How to Cook Smoked Brisket | Traeger Staples

How to Cook Smoked Brisket | Traeger Staples

Hey guys, I’m Matt Pittman of Meat Church.
I’m here today to show you how to make a brisket on your Traeger. I’m very Central Texas inspired and
so that’s really the method I’m going to show you guys today. What we’re starting
out with here is a full packer brisket. A brisket is comprised of two
muscles. You’ve got the flat and you’ve got the point. So basically they overlap
each other like this. Not right on top of each other but a little bit offset. The first thing we want to do is we want to trim this brisket. We’re probably
gonna take about two pounds out of it and so when you look at a brisket look
on the meat side here. There’s some really hard fat right here at the top we
want to go ahead and take that off to start. No hard fat’s gonna render in your
cooks so I’m going to eliminate that at first. There’s a lot of personal
preference in a brisket but what I’m gonna do is I’ll
effectively shave this out but I’m just making a nice cut not digging deep into
the meat just to remove this fat portion here. The next thing I want to do
is, this old, kind of gray meat on the side, I want to get rid of that so
I’m gonna do probably about a quarter inch just around the edge just to trim
this up to get rid of all that. That’s nice and cleaned up on the side
so now let’s look at the top. You can decide how much of this other fat you
want to take off here. This soft fat will render so you know for cooking in your
backyard you don’t necessarily have to remove it. Any of the stuff that’s really
loose I’ll pick up and kind of fillet it away but where it’s a little thicker
here I’ll go ahead and I’ll take that off so on the fat side, if you
look at this entire brisket what you’ll see is it looks like there’s fat
covering the entire side back here and so what you’d like to do is kind of take
that down to about a quarter of an inch. Maybe a half inch at the absolute most
it’s personal preference so effectively you want to shave that off. I think
that’s pretty good for my standards and then one more piece so this side
here is just a little bit thick so in between the flat and the point there’s
quite a bit of fat in here I want to take that out so that I can season it. So
I’m gonna take my sharp knife again and I’m basically going to just cut kind of
one big section of this off and I cut it out just a hair and then I’m going to
take the whole thing off because there’s just so much fat. Okay so this is looking
really nice and trimmed and now it’s time to season it. There’s a lot of
ways you can season your brisket. Central Texas barbecue is coarse cracked pepper
and big kosher salt 50/50 mixture. A lot of guys add a little bit more to it so
that’s where I like to bring in my Holy Cow rub which is heavy salt and pepper
and a little bit of garlic, touch of paprika and so I’m primarily going to
season just with this rub and I’m gonna start on the meat side and I like to
season pretty high so if you’re seasoning up high then you’re gonna get
a nice even application. Now, I don’t use any binders on my protein before I apply
seasoning. So what’s a binder? A binder could be an olive oil, some people use
things like mustard, Worcestershire sauce, I can apply this seasoning just kind of
pat it a couple times and I’ll be good to go. So in my mind, no real need to do
anything else. I also want to make sure I get the sides. So that’s a pretty healthy application. What I like to do is layer a little bit so I’m
gonna bring in my Holy Gospel rub which is a rub that is primarily Holy
Cow but it has a little bit of our Gospel all-purpose added and so I’m
gonna go light with this. I went pretty average with the first one. This
was just gonna be a nice coating across the top. Not too much. I’m gonna pat that
in. So ideally we would let this sit 20-30 minutes max and we’re gonna flip
it over and repeat the process. Okay so this brisket sweat out for about 30
minutes so if you look at it it’s nice and kind of appears wet on the top and
like I said that’s where the seasoning has pulled some kind of moisture out
basically that means this rub has completely adhered to the brisket and
we’re ready to cook it. But let’s talk about cooking this. We’re gonna cook it
275 fat up and it’s basically gonna be a two-part cook. We’re gonna cook this
thing probably about six hours or so, unwrapped in the grill and then we’re
gonna wrap it and we’re gonna finish the cook and we’re going to talk about
this as we cook it but what you’re gonna be looking for is an internal
temperature and that’s going to be your cue to wrap it. That bark is going to
start to form. It’s gonna look really pretty and so what you’re going to do is
you’re going to take your instant read thermometer and you’re going to check
right in the middle of the flat you’re going to poke in and check and what I
want you to do is wrap it around 165 degrees internal temperature. So let’s
take this thing outside. Here we are at the Traeger. We’ve got it
set at 275 degrees and like I said, I like to cook fat up so
I’m gonna place this baby on this way. We’ve been rocking at 275
