Pellet Grill Smoked Brisket

Pellet Grill Smoked Brisket is incredibly delicious, and our comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps for perfecting this popular barbecue staple. Our method will yield a tender, juicy, perfectly smoked brisket!

Coffee Brisket Rub
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Brisket 101

Brisket comes from the chest region of a steer and is one of nine primal cuts. This meat is tough and best suited for low and slow cooking, like braising or slow smoking. Brisket is quite popular in the Southwest and considered a staple of Texas barbecue. This cut is available in different shapes (flat and whole packer) and grades (budget-friendly to expensive). Refer to my Brisket Buying Guide to help you choose the right one.

Flavor Building Blocks:

  1. Rubs: The beauty of brisket is that it can be seasoned simply or with complex rubs. Most Pitmasters reach for the Texas favorite known as SPG, or salt, pepper, garlic. Our favorite ratio is 4 parts salt, 2 parts black pepper, 1 part garlic powder. Others will use 4 parts salt, 2 parts garlic powder, 1 part black pepper. The ratio is entirely up to the individual. Rubs are usually applied 1-3 hours before cooking.
  2. The Brisket Injection Marinade: An Injection marinade is a great way to flavor the brisket from the inside. It contains beef broth and spices and is inserted directly into the meat via a food-safe meat injector.  I recommend injecting the brisket at 6-12 hours before cooking.
  3. BBQ Spritz: Another flavor component is the BBQ spritz, which is used to moisten the brisket once the bark has set. A spritz is usually a simple liquid like apple juice, beef broth, or pickle juice that is applied with a spray bottle.

Time, Temperature, and Equipment

  1. Time and Temperature: Before starting on our pellet grill smoked brisket journey, there are some details we need to cover. First, a brisket can take anywhere for 8-12 hours, or 4560 minutes per pound at 225 degrees F., depending on your equipment and the meat itself. Every cook will be a little different and keep in mind that there will always be that one brisket that will take its sweet old time. Aim for a doneness temperature of 200-210 degrees F. Second, plan on 18-22 hours of total time to using a brisket injection marinade. It will need time to marinate overnight. 
  2. Equipment: This recipe was tested using a pellet grill, though you can use a kamado or any smoker to make a smoked brisket. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for best results. If using a pellet grill, make sure to have enough fuel to get through 10-12 hours of cooking time. You will also need a marinade injector, a reliable instant-read thermometer or temperature monitoring device, butcher paper, heat-resistant gloves, and a clean food-safe spray bottle.  
  3. Pellet Recommendations: For milder smoke flavor, use cherry, apple, and pecan. For more robust smoke flavor, use oak or hickory. 

Serving Pellet Grill Smoked Brisket

  1. Brisket is a versatile meat that can be sliced, chopped, shredded, and served with your favorite BBQ side dishes like Texas creamed corn or in sandwiches. Turn your leftover pellet grill smoked brisket into burritos, enchiladas, tacos, or hash and eggs.
SPG Rub
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Ingredients

Making Pellet Grill Smoked Brisket

Trimming the Brisket: Cut off the thick clump of fat that sits between the point and the flat, including loose or discolored pieces from the edge of the brisket. Trim the fat on the top to about 1/4″ thick. Leave enough on to keep the meat moist during the cooking process.

Derrick's Brisket Injection Marinade
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Brisket Injection Marinade: Once you’ve trimmed the brisket. Get the brisket marinade ingredients ready, draw up some of the liquid, and slowly injected into the center of the brisket in multiple spots. Wipe away any spillage. Secure the brisket in plastic wrap, and place it into your refrigerator for 6-10 hours.

Applying the Rub: Remove the brisket from the refrigerator. Take off the plastic wrap an hour before cooking. Apply the rub (SPG). You can apply the rub for up 3 hours before cooking. Store it uncovered in the fridge on a cutting board or platter. 

Time to grill: Preheat your pellet grill for 225 degrees F. Plan on 45-60 minutes of cooking time per pound of meat. If you’re working with a 16-pound brisket, you’re looking at a 10 hour cooking time. However, it can take longer. The best judge of doneness is the internal temperature. We’re aiming for a doneness temp of between 200-210 degrees F.

  1. Once the grill temperature stabilizes, place the brisket into the pellet grill, fat side down. Close the lid and let it cook for 3 hours.
  2. After 3 hours, you’ll notice that the brisket has a nice bark forming. If the bark starts to look dry, spritz it with pickle juice or beef broth. Increase the heat of your pellet grill to 250 degrees F., close the lid, and continue cooking the brisket for another 3 hours. 

