Beef brisket is a cut of beef that comes from the lower chest of a cow. It is one of the nine beef primal cuts. The brisket muscles support about 60% of the bodyweight of a cow, so it has a lot of tough connective tissue.
Brisket is a barbecue favorite because slow-cooking brisket melts the connective tissue, turning this cut of meat into a tender, melt-in-your-mouth feast.
Though the exact cut varies internationally, in the United States the brisket is cut from the lower breast or chest of the cow. It’s found between the chuck and the shank.
Smoking a brisket the right way is a daylong endeavor. We recommend smoking a 12 to 14-pound brisket for 8 to 9 hours at 225 degrees Fahrenheit, Super Smoke mode, or until the internal temperature reaches 204 degrees Fahrenheit. We then recommend letting it sit for an hour before slicing it. The time it takes to smoke a brisket depends on a few factors including the size of the brisket and smoking temperature. See our guide below for a step-by-step guide on brisket times and temperatures.
While you don’t want to trim all of the fat off of your brisket, you’ll want to remove some. Get rid of any hard fat that won’t render well during smoking, any fat that will prevent you from seasoning the meat, and any unattractive edge meat that will make your finished brisket look less appealing.
Traeger Pitmaster Matt Pittman will walk you through everything from trimming and seasoning, to smoking a brisket on the Traeger, to achieve full packer perfection. Smoked low and slow, wrapped, and rested, this classic BBQ beef will earn you pitmaster status.
Some types of meat taste best with specific wood pellets - but brisket pairs well with a wide range of wood flavors. Some pitmasters like a robust hickory flavor while others prefer milder woods or sweeter woods like apple. You can even try something like pecan for an especially unique smoked brisket.
Other recommended flavors are:
Prep Time: 15 mins.
Cook Time: 12 hrs.
There’s more than one way to smoke a brisket. From super simple beginners' recipes to game plans for the more advanced, we have a little something for everyone. Here are a few of our most popular recipes for you to try out on your pellet grill.
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that we have a lot to say about brisket. With all of the experts we have on hand, we just can’t help it. Here are a few of our most popular articles about brisket from getting the perfect burnt ends to wrapping a brisket and beyond.
Brisket is a cut of beef from the lower breast of a cow.
If you learn better by watching than reading, check out all of our brisket videos to guide you on your smoked brisket journey.
Wrapping your brisket is a crucial part of the cooking process. Here, Chad Ward shows you two different ways to wrap your brisket – one using butcher paper, and the other using aluminum foil.
Curtis Nations’ favorite thing to cook, and eat, is brisket. Since this is his competition specialty, he gave us some pointers on how to select a brisket. Look for a brisket with dark, red meat. The fat should be nice, clear, and white. The interstructural fat is the most important — more marbling means more flavor and more tender brisket.
Nothing screams Texas more than this full packer. BBQ brisket injected with Butcher’s Prime, given an apple juice spritz, rubbed down with a prime rib and coffee rub mix, topped with black pepper and slow-smoked over oak. Bring Texas BBQ to your own backyard with this recipe.
It’s one of the most debated questions in barbeque -- do you smoke brisket fat side up or fat side down? Answer: You should always cook your brisket fat side down. If you cook your brisket fat side up, the fat won’t render the brisket. Instead, it’ll wash away all that amazing seasoning, and prevent the beautiful, uniform bark from forming.
One of the reasons we never get tired of smoked brisket is because it’s a versatile meat. Yes, brisket is incredible on its own, but it’s also an amazing dish when paired with other ingredients. From brisket pot pie to brisket hash, here are a few of our out-of-the-box recipes that feature brisket.
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