Smoked Pellet Grill Brisket

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Brisket reigns supreme when it comes to BBQ. A good brisket has a nice bark, is juicy and tender, and has a nice smokey taste.

There is some doubt about whether you can smoke a fantastic brisket on a pellet barbecue, but I think you can, and I’ll show you how.

You’ll discover all of the secrets of trimming, seasoning, wrapping, and resting a great brisket, as well as the finest recommendations on how to create that true smoked beef brisket taste on a pellet grill!

If you like pellet grilling, try our pellet grill turkey or pellet grill smoked chicken.

Choosing a brisket

Smoked Pellet Grill Brisket

You want a brisket with a lot of marbling and intramuscular fat. Fat, as the adage goes, equals taste. It also implies that the smoked brisket will be more juicy and tender.

I normally purchase at least a prime-grade brisket since the price difference between prime and choice isn’t that great.

Get a complete packer brisket, which is made up of the lean flat cut and the fattier point cut, for the greatest results.

Snake River Farms Wagyu brisket is used in this recipe. The marbling on their Wagyu briskets is unparalleled, and the results are spectacular.

The bend test is a good way to choose a brisket. Take a handful and attempt to fold them in half, or take one end and wriggle it up and down.

If the brisket seems too rigid, there isn’t enough fat going through it. As stupid as it seems, you want one with more give and is floppier. That’s the brisket dinner winner!

Trimming your brisket

I’ve never met a brisket that didn’t need trimming, and if you disagree, you’re probably still gnawing on the fat from the previous one!

Brisket has a lot of fat all around it, particularly on the tip side, and a good trim can make or break it.

Here are a few good reasons to cut your brisket:

  1. Allows for uniform cooking: I believe Aaron Franklin originated the phrase aerodynamic, which appears to be extensively used these days.
  2. Allows the fat to render: If you leave too much fat on a brisket, it will not render correctly, leaving you with an unappealing amount of fat in the end.
  3. Allows the rub to permeate: By removing the fat and exposing the meat, the rub and smoke may penetrate. Otherwise, you’re basically flavoring inedible fat.

When I cut a brisket, I want it to be cool so that it is simpler to work with. Place the brisket in the freezer for an hour to let the fat to harden and become easier to chop.

I remove the majority of the fat from the upper side. On the bottom, I leave approximately a quarter inch of fat beneath the flat’s bottom and remove all the fat off the tip.

However, do not discard the excess fat. Make some tasty beef tallow and save it for later use!

I also prefer to cut the thin section of the flat in front to keep it from drying out. I didn’t want to cut too much and lose a lot of flesh on this brisket since it already had a fairly thin flat.

Brisket rub

A beef brisket may be seasoned in a variety of ways. Purists would argue that Texas style smoked brisket requires simply salt and pepper, but I think it’s a tad dull.

When I make my own brisket rub, I normally use garlic and onion powder. A pinch of smoky paprika is also delicious.

I used Caribeque’s Bold Beef rub for this recipe, and it turned out wonderful.

Don’t be hesitant to season your brisket heavily and cover it evenly on both sides. Beef brisket is a hefty cut that requires a generous seasoning.

I’ll season a brisket the night before to really enable the rub to enter the flesh. This also cuts down on prep time the day of since you can just pull it from the fridge and throw it on your smoker.

My #1 tip for smoking brisket on a pellet grill

Pellet grills have opened up barbecue to a whole new generation of chefs. One disadvantage is that food cooked on a pellet grill may lack the strong smoky taste that many of us like.

To avoid this, I decided to smoke it overnight.

I used the smoke setting on my Pitboss 1600 Pro pellet smoker to keep the temperature between 180-190F.

Most instructions recommend smoking brisket at temperatures ranging from 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, so why the low temperature?

Cooking at this very low temperature helps the grill to create the most smoke possible. The slower cooking period allows the brisket to absorb smoke.

I placed the brisket on my smoker at 11 p.m. before going to bed and checked on it around 6 a.m. It was approximately 150F internally and was developing a lovely bark and crust.

I then increased the heating to 250F until the internal temperature reached 175F before wrapping it in butcher paper (more on this later).

Another advantage of smoking the brisket overnight is that you are not hurried throughout the day. With the brisket nearly halfway done when I checked on it, I had plenty of time to ensure it was properly cooked and rested.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hurried smoked beef brisket because I miscalculated the cooking time. Good barbecue needs patience and time. When you’re done, you’re done. Every bit of beef is unique.

If you like spritzing, an overnight cook may not be the greatest solution for you.

I didn’t spray for the first 7 hours of the cook since I was napping. I spritzed it the first time I went to check on it, and then twice more before wrapping it.

Spray with water, an equal mixture of apple juice and apple cider vinegar, or beef broth.

The brisket was still delicious, and the bark was fantastic, but the smoke ring was a touch missing, maybe because to the late spritzing.

Butcher paper or foil? 

Butcher paper is nearly always used to wrap my beef. The butcher paper enables the brisket to air rather than steam, as aluminum foil does, resulting in a much nicer bark, which is one of the most significant elements of excellent smoked brisket in my opinion.

Cooking using butcher paper takes a little longer than cooking with aluminum foil, but the rewards are well worth it.

I also believe that covering beef in foil might alter its flavor. When I use foil, I get a pot roast flavor rather of the more prominent meaty flavor that I get when I use butcher paper.

How to smoke brisket on a pellet grill

1. Trim

Trim your brisket so that all of the hard fat is gone and the meat is visible on top.

