Are you tired of using a grill because your food keeps drying out? Are you looking for a way to cook barbecue on a smaller scale but retain the juiciness and flavor of that only smoking can produce? If so, it’s time to learn how to smoke a brisket on a pellet smoker. The process is just as simple as using any other type of smoker, but there are some tricks that can help you do it right.
Preparing the Brisket
To prepare a brisket for smoking, begin by trimming off all excess fat and connective tissue. Then score the fat side with a sharp knife in a cross-hatch pattern, creating a diamond pattern. This will help the fat render out during cooking and allow the rub to penetrate into the meat.
Next, season your brisket with salt and pepper on both sides. You can also add any other spices you’d like to add in there as well: garlic powder or onion powder, chili powder, paprika, etc.
Then cover it in plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge overnight so that all of those flavors can really sink into the meat!
Setting Up the Pellet Grill
1. Preheating the grill
The first step to smoking a brisket is preheating your pellet grill. The temperature should be around 300 degrees Fahrenheit, but this number will vary depending on the type of wood pellets you use. If you’re using hickory pellets, for example, you may want to set your grill at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Selecting the right type of wood pellets
You can use either mesquite or hickory as fuel for your smoker. If you’re new to smoking meat, we recommend starting off with mesquite because it has a sweeter flavor than hickory and will leave less of an aftertaste in your mouth when eaten raw.
Smoking the Brisket
Smoking a brisket on a pellet grill is a simple process. Follow these steps to ensure you’re getting the most out of your brisket.
1. Placing the brisket on the grill
First, preheat your pellet grill to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the brisket on an indirect heat zone of your grill (this is typically one side of your grill that’s further away from the heat source) and place 4-6 briquettes underneath it. You’ll be adding more pellets as needed, so don’t worry about having too many at first.
2. Monitoring the temperature
Once you’ve placed your brisket on the grill, monitor its internal temperature over time by using either an infrared thermometer or a remote probe thermometer. You want to keep this between 200-250 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 6 hours before flipping and continuing to cook for another 2-3 hours until it reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Adding pellets as needed
As you continue cooking, periodically check in on your smoker and add more pellets if necessary until you reach an internal temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit for a final time before serving.
Finishing the Brisket
When you’re finished cooking the brisket, it’s time to slice it.
The best way to cut your brisket is to let it rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving it. This gives the meat time to cool off and relax, so when you slice into it, it won’t fall apart or be too tough.
To slice your brisket, use a sharp knife and cut across the grain of the meat (you can see this by looking at the lines of fat on one side). Make slices about 1/4″ thick, and try not to make them too thin or small – they’ll cook faster than larger pieces of meat like steaks do!
There are many ways to smoke a brisket, and I’m confident that the recipe below is going to work for you, whether you use direct or indirect heat from the pellets, or if you prefer to use wood chunks or a full smoke box. The most important thing, as with all cooking, is to have fun with it and experiment. Enjoy!