Smokey, fall apart, melt in your mouth, so delicious smoked beef brisket. It could very easily be the best part of the weekend. Time to try this Traeger Brisket recipe.
One of my favorite parts is the thick tasty bark that develops on a brisket from the long smoke. It adds flavor but also helps keep all those lovely juices inside to cook and break down the brisket. Low and slow is the name of the game here. Using my Traeger Grill to not only hold a constant temperature but to also monitor the internal temperature of the brisket makes this pretty easy. Instead of having to constantly monitor the grill, I was able to set this Traeger brisket and listen for the temperature alarms while I get some other stuff accomplished.
Step One - Trim the brisket.
How to Trim a Brisket
When you purchase a large whole packer brisket, you have to spend some time trimming the fat from the edges, and the big piece of fat that divides the flat from the point. If you want to learn more about the differences between the flat and the point click here. I started with a 13 pound brisket and I probably had to trim off about 2 to 3 lbs of fat.
Step Two - Season the brisket.
What Seasoning Should I Use?
I wanted to make this one very easy and highlight the flavor of the meat without going too crazy with seasonings and rubs. I mixed equal amounts of freshly ground pepper, sea salt, and garlic powder. Be generous with the seasoning. This is a very thick piece of meat.
The easiest way to season the brisket is to lay it in a tray and massage all of the seasonings all over it. If you need to make more seasoning go ahead, you want the whole outside to be nicely coated. Take some care to massage the seasoning into the sides, and all the nicks and crannies of the meat.
After I seasoned the brisket, I put it back in the refrigerator for several hours. Meat absorbs smoke better when it is cold and after trimming the brisket and seasoning it, it had been out of the fridge for about 20 minutes of prep time. It also gives more time for the seasoning to permeate the meat in this Traeger brisket recipe.
Step Three - Fire up the Smoker (in this case, Traeger Grill)
How to Smoke a Beef Brisket
Wood selection is a personal choice. Some prefer a certain type of mix over others. I went with Traeger pecan pellets for this brisket. I filled up the pellet hopper and set the temperature for 225°F. Once the grill reached temperature, I placed the brisket on the grill with the fat side up. This allows the fat as it melts, to slowly baste the brisket. I then set the internal temperature probe alarm to 170°F. I figured it would take about 7 to 9 hours to reach that temperature. I then went to sleep for the night.
Once the brisket reaches 170°F, I wrapped it in butcher paper and set it back in the grill, still at 225°F, this time fat side was down. I reset the internal temperature probe alarm to 200°F. The goal is to smoke the brisket to until the internal temperature reaches 202°-205°F. I knew that if I come to check it at close to that, I would be able to hit a few different spots with my meat thermometer to ensure evenly cooked throughout the whole brisket.
Step Four - Let it rest.
Once the brisket reaches 202°F throughout, remove from the smoker, wrap it in a towel and place it in a cooler to rest. Let it rest for at least two hours. We were bringing this brisket to a friend's house for dinner, it ended up resting in the cooler for about 4 hours and was perfectly hot, delicious, and moist when it came time to slice and serve.
Traeger Brisket Tips
When slicing the brisket, always slice against the grain. I started by slicing the flat, when I got to the point, the grain changes. You then just turn it 90 degrees and continue to slice.
You can use bbq sauce and mop sauce on the brisket if you want. Wrapping the brisket allows you to retain moisture if you want to forgo the sauce as I did.
Smoking a brisket on a pellet grill might catch some flack from die-hard pit bosses, but if you are looking for delicious brisket and don't want to tie up your whole weekend making dinner, you have to smoke your brisket on the Traeger.
How to serve Treager Brisket
I served this naked, no bbq sauce or gravy. It was the main course and we served it with our smoked cheesy potatoes, smoked cauliflower, or grilled broccoli. Another favorite is to serve the brisket with our smoked mac and cheese. A fresh garden salad is another great choice. You really don't need much else when you have a perfectly cooked Traeger smoked brisket.
If you are looking for an easy smoked brisket recipe that you can use your pellet grill or Traeger grills to complete, this is the recipe for you.
- ¼ cup salt
- ¼ cup ground black pepper
- ¼ cup garlic powder
- 13 lb whole beef brisket
- Trim excess fat from the brisket. Be sure to locate the ridge of fat between the point and the flat. The fat cap side should be cut down to only have ¼" of fat on that side. Be sure not to take too much off. You can always take it off little by little. If you take too much off, you can't put it back.
- Season the meat with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Be sure to massage the seasoning into every side and crack on the brisket.
- Once seasoned, let the brisket rest in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
- Preheat your smoker or pellet grill to 225°F. Once it is preheated, place the brisket on with the fat side up. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 170°F.
- Once the brisket reaches 170°F, wrap it in butcher paper and place it back in the smoker at 225°F. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 202°F.
- Once the brisket reaches 202°F. Remove from grill. Let it rest for at least 2 hours. I recommend wrapping it in a towel and placing it in a cooler while it rests.
- After the brisket has finished resting, slice and serve. Be sure to slice the brisket against the grain. The flat and the point have a different direction of grain by about 90 degrees.