Smoked Brisket Marinade

Smoked Brisket Marinade on smoked brisket with coleslaw

Gustavo Frindt / Getty Images

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 2 1/2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
751 Calories
55g Fat
67g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 751
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 55g 71%
Saturated Fat 7g 37%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 7036mg 306%
Total Carbohydrate 67g 24%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 56g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 12mg 59%
Calcium 99mg 8%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 612mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The fastest and most flavorful route to your next delicious brisket may be sitting in your fridge, perhaps even right alongside the brisket itself. That secret weapon is soda.

Maybe you've seen recipes for ham and cola, or ham and ginger ale—those are classics. Sure, using soda as part of a marinade may seem like a kitsch culinary move but there are lots of good reasons why you might use soda as a marinade—the popular move is a brisket marinade with Coke, but any cola will do.

Cola in particular actually makes a great marinade, particularly for beef, and especially for brisket. The sweetness adds flavor, and the acid in the cola breaks down the tough fibers in the brisket and tenderizes the meat—a brisket needs a healthy dose of acid. This brisket marinade rounds that out with a little garlic, some oil to balance the acid, and some Worcestershire sauce for extra flavor. Add it all together, and you have a great smoked brisket marinade. It's an easy one to put together, and one that easily doubles or tripes, depending on the size of your brisket.


Steps to Make It

  1. Combine all ingredients and mix until the salt is completely dissolved. This makes enough marinade for a small brisket, so you might need to double the recipe depending on the size of yours.

  2. Place brisket in a large deep dish.

  3. Cover with marinade and refrigerate overnight to 12 hours.


  • If making marinade ahead of time, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week after preparation. Before using, let the marinade sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes. 
  • You can also use this marinade in a spray bottle to periodically spritz the brisket during cooking.
  • There are so many ways to use this marinade. Here are a few recipes for brisket that will work well with this cola-based marinade. Try it on this Texas smoked brisket, a sweet and savory cola brisket, or even on this smoked mini-brisket.


  • Feel free to use canola oil (or any other neutral vegetable oil) instead of olive oil.
  • Love cherry cola? Try this recipe with a cherry-flavored cola if you're looking for something unique.
  • If you don't want to smoke this brisket, you can use this marinade and cook it low and slow in the oven, covered, or in a slow cooker instead.
  • Like it extra garlicky? Add a couple more cloves of minced garlic.
  • Interested in some sweet heat? Try experimenting by adding in small amounts of chili powder, cayenne powder, or ground smoked paprika.