After getting an overwhelming response on Aaron Franklin’s Brisket Recipe, I’m back with Smoked Pellet Grill Brisket!
If you love tender, juicy and smokey brisket, smoking brisket on a pellet grill is the way to go. This flavorful Texas style smoked brisket might seem intimidating, but with my tips you’ll be serving up competition-worthy brisket in no time.
My personal choice of a pellet grill is Pit Boss Austin XL as it is known for its versatility, large cooking area, as well as exceptional temperature control system.
In this guide I’ll coach you through my foolproof method for making the perfect smoked brisket on a pellet grill. From trimming and seasoning, to managing the stall and nailing the right tenderness. You’ll also get my top brisket rub recipe, wrapping and resting tips, and delicious ideas for using up leftovers. So let’s get smoking!
Choosing and Preparing Perfect Brisket on a Pellet Grill
Choosing the right cut of brisket is key for a mouthwatering smoked brisket. For the best texture and flavor, go for a whole packer brisket which contains both the flat (leaner) and the point (fattier) in one intact cut. Allow 1⁄2 pound of brisket per person.
Look for a brisket with nice marbling throughout as this keeps it tender and juicy during the low and slow smoking process. I prefer Wagyu or Prime grade brisket for the richest flavor.
Trim off any large hard fat deposits, but leave a 1⁄4 inch fat cap in place to baste the meat as it cooks. Lightly oil the brisket and generously coat with your favorite rub (I’ll share my go-to recipe next).
For extra moisture and flavor, some pitmasters recommend injecting brisket with a flavorful marinade before smoking. Wondering how to marinate meat? Head to amazingly delicious tips here.
This Texas style brisket technique isn’t mandatory but does amp up the juiciness.
Pellet Grill Smoked Brisket Recipe
Pellet Grill Smoked Brisket Recipe
- ¼ cup coarse ground black pepper
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon mustard powder
- ½ tablespoon cayenne pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir to fully incorporate spices.
- Generously season the entire brisket on all sides with rub.
- Wrap brisket in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to allow rub to panetrate meat.
The salt and sugar help form a flavorful, caramelized bark while the spices infuse the meat with warmth and smokiness.
Feel free to customize your rub to suit your tastes – some classic additions include chili powder, cumin or coffee grounds. The meaty flavor of brisket stands up well to bold seasonings.
Smoking Tips and Temperatures
Low and slow is the name of the game when smoking brisket. Setting up your pellet grill properly ensures your brisket comes out perfectly cooked.
Here are my top smoking tips for brisket success:
Maintain an oven temp between 225-250F: This low, steady smoking temps for brisket tenderizes the meat and mellows the flavors over many hours.
Use oak, pecan or hickory wood pellets: Best wood pellets for brisket!
These give great smoky flavor to beef. Mesquite can overpower brisket.
Smoke fat side up: This helps self-baste the brisket in its own juices.
Allow at least 1 hour smoking time per pound: A 10 lb brisket needs about 10 hours for tender, juicy results.
Wrap at 160 F internal temp: This prevents the meat drying out during the stall (more on that next).
Remove brisket at 203F: This is when it’s fall-apart tender and ready to rest, slice and serve.
Patience is key – don’t rush the smoking or you’ll end up with a tough brisket!
Dealing with the Dreaded Stall
If you’ve smoked brisket before, you’ve likely experienced the dreaded stall, where the internal temperature hits around 160 F and seems to stop rising, sometimes for hours.
This happens when the collagen in the meat begins to break down, releasing moisture and vapor which temporarily cools the brisket.
Don’t panic! Just power through the stall by maintaining your smoker temp and waiting it out.
Some options like wrapping the brisket in butcher paper can help push it past the stall quicker by braising it in its own juices. Spritzing the meat with apple cider vinegar can also help. But patience is best.
The stall can last anywhere from 1-7 hours. Trust the process and your brisket will eventually power through it to around 203F at the end.
Wrapping Brisket for Maximum Tenderness
Once the internal temp hits 160F, I always recommend wrapping the brisket to lock in moisture and speed up cooking through the stall.
Wrapping brisket in butcher paper makes the meat extra juicy and tender since it basically braises in its own juices. Pinking butcher paper is my wrap of choice, but foil also works well.
