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Traeger Smoked Brisket

Traeger Smoked Brisket is 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

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.

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Traeger Smoked Brisket

Smoked Brisket Shopping List

  • beef brisket
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic

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Traeger Smoked Brisket

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.


Rub & Smoke

Rub your brisket with your SPG and put it on the smoker. Smoke until it reaches 180-190° internal temperature.



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 Smoked Brisket
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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 juicy as 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.

More Easy Smoker Recipes

Smoked Brisket

Best side dishes for smoked brisket

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

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Smoked Brisket

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Traeger Smoked Brisket

Recipes using leftover Brisket

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

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!

Smoked Brisket
Yield: 15 servings

Smoked Brisket

Smoked Brisket

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 Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 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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Andrew Friedman

Friday 5th of August 2022

I have read to cook the briskets to 165-165 then wrap it Any thoughts on that ?

Nicole Johnson

Friday 5th of August 2022

I think there are many different ways to get to a good result with a lot of meats you cook on the smoker, and brisket is no exception. This is just our method, but it isn't the only one that will get you to a delicious, tender, moist slice of bbq brisket.

Ruth Ann

Sunday 15th of May 2022

What about smoking 7 or 8 hours one day, cool and ref over night and finish smoking the second day?

Nicole Johnson

Monday 16th of May 2022

I've not personally tried that with a brisket. I have done it with a pork shoulder successfully though.

tim ceko

Friday 3rd of September 2021

is the 1/2 cup mix, a 1/2 cup of each? e.g. 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 cup pepper, 1/2 cup garlic?

Nicole Johnson

Friday 3rd of September 2021

Nope! That is referring to a salt, pepper, garlic blend. If you don't have a good SPG laying around, just take a 1/2 cup dry measuring cup and start putting salt, pepper, and granulated garlic in at whatever ratios you prefer. If you love a good peppery bark, go for a equal parts of each. Personally, I prefer the pepper to be more subtle, so I usually do more on the salt and garlic side.

Chris Atwood

Saturday 18th of July 2020

I have much experience with brisket and this is on par with what I used when I worked at a place back home. We used a cook shack smoker and we’d serve 10 to 12 briskets a day back in OKC. A.J. Mitchell was proprietor of AJ’s BBQ. Alvie taught me so much about BBQ. I wish I had an opportunity to thank him.


Tuesday 30th of June 2020

First...I gotta tell you that I love all the recipes you have. The No Bake Cream Cheese Whipped Pie is a family favorite. I love all Traeger recipes you post.

There are different grades of brisket. Which type to do use for this recipe? And I'm assuming that you are using a whole packer brisket? I have had mixed experiences with brisket so far, so I am hesitant to try again due to price of the beef.

Nicole Johnson

Tuesday 30th of June 2020

Hey Josh!! Thank you so much for your kind words! That just made my day. For this one it was a whole packer, and I don't remember the exact grade. I don't think we sprung for prime grade here, so it is likely a choice grade piece of meat.

This is actually on my list to make again soon because I kind of hate how the pictures turned out. Brisket is so hard to get right, and is so much work, and it isn't even my favorite BBQ meat, so I sometimes avoid it! (Also yeahhhh. The price of beef right now!!)

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