How To Smoke A Beef Brisket On Pit Boss Pellet Grill? (Flat Brisket)

I have been wanting to smoke a beef brisket on my Pit Boss but had heard how hard it is. Unlike other meats, this is a muscular tough cut of meat, so it needs to be cooked low and slow. Well, I finally cooked my first one and created this guide to help you out!

Cooking a Beef Brisket on a Pit Boss

Cooking a brisket is no small task. Be ready for it to take several hours, here’s a quick glance at what it will take to cook a beef brisket on a pellet grill.

how to smoke a beef brisket on a Pit Boss pellet grill
  • Buy the perfect brisket
  • Trim the excess fat
  • Opt for hardy hardwood pellets (mesquite)
  • Coat with salt overnight
  • Season the grill 30 minutes before placing it on the Pit Boss
  • Cook at 225°F – 275°F (don’t cook it too fast)
  • Close the lid and cook to 165°F (use your thermometer)
  • To spritz or not? (I chose not too)
  • Remove at 165°F and wrap in pink butcher paper
  • Put back on the grill and cook to 200°F – 203°F
  • Remove and wrap in towel to rest for 1 – 2 hours
  • Slice and serve

These are the exact steps I took when cooking my first ever beef brisket. I used the Pit Boss smoker, but this guide will work for any brand pellet grill.

The whole process took me 11 hours from start to finish. I put the brisket on the grill at 5:11 AM and it finished resting around 4:00 PM the same day.

*This page contains affiliate links to products I recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.

So, let me share my first experience of cooking a brisket with you. Don’t worry, I’ll walk you the entire process. You can also check out my YouTube video below or visit my YouTube channel.

So let’s get started.

What Is A Brisket?

A brisket is a cut of meat taken from the pectoral muscles of a cow. I go more into detail on what a brisket is and the different cuts on this article, so be sure to check it out.

This article will just cover the steps I took to cook my first one and the mistakes I made.

Choose a Brisket

Brisket is made up of two parts, the point and the flat. The point is the fattier part also known as the deckle. It contains more marbling and is what makes it tender and flavorful when cooked.

A brisket flat also known as the “first cut” is the largest and leanest of the muscle. It’s also the hardest part to cook, because it has a tendency to become tough if cooked incorrectly.

I had no clue what I was buying when I bought my brisket. All I knew was that I wanted to smoke one. So I picked it up from Costco and I paid $6.51 a pound.

My 7-pound brisket cost $45.50, which is not cheap. I wanted the smallest brisket I could find, in case I messed it up.

It wasn’t until after I purchased the brisket that I realized I should’ve gotten a whole packet brisket. A whole packet brisket is anywhere from 8-16 pounds, which is a lot of meat. If you’re new to cooking brisket, I recommend checking out this site.

That said, if you cook a whole packet you can vacuum seal it and do a lot with the left overs.

Prepping The Brisket

Whether you’re cooking a flat, whole brisket or a point, the prepping process is the same.

Trim the Excess Fat

First, you’ll want to trim up any excess fat. You don’t want to remove all the fat, trim it until it is about 1/4″ thick. Anything thicker than that and the seasoning won’t be able to penetrate the meat.

Trimming the brisket helps the smoke penetrate the meat, and create a dark bark. The fat cap is where you’ll find most of the fat.

Coat With Salt

Once you’ve trimmed the brisket, coat it with a layer of kosher salt. The salt helps tenderize the meat, which is vital.

Remember, the brisket is a muscular cut of meat, so don’t forget this step. Once it’s coated with salt, put the brisket in a jumbo sized bag and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight so it’s ready to cook the next day.

What Spices Go Well With A Brisket?

how to season a beef brisket

You can season beef with several different seasonings. I’ve written an article on how to season beef, that goes into more details on seasoning.

Basically, you can season it with whatever you like. There are several different brisket rubs online you can use. If this is your first time cooking a brisket, you may want to keep it simple.