- Take the brisket off the grill and place it on a large sheet of paper.
- Wrap paper tightly around the brisket, folding in edges like a gift wrap.
- Return wrapped brisket to grill, seam side down.
Wrapping at 160 F and smoking until around 203F internal temp is the ideal window for tender, fall-apart brisket every time. The meat should probe like soft butter when done.
Signs Brisket is Done..
Judging when brisket is perfectly cooked takes some finesse. Rely on these signs to tell when your brisket is ready to come off the smoker:
203 F internal temp: This is the magic number for tender brisket. Use a meat probe thermometer to test.
Jiggly like jello: Poke the meat – it should shake gently and feel very tender without resistance.
Toothpick tender: A toothpick or skewer should slide in and out of the brisket really smoothly when done.
Nice bark: The crust should be dark and caramelized but not burnt. More wrapping time = more tender bark.
Meat pulls apart: Try lifting some meat up with tongs or a fork. It should easily break apart rather than staying in one solid chunk.
When you achieve all these indicators, you’ll know your juicy smoked brisket is ready for resting, slicing and savoring!
Resting and Slicing the Brisket for Service
Resist the urge to slice into the hot brisket straight off the grill!
Resting is a crucial step.
After removing from the smoker, let the brisket rest tented in foil for at least 30 minutes, up to 1-2 hours. This allows juices to redistribute evenly for a moist and tender texture.
Once rested, slice the brisket across the grain in long 1⁄4 inch thick slices. Cutting against the grain makes it more tender to bite into. Make sure you have a proper BBQ knife for this purpose otherwise meat will look awkward dumping all your efforts.
Must Read: 10 Best BBQ Knives Of 2024 – Detailed Review
Aim for slices with both leaner flat and fattier point together so guests get the perfect medley of textures in one bite.
The brisket can be warmed and served again later. Simply reheat slices wrapped in foil at 300F for about 20 minutes until hot.
Smoked Brisket Burnt Ends – The Best Part!
Once you’ve sliced the brisket flat, don’t discard the fatty point end! This is the gateway to the ultimate treat – smoked brisket burnt ends.
To make burnt ends:
1. Cube up the point of the brisket into 1-inch pieces.
2. Toss cubes with your favorite barbecue sauce to generously coat each piece.
3. Return sauced cubes to the smoker for 30-60 mins at 275 F to caramelize the sauce into finger-licking, succulent burnt ends.
These sweet, sticky, smoky burnt ends are like brisket candy! Serve them as appetizers or alongside your sliced brisket for a little extra richness and crunch.
Creative Leftover Smoked Brisket Recipes
Smoked brisket keeps well refrigerated for up to a week. Here are some fun ways to transform leftovers:
Brisket hash: Dice brisket with potatoes, peppers and onions for a hearty fried hash. Top with a fried egg!
Smoked brisket dip: Shred brisket and mix into a cheesy cream sauce. Serve with crackers or chips.
Brisket nachos: Pile smoked brisket over tortilla chips with melted cheese, beans, salsa and more toppings.
Smoked brisket sandwiches: Pile sliced brisket onto buns with bbq sauce and pickles for an easy leftover meal.
Brisket breakfast tacos: Warm brisket with scrambled eggs, cheese, potatoes and salsa wrapped up in tortillas.
See? Leftover brisket brings the chance to get creative with fun new brisket-based delicacies!
Let’s Get Smoking!
There you have my tried and true method of how to smoke brisket on pellet grill
at home. Follow this guide and you’ll soon be serving tender, textbook brisket just like the pros make in Texas BBQ joints.
The key is great patience – take your time and don’t rush the long, low smoking process. Use quality meat well-prepped with flavorful brisket rub recipes. Maintain an even, steady temperature and wait out the expected stall. Then wrap at 160 F and smoke until probe tender to 203F internal for ideal tenderness.
With my instructions, you can avoid the pitfalls of dry or undercooked brisket. Your guests will be blown away by the mouthwatering smoke flavor in perfect balance with succulent, buttery meat. Leftovers invite creativity too.
I hope this gives you the confidence to start smoking showstopper brisket in your own backyard.
Let me know how your smoked brisket on pellet grill adventures go! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to light my pellet grill.