Traeger Smoked Brisket - Tender beef brisket recipe (2024)

By: Author Nicole Johnson

Posted on - Last updated:

Categories Beef, Recipes, Traeger Recipes

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Traeger Smoked Brisketis bold and beefy and makes the most out of this tough cut of beef. Serve this up for holidays, Sunday barbecue, or even a week’s (or more) worth of lunches.

Traeger Smoked Brisket - Tender beef brisket recipe (1)

Traeger Smoked Brisket

Smoking your brisket on the Traeger helps to infuse the brisket with incredible flavor from the wood smoke and all of the spices and seasonings you layer on. You won’t need to make a pit stop at your local barbecue joint with a recipe like this!

Many people are intimidated by brisket, but there are all kinds of tricks you can use to make sure your brisket stays tender and juicy. I am always looking for ways to master the grill, but with a straightforward, no-fuss approach.

While slow-cooking or oven-cooking brisket is a tasty option, nothing compares to a brisket cooked over a live wood fire.

This post was updated in September 2020 with fresh instructions and photos.

More Easy Traeger Recipes here!

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Smoked Brisket Shopping List

  • Beef Brisket
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic

More Traeger Beef Recipes here!

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How to make a Traeger Brisket

This is just the overview so you can see what you’re getting into here. When you are cooking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.



Take your meat out of the fridge and trim off the excess fat. (If you are looking for a brisket trimming tutorial, check out this view on YouTube from Meat Church.) Let the meat come to room temperature.



We’re aiming for around 225° for this stage of the game.



Wrap your meat with butcher paper (check out this tutorial from Chad Ward & Traeger on how to wrap a brisket) and place it back on the smoker. Cook until it is probe-tender, at about 204° IT.



Take your wrapped brisket and wrap it in a few bath towels, and then place it into a cooler. Rest for at least 1 hour before slicing. 2-3 hours is better, but a 1-hour minimum is acceptable.


Slice and Eat

Slice against the grain and enjoy! Only slice what you’ll be eating at that sitting. Keep the rest together for the best results with any leftovers.

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Traeger Brisket FAQ

Is corned beef the same thing as brisket?

While a corned beef starts out as a brisket, it is then brined and cured. If you were to make a corned beef to cook, you would get a totally different flavor as it is packed with spices.

Can you shred brisket?

Sure, but I’m not sure why you’d want to.

If you are going for a pulled beef, I’d recommend using a chuck roast instead, like in my shredded barbecue beef recipe or this smoked bbq beef sandwich recipe.
Brisket is best served sliced with all of the classic fixings. My favorite is to slap a thick slab of it into a hot dog bun, topped with my favorite barbecue sauce, and then a generous scoop of coleslaw.

What makes brisket tough?

Brisket is outstanding when cooked properly. Brisket is tougher and chewier meat compared to other cuts of beef.

When you cook it on the pellet grill, you need to cook it low and slow. If you pull the brisket off too soon, it’s gonna be a tough slab of meat.

When you go to slice brisket, and it’s tough, it means you need to cook it longer so it can break down the connective tissues and become tender and juicyas you want.Ideally, you want it to be “probe” tender, usually around 204-205°.

Can you freeze cooked brisket?

You can freeze any of your brisket that you don’t plan to eat within a few days. Use a Foodsaver for vacuum sealing or a freezer bag.

Bonus because the best way to reheat this will be in a hot-water bath or sous vide machine.

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Best side dishes for smoked brisket

  • Baked Beans
  • Cucumber salad
  • Cornbread
  • Coleslaw(great topper for sandwiches)
  • Corn Casserole
  • Smoked Potato salad
  • Traeger corn on the cob
  • Macaroni salad

Brisket is versatile, so you could pick a handful of sides and make it work.

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24 Incredible Traeger Recipes

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Recipes using leftover Brisket

Get creative and use up your leftover brisket in a handful of ways!

  • Beef Barley Soup
  • Brisket Tacos on the Blackstone
  • The Ultimate Grilled Cheesewith brisket and cheese toasted on buttery bread.
  • Quesadillasare another fantastic option.
  • Try my Beef and Mushroom Pockets. You could use sharp cheddar in there, too!
  • Create brisket enchiladasinstead of using basic roast or hamburger!

Or skip the variations, warm it up, and serve with your favorite sides. This brisket reheats like a champ. Same fantastic grilled flavors in every single bite.

I have a whole post dedicated to leftover roast beef recipes, and brisket is a perfect piece of leftover beef for this.

More recipes to enjoy!

  • Grilled Teriyaki Salmon
  • Hanger Steak
  • Fried Wontons
  • Bolognese Sauce
  • Poor Man’s Burnt Ends
  • Tonkotsu Ramen
  • Country-Style Pork Ribs
  • London Broil
  • Recipes using Smoked Chicken
  • Grape Jelly Meatballs
  • Smoked Prime Rib
  • Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole
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Yield: 15 servings

Traeger Smoked Brisket - Tender beef brisket recipe (9)

My easy smoked brisket recipe is cooked on a Traeger Pellet Grill, and is one of the best meals I've ever had. Simple seasonings and attention to detail make for a piece of meat you won't soon forget.