degrees let’s take a look and so what you see here is this beautiful mahogany
color. I’m gonna go ahead and test it with my instant-read thermometer right
in the middle of the flat so we’re in the 160 degree range 160ish getting to
165 so I’m ready to pull this thing off and wrap it. Alright we’re coming back
inside, off the Traeger, it’s time to wrap this brisket. There are several ways you
can wrap your brisket. If this is your first brisket, I’d recommend wrapping in
heavy-duty aluminum foil. I’d pull out two arm length pieces on top of each
other, put the brisket on top, wrap it up nice and tight, go back in the Traeger.
That’s the most forgiving way to cook. I’m gonna go the Texas route which is to
wrap in unwaxed pink butcher paper. So the pro of this is all that great bark
you’ve created it’s permeable through this paper so you won’t actually lose
that bark there’s a little bit of a learning curve with butcher paper so
like I said I’d start with foil first I’m gonna take the brisket here this
beautiful mahogany brisket I’m gonna put it right in the middle. I’ve got two
pieces of paper, just kind of overlap so think swaddling a baby
basically however you want to do it and for me I’m gonna go back in fat side up
and you know from here when we go back out on the Traeger what we’re looking
for it’s just to get it again probe tender right here in the middle too flat
so it’s probably around 202-203 degrees and it’s gonna be okay to check it
throughout the cook right through this paper you don’t have to unwrap it or
anything like that just check right here and you’re gonna be good to go. So let’s
go put this back on the Traeger you’re staying at 275 taking it home. Alright,
you got this baby wrapped, fat up right back in the Traeger 275 degrees. I’m not
going to touch it I’m gonna come back in here and check it in about an hour and a
half right here and when I get in the 190s I’m gonna
check it about every 10-15 minutes or so until we get to where we’re probe tender and we’re done. Alright so we’re gonna probe this brisket and like I said we want to check it in the flat. You can see where I’ve checked it a couple of times
I’m okay going back in the same hole it feels really tender right now so I’m
feeling good about this it’s time really to pull this thing off
and we want to let it rest. Super important to let your brisket rest for
at least an hour. You’ve been hitting this brisket with high heat for 10 hours
or so and all the moisture in this briskets kind of out at the end of the
muscle fibers and you wanna let that thing relax so that moisture
redistributes throughout the entire brisket. You don’t want to slice this
thing hot this thing if you slice it it’s steaming out that’s just robbing
yourself of a really juicy bite you could have. So, important to rest at an
hour but you could rest this thing after 3-4 hours and it’ll be fantastic. Just put it in the cooler and lock it down so we’re done. Okay so we brought the brisket in
wrapped, left it wrapped, put it in a cooler and it sat there for just over an
hour now we’ve pulled it out and it’s time to slice this and I want to show
you this thing fat up I told you how this was gonna render. Look how soft this
is. This is going to be an amazing bite and it’s just tender as can be I can
tell just from the touch. I want to talk to you a little bit about slicing.
Common mistake I see people make is they take their knife and they just start
slicing straight down this brisket so the first thing that we’ll do when the
whole brisket comes out is basically cut it in 1/3. So we’ll go about 1/3 of the
brisket down and just make a nice pretty cut. Here, you can see on the flat that
it’s a little more lean. You can see all the fat here in the point. I don’t like
it when people squeeze their brisket but just to show you what you can achieve on
the Traeger. I’m gonna squeeze it for you. Anyway, just a little bit don’t squeeze
that too much, again, you’re gonna rob yourself of a super juicy bite
squeezing that but it sure is sexy to look at. Now I’m going
to slice this to different directions here on the on the leaner side or on the
flat we can go ahead and just slice right down the brisket. So I’m just
gonna slice a few slices here this direction and for those of you that like
the fattier stuff which, this is my favorite part of the brisket, you’re
actually going to spin this because the grain goes a different direction and
I’m gonna slice mine actually thicker so I’m going almost even half
inch on this end opposite direction on the slices and I want to show you. Look
at that gorgeous smoke ring that we got off the Traeger. Oak pellets help with
a heavy smoke. The Holy Cow rub, the Holy Ghost will just give you that gorgeous
smoke ring we’ve got right there so here’s kind of the difference so you can
choose if you like the lean or if you like the fatty. Pull this apart talk to
you about that perfect fat there not too much fat is flavor
when using the moderation and that is a perfect and amount to me and I can’t
wait any longer so ain’t mad about it. That my friends, is a
Texas brisket. So hope you guys enjoy. For this recipe and others hit or download the app.

