pellet grill brisket

Pellet Grill Brisket

Pellet Grill Brisket

The only thing it takes to create amazing brisket on a pellet grill is time! Some folks might claim that the only way to produce a brisket with authentic Texas-style bark and a smoke ring is by cooking it on a stick burner pit, but I’m hear to show you how you can do it on a pellet grill. With a few simple seasonings, some butcher paper, and plenty of low and slow hours on a pellet grill, you will blow your friends and family away with this pellet grill brisket. I start with a full packer brisket weighing in at 16lbs – I was lucky enough to catch this Certified Angus Beef brisket at my grocery store. The first step is to trim the brisket. For this, I’m using my Red Handle 6″ Boning Knife. pellet grill brisket Remove the thick “vein” of fat located between the flat and point. Take off any discolored or “grey” looking meat from the edges. This is where the meat oxidizes a little in the packaging. I also trim the thin edge on the flat because it will over cook and crumble. Round off the tip of the flat as well as most of the silver skin on top. On the fat side of the brisket I knock it down to 1/4” thick. I like fat on the bottom of my slices but it doesn’t need to be too thick. Also the fat will help insulate the brisket during the long cook. pellet grill brisket Now that it’s trimmed you want to get some seasoning on the brisket. I use a layer of my Killer Hogs Hot BBQ Rub. It has a little more pepper and less sugar than my regular rub and goes great on Beef. I also layer on a light coat of my Killer Hogs TX Brisket Rub for added salt and texture. pellet grill brisket You can use any seasoning you want just give it a good coat; brisket is a big cut of meat and needs plenty of seasoning. The seasoning goes on a few hours before the brisket hits the pit. This gives the seasonings time to work on the brisket. You want at least an hour but up to 4 hours is perfectly ok. pellet grill brisket When it comes to cooking brisket on a pellet grill you can plan on it taking upwards of 16 hours on a brisket this size. I start the brisket out overnight. At 10:30 pm the pellet grill is fired up to 195 degrees running pecan pellets. It’ll take about 20 minutes or so for the grill to stabilize. The brisket goes on the pit fat side down and then it’s time for me to go to bed. The pellet grill does all the work for you; just make sure you have plenty of pellets in the hopper. pellet grill brisket After 8 hours in the smoke, a beautiful bark is set on the brisket and it gets what I call “the meat sweats”. Moisture will start seeping out of the flat and accumulating on the top side. This is exactly what you want to see. At this point it’s time to wrap. pellet grill brisket To keep all that delicious bark we worked so hard to create the brisket gets wrapped in butcher paper (you can find some food safe butcher paper on Amazon) If you use foil the bark will steam and turn soft but by using a good peach butcher paper the bark is preserved and has perfect texture. Tear off 2 strips of paper about 48” each. Overlap the paper to form one wide sheet. Place the brisket in the center of the paper and fold one end up and over the flat tucking it tight. Bring the opposite end up and over and tuck it under the point end. Fold the edges underneath the brisket forming one “package”. Before placing it back on the grill insert a probe thermometer (I use a Thermoworks DOT) into the center of the flat. Internal temp at this point will be somewhere around 150-160 degrees. Place the brisket back on the pit fat side down. (The folds of the paper will be on the bottom if you did it right.) Now continue to cook the brisket until the internal hits 200 degrees. The pit can be bumped up to 250 degrees at this point and it should take a little over 8 hours to finish. pellet grill brisket When the DOT alarm goes off verify the internal temperature by using a Thermapen or other hand held thermometer. You want to feel for a soft texture in the flat and point. The flat should match the DOT alarm and the point will be a few degrees higher. The cooking part is finished at this point but the brisket still needs to rest before slicing. Place it in a dry “empty” cooler with the lid on and let it set for a couple hours. This will give the brisket time to relax and will make for a juicer brisket in the end. pellet grill brisket After the rest, remove the brisket from the butcher paper and place on a cutting board. Use a 12” brisket slicer and start at the flat end. Cut the brisket into 1/4” slices stopping once you get towards the end of the flat. At this point turn the point end 90 degrees and slice the point into slices as well. You can trim the edges into burnt ends for a real treat. pellet grill brisket This brisket will rival any “stick burner” out there. The slow time in the smoke at the beginning of the cook works magic on the bark just practice patience and let the pellet grill do all the work. Print
pellet grill brisket

