Meat Smoker Recipe (Sans Meat): Smoked Seitan Brisket

Meat Smoker Recipe (Sans Meat): Smoked Seitan Brisket

Let's get the obvious out of the way.

Yes, this recipe is for a meat substitute and one that vegetarians and vegans alike should truly appreciate.

But no, that doesn't mean those with a carnivorous diet to any degree need to run away or skip to the next article. Variety is indeed the spice of life, and there's no harm in trying something a little different.

A versatile meat substitute, seitan has found its place in many dishes, providing a unique alternative – and one you might be pleasantly surprised by.

What is Seitan?

Seitan, often called "wheat meat," is a versatile, protein-rich food made from wheat gluten, and has been a staple in East and Southeast Asian cuisines for centuries as a vegetarian protein source.

Its growing popularity among vegetarians and vegans across the globe can be attributed to its high protein content and its remarkable ability to mimic the texture of cooked meat.

When prepared, seitan can be shaped and seasoned to resemble various meat cuts, from steaks to baby back ribs, making it an incredibly adaptive and creative culinary alternative. Its meat-like texture makes it an excellent candidate for smoking, allowing it to absorb robust flavors and offer a satisfying, chewy bite that appeals to meat lovers and vegetarians alike.

What Does Seitan Taste Like?

Perhaps the biggest question with seitan is what does it taste like?

While it's virtually impossible to describe the taste of anything with 100% accuracy using the written word, we'll give it a shot. 

Seitan's flavor is very subtle (bland, to be honest), but it is a step above …. The closest comparable would be a piece of unseasoned chicken. Others have described it as tasting close to a portabello mushroom. One of our chefs has described it as tasting like an unseasoned slice of meat on a gyro.

But seitan is like any other meat – it's just waiting to be seasoned and can easily take on whatever flavor profile you're looking for.

Can You Smoke Seitan?

Yes, 100% – that's why we're here after all.

And again, just like meat seitan is indeed a candidate for some time in your smoker to get a delicious, smokey treatment.

Smoked Seitan Brisket

Seitan is a great option for those looking to put their smoker to good use and come up with a main course that is as delicious as it is healthy.

Unlike other recipes we've shared, this one is a bit more involved as you'll essentially cook the seitan twice and you'll need some time in between each session.


For the Seitan Brisket

  • 1/2 cup of white beans (we suggest cannellini beans)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 cups wheat gluten
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

For the Barbecue Rub

  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Smoker Wood Recommendation: As this might be uncharted territory for some, we suggest sticking close to convention and using hickory as your smoking wood for its traditional flavor.


The Day Before

  1. In a food processor, blend the beans, soy sauce, olive oil, and vegetable stock until combined into a smooth consistency. This should take between 3-5 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, mix the wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and paprika.
  3. Add in your wet ingredients and knead for about 3 minutes until you have what resembles a brisket.
  4. Wrap your brisket in an oiled sheet of aluminum foil, and put it into a bread pan.
  5. Add roughly 1 inch of water to the pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
  6. Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 45 minutes. 
  7. Once your seitan loaf is baked, you'll want to let it fully cool before smoking it. We suggest making your seitan the day before so it'll have ample time to reach the appropriate starting temperature.

The Day of

  1. Preheat your smoker to 225°F.
  2. Soak your smoker wood chips in water for at least an hour.
  3. Prepare your barbecue rub by combining all the ingredients together.
  4. For a binder, cover your seitan loaf with a light coating of mustard.
  5. Apply the rub liberally, fully covering the seitan.
  6. Place the seitan on the smoker's grate and add the soaked wood chips to the coals or smoker box.
  7. Smoke the seitan for about 3 hours until it has a firm, crispy exterior.
  8. Let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Looking for Other Things to Smoke?

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