Wrapping:

  1. The Texas Crutch (Wrapping a Brisket): Wrapping the brisket is a great way to complete the cooking process and keeps the meat from turning dry. It also keeps the temperature steady. Once the brisket reaches about 165 degrees (in the flat), it’s time to wrap it. You can use aluminum foil if you’re looking for a more tender, steamed brisket, or use butcher paper for a brisket that holds its shape and keeps the bark intact. Most experienced Pitmaster’s swear by butcher paper.
  2. To wrap, tear off a 40″- 45″ piece of butcher paper, leave it dry or spritz it with some pickle juice. Lay the brisket down on the end closest to you, roll once to cover the brisket, tuck in the sides, create a seam down the edges, and roll it all up. If you are a visual learner, watch this great video.
  3. Place the wrapped brisket back on the pellet grill, close the lid, and let it cook for 4 more hours, or until the internal temperature registers between 200-210 degrees.
  4. Once cooked, remove the smoked brisket from your pellet grill, and place it still wrapped onto the counter or into a clean cooler for 1-2 hours. You can wrap the brisket in clean kitchen towels if your gathering doesn’t start for several hours. This will keep it well insulated.

Slicing Your Pellet Grill Smoked Brisket

  1. Cut your brisket in half, right down the center, separating the flat and point. Slightly turn the point and slice against the grain. Slice the flat into 1/4″ slices and serve. 
pellet grill smoked brisket-sliced
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Storing Leftover Pellet Grill Smoked Brisket

  • Store your leftover brisket in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Freeze brisket slices in vacuum-seal bags for up to 3 months.
Pellet Grill Smoked Brisket

Pellet Grill Smoked Brisket

Pellet Grill Smoked Brisket is incredibly delicious, and our recipe will walk you through the steps for perfecting this popular barbecue staple.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: beef brisket, pellet grill smoked brisket, smoked brisket
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 hours
Total Time: 11 hours
Servings: 15 servings
Calories: 197kcal
Author: Derrick Riches and Sabrina Baksh

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Trim off the thick clump of fat that sits between the point and the flat, including loose or discolored pieces from the edge of the brisket. Trim away the silver skin as well. Trim the fat on the top to about 1/4″ thick. Leave enough on to keep the meat moist during the cooking process.
  • Once you’ve trimmed the brisket, prepare brisket marinade, draw up some of the liquid, and slowly injected it into the center of the brisket in multiple spots. Wipe away any spillage. Secure the brisket in plastic wrap, and place it into your refrigerator for 6-10 hours.
  • Remove the brisket from the refrigerator, take off the plastic wrap an hour before cooking, and apply the rub (SPG). You can apply the rub for up 3 hours before cooking. Store it uncovered in the fridge on a cutting board or platter.
  • Preheat your pellet grill for 225 degrees F. Plan on 45-60 minutes of cooking time per pound of meat. If you’re working with a 16-pound brisket, you’re looking at a 10 hour cooking time. However, it can take longer.
  • Once the grill temperature stabilizes, place the brisket into the pellet grill, fat side down. Close the lid and let it cook for 3 hours.
  • After 3 hours, you’ll notice that the brisket has a nice bark forming. If the bark starts to look dry, spritz it with pickle juice. Increase the heat of your pellet grill to 250 degrees F., close the lid, and continue cooking the brisket for 3 more hours.
  • Time to wrap the brisket. Tear off a 40″-45″ piece of butcher paper, leave it dry or spritz it with some pickle juice. Lay the brisket down one end, roll once to cover the brisket, tuck in the sides, create a sem down the edges, and roll it all up.
  • Place the wrapped brisket back on the pellet grill, close the lid, and let it go for 4 more hours, or until the internal temperature registers between 200-210 degrees.
  • Once cooked, though, remove the pellet grill smoked brisket and place it onto the counter or in a clean cooler for at least an hour, but 2 hours is the perfect amount of time.
  • To slice, cut your brisket in half, right down the center, separating the flat and point. Turn the point 90 degrees and slice against the grain. Slice the flat into 1/4″ slices and serve.
  • Store your leftover brisket in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Freeze brisket slices in vacuum-seal bags for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 197kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 273mg | Potassium: 412mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 49IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 3mg
Pellet Grill Smoked Brisket

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