100 thoughts on “How to Cook Smoked Brisket | Traeger Staples”

  1. Does this guy not know that this Traeger comes with its own probe, so he doesnt have to open it every hour?!

  2. Great video but I’ve had a pellet smoker and it’s very convenient but doesn’t give you that real wood flavor. I sold mine and bought a IVS from Lonestar grills and I set it and forget it. The flavor is very close to a stick burner.
    By the way I got several of your rubs at Bucees and they are amazing. I love the color they put on my ribs and brisket!!!
    Thank you sir!!!

  3. Pellet grills are a total joke. No smoke flavor that why all the owners put smoke tubes in them that don't help. And go watch all the videos on YouTube of Traeger grill exploding like a bomb into a fireball. Even news channels are doing stories on them. Yours did not even look good. No bark at all, did not look good when you sliced it. Traeger = Exploding hot garbage.

  4. Great vid Matt, and a very tasty looking brisket. I have good luck with a 5 hour cook at 300. Yours looks a bit overcooked.

  5. One thing that no one ever mentions is it will continue to cook in a cooler. So if you have a supper tender brisket and put it in a cooler for hr or 2 pretty good chance it will turn into strings and not be sliceable.

  6. Great video, I have made 2 briskets on my Traeger so far & loved them both…these tips will take my cook/carve to the next level, thank you!

  7. Great video—gotta try those rubs! Can’t beat that Central Texas bbq!! I do love the bbq from around my neck of the woods in Arkansas, but as I’ve lived in seven different states and visited nearly all, I’ve come to appreciate all the different styles.

  8. Do you lose anything by using a leave in temp probe? And ive seen other people who separate the point and the flat, is there any reason why you chose not to? Great video btw and I might do one of these myself very soon.

  9. Great video. Traeger allows me (a city boy novice) to BBQ better than the stuff the local pros make and charge a fortune. I cannot believe I BBQ as well as I do. But I do. Briskets, chickens, beef and pork ribs, roasts, wings, all of it.
    Get a remote temp probe and find Malcolm at howtobbqright and watch his videos.

  10. I own a Pit Boss, but your videos are excellent! I look forward to using the skill set you have demonstrated. Thank you!

  11. Thank You Matt for your video. I have been smoking my briskets around 225 and for the most part the brisket is good, but most of the time, a bit dried out in the thinner areas. After watching your video, I tried another brisket at 275, as you commented on and it was the most tender and juiciest brisket I have ever cooked. My family devoured that 12 lb., brisket in one dinner.

  12. Awesome I have two traegers old style 075 with cold smokers one Louisiana one PK one Brinkkman off set a Traeger 22mag and a couple Weber's for fast cooking. Out of all the grills the Traeger is far the best for long cooks and smoking. The Louisiana is second great videos guys. All my friends give me a hard time about all the grills on my deck but I love to cook!!!!!!!!!

  13. Never understood why after wrapping the brisket it goes back in the smoker. Why not just put it in the oven at 275F? Isn't going to get any smoke wrapped up.