Pellet Grill Brisket


Description

The only thing it takes to create amazing brisket on a pellet grill is time. With a few simple seasonings, some butcher paper, and plenty of low and slow hours on a pellet grill, you will blow your friends and family away with this brisket. https://h2qshop.com/collections/killer-hogs-products/products/killer-hogs-the-hot-bbq-rub


Scale

Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Trim thick area of fat from brisket, remove thin edge and any silver skin from top of flat.  Flip the brisket to fat side and take it down to 1/4”.
  2. Season the brisket with Hot Rub followed by TX Brisket Rub.
  3. Rest brisket for a few hours before placing on pit.
  4. Prepare pellet grill for low and slow smoking at 195 degrees using pecan pellets.
  5. Place brisket fat side down on pellet grill and smoke for 8 hours.
  6. Wrap brisket in butcher paper, insert probe thermometer into center of flat, and place back on smoker. 
  7. Increase smoker temp to 250 degrees and continue cooking brisket until internal temperature reaches 200 degrees.
  8. Rest brisket in a dry cooler for 2 hours.
  9. Slice into 1/4” slices starting with flat.  Rotate point and slice it into slices as well, removing the edges and slicing them into cubes for burnt ends. 

Keywords: smoked brisket, brisket Traeger, brisket pellet, brisket pellet grill, how to smoke brisket on pellet grill, pellet grill brisket, bbq brisket, pellet smoker brisket, simple brisket recipe

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Comments 64

  1. With a full pellet hopper were you able to go through the night without re-filling the hopper? I have not had my pellet grill for long and was just curious about how long a full hopper would take to burn down. I would hate to ruin a cook because I ran out of pellets.

    1. On my PitBoss is holds 20 lbs of pellets and I’ve easily gone 12 hours cooking that low. So I would say yes for the initial cook. Would have to refill at the stall.

      Hope this helps

    2. It will depend on how big your hopper is. A 20 lb hopper that low should go for at least 12 hours. I have a 40 lb hopper, so I can only guess. Just fill up before you go to bed or are going to be away from it for an extended period of time. If you have a wifi controller, you will know if the temps drop off.

      Enjoy

    3. I haven’t done this recipe yet but at that low of heat depending on your hopper size it should be fine cooking over night, it takes me about two cups of pellets for every hr I’m cooking…

  2. Malcolm, you do not know the effect you had on this old worn out Marine. I retired after thirty two yeas service, thought this going to be the high part of my life…..wrong. I was totally lost, not knowing what to do or anything else, I was getting to the point of what the heck,I am just flat out worthless. I did not care if tomorrow came or not. Then I started watching your videos on you tube, why, I could not tell you, the more I watched the more interest came about. Being retired military I can not afford a good grill, I am limited on cuts of meat I can buy but Malcolm your videos gave me some thing to look at and wonder if i could BBQ like that, you put meaning back where it used to be. I look forward to new videos. Thank you for giving me some thing to fill the hole I was in…….!

    1. Skip… Thank you for your service. My greatest regret in life was not serving. Just a month shy of my actual enrollment, I chose to pursue a career elsewhere. I should not complain because it has allowed me to earn a living. Modest, but decent. I mention that because, sir, I hope you never feel the need to search for your purpose in life again. There are millions of us that are thankful for your sacrifice. Your career has given your life more purpose than most of us can imagine. I’m forever grateful and we are forever indebted to you and your brothers and sisters in the armed forces. Thank you!

