I’ve previously produced my article on what I think is the best method to smoke a brisket on a pellet grill/smoker. This article is going to be more specific about smoking a beef brisket on a Louisiana Grill and their recommended method. The Louisiana Grills smoked brisket recipe, while it covers the key points, its very brief. Therefore below, we’ll go into the brisket smoking/cooking process in more detail on trimming/meat grade etc. Right, let’s get into this!
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- Cooking Time: Generally 8 to 12 hours
- Louisiana Grills Recommended Temp: 225 to 250 F
- Brisket Internal Temp When Done: Around 200 F
- Best Pellets For Brisket: Hickory/Mesquite or maybe Apple/Cherry blends
I’m no BBQ expert, my expertise is how pellet grills/smokers work and the range of makes/models on the market. When it comes to how to cook on a pellet grill/smoker, I’ll be referring to the professionals.
Louisiana Grills Recommended Approach For Smoked Brisket
The official Louisiana Grills recipe is very basic. Therefore I think the information needs fleshing out to provide some value if you’re going to try and smoke a brisket.
Second, they have not produced a video I can reference. Therefore, I’m going to reference a video from Dave of Dave’s Ohio BBQ as an owner of a Louisiana Grills LG 900.
Now, the LG 900 is a previous-generation Louisiana Grill. You may own an SL Series, maybe a Black Series or one of the high-end Founders Premier/Legacy models.
Either way, Dave’s video is still applicable and contains good advice on the process of smoking a full-packer beef brisket on his Louisiana Grill pellet smoker.
Dave cooks a Prime-grade full-packer brisket in his video above (we’ll get into the whole ‘Prime’ thing), and he does a quick run-through on his trimming process.
The process Dave goes for is the simple Texas-style salt and pepper rub, no marinade injections etc. He did also add in a bit of garlic powder as well, but its pretty much just a basic seasoning rub.
However, Dave was working with a high-quality Prime brisket, so that can make the difference with a basic salt and pepper rub. Again we’ll get into why.
Interestingly, Dave didn’t wrap the brisket towards the end of the cook, which we’ll discuss below. However, he does discuss how he rests his brisket for over an hour, which is very important.
1: The Different Grades Of Beef Brisket
In Dave’s video above on smoking a brisket on his Louisiana Grill pellet smoker, he states he’s using a Prime grade brisket, and that’s important to note, but you might not know why.
Beef brisket is graded and priced following the USDA grading system, and Prime grade is actually their top grade. There are two lower grades, Select at the bottom followed by Choice.
What the grading describes is not the weight/size of the brisket, its actually the extent of fat marbling within the muscle fibres of the brisket on both the point and flat.
The more fat marbling within a piece of meat, the higher the potential to get a tasty/succulent end result, though you still have to cook/smoke it properly, of course.
Wagyu beef cattle originally come from Japan through many generations of selective breeding. However, there are now ranchers in the US Northwest who have imported some Wagyu cattle.
Wagyu beef has even more fat marbling than a USDA Prime brisket, but it also comes with a price tag to match. Therefore, while its very, very tasty (trust me), its not going to be an affordable purchase for everyone.
Whether you can afford a USDA Select brisket or Wagyu brisket, it really doesn’t matter. You can still make a great smoked brisket. However, you may want to approach the cook differently.
A Select/Choice brisket has a higher chance of drying out during the cook than a Prime/Wagyu brisket. Therefore, with a Select/Choice brisket, additional marinade injections/basting may be needed.
While with a Prime/Wagyu brisket, I personally wouldn’t use marinade injections/basting, I would go with a simple salt & pepper rub and let the quality of the meat shine through in the end result.
2: How To Prepare Beef Brisket For Your Louisiana Grill
I think Dave, in his video above, does a good job discussing the trimming of his brisket, and I’ll just quickly summarise the points here.
Basically, start by trimming off any connective tissue and hard lumps of fat from the surface of the brisket, then flip it over to inspect the fat side.
On the fat side, you want to trim off any fat which is above a 1/4 inch. Otherwise, fat which is thicker than this, is unlikely to render down properly, and it will be pretty gross to eat.
Finally, you want to trim off any really thin edges of meat around the brisket. If left on these edges will be overcooked by the time the centre of the brisket has reached the final cooked temperature of around 200 degrees.
Quick Tip: You’ll want to trim the brisket when its cold straight out of the refrigerator. That way, your knife will cut through the fat more easily.
So the classic Texas-style rub is simply a 50/50 mix of sea salt and black pepper. When you purchase Texas beef brisket rubs such as those from Louisiana Grills above, you will typically find other ingredients.
There could be some garlic powder in there, maybe some paprika and typically some brown sugar. The choice is up you to you really whether to make your own rub or buy one for convenience.
The most important point is to apply the rub liberally across the entire surface of the brisket. If the rub won’t stick to the brisket, give it a light spray of water. That will do the trick.
However, as I’ve stated above, whether you just apply a rub and leave the preparation at that or you go for marinade injections and basting through the cook will partly depend on the quality/grade of brisket you’re working with.
3. The Best Louisiana Grills Pellets For Cooking/Smoking Brisket?
Right, let’s talk pellets, and for red meat, such as beef brisket, you have quite a range of options that can complement the flavour of the beef.
If you want a stronger, more pronounced smoky flavour, then either the Mesquite or Hickory blend could be an option.
However, Louisiana Grills also offer a Charcoal blend, Whiskey blend and the Competition blend, all of which could also be a good option for smoking a brisket.
If you’re looking for a sweeter smoky flavour in your brisket, then the Apple or Cherry blend, or maybe even a mixture of the two, would be your best option.
