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Traeger Smoked Brisket

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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 that you slather on. You won’t need to make a pit stop to your local bbq joint with a recipe like this!

This post was updated in September 2020 with fresh instructions and photos.

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Traeger Smoked Brisket

Easy Traeger Barbecue Brisket

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. 

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Traeger Smoked Brisket

What is Brisket?

Brisket is well known for being served up fresh off the grill. Whether you like it with a simple dry rub or slathered in homemade bbq sauce, both are exceptional.

Brisket is a popular cut of meat that is packed full of rich beefy flavor. It is the same cut of meat that’s used to make corned beef. You have to cook brisket low and slow as it is a tougher cut of meat unless it is prepared with care. The connective tissue has to break down for it to be a sliceable and tender.

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Traeger Smoked Brisket

Are Corned Beef and Brisket The Same Thing?


While a corned beef starts out as a brisket, it is then brined and cured. If you were to take a corned beef to cook, you would get a totally different flavor as it is packed with spices.

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Traeger Smoked Brisket
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Can You Shred Brisket?

Sure, but I’m not sure why you’d really 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.

Brisket is best served sliced with all of the classic fixings. My personal 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.

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Smoked Brisket

What to Serve With Brisket

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

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Smoked Brisket

Why Is Brisket Tough Sometimes?

Brisket is outstanding when cooked properly. Brisket is tougher and chewier meat to start with 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. 

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Traeger Smoked Brisket

Can I Use This Recipe If I Don’t Own A Traeger?

Yes! I love our Traeger pellet grill because with a touch of a button and turn of a dial I can adjust the temperature of the grill. But you can still use whatever kind of grill you have to make this delicious Smoked Brisket.

The key is to cook it at a low temp. Around 225° is ideal, and to cook it over indirect heat and with a lot of smoke to flavor things. If those are do-able for you, fire up whatever kind of grill, bbq, pellet-grill, or other smoker and get cooking!

We have used several different brands of pellet grills for smoking, including our Camp Chef, Louisiana, and Z Grills brands in addition to our Traeger.

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Smoked Brisket

How to Use Up Leftover Barbecue Brisket

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

  • Crunchy Tacos topped with coleslaw
  • The Ultimate Grilled Cheese with brisket and cheese toasted on buttery bread.
  • Quesadillas are another fantastic option.
  • Try my Beef and Mushroom Pockets. You could use a sharp cheddar in there too!
  • Create brisket enchiladas instead of used basic roast or hamburger!

Or skip the variations and warm it up and serve with your favorite sides. This barbeque brisket reheats like a champ. Same fantastic grilled flavors in every single bite.

In fact, I have a WHOLE entire post dedicated to leftover roast beef recipes, and brisket is a perfect piece of leftover beef for this. 

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Traeger Smoked Brisket

Can You Freeze Barbecue Brisket?


You can freeze any of your barbecue brisket that you don’t plan to eat right away. Use a Foodsaver for vacuum sealing, or a freezer bag.

Thaw in the fridge the night before, and reheat in the oven. I like to cover mine with aluminum foil in a pan to prevent meat from drying out as it warms through, and toss in some apple cider for good measure.

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Smoked Brisket
Smoked Brisket

Smoked Brisket

Yield: 15 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 25 minutes

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.


  • 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 220°.
  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. Turn the heat down to around 165°, and 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:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 797Total Fat: 51gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 291mgSodium: 149mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 79g

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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!!)

renee Oettinger

Tuesday 24th of March 2020

do i grill it fat side up?

Nicole Johnson

Tuesday 24th of March 2020

We usually do!

Keith Ronk

Tuesday 25th of June 2019

Do you sprits it. With anything?

Nicole Johnson

Tuesday 25th of June 2019

Nope! No spritzes on this cook.

Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy

Thursday 28th of March 2019

Great. Now I'm going to be craving brisket and BBQ all day!!!!! ;) Looks absolutely incredible! Loving the idea of our corn casserole on the side!! <3

Nicole Johnson

Thursday 28th of March 2019

Thanks, Jen! I can't wait to try that corn casserole it looks amazing!

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