Trim all the fat off the tip on the bottom, leaving approximately a quarter inch on the flat.

The Snake River Farms Wagyu brisket we used for this recipe had enough of intramuscular fat, so I wasn’t worried about it drying out from too much cutting.

2. Season

Brisket should be properly seasoned on both sides.

If you need a binder, mustard or olive oil will do the trick. I’ve even seen mayonnaise used!

I didn’t need a binder and just seasoned with Caribeque Bold Beef spice. Check out our DIY rubs if you want to create your own. Make careful to apply an even coat all over and then pat it down.

I set it on the counter for 20 minutes before putting it in the smoker.

3. Smoke

I utilized my Pit Boss 1600 Pro for this meal. I utilized the smoke option, which keeps the temperature between 180 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

If your pellet smoker does not offer this option, just set it to the lowest setting possible. This will give the brisket more time to absorb smoke, which I feel is necessary for a brisket to taste properly.

Brisket may be smoked with almost any kind of wood.

If your smoker has a second rack, lay the brisket on it with a foil pan beneath, fat cap facing down.

Check on your brisket after 7-8 hours and spritz with water for the first time.

Wrap with butcher paper if you are satisfied with the bark and the interior temperature is 165F or above.

Turn up the temperature of your smoker to 250F.

If your brisket is not quite ready to wrap, continue spritzing and raising the temperature of your smoker to 250F, then wrap when ready.

Once the brisket is wrapped, all that remains is to wait until the temperature in the thickest section of the flat hits 200-203F.

To monitor the temperature, insert a temperature probe and set an alarm when the brisket reaches your desired temperature, or insert an instant read thermometer every so often.

When temping the meat, use your probe to press down and feel how it feels. It should pass through with minimal difficulty.

4. Rest

When your brisket is done, cover it in butcher paper and then in an old towel. Close the lid on the cooler and place the wrapped brisket inside. This is referred to as the fake cambro approach.

Place it in a cooler for at least one hour, two hours is preferable, and six hours is even better.

Resting is one of the most important aspects in cooking brisket.

That’s why I never get upset if I finish a brisket a bit sooner than I planned since it simply means I have more time to rest it.

Allowing the meat to rest enables it to relax and gently absorb the fluids back into the core.

If you don’t have a cooler or a cambro, you may put your oven to the lowest temperature (ideally about 170F) and keep it there until ready to slice. I’ve also heard of people covering it in plastic wrap and resting it like way, but I’ve yet to attempt it.

5. Slice and serve

See our approach for the best way to slice brisket and the knife we believe is the finest.

For the greatest effects, the flat and point must be cut at distinct angles. Some of the point may also be shredded for sandwiches.

Serve the brisket cut on a piece of pink butcher paper with slices of white bread and a handful of pickles for a typical Texas presentation.

Other brisket recipes

  • Smoking Your First Brisket
  • Best Brisket Burnt Ends That Melt In Your Mouth
  • Smoked Leftover Brisket Chili
  • Brisket Grilled Cheese

Pellet grill smoked brisket recipe


How long does it take to smoke a brisket on a pellet grill?

Preheat your pellet grill to 225 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes with the lid covered. Place the brisket fat side down on the grill grate and cook for 6 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

How long to smoke brisket at 225 pit boss pellet grill?

Get your Pit Boss smoker or wood pellet grill going. Set the temperature to 225°F after it’s started. install the brisket into the smoker, install the connected temperature probe if using, and cook for 6-8 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

Is it better to smoke brisket at 180 or 225?

Brisket Smoked at 180°F or 225°F – Thoughts

Both can function very well, and it all boils down to personal choice. If you want a more delicate and juicy outcome, try smoking it at 180 degrees. If you like a little sharper bark and a shorter cook time, 225°F may be the preferable option.

Is it better to smoke brisket at 225 or 250?

When you smoke brisket at 250 degrees, it cooks quicker, but you must be cautious since the meat may also dry out. While cooking at 225 degrees takes longer, it is considered the optimal temperature by many, including myself.

When should I wrap my brisket?

When Is it Time to Wrap a Brisket? When the brisket achieves an internal temperature of 165-170 degrees Fahrenheit, most barbecue gurus advocate covering it.

Should I spray my brisket while smoking?

As humidity in the smoker helps the smoke stick to the meat, spritzing the brisket will assist the surface of the meat continue to catch smoke, adding richer smoke flavor to the finished brisket.

How long to smoke a 7lb brisket at 225?

Brisket should be cooked at 250° for 30-40 minutes per pound. Increasing the temperature to 250° from the tried and proven norm of smoking at 225° produces some surprising and quite wonderful outcomes! When we smoke brisket at 225° F, the time is around 1-1.25 hours per pound.

Do you flip brisket on pellet smoker?

So, the next time you’re cooking brisket on your wood pellet barbecue, keep these instructions in mind: no flipping, basting, or braising, and always cook fat-side-down.

Should I smoke brisket at 200 or 225?

Temperatures between 225 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for smoking brisket. At 225F, the meat is more soft, so you may have a delicious lunch. Another advantage of this price is that it will save you 30 minutes each pound. So, if preparing one pound of brisket at 200F takes two hours, it will take 1.5 hours at 225F.

Is brisket not done at 205?

To achieve this dialogue of tough meat to melt in your mouth goodness, heat the beef up to an internal temperature of 185°F to 195°F. Brisket should have a peak internal temperature of 205°F-210°F since anything higher would cause it to dry out.

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