The Best Way To Fill That Chipotle Brisket Void

It took two years for Chipotle to develop its smoked brisket menu item up to "uniquely Chipotle" standards, according to CNN, quoting the company. Described in a company press release as beef brisket marinated in Mexican spices, then hand-chopped and finished with smoky chili-peppery sauce, Chipotle's brisket debuted as a limited-time menu item starting in September 2021. Chipotle's CEO, Brian Niccol, credited the company's strong financial quarter to customer response to the brisket, also according to CNN. Nevertheless, Chipotle pulled the brisket off the menu just weeks later, which was earlier than some had expected.

At the time, Niccol teased the possibility the brisket might come back, but so far, nope. The truth is the reviews seem mixed, per this Reddit thread. On the other hand, Chipotle brisket definitely had its fans, like this person on Reddit, who described the brisket as "11 out of 10 good." And let's not forget the more than 700 who've signed the petition asking for Chipotle to kindly bring the brisket back. All they need is 300 more to meet their goal. Until then, we've checked, and it would appear that the best route to filling that Chipotle brisket void may be via any of the following options.


Goldbelly's stated mission is to deliver comfort through food, per its website. And if the comfort you seek is in the form of smoked brisket, then you'll have many to choose from on Goldbelly. If you haven't used the site before, it's basically a nationwide by-mail food delivery network — kind of like GrubHub, except that, generally speaking, you're not constrained by your location. So, even if you live in, say, Connecticut, you can still order a whole smoked brisket straight from Franklin's Barbecue in Austin, Texas, 4 Rivers Smokehouse in Kissimmee, Florida, and Mighty Quinn's in New York, New York — all of which we count among the absolute best BBQ restaurants in the U.S.

The prices on Goldbelly vary, but for a whole smoked brisket, you're looking at spending at least $150, or more, depending on the actual weight. Shipping fees may also apply, and obviously, you'll have to wait some number of days for your order to arrive.

Lewis Barbecue

Another of our favorite BBQ restaurants in the U.S. is Charleston, South Carolina's Lewis Barbecue. If you're not in the Charleston area, you can order a whole smoked brisket directly from Pitmaster John Lewis himself and have it shipped pretty much anywhere in the U.S. It comes with a brief video tutorial on how to reheat your brisket and how best to slice it, according to the Robb Report.

The Salt Lick BBQ

You'll find another of our top-ranked BBQ restaurants, Salt Lick BBQ, shipping whole smoked brisket throughout the lower 48 states. So, if you can't make it to one of the Austin-area locations, you can still get your brisket fix. Starting at $99 (not including shipping) for the smallest, which appears to be around 3.5 pounds (the largest appears to be 4.5 pounds), deliveries come with a complimentary bottle of the restaurant's signature Original Recipe Salt Lick Bar-B-Que Sauce.

Snow's BBQ

Snow's BBQ, another of Tasting Table's top-ranked U.S. BBQ restaurants, offers a whole smoked brisket via mail-order. Described as a whole smoked beef brisket that's been cooked low and slow for 10 to 12 hours, Snow's BBQ brisket was rated as Texas Monthly's number-one brisket in 2008. A 4-to 5-pounder is priced at $145, It's unclear if that includes shipping, but as long as shipping doesn't cost more than $85 (!), you'll be getting a better deal buying it directly from the source, as opposed to via Goldbelly, which has it priced at $229.95 but with free shipping.

Prasek's Family Smokehouse

Another source for whole smoked brisket shipped directly to you is Prasek's Family Smokehouse, which is well-reviewed by TripAdvisor, among many others. Described as USDA Choice beef seasoned and oakwood smoked, an 8- to 10-pound whole brisket is priced at $135.00, exclusive of shipping, although the website does indicate that the price is subject to change.

Brisket is actually easier to make than you might think

Now, we get that if you're longing for Chipotle's particular brand of smoked beef brisket, the aforementioned best mail-order options may not be quite what you had in mind. In that case, perhaps you might be interested in smoking your own brisket. If so, we've got a recipe for home-smoked brisket that you might discover is what it takes to fill that Chipotle brisket-shaped void in your heart (and belly). It stands to set you back about an hour's worth of prep time, not to mention nine or so hours of smoke time. But, hey, at least that's faster than mail-order.

Arby's Smokehouse Brisket

So far, none of our best alternatives to Chipotle's brisket are what you'd call fast food. Chipotle's is, of course, and so if it's fast-food brisket you seek, then Arby's has the meat, or the "meats." Arby's says the beef on its Smokehouse Brisket sandwich is smoked for 13 hours, so that part is enough to get mouths watering. The wrinkle here is that Arby's brisket comes on a toasted brioche bun with cheddar cheese and fried onions, which may not be to your liking (it's not like they're even a possibility at Chipotle). Also, its reviews are somewhat inconsistent, ranging from mediocre to delicious. But then again, the same was true of Chipotle's brisket.