Prep Time25 minutes

Cook Time12 hours

Total Time12 hours 25 minutes


  • 15-18 pound beef brisket
  • 1/2 cup Salt, Pepper, Garlic blend


  1. Take your Brisket out of the refrigerator and let sit out at room temperature for 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Trim off the excess fat.
  2. Preheat your grill to 225°.
  3. Coat the brisket with rub on both sides.
  4. Place your brisket directly on the grill surface, shut the lid, and smoke it for until the internal temperature reaches 180-190°. Wrap with butcher paper, and put back on the grill.
  5. Cook wrapped until the internal temperature of the brisket is 204-205°.
  6. Remove, let rest for 1 hour wrapped in the butcher paper as well as a couple of bath towels, and place it into a clean cooler.
  7. Pull from the cooler, unwrap, and slice.


Our brisket took about 13 hours until it was done. Yours may take more or less time. With brisket, especially, you really have to just go with it.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving:Calories: 797Total Fat: 51gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 291mgSodium: 149mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 79g

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Nicole Johnson


Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.

Traeger Smoked Brisket - Tender beef brisket recipe (2024)


What is the trick to smoking a tender brisket? ›

Keep the fat side up so the juices can drip through the meat. Wrap in foil. Begin by smoking your brisket unwrapped so the fat, spices, smoke, and heat start to create the bark. For about half of the cooking time, wrap your meat in foil to preserve moisture and also steam the meat to make it even more tender.

What is the best temperature to cook a brisket on a Traeger grill? ›

Preheat the Traeger Grill to 225°F. Generously season the brisket with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place the brisket directly on the grill grates and close the lid. Smoke until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (roughly 5-7 hours).

How long to smoke a tender brisket? ›

Our general rule of thumb is to plan on between 30 and 60 minutes per pound when learning how to cook a brisket. For example, a 16-pound brisket cooked at 275 degrees Fahrenheit will take between 10 and 12 hours. The entire process from trimming, injection, seasoning, and cooking will take between 18 and 20 hours.

How do you make brisket tender on a pellet smoker? ›

Place the fat side of the brisket up, and let it cook for about 2-3 hours for the bark to set. Spray your bark every hour or so as needed. Continue cooking until the stall or until your brisket is tender and ready to some off the smoker.

What is the fastest way to tenderize a brisket? ›

That's why you will most often see recipes that indicate a low temperature for a long cooking time. But it doesn't need as much time as most people think. Three hours on 325 F will tenderize plenty, as long as your brisket is a flatter cut and doesn't weigh much more than three pounds.

Is it OK to cut a brisket in half before smoking? ›

Cutting brisket in half is the most logical thing to do. You may not need the whole primal cut, or the size can be too big for a smoker. If you cut it in half you'll also speed up the cooking process, and you can still cook it to perfection.

How long to smoke a 12 lb brisket at 225 degrees? ›

For the initial smoke phase, I plan about 8 hours at 225 degrees F for my 12-13 pound briskets to reach 165 degrees F. However, your brisket will enter a phase in between 145 degrees F and 165 degrees F where the liquid evaporating from the surface of the brisket will cool it while your grill is trying to cook it.

How long per pound to smoke brisket at 225? ›

A: You can usually figure about 1.5 hours per pound at 225 degrees for brisket, pork shoulder and other larger pieces of meat. Several things can affect this time such as actual meat thickness, wind, temperature and how often you open the door of the smoker.

Do you flip brisket on Traeger? ›

If You Ask Us, Fat-Side-Down Is The Way To Go

So, the next time you're cooking a delicious cut of brisket on your wood pellet grill, remember these tips: no flipping, basting, braising, and always cook fat-side-down.

Can you wrap a brisket too early? ›

Wrapping the brisket at this stage also helps keep it moist and tender by trapping the juices and preventing it from drying out. If you wrap a brisket too early, you may end up with a softer, less textured bark. If you wrap the brisket late, it may take a lot longer to cook.

Should I spray my brisket in Traeger? ›

Place the brisket directly on the grill grates, fat-side down. Close the lid and cook until the internal temperature reaches 150-160°F, 8-12 hours, spritzing with apple juice every 30-45 minutes after the first 3 hours.

Does brisket get more tender the longer you smoke it? ›


If you have more time, you can lower the temperature for a more tender, fall-apart texture.

Why is my brisket not tender after smoking? ›

The type of connective tissue in brisket is called collagen. Cook the meat quickly and you get tough, dry meat. Cook a brisket slowly, with some liquid, and the collagen turns into gelatin. A tender and moist brisket is the result.

How do you keep brisket moist and tender? ›

Importance of Marbling

The fat melts as it cooks, infusing the brisket with incredible moisture and flavor. Marbling enhances brisket by naturally tenderizing the muscle fibers during low and slow cooking.

How to make a brisket fall apart? ›

To cook it until it's so tender it falls apart, you'll need to choose a joint like chuck and blade or beef brisket and either braise, slow roast or slow cook it for at least a couple of hours.

Should I rub a brisket before smoking? ›

Preparing a smoked brisket dry rub recipe is the first step you take in making a smoked beef brisket recipe. The rub flavors the brisket and readies the meat for the smoker.

What do you soak a brisket in before smoking it? ›

Dissolve the salt and sugar in the boiling water. Add the ice, then let cool to room temperature. Place the brisket in the brine and cover. Transfer to the refrigerator to brine overnight.


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