How to Smoke a Brisket on a Pellet Grill Like a Pro

There’s something only grilling enthusiasts know about grilled meat. Sure, you can cook a steak or a brisket in your kitchen. But grilling your meat gives it that flame-broiled flavor you just can’t get anywhere else. 

True grill masters, however, know different grill environments are ideal for different cuts of meat. 

Enter the pellet grill. Unlike flat griddle tops, smokers like a pellet grill give your meat a smoky, mesquite flavor throughout every bite. Everything from chicken breast to flank steak can benefit from a smoked treatment. 

But the best cut of them all to benefit from smoking? Brisket. This cut of beef—which is ideal for corned beef, Texas BBQ and more—does wonders in a slow cooking environment. 

By smoking your brisket, you get tender, flavorful meat that is cooked thoroughly without getting chewy. And you can do so in a fraction of the time a traditional roast takes. 

Let’s explore a step-by-step process for perfectly smoked beef brisket every time. 

Step 1: Trim Your Meat

Don’t just slap your meat into your grill and call it a day. The best meals require prep. And trimming is an unavoidable step one (unless you like eating gristle, that is). 

We recommend using a carving knife and trimming off only some of the fat and gristle. If you remove too much, your meat won’t get enough natural lubrication as it cooks. 

Step 2: Season the Brisket & Rest

Choose your favorite rubs, spices, and more to really coat your brisket in flavor. Purists can opt to sidestep the rubs in favor of good old-fashioned salt and pepper. The good news here is that with smoking, your brisket will suck up all sorts of yummy flavor on its own. The additional seasoning is just for folks who like a zesty mouthful. 

Once your brisket is properly seasoned, set it in the fridge for about 24 hours. This will let all of your rub’s flavor penetrate the flesh. 

Step 3: Choose Your Pellets

Your brisket is going to absorb all of the flavor of the wood you burn, so selecting the right wood pellets is key. We recommend opting for more fragrant, oily woods, such as:  

  • Oak 
  • Pecan 
  • Apple 
  • Maple 
  • Cedar 
  • Cherry 
  • And more 

While different pellets may burn differently, each is going to give off a wonderful smoke as they burn. For real grillmasters, try different woods to experience different flavor profiles. This way, you can find the one you love most. 

Whatever pellet you choose, just be sure to keep a full hopper for the entire smoking process. There’s nothing worse than a dead flame due to an empty hopper.

Filling a pellet grill hopper with wood pellets. Grilling maintenance.

Step 4: Heat Your Pellet Grill

Once your meat is ready for cooking and your hopper is full, it’s time to smoke. Simply heat your pellet grill to 225 degrees Fahrenheit and close the lid. This is going to be the best temp to smoke brisket on a pellet grill. 

Be sure to leave the pellet smoker lid closed for 15 minutes while the pellets burn. This will help the smoke accumulate inside the smoker. 

Step 5: Wrap Your Brisket

Unlike traditional grilled meats, grillmasters know a smoked brisket should be wrapped for b

est results. That’s because wrapping the meal prevents what grillers call “the stall.” 

If the outer layer of the meat gets too

wet from evaporation, the moisture will prevent the smoke from penetrating. With a seal-wrapped brisket, you kiss the stall goodbye. 

The good news about this step is wrapping also ensures your brisket stays moist while cooking. The natural juices are ensconced deep in the thickest part of the meat and have nowhere to escape. Win-win. 

Use butcher paper or aluminum foil for your wrap. Whatever you do, don’t use plastic wrap. 

Step 6: Smoke

It’s time to cook. Simply place your wrapped brisket into your smoker, close the lid, and wait. You’re looking for an internal meat temperature of about 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

You might be tempted to open the lid, but don’t! This will let all the smoke out, and your smoking process will be halted as a result. 

But how can you check the temperature when the lid is closed? We recommend using a wireless meat thermometer. This handy tool can give you an idea of what’s happening inside the smoker without risking the process. 

How long to smoke a brisket on a pellet grill all depends on your cut’s weight and density. This is why a thermometer is a critical component of a good smoke. 

Step 7: Rest

This one is critical. 

Once cooked, take your meat out and place it aside to rest. Our ideal resting time? The longer the better, but ideally about 2 hours. This way, the natural meat juices can settle throughout the meat. 

Honoring this step means serving up award-worthy cuts of smoky meat. Skipping this step is a surefire way of serving up dry, tough meat to your friends and family. 

The Best Smoked Meats Come from the Best Pellet Grills

Explore HALO’s broad range of grills, griddles, and pellet grills for all your outdoor cooking needs. We know grills because we’re grilling enthusiasts ourselves. Shop our Pellet Grills and Accessories

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