  3. I have a Junior Elite T. After the initial 8 hrs of smoke at 195 degrees and then wrapped and put back on pellet grill for 8 another hours at 250 degrees. For the second half of the cook could I put the wrapped brisket in the oven at 250 degrees til internal of 202 degrees. Why burn through the pellets if it’s no longer going to be taking on smoke. Thanks Malcom! Love your videos and podcast!

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  4. Hi Malcolm,

    I just bought a 12lb brisket and am new to this. Do you think my cook time will roughly be around 12 hours if I follow the steps you’ve provided? Only difference being is I have a tin foil wrap.

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  5. Hi Malcom – I’m an a mature in need of help. I tried to follow this for a 13lb’r and didn’t get a great result. The flat was really dry and didn’t bend down around a fork; it pulled more like roast beef. I took it to 205 over 16hrs and rested for around an hour. Did I go too long?

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    2. I did a 16.5 lb brisket and followed this recipe. Except I put it on my Traeger at 1am. instead of 11:00 pm It took 14 hr and 30 min. I let is rest 3 hrs. It turned out excellent.

  6. Malcom, What about doing this in a standing smoker like a masterbuilt. This is what i have and enjoy cooking with it, i know it’s not the best system out there but it works well i believe. downfall is you need to keep recharging the wood chips but for now this is what we do.

  7. Great stuff, Malcolm – thank you. One question – in other brisket videos, you’ve injected with beef broth, but didn’t do so here. Is there any downside to injecting a brisket cooked on a pellet grill? If not, would you do any of the other steps differently if it were injected?

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  8. That brisket looked amazing and had such great bark for a pellet smoker! I haven’t cooked at this low of a temp before- I can only find flats right now, would you expect the cook time to be 1 hour per pound at these temps or would an 8.5lb flat take closer still to the house 16 hours the full brisket took?

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  9. I just did a twelve lb full brisket on my BGE, at 245. I was planning on it taking around twelve hours but I hit 195 at the six and a half hour mark. Any idea what could have allowed this cook so fast?

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      To be that hot and fast – it had to be cooking at a higher temp. You might want to get a grate temp or a cheap oven thermometer to set on the grate to verify those temps.

  10. First time smoking a brisket.
    It is 10 lbs and I am using a Rec Tec pellet smoker
    Not sure how many hours to cook unwrapped and then how many to cook wrapped.
    Serving it in the evening around 6 pm.
    Super excited

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      I cook it until it has the bark I want – usually around 160 internal – then I wrap. Then I cook it wrapped until it hits 198-202 internal (and feels like you a probing butter). Then I place it in a dry cooler and let it rest for at least 1 hour (but you can go up to 4-5 hours and it only gets better with the rest). So give yourself plenty of time and go by internal temps instead of times.

  11. Hi just wandering, every time I cook brisket it always comes out really stringy, and I was just wandering if their is anything that I’m doing wrong.
    Thanks Brian

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      1. Why cook fat side down? I’ve seen most recipes call for cooking fat side up? I appreciate your videos & info! Thank you.

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          I like to go fat side down because the fat protects the brisket while it cooks – and it allows you to build that great bark on top of the brisket. Some people like to go fat side up because they say the fat cooks in the meat, but I’ve never noticed it makes any difference on the juiciness of the brisket and you don’t get the bark.

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  12. Curiously speaking I would think also the time of year and exterior temperature will speed the cooking as well. I had a 7lb brisket a few weeks back and I estimated about and hour and fifteen minutes cook per pound but it ended up cooking in about 6 hours. I then rested it for about three hours, Tender and juicy. I have noticed the same when cooking ribs as well.

  13. I am just curious – you said this was 16 lb. brisket and you did some extensive trimming. How much did you actually trim off ? I am trying to get an idea of cook time by weight. I know we go by temperature.
    thanks in advance.

