How to Smoke a Brisket on a Pellet Grill
Brisket is known as one of the toughest pieces of meat to cook when it comes to BBQing, but when you smoke it in the right way, it literally is the best tasting meat money can buy.
Many people have different tips and tricks on how to best cook it, whether it’s injecting the meat to add extra moisture and taste, or rubbing it in certain meat rubs to spice up and enhance the flavor.
In this article, we look at how to smoke a brisket on a pellet grill, rather than on a standard traditional BBQ grill, and how it can improve in terms of flavor! We will share a few of these techniques in this article, so if you are keen to know how to smoke a kick-ass brisket, then read on!
Cook it Whole
As you check out the local butcher or supermarket for your brisket, you will begin to notice the variety of sizes available. Which size is easiest to cook and likely to provide more flavor? We have heard that cooking the whole brisket rather than the trimmed version – although it’s a little pricier, is definitely guaranteed to provide you with more flavor. Why? In a whole brisket, the endpoint is still present as it hasn’t been trimmed, and this is the more flavorful part of the meat.
The point is also the part that creates delicious burnt ends, which are actually just covered in extra smoke rub, giving them the burnt appearance. Therefore, cooking it whole with all trimmings, will definitely give it that full flavor you desire.
Inject and Rub the Meat
When it comes to the prepping of the meat, it is a very debated topic. Many BBQ enthusiasts swear by injecting the meat to add a little tenderness, while others prefer to keep the meet as natural as possible.
No matter what you prefer, you can always give it a try at least once to see if it makes a real difference to the final taste. Injecting the meat with some beef broth can help increase the flavor, and if you combine some phosphates, this will help to retain moisture. You will need an injector to carry this out which can easily be found online.
Afterwards, whether you decide to inject flavor or not, rubbing your meat can definitely help to improve the final taste. Using a good BBQ rub which can be found in many different flavors, simply rub it onto the meat generously before placing it in plastic wrap, and resting in the fridge for a few hours. This step will allow the flavors to seep into the meat, and give it a boost when you come to finally smoke it.
Use Food-Grade Pellets
One of the main benefits of smoking with a pellet grill rather than a traditional smoker is the extra added flavor which comes from the pellets. Cooking over gas and charcoal doesn’t quite flavor the meat as much as hardwood pellets do, and 100% hardwood pellets are the way to go as well as food-grade variety pellets. Watch out for some grill pellets which have added fillers or binding agents, as these are not the best and can produce sour tasting results in your meat.
Grill pellets come in a variety of different flavors, from cherry to hickory and even Jack Daniels BBQ flavor, so you are sure to find one that you like. Cooking over these pellets really gives meat a consistent flavor and makes it much tastier than when smoking meat over gas.
As well as the extra flavor, another benefit which comes with smoking a brisket on a pellet grill is that you can leave the firebox to do the job without having to constantly monitor the BBQ. If your pellet grill has automated temperature control, set it to around 225-250 degrees and keep it there as anything more will likely burn your brisket.
Use a probe
There is no set length of time to cook a brisket; it’s more about the color and temperature. Using a meat probe can help you to check the meat throughout the cook to determine if it’s cooking well or not. Keep in mind that the end point will always show a higher temperature as it’s fattier, and so you will need to check the other points too as this could trick you to thinking the whole brisket is ready, and remove it too early when it’s not.
Let the meat rest after smoking
The moment your brisket is finally cooked, many BBQ experts recommend leaving the brisket to rest a while. This is because it helps to lock in all the delicious flavors. Simply remove the brisket from your smoker and wrap it in foil. Then wrap it in a towel and place it in a bare cooler. If you leave it there for at least 3 hours, you will have a full-flavored, delicious brisket to enjoy afterwards!
Don’t forget the best bits!
After your brisket has cooled off, cut the flat point end off. Taking the point, cut it into one-inch pieces, and throw them into an aluminum pan and gently toss them with some extra rub and favorite sauce. Set your smoker to around 275 degrees and place the pan on top of the grill for approximately 1 hour to cook the sauce to perfection.
During the final 15 minutes of smoking, remove the main part of the brisket from your cooler and slice it and sprinkle some rub on top. If you have made a good job, then the meat will be flexible; the more flexible, the better cooked it is. Serve up the burnt ends to your guests and watch them go crazy!
Smoking brisket is really easy when you know how, and starting by following some expert tips can really make all the difference. It’s always better to take the advice of a professional rather than jumping in the deep end yourself; after all, no one wants to spend extra for a good piece of meat, only to see it cooked wrong and disappoint your guests!
We highly recommend following these little tips next time you are cooking brisket in order to make the most mouth-watering brisket yet!