  14. Oh wow looked delicious but I'm from west Texas I'd have to use mesquite wood. It's pretty powerful smoke so ik some people don't like it but it's my preference. Very awesome video though!! Saw some awesome tips I can't wait to use.

  15. I’m still nervous to do my first brisket on my lil Tex ( in Tx !) I have watched numerous vids, and soon will grab me a prime one from Costco and do it! 😎🙌

  16. It says smoking fat side up for the second round again, but at 6:29 it looks like he wraps it fat side up before turning it over to finish wrapping. So did you mean flat side up for round two, or am I just seeing it wrong?

  17. My wife enjoyed the brisket a while back, but THIS? Just kept it simple. I'm going to follow this model next time. Thanks for the tips!

  18. I'm on my 3rd Traeger. Keep on upgrading. I now have the Timberline 850 like you used in this video. Cooked a monster brisket for 33 people the other night and it was a huge hit! Hate to say it but my Big Green Egg and propane BBQ are deck ornaments now. I love my new Traeger!

  19. You can’t control how much smoke it gets . It’s not a good grill for smoking brisket. I don’t recommend.

  20. Great video. Im thinking about purchasing a Traeger. Ive always smoked my briskets on offset stick burners. Definitely looking forward to this. Greetings from Far North Fort Worth!!

  21. So if your brisket gets to 165 internal at 275 to quickly then what so I'm saying it gets to hot to fast not long enough of a cook to break down the fibers

  22. Hi Matt. I’m smoking a brisket and I’m running at 225 degrees. After only three hours I’m almost at 165 degrees internally on the flat. I’m concerned because normally reaching 165 degrees takes roughly six hours? Am I probing incorrectly? Thank you sir!

  23. I'm sorry but pellet cookers have no credibility with me. It's not natural to "plug in" your smoker. I cook on an offset and a komado because I love the experience of doing the work to get great food. Just something unsettling about "set it and forget it". It's not for me.

  24. 275F on my Traeger was way too hot… I hit 205F in the first 6 hours and the brisket was tough. My brisket looked identical to that in the video, but after a lot of reading it looks like the time it takes varies greatly from brisket to brisket — even when they are similar sizes/weights.

    I would recommend anyone watching this to check your temps frequently and not just throw it in for 6 hours like I did! All ended well, though, as I reheated the brisket and cooked for another 4.5 hours… it came out great.

  25. I love this guy when he teaches! I wonder how many church services he has on Sunday! LOL! I’m surprised there are thumbs down on this video. Too many gas grill owners out there, or people working for a competitor…

  26. With my first ever brisket man those rubs outstanding!! I did a 12 hour cook on mine! 225 super smoke till internal temp hit 165! wrapped in butcher paper and cranked heat to 275. pulled brisket off at 203, and let it rest for 1 hour.
    I really need to try this again!! gave most of mine away to some friends in need!!

  27. I got excited for a second. Thought he was going to separate the flat from the point on the finished brisket, and do a proper slice. Oh well it's the closest i've seen so far on YouTube. Maybe next time.

  28. First time brisket cooker here. Should I be cooking at 225 deg F or 275 deg F? The video says 275 deg F but the Traeger website says 225 deg F (at Thanks.

  29. Great video, I have the smaller Traegar unit and I found the temperature recommended was to high for the unit and the Brisket was burnt. I am going to try a lower temperature next time.

  30. I used my new Traeger for the first time this past weekend. I followed this video exactly and it came out amazing! Thank u sir

  31. I’m 65, been BBQing grilling all my life since I was 13 and my mother let me cook cause it meant she didn’t have too. So times change and I do a lot of chicken and ribs but stayed away from brisket. But lately I’ve been wanting to get back to Texas BBQ ways since I’m a native Texan. Thank you for the technics and info to produce a Texas BBQ Brisket to pass on to the next generation. LONG LIVE TEXAS BBQ.

  32. He says “put it in the cooler” so nonchalantly but doesn’t bother to explain to anybody why you would want to do it in the cooler vice leaving it on the countertop or in the microwave to rest for any hour 🙄

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