chips.

Cucumber Salsa

Mix together:

  • 3 cucumbers, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 can of Rotel, drained
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • cilantro, to taste

Fourth of July Fun

I typically don’t do a lot for the Fourth of July, since my son’s birthday is just a few days later and I usually spend the holiday time frantically preparing getting everything ready for his party.

But when I saw this great idea from Family Fun and realized I already had all the ingredients, I determined I had a few extra minutes to fit these in:

And since we had to eat breakfast anyway, I decided to make these strawberry and blueberry star scones:

And, simply using red and blue food coloring, these fun pancakes:

Also, since two boy scouts live on our cul-de-sac and we buy popcorn by the ton, I made this to take to my in-laws house:

Click here for recipe from Our Best Bites

Have a wonderful holiday!  And, to all of the service men and women out there, thank you for keeping this country the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Red, White and Blue Scones (click to print)


  • 1 1/2 cups Bisquick
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • white chocolate chips

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Mix Bisquick, sugar, fruit and lemon zest.  Set aside.
  2. Whisk mild and egg together in a separate bowl.  Using a fork, mix into the dry mixture gently.  Press onto a floured surface and cut into desired shapes.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
  4. Let cool slightly, then drizzle with melted white chocolate chips

Watermelon Margaritas

One of my favorite things about summer (besides an excuse to make homemade ice cream, lazing around in the warm sun, and imbibing umbrella drinks) is the availability of so much wonderful fresh fruit.  Watermelon is one of our favorites.  You just can’t beat the sticky, juicy, mess it makes running down a toddler’s face. 

Or your own, for that matter.

The problem at our house is, it’s just my husband, me, and a 4-year old who can somehow sustain full-steam, wild and crazy energy on three grapes and half a hot dog.  So when we came home from Sam’s Club last weekend with a 20-pound watermelon (only a slight exaggeration), I knew I needed some additional ways to use this sucker up.

How can a person go wrong with fresh fruit margaritas?  What’s even better about this recipe is that it’s incredibly low in calories.  And, if you substitute diet lemon-lime soda for a non-alcoholic version, you might even be in the negative.  🙂

Watermelon Margaritas


  • 3 tablespoons sugar, separated
  • 3 1/2 cups watermelon
  • 1/2 cup tequila (or lemon-lime soda)
  • 1 tablespoon triple-sec, or other orange liqueur
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ice cubes

Preparation Instructions

Rub a lime around the rim of your drinking glasses, then dip in sugar.

In the jar of your blender, combine 2 tablespoons sugar and remaining ingredients.  Process until smooth, then add ice cubes and crush until desired consistency is reached. 

Garnish with slices of lime or melon balls.