You can even skip the experimentation process and just buy some store bought ones. The BBQ Bros Rub Southern Style Seasoning Set includes the Memphis, New Orleans, and Carolina style rubs in the same pack.

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Beef Brisket Recipe

Since this was our first beef brisket we tried to create a simple rub. You likely already have the ingredients in your kitchen pantry.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cut brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Chipotle powder
  • 2 Tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup black pepper

This is called a Texas rub we found online and made ours a little bit different as it called for Cayenne pepper and we didn’t have any.

Don’t be scared to experiment with the rub. You may want your brisket a little spicier than ours came out.

What Do You Need to Smoke a Beef Brisket On Pit Boss?

Before I start smoking anything on the pellet grill, I like to make sure I have everything I’ll need at my fingertips.

If you don’t have a pellet smoker, you can also use a charcoal grill. I’ve never done that, but I’m sure you can find a website or videos to walk you through the process.

How Do You Cook A Brisket On A Pit Boss Pellet Grill?

Check out my video on smoking my first brisket. It will walk you through the entire process. I’ll also cover the process in more detail below.

Fat Side Up or Down?

This is a huge topic and I’ve covered it in more detail here. That said, I cooked the brisket fat side up. For the next one, I might try fat side down to experiment and see what the difference is.

What Temperature Do You Cook A Brisket On A Pit Boss?

Cook a brisket at 225°F – 250° degrees Fahrenheit (I cooked it at 250°F). The secret to cooking the perfect brisket is to cook it at a consistent temperature without letting the grill get too hot.

When I cooked the brisket, it was cloudy, so I didn’t have to worry about the grill getting too hot. I also have the Smoke IT Wi-Fi controller, which made it easy to monitor the temperature without having to constantly go outside and check the grill.

That’s the hardest part about smoking a brisket. You have to constantly monitor the grill’s temperature. If it’s getting too hot, you need to adjust the temperature setting.

That said, you don’t want the temperature to get too low either. It’s okay if your grill fluctuates a bit.

Mine was fluctuating between 236°F – 255°F. At one point it even went as high as 265°F.

That’s normal for a pellet grill, be sure to check out this article on how to better control the Pit Boss temperature fluctuations.

What P-Setting to Use for Cooking Brisket?

Unless you’re cooking a brisket in the cold, I recommend leaving the P-Setting to the default P4 factory settings.

Best Pellets for Smoking a Beef Brisket?

Go with a strong pellet flavor such as Hickory or Mesquite for a brisket. Stronger pellets are best when cooking low and slow and will help create a more flavorful brisket.

I went with Mesquite the brisket had a great smoky flavor to it.

How Long Does It Take To Smoke A Beef Brisket On A Pit Boss?

cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees before wrapping

The entire process from seasoning, trimming, and cooking will take between 9 – 20 hours. It took me 11 hours to cook my first brisket. I smoked the brisket for almost 9 hours.

The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the brisket, temperature, and grill.

Regardless of how long it takes, you want to make sure you have a good handheld meat thermometer. It’ll make it easier to check the internal temperature so you don’t skip any of the steps.

Unlike other meats, brisket is unforgiving. If you cook it too fast, you’ll end up with tough, inedible meat and you’ll have wasted your money.

So give yourself enough time so you don’t try to rush the process.

Do You Flip A Beef Brisket?

No, you don’t flip the brisket. Set it on the grill cooking with indirect heat and leave it be. You don’t have to worry, the pellet grill will cook the beef thoroughly without you having to flip, rotate or do anything at all.

Spritzing

Do you spritz a brisket or not? This is such a huge debate in the online smoking meats forums. Some people say you do to help keep it moist during the cooking process. While other’s say you don’t have to.

If you choose to spritz yours, don’t do it for at least the first two hours it’s smoking. Spritzing too soon, will wash the seasoning off the meat and make it harder to develop the bark.

