How To Smoke a Brisket to Perfection on a Pellet Grill? | The Ultimate Guide for Meat That Melts in Your Mouth!

  • By: Mike Hale
  • Date: September 27, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.
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The incomparable beauty and flavor of smoked brisket never fail to bring us great comfort—A brisket offers a simple and heavenly flavor that directly bursts into your mouth. You’d be happy to learn that smoking a brisket to perfection on a pellet grill is surprisingly easy and does not take more than three ingredients and a little bit of technique.

So, if you want to learn about smoking briskets on a pellet grill, keep reading!

1. Ingredients

A whole-packer brisket, salt, and black pepper are all you need to perfectly smoke a brisket on your pellet grill. And no, you don’t have to buy a brisket dry rub to make a perfect, juicy smoked brisket.

2. Best Type of Wood to Smoke Briskets

Without a doubt, a real Texas brisket requires oak or mesquite. If you want to use mesquite, don’t overdo it. Compared to other woods, mesquite can be bitter. Start with mesquite wood, then add pecan and cherry to balance it. 

Post oak, cherry, and pecan wood are one of the best wood blends for smoking brisket. You can typically buy pellet blends or combine different pellets to create a new, special blend.

  • Pro tip: Hickory makes a good substitute for post oak if you can’t get it.

3. Trimming

Trimming brisket can initially seem intimidating, but when you start trimming it, you’ll realize it’s not as difficult as it initially appears. You can even make your life much easier by trimming the brisket when it’s cold, which will help you slice through the fat faster and easier. But make sure the meat is not cold before you start cooking it for more even cooking and better results. 

Follow these four simple steps to trim your brisket:

  1. You’ll see a thick cap covering one side. Trim the excess fat until it’s roughly ¼-inch thick. After that, start trimming any undesirable gray edges.
  1. Turn the meat over and remove excess silver skin using a sharp knife. If you want to, removing big chunks of fat is possible.
  1. Remove what you can remove from the extra fat—you don’t have to be perfect. It’s OK if there are some remaining!
  1. Cut out this big fatty piece that you never want to bite into since it doesn’t break down with slow cooking. 

That’s it; you now have a clean, trimmed brisket ready for grilling! 

  • Pro tip: if you think the trimming process is a pain in the neck, you can simply ask your butcher to trim the brisket. But make sure that you specify that you want the fat chunk that doesn’t break down to be removed.  

4. Cooking

Before you cook the brisket, mix your salt and pepper and sprinkle it all over the meat’s surface. Don’t forget the sides! Now, follow four simple steps to perfectly smoke your brisket: 

  1. After thoroughly rubbing the brisket with the salt and pepper mix, it’s time to place the brisket on the grill grate in a 225° pellet smoker. Make sure that you place the fat-side up on the heat first.  A delicious, juicy brisket will result from this fat layer melting and rendering throughout the meat during the cooking process. Low and slow cooking is the best way to guarantee tender meat that melts in your mouth. We highly recommend that you look for the thickest part of the flat cut and insert a leave-in probe thermometer for more accuracy and better results.  
  1. When the internal temperature hits about 160°, the cooking process stalls, and the temperature stays the same for several hours. This occurs as the connective tissue starts to break down. Now, wrap your brisket in peach butcher paper to preserve moisture and help the meat get out of this stall. Remember that the precise stall temperature is variable. Wrap the brisket if you see the number of the internal temperature going up and down or stalling when it’s between 155°-160°.
  1. After successfully wrapping your brisket, put it back on the smoker and insert the thermometer in the meat to keep track of its internal temperature again. 
  1. Leave the brisket on the grill until it’s fully cooked. You want the internal temperature to be between 200°-203°. Seeking perfection? The sweet spot is usually 203°! If you want to double-check to ensure the number is accurate, you can simply insert the thermometer in other spots. Cooking brisket should take about an hour and a half per pound at 225° (although not all briskets will cook the same). You know your brisket is ready when the thermometer can be easily inserted like a hot knife through butter.

5. Slicing

The brisket should now be removed from the smoker and rest for a minimum of 60 minutes or even 120 minutes. Get a cutting board and start to slice across the grain. You’ll need to rotate the brisket as you slice since the grains will run in various directions in each cut of meat.

6. Serving

While Texas purists prefer to enjoy their glorious smoked briskets without side dishes, you can still enjoy your smoked brisket with several delicious side dishes if you want to take things to the next level. Here are the best savory side dishes for smoked briskets: 

  • Coleslaw. 
  • Baked beans.
  • Corn pudding.
  • Scalloped potatoes. 
  • Mac & cheese. 
  • Brussels sprouts. 
  • Grilled potatoes
  • Roasted potato salad
  • Roasted carrots.
  • Steamed asparagus.

Final Thoughts

Have we convinced you that smoking a brisket on a pellet grill is a breeze? Fantastic! Now all you have to do is follow the super-duper easy steps mentioned above to a tee, and we promise you’ll have a taste of the mightiest, most delicious brisket ever!