What Pellets to Use for Brisket?

Updated: Apr 19, 2023 7:37 AM
What Pellets to Use for Brisket?

Table of Contents

If you are new to the world of outdoor grilling, you may wonder what pellets to use for brisket. Some of the best grills, after all, use pellets as a primary source of fuel. So which pellets to use for briskets, why, and how to go about using these pellets? Keep reading to find out.


  • Wood pellet grills, like Pit Boss Grills which aren’t made in the USA, are great for brisket, as they excel with low and slow cooking, often doubling as smokers to render brisket fat over long periods of time.
  • The type of wood pellet you use for pellet smoker and brisket depends on personal tastes, but you may want to avoid sweet pellets like cherry pellets, pecan pellets, and apple pellets.
  • Feel free to mix and match pellet flavors to create a unique aroma and taste during the cooking process.

What Type of Pellets for Brisket?

You are going to want to use wood pellets to cook brisket, specifically mesquite or hickory wood pellets. What’s the difference between woods for BBQ grills? Certain pellets, like the aforementioned mesquite and hickory varieties, impart a smoky flavor without becoming too sweet. In other words, avoid apple, pecan, and cherry-flavored wood pellets for brisket, though at the end of the day, it is just a matter of personal taste.

The cooking time and wood pellet types can impact the intensity of the flavor, but in general, these types of wood pellets have a strong flavor that is perfect for your brisket.

Insider Tip

Sweeter pellets like apple and pecan are great for desserts, such as when you are grilling up fruit or pastries or making pie and donuts.

How to Cook Brisket in a Wood Pellet Grill

If you’re looking to infuse your food with a smoky flavor, mesquite pellets are a great choice. There’s plenty of pellets available, but it’s best to use hardwood pellets for the most authentic wood-fired flavor. Here are some more tips for cooking wood brisket while using a wood pellet grill.

Get the Grill Hot

Make sure the grill is operating at your preferred temperature. Go low and slow for brisket. Luckily, pellet grills are fairly easy to heat and excel with low-temperature cooking. The same cannot be said for charcoal grills if you are wondering when charcoal is ready for cooking. Wood pellet grills ignite easily and maintain a steady temperature across a wide range of options.

However, it’s important to keep an eye on the grill temperature and adjust cooking temps as needed. For example, if you notice a sudden rise in temp, you may need to adjust the temperature to prevent overcooking or burning your food.

Mix and Match Pellet Types

Not sure which flavor to choose? Feel free to mix and match to create a unique flavor profile for your brisket. Take a handful of hickory pellets and a small number of cherry pellets, for instance, to give your finished meal a slightly sweet finish. Experiment to find the best mix for you.

When it comes to choosing the best types of meat to grill, there are several popular choices to consider. Factors like quality, flavor, and cooking time all come into play when selecting meats for the grill. Once you’ve chosen your meat, you can experiment with different types of wood pellets, like hickory and cherry, to give your finished meal that slightly sweet finish you’re looking for.

Wrap in Foil

If you are wary of the brisket taking on too much of the wood pellet flavor, wrap it in aluminum foil. This will allow for even cooking without retaining any residual flavors.

Make Sure to Preseason

Any cut of meat is only as tasty as its seasoning. Preseason your brisket by letting it rest at room temperature for several hours and applying salt, pepper, and any kind of seasonings you desire.

Take Your Time

Brisket takes a long time to become tender, so give it time. An average brisket recipe calls for at least 12 hours of cooking, with many going above and beyond even that.

STAT: Brisket tends to be an expensive cut of beef, partially due to its massive size. So when smoking brisket, you want to make sure that you choose the right kind of wood, especially considering the time investment of smoking a 12-14 pound cut of beef. (source)


How many pellets does a pellet grill use?

Depending on your temperature setting and the natural flavor you desire, you’ll use around a half-pound to 2.5 pounds of pellets when grilling. Milder meats tend to demand fewer pellets.

Which smoker should you get?

The type of smoker depends on the piece of meat you are cooking and your personal preferences, as there are many options there.

Do you have to use Traeger pellets?

Most pellet grills allow for the use of pellets created by any number of manufacturers, as they all bring up the internal temperature.

Lawrence Bonk Avatar

Learn More About Grills