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4.79 from 23 votes

Smoke A Traeger Brisket Like A Boss!

Tender Smoked Brisket using a Traeger or other smoker.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time12 hrs
Resting Time4 hrs
Total Time16 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 40 servings
Calories: 374kcal
Author: Hilda Sterner


  • 1 15-20 lb. brisket
  • cup olive oil
  • cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 cup Pork Rub Pork Rub Seasoning
  • 1 cup apple juice (approximate)


  • Trim excess fat off the brisket. Be sure to leave a good portion of fat on the meat as the fat will render down and enhance the flavor of the brisket. It will also keep it from drying out.
  • To make burnt ends, separate the flat from the point (How to Separate Point From Flat). Otherwise, leave the brisket intact. Combine vinegar, olive oil, and crushed garlic. Brush both sides of the meat with it.
  • Season the meat with Santa Maria Dry Rub SeasoningPork Rub seasoning (my personal favorite), or use your seasoning of choice. Wrap the meat and let it rest in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours, but preferably longer.
  • Bring the brisket to room temperature a few hours before you plan on smoking it. Before going to bed, fire up the Traeger to 200° F. 
    (Tip: We usually start marinating the meat in the morning and put it on the grill at midnight).
  • When the smoker is ready, place the brisket on the grill fat-side down and spray generously with apple juice. Insert the probe a few inches into the thickest part of the meat and set the probe temperature to 160° F. 
  • Once the smoked briskets' internal temperature reaches 160° F (which should be in the morning) spray with apple juice one last time, then wrap it in butcher paper. Place the brisket back on the grill, this time fat-side up.
  • Smoke the brisket in the Traeger until it reaches 200° F. This could take several more hours. The longer the cooking time the better it will be. When it's ready, take the meat off the grill and let it rest for about an hour, while still wrapped.


  • According to the Traeger recipe book, almost any pellet wood flavor can be used with beef. This includes alder, cherry, hickory, maple, mesquite, oak, and pecan. Although we prefer hickory, I recommend trying different flavors and see what you prefer.
  • If using my pork rub recipe, make four times as much as the recipe calls for. You'll be using a much larger cut of meat so you'll need enough rub to cover the entire brisket.
  • When seasoning the brisket, spoon it over the meat without touching the meat to avoid cross-contamination. You'll want to save the remaining rub for another use.
  • Some people like to inject the flat with beef broth or even apple juice prior to putting it on the grill. This helps the brisket to remain moist. The point is fatty enough so it really doesn't need to be injected. This is how you inject the flat.
  • To keep the smoked brisket warm while you prepare the burnt ends or until you're ready to serve it, you can store it in a cooler. To do this, wrap the brisket (while it's still in the butcher paper) in a large beach towel and place it in an empty cooler. Close the lid to maintain the temperature of the brisket until you're ready to serve.


Serving: 1servings | Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 141mg | Sodium: 245mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 1g