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  14. Hey Malcom, love all your videos man. I’ve used a handful of them to walk me through some cooks that have turned out really well. I’ve done a brisket on a traditional stick burner before. Now I’m getting ready to give it my first go on my PitBoss. I’ve got a 17lb brisket before trimming. I’m thinking I’m going to follow what you have going in this video the only thing I’m trying to decide is I’m wanting to make some burnt ends to go with my slices and I think I want to cook my brisket whole like you have. My question to you would be at what point would be best to separate my point and flat? My thoughts are get the flat up to that nice soft feel 200 or so and separate at that time. Rest my flat in a cooler and get to cubing and tossing my point in a pan with whatever sweet bbq nectar of the gods I’m feeling at the time and let that magic happen while my flat is resting. Just wondered what your process is if you are cooking a full brisket when you would separate the two? I’ve seen your video where you separate the two before the cook. Do you ever do something similar to how I’m talking about going about it? I’m all about the low and slow and I’m fully expecting to not be finishing up my cook until sometime the next evening. Just wanting to do this bad boy right. Thanks in advance. I appreciate any advice you might have to offer.

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      Sounds like you got the right idea! Most of the time the point is where it needs to be once the flat is done. You can always separate the two from the beginning and get the most bark and tenderness as possible on both. Good luck and appreciate the support!

  15. Malcolm,
    Great brisket recipe, the results were fabulous! Went 6 hours unwrapped and 4 wrapped on just a flat,which is all we can get here and it was perfect. Used your AP seasoning and followed that with your BBQ Rub.
    Question, since typicality all we can get here is just the brisket flat, they always come with a lot of silver skin on the top side. I struggle with removing the silver skin without gouging the heck out of the brisket. Is there a secret to removing the silver skin from the brisket??

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  16. I have not used the paper wrap before and wonder how much difference it would make if it is wrapped in foil? It seems that you lose a lot of juice with the paper wrap but does the amount of bark offset that? Thanks!

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      Yeah – you do loose some of the rendered juice but it doesn’t affect the juiciness of the brisket at all. And you do get a much better bark with butcher paper.

  17. Just picked up a 13# brisket, never done one before so I am quite nervous. You used the butcher wrap, will foil work just as well? Will it alter the cook time/temps at all? Thanks

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  18. Hey Malcom! I love your recipes. You’ve made me a party hero at my house. I was wondering about the spice level from using the hot rub. I’ve got some kids that will be eating the brisket this weekend and just wondered how much of a kick that gave on this cook. Thanks!

  19. Looks amazing Malcom! Are you just cutting the fat vein out without separating the point from the flat? Is there a way to do burnt ends with this recipe or are you just slicing the point with the flat?

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      I just removed most of that fat vein. And you can separate it and make burnt ends when it’s done – just let the flat rest and cube up the point, throw it in a pan with sauce and let it keep cooking for those “burnt ends”

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  20. Great post thanks share.David Brown famous for delicious smoker recipes, expert cooking methods, cooking tips, and tricks as well as for his cooking recipes.

  21. Hey Malcom it looked like the bag of pellets you were adding to the hopper in the video had apple written on it. In the recipe it says use pecan pellets. Did you use apple pellets in the video ?

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      Not sure what that clip was, but I do prefer using pecan pellets with brisket. Sometimes hickory and pecan mixed. But you can use whatever pellet flavor you like.

  22. Getting ready to start brisket tonight at your direction. Curious at fat side down instead of up like all others say?

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  23. Awesome pellet grill brisket. My Traeger does not have a 195 degree setting, so I did about 9 hrs on smoke at 180 degrees. Had like a half inch smoke ring.

    Happy Independence Day!

  24. Tried this brisket for the first time over the weekend on our Yoder 480 and it turned out phenomenal. Used pecan pellets and had an incredible smoke ring although I was cooking a 12 pound brisket it did take me around 18 hours to achieve 200 internal temperature but I believe that was due to the stall I encountered

  25. Malcom, Can you speak to the USDA 40 – 140 rule when cooking below 225. I’ve always been taught to follow that. If cooking below 225 the meat risks not getting to 140 in 4 hours. The rule states that can be a bad thing that is not safe. There is a new wave of pellet smokers that are cooking below 225 like this for extended periods of time and I wondered your thoughts on that.

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