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How To Cook A Full Packer Brisket

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If you're looking for a hearty meal to serve your family or a piece of meat that's sure to win over the judges at your next barbecue competition, consider the packer brisket. This deliciously marbled piece of meat is not just a meal, but a culinary adventure that every pitmaster should give a try. Keep reading to learn how to cook this illustrious piece of meat on the Traeger.

What is a Packer Brisket?

If you're curious about the difference between a packer brisket and a regular brisket, just know that they're essentially different cuts from the same meat, primarily distinguished by size, presentation, and preparation.


A packer brisket is the whole brisket containing the point and flat muscles, and a large, fatty, delicious cross-section called the "point" or "deckle" that runs across the bottom of the fat cap of the flat. A brisket with both the point and the flat is referred to as a full packer in the BBQ world and typically weighs between 10-20 lbs. While a packer brisket is usually more challenging and expensive than a typical grocery store brisket, this versatile and flavorful cut is well worth it.

Follow the simple steps below and you'll never go back to cooking just the flat again.

How to Cook a Packer Brisket


1. Trim the excess fat from the corners and sides down to about 1/4 inch thick. Coat the brisket liberally with preferred rub (beef rub, prime rib rub, or salt and pepper). Don't forget to pick out your pellets for the best results.

2. Start the Traeger on smoke and pre-heat to 180° F.

3. How Long Does It Take to Smoke a Brisket? Place it fat side down on the grill grate and smoke for 4-6 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches around 160° F.

4. After 4-6 hours of smoke, remove and double wrap in foil. Turn the grill to 225 and cook the brisket until it reaches an internal temperature of 200 – 205° F, approximately 6 more hours.

More Additional Tips:

Once you reach an internal temperature of 200 - 205°F by monitoring your MEATER thermometer, you'll know when to take your brisket off the grill.

We have had better success at achieving a tender, juicy brisket by letting it reach 205°F before pulling it off the grill. Many people place it in a cooler and let it rest for up to 2 hours.

If you like a darker bark on the outside, return the meat to the hot grill after reaching the final temperature of 195°F to 205°F until your desired darkness is achieved.

How to Slice a Brisket

To Serve: Find which way the grain is going. You always want to cut your meat against the grain. Slice the brisket in ¼” slices and serve with your favorite Traeger BBQ sauce.

Slicing a full packer is different than slicing just the flat alone. Since there are two connecting muscles with two different grains, you must first separate the flat from the point. There is a line of fat that separates the two muscles and it is fairly simple to find with the edge of your knife (or even your fingers). The fat will be much softer than the muscle, so simply glide a very sharp knife along the soft line of fat and the two pieces will come apart easily.

Now that you have these expert brisket tips and tricks, get to grilling!

Best Brisket Recipes

  • Chef's Brisket Recipe: Elevate your grilling game with this mouthwatering chef-inspired brisket recipe for a truly exceptional Traeger experience.
  • Beef Brisket Recipe: Master the art of smoking beef brisket with our step-by-step guide, creating tender and flavorful results every time.
  • Scheiding BBQ Brisket Recipe: Taste the ultimate blend of flavors with this Scheiding BBQ brisket recipe, designed to satisfy your BBQ cravings with each smoky bite.
  • Midnight Brisket Recipe: Perfect your late-night barbecue sessions with this Midnight Brisket recipe, delivering that smoky, savory goodness under the moonlight.
  • Longhorn Brisket Recipe: Transport yourself to Texas with this Longhorn Brisket recipe, bringing the authentic taste of Texas barbecue to your Traeger grill.
Competition Style BBQ Brisket

by Traeger Kitchen

Prep Time

30 Min

Cook Time

10 Hr





Clear some space in the trophy case because our competition-style brisket recipe will have you wrapped up in winning wood-fired flavor.

1 (12-16 lb) whole packer brisket
3 Cupwater
1/4 CupButcher BBQ Beef Injection
1 Teaspoonwhite pepper
1 Teaspoononion powder
1 Teaspoongarlic powder
1 Tablespoonbeef bouillon
1 Cupkosher salt
3/4 CupBlack pepper
To TasteTraeger Coffee Rub
2 Cupbeef broth
Special Equipment
meat injector
  • 1

    When ready to cook, set the Traeger temperature to 225℉ and preheat with the lid closed for 15 minutes. For optimal flavor, use Super Smoke, if available.

  • 2

    Trim all of the fat off the top of the brisket. Trim the fat cap on the bottom to 1/4 inch thick.

  • 3

    In a large liquid measuring cup or medium bowl, combine the water, Butcher BBQ Beef Injection, white pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and beef bouillon.

  • 4

    Use a meat injector to inject the liquid across the top of the brisket in a 1-inch checkerboard pattern.

  • 5

    Season the brisket with salt, pepper, and Traeger Coffee Rub.

  • 6

    Insert the probe into the thickest part of the brisket. Place the brisket directly on the grill grates, fat-side up. Close the lid and smoke until the internal temperature reaches 160°F, 4-5 hours.

  • 7

    Remove the brisket from the grill and wrap in a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil, leaving one end open. Pour the beef broth into the opening, then seal the packet.

  • 8

    Return the brisket to the grill and re-insert the probe. Increase the grill temperature to 250℉. Close the lid and cook until the internal temperature reaches 204°F, 4-5 hours more, depending on the size of the brisket.

  • 9

    Remove the brisket from the grill and wrap in a towel. Let rest for 1 hour.

  • 10

    Unwrap the brisket and slice against the grain. Enjoy!

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