Making brisket on the Traeger is a great way to make a tender, juicy and delicious brisket. Traeger brisket is easy to make and results in that perfect fall-apart smoky barbecued meat you’re hoping for.
Making a brisket on the Traeger is super easy. All you have to do is season the brisket so that the flavors settle in, then slow cook it on the smoker until you reach the desired temperature. Cook your baked potatoes at the same time for a full meal.
We’ve made brisket many different ways, including in the Instant Pot, but you really can’t beat this version because of the wonderful smokiness and tenderness of the meat with very little intervention from you.
» Wondering what side dish to serve? Check out What to Serve With Brisket.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Here is what you will need to make a brisket in the Traeger:
- Whole brisket: The hero of this dish is the brisket. It is a cut of beef that comes from the pectoral muscles or lower breast of the cow. The meat is tough, thus perfect for slow cooking.
- Homemade BBQ Rub: Paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, mustard powder, salt, pepper. This rub is one that we use for all of the bbq meats we make. It’s easy to mix up and use for everything.
- Smoky bourbon BBQ sauce: You don’t need bbq sauce on this brisket. It’s great all on its own, but we like to add the delicious smoky flavor of this homemade Bourbon BBQ Sauce.
What Pellets to Use for the Traeger?
You’ll also need pellets for your Traeger. Traeger pellets come in many different types that you can choose from. I like to use cherry wood pellets for mine. I actually use these Bear Mountain cherry wood pellets from Amazon.com. They also have a bourbon wood pellet that’s very good.
» Read up on the 4 Best Smoker Grill Combos.
What Smoker to Use
The 7002C2E is a new model featuring a digital PID control board and advanced technology for even temperatures and consistent results. With the built-in dual temperature probes, a huge pellet hopper, pellet cleanout system, and pellet view window, your grilling experience will be enhanced like never before. See this grill and more on the Z Grills site.
Traeger created the original wood-pellet grill as the ultimate way to achieve wood-fired taste. The Pro Series 22 is the one most people choose because it’s compact, yet has plenty of space for cooking.
You can use any type of wood pellets you like. I prefer Hickory, which is great for naturally enhancing beef, chicken, pork, and veggies with full-bodied, bold flavor.
Tips for Making Brisket on the Traeger
When making Traeger brisket, here are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Trimming the extra fat of the brisket is crucial for its ideal cooking. Trim the fat so that about 1/4th of it remains on the brisket. This fat will add flavor to the brisket and aid in cooking.
- The fattier the meat cut is, the juicier the final product will be. Skimping on fat isn’t the best idea for super tender, delicious brisket.
- If you use a thicker chunk of meat, it will take longer to cook, so always use a meat thermometer to monitor the progress.
- Using butcher paper instead of aluminum foil will give you more flavor and smokiness.
- The more you let it rest after applying the spice mix, the more flavor it will get. So, try to let the meat rest for at least 3 to 4 hours up to overnight.
How to Make Homemade BBQ Rub
A perfectly balanced dry rub does wonders for the flavor, but also seals in the juices and keeps the meat from drying out.
We use this dry spice rub on everything, because it’s packed with flavor and adds a perfectly balanced punch of spice to every bite. The spices that go into this rub all work together to create a great flavor profile.
What you’ll need (you can find the quantities for each in the recipe at the bottom of this post):
- Brown sugar
- Salt and pepper
- Chili powder
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Mustard powder
How to Make Brisket in the Traeger
Mix the seasonings in a bowl. Season the brisket using all of the seasoning mix. Wrap the brisket and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight if possible. About 30 minutes before you’re ready to cook, take the brisket out of the fridge to bring it up to room temp.
When you’re ready to cook, start the grill on smoke with the lid open for 5 minutes for the fire to get established. Check the model of Traeger you have. Some require the lid open for this step and some require it to be closed.
Set the Traeger temperature to 225°F. Preheat with the lid closed for 10-15 minutes to bring it up to the proper temperature.
Place the brisket, fat-side down, on the grill. Insert a meat thermometer probe into the thickest part. This will help you know when the brisket is ready without you having to open the grill multiple time, which can affect the cooking.
Close the lid and cook for about 5 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F. Try not to open the grill during this time. Every time you open the lid heat escapes and the temperature will go down. You want the grill to stay at a constant temperature for the best results.
Remove the brisket and wrap it in butcher paper or tin foil to form a packet around the meat. Place it back on the grill at 225°F until the internal temperature reaches 203°F, between 2 1/2 and 5 hours.
Remove from the grill and rest, still wrapped, for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours before slicing.
Serve with smoky Bourbon BBQ sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can we season the brisket with any other spice mix?
Yes. You can season the brisket with any spice mix you like. You can find premade brisket spice mix from the grocery store as well. Moreover, you can use spice mix like jerk seasoning as well.
What to serve brisket with?
You can serve brisket with several side dishes. It goes well with fresh salad, potato salad, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese etc. you can slice it thinly and make a sandwich out of it.
Can you store leftover brisket?
Yes. Wrap any left overs in butcher paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to 3 days. Reheat it in the oven or air fryer until it is warm and juicy. Use your leftovers to make these easy brisket sliders.
Side Dishes to Try
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Brisket in the Traeger
- 6 pound whole brisket trimmed
For the dry spice rub:
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 3 teaspoons mild chili powder
- 3 teaspoons onion powder
- 3 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder optional
- Smoky Bourbon BBQ Sauce optional
- Mix the seasonings in a bowl. Season the brisket using all of the seasoning mix. Wrap the brisket and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight if possible.
- When ready to cook, set the Traeger temperature to 225°F. Preheat with the lid closed for 15 minutes.
- Unwrap the brisket and place it, fat-side down, on the grill. Insert a meat thermometer probe into the thickest part.
- Close the lid and cook for about 5 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.
- Remove the brisket and wrap it in butcher paper or tin foil to form a packet around the meat. Place it back on the grill at 225°F until the internal temperature reaches 203°F. Remove from the grill and rest, still wrapped, for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours before slicing.
- Serve with smoky Bourbon BBQ sauce.
- Traeger Grill
- The fattier the piece of brisket you buy, the juicier the meat will be. Err on the side of fatty for a super fall-apart, amazing brisket.
- Smaller briskets will need less time to cook, but you still need to cook it to the same internal temp, so be sure to use a meat probe.
- Using butcher paper will allow the smoke to reach the meat, while tin foil doesn’t do that as well, so use butcher paper if you can.
🥧 If you’re interested in more great recipes, I share all my favorite Instant Pot recipes over at A Pressure Cooker Kitchen, air fryer recipes at Air Fry Anytime, and cocktails and drinks at Savored Sips. Check it out today!
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Laura is a home cook who loves making new recipes and finding new favorite things to eat, whether at home or abroad. She also runs a popular travel blog and spends a lot of her time traveling for food.