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Texas-Style Brisket

Texas-Style Brisket

By Matt Pittman

Matt Pittman keeps this brisket simple but shares all the secrets to its success here. In Texas, brisket is mainly seasoned with salt and black pepper, but most BBQ joints in the Lone Star State will add a little something else, like Lowry’s, too. Matt goes with a liberal coating of his Holy Cow BBQ Rub followed by a light sprinkling of his Holy Gospel BBQ Rub. Other great options are Traeger Beef Rub or Prime Rib Rub. No matter what you season it with, if you follow Matt's advice, you'll wind up with slices of some damn fine brisket.

Prep Time

20 Min

Cook Time

10 Hr


Signature Pellet Blend


This recipe serves:


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Units of Measurement:
1 full packer brisket (12 to 15 lb)
yellow mustard
Meat Church Holy Cow BBQ Rub
Meat Church Holy Gospel BBQ Rub
Apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle (optional)


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    Texas-Style Brisket

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  • 1

    Trim the brisket: Set the brisket meat side up. With a sharp, flexible knife, preferably a boning or fillet knife, remove any hard fat off the meaty side of the brisket. You don’t have to go crazy; any tender fat on this side will render when the brisket cooks. (There’s also no need to remove the silverskin.) Next, trim the edges of the brisket fairly aggressively to remove the hard fat there.

  • 2

    Flip the brisket over so the fat side is up. With both hands grab along the seam of fat that connects the point and the flat and lift it up to create something that resembles a mohawk (if the brisket had hair). Instead of digging this fat out, cut the entire mohawk right off. (Any meat that comes off can be ground up for burgers.) Shave off most of the fat on the fatty side of the brisket, leaving about ¼ inch of fat. (If you like, you can gently heat the fat to render it as tallow.) Finally, round the ends of the brisket to avoid overcooking the “corners.” If one side of the flat is much thinner than the other, trim off and round the very thin side to make the meat as evenly thick as possible. Give the brisket another once over and remove any remaining hard or loose bits of fat. Pro tip: It's easier to trim the brisket when the meat is very cold.

  • 3

    Season to make a Texas-style brisket: Rub the mustard all over the brisket; this will help the spices adhere and stay put during cooking. Don’t worry if you don’t like mustard as this step does not add any mustard-y flavor. Season the brisket liberally and all over with Holy Cow BBQ Rub or your favorite brisket seasoning. Optionally, add a light layer of Holy Gospel BBQ Rub. Let the brisket sit in the seasoning at room temp for 30 minutes. Even better, season the brisket the night before cooking it and cover and refrigerate.

  • 4

    When ready to cook, preheat the Traeger with the lid closed to 220°F; this will take about 15 minutes.

    220 ˚F / 104 ˚C

  • 5

    Insert a leave-in meat thermometer so that its tip is in the middle of the thickest part of the flat. Place the brisket fat side up on the grill grate (use an upper shelf if you have one) and cook, using Super Smoke if desired, for 2 hours.

    220 ˚F / 104 ˚C


    Super Smoke

  • 6

    Increase the temperature to 250°F. Continue cooking the internal temperature reaches 175°F, another 6 to 7 hours. Note that the meat may stall for some time during this period, but it will eventually get to that temperature.

    250 ˚F / 121 ˚C

    175 ˚F / 79 ˚C

  • 7

    Wrap the Texas-style brisket: Have ready enough butcher paper to wrap the brisket. You will likely need to overlap a couple long pieces. (If you don’t have butcher paper, you can use foil, but since it does not breathe, the bark may soften some.) To make the butcher paper more pliable for wrapping, spritz it all over with the apple cider vinegar. (Alternatively, brush it with melted tallow if available.) Spritz the meat as well to add a little moisture. Wrap the brisket up tightly by bringing the bottom of the paper up and over the meat and tucking the end of the paper under the meat. Next tuck some of that top layer of paper under the sides like a paper football. Fold over each side of paper, then roll the meat up tightly.

  • 8

    Return the wrapped brisket to the grill and cook until the internal temperature reaches around 203°F, another 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the brisket, the weather, and your grill model. While the internal temperature is a good indicator of doneness, what you are really looking for is the perfect tenderness. When properly cooked, a brisket will bend when you pick it up in the middle and an instant-read thermometer or similar should slide into the meat as easily as if it were a stick of room-temperature butter.

    250 ˚F / 121 ˚C

    203 ˚F / 95 ˚C

  • 9

    Rest the brisket: Remove the brisket from the grill and let it rest at room temperature, still wrapped, for at least 1 hour. Even better, let it rest until the temperature lowers to 140°F, which can take up to 3 hours. (Note: If you used foil to wrap, open it up while the meat rests to preserve the bark.)

  • 10

    When ready to eat, unwrap brisket and place it on a cutting board. Pro tip: Drizzle any rendered fat in the paper onto the meat. Separate the point from the flat to allow you to slice each against the grain. Only slice as much as you intend to serve; to avoid oxidizing the cut side of the meat, place it cut side down on the board when not slicing. Serve with your favorite sides. Enjoy!

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