What do you spritz it with? You fill up your spray bottle with water, meat or beef broth. I’ve even seen some people use apple cider vinegar with apple juice.

If this is your first time cooking a brisket, I recommend not spritzing it. Instead, focus on maintaining the temperature of the grill, at least that’s what I opted to do with my first brisket.

The Stall

wrap the brisket in pink butcher paper

Once the brisket reaches an internal temperature of 165°F it is known as the stall. It’s when the water in the brisket evaporates and the meat starts cooling.

At this point, remove the brisket from the Pit Boss and cover it with pink butcher paper (sometimes called peach). Wrap it tight!

You can use aluminum foil if you want. Wrapping the meat in aluminum foil is known as the Texas Crutch. but aluminum foil is less breathable and you won’t get as good as a bark.

Before cooking my first brisket, I had no clue about using butcher paper for a brisket. I’ve always used aluminum foil, but decided to go with butcher paper.

Here’s what pink butcher paper is and why you should consider using it.

It’s not expensive and this is the same exact one I used for mine.

Pink Butcher Paper Roll (24 inches x 200 feet),...
  • SMOKING & RESTING: Ideal for safe, direct food contact when smoking or resting meat. Designed to be breathable, this paper allows for smoke to penetrate meat, and for moisture to escape during the smoking process to avoid soggy meat, unlike traditional foil.
  • DURABLE: High wet strength properties so that the paper will not fall apart during use. Great for keeping flavors locked inside the wrapping while grilling and smoking meat.
  • FOOD SAFE: Unbleached, unwaxed, and uncoated to not tamper with your food. Paper can be recycled after use.
  • MULTIPURPOSE: Pink butcher paper can be used on the grill and for many other activities, like arts and crafts, and shipping and packing.
  • Proudly made in USA.

Once you’ve wrapped the brisket in either foil or butcher paper, put it back on the grill. Close the lid and let it cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 200°F – 203°F.

No, it’s not done, now it’s time to rest the brisket.

Resting Period

Rest the brisket for 1-2 hours. The general rule of thumb is to allow the meat to rest for an hour per pound of meat.

Some people even let their brisket rest for 4 hours, especially, if they plan on eating later throughout the day.

The resting process for brisket is totally different than resting a piece of chicken, steak, or burgers.

You’re going to want to wrap the brisket in a towel and put it in a cooler to rest. I thought it sounded weird too, but after reading so much about it, that’s the process I took with my brisket.

I’ve written an in-depth article on how to rest a brisket and why it’s so important, be sure to read it.

If you don’t rest it long enough, the meat will become tough. So have the patience required to let the brisket get much needed beauty rest.

Slicing the Brisket

Use a sharp knife and slice against the grain. There’s a whole process to slicing a brisket, so I’ve written an article to help you understand.

If you slice it incorrectly, the brisket meat will contain long strands of muscle fibers, making it chewing and tough. Cutting against the fibers will shorten the fibers, making it tender and easier to chew.

What to Serve With Brisket?

what to serve with beef brisket

Smoke brisket is delicious and you can serve this mouth-watering beef with any of your favorite side dishes. Whether you want to keep it traditional or keep it simple with sandwiches, it’s not hard.

Beef brisket is often served with carrots and onions. You can even pair it with smoked broccoli like I did, okra, green beans, mashed potatoes, etc.

We ate our freshly cooked brisket with roasted potatoes and smoked broccoli.

For left overs, you could throw some BBQ sauce on it and make a quick sandwich for lunch the next day.

Don’t forget to vacuum pack and freeze any leftovers, especially, if you cooked a whole packet brisket.

Final Word

Hopefully, this guide shows you how easy it is to smoke a brisket on the Pit Boss. Smoking a brisket is a lot different than cooking burgers, you’ll be happy you did.

So the next time you have 11 hours of free time, throw a brisket on the smoker and enjoy the process. Smoking a brisket one of those must-smoke meats when you own a pellet grill!

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