You may have noticed in Dave’s video above that he uses Pit Boss Competiton Blend pellets. Pit Boss is a sibling brand to Louisiana Grills, with both brands being owned by Danson LLC.
Dave noted the low cost and wide availability of Pit Boss pellets, and I agree with him. In my article on the best value smoking pellets on a cost-per-lb basis, Pit Boss pellets are currently the cheapest on the market.
However, Pit Boss and Lousiaian Grills only currently sell blended pellets. Pellet blends typically contain around 60% Oak pellets.
If you visit my article on the best value smoking pellets, you will also learn about the brands that offer 100% single wood species pellets if you particularly like a certain flavour.
Pellet Usage When Cooking/Smoking A Brisket
As stated at the start of this post, depending on how large your brisket is, the total cook time could be between 8 to 12 hours. Therefore, you need to make sure you have enough pellets.
Generally, most pellet grills/smokers on a low and slow cook will consume between 1 to 2 lbs of pellets per hour. For a brisket cook, you could use between 8 to 24 lbs of pellets.
However, if you own a Founders Legacy Series model, you’ll likely experience lower than average pellet consumption than other Louisiana Grills pellet smokers. Why?
Well, Legacy models feature twin-wall insulated construction. Hence, they hold onto their heat better and use fewer pellets throughout the cook as a result.
On this topic, if you are attempting to smoke a brisket in the colder/winter months of the year, you should definitely consider an insulated blanket to keep your pellet usage rate down.
4. Starting The Cook & Smoke Infusion
In my previous articles on smoking a brisket on a Traeger, Pit Boss, Camp Chef and Weber etc, I’ve discussed using the Smoke Setting for the initial stage of the cook.
A smoke setting on a pellet grill will create wider temperature swings. However, the advantage of this inefficient combustion setting is more smoke is produced.
However, while Lousiana Grills pellet smokers have PID temperature controllers, which are the best for precise temperature control, they lack a dedicated smoke setting which has always surprised me.
Don’t get me wrong. Your Louisiana Grill pellet smoker is always producing smoke and smoke flavour into the food as it operates, just not as much as some other pellet smokers are capable of.
If you are looking for a stronger smoke flavour besides choosing a Hickory, Mesquite or Charcoal pellet blend, you could also place an additional smoke tube into the pellet smoker.
Otherwise, set the temperature of your Louisiana Grill to around 225 degrees and insert meat probes into the brisket if you can to monitor its internal temperature.
If you have a modern Louisiana Grill, you will have the ability to use the SmokeIT app to monitor the internal temperature of the brisket. This is advisable.
5. Brisket Wrapping & Then Back On The Louisiana Grill
Now in Dave’s video above, he doesn’t wrap his brisket once it reaches around 160 degrees internally. However, if you don’t, there is a good chance you will dry your brisket out.
Therefore, personally, I would advise once the brisket reaches an internal temperature of around 160 degrees, you’ll want to take it off your Louisiana Grill temporarily.
Some recommend only wrapping at the point once the outer bark on the brisket has ‘set’, and I understand the argument, but that’s a skill to learn.
Wrapping the brisket in butcher paper as opposed to foil will let the brisket breathe a little bit, aiding further development of the outer bark.
However, if you want to add beef broth or beef tallow at this stage to stop the brisket drying out (more of a risk with Select/Choice briskets), then foil may be the better option.
In my article on the best method to smoke a brisket on a pellet smoker, you’ll learn about the foil boat method, which can retain juices but still aid bark formation on the top surface of the brisket.
When placing the brisket back on the Louisiana Grill, you may want to bump up the temperature to around 250 degrees to help the fat properly render down.
Once the internal temperature of the brisket reaches around 200 degrees, its time to take it out, but its not quite ready yet. Ideally, you want to have enough time to let it rest.
6. Let Your Brisket Rest (This Is Important)
Dave’s video above covers this important part of the brisket cooking process well. After removing the brisket from the pellet smoker, you’ll want to let it rest, slowly.
The resting process can take several hours, especially if you choose to slow the process down by wrapping the brisket and placing it in a cooler, as Dave does.
What this will do is allow the hot juices/fats to be reabsorbed back into the muscle fibres of the brisket, making it as tasty and as succulent as possible.
I know its hard not to cut into the brisket straight way, but resting the brisket is well worth it. Once it falls to an internal temperature of between 140 and 150 degrees, that’s an ideal time to slice and serve.
However, you don’t want the internal temperature of the brisket to be left below 135 degrees. That’s the danger zone for bacteria growth following FDA guidelines.
Final Thoughts On Smoking A Brisket On A Louisiana Grill…
Ok, when it comes to slicing and serving, check out my article on the best method to smoke a brisket on a pellet grill/smoker, which is also slightly different from the Louisiana Grills method.
As smoking a brisket can take many hours, doing the majority of the cook overnight can make sense as long as you top up the hopper before you go to bed.
If you do have SmokeIT functionality on your Louisiana Grill, cooking a brisket is the perfect time to use it to monitor its internal temperature and to set meat probe temperature alerts.
That’s it! Thanks for reading, I hope you found the above information and videos useful on how to cook a smoked brisket on a pellet grill/smoker.
Please check out my Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker Guide to learn more. However, I’ve also produced an FAQ section below, which you may also find useful.
How Long Does It Take To Cook A Brisket?
Well, it all depends on how large your brisket is, the temperature used to cook it and many other variables. However, you can use a general ‘rule’ as a basic guide.
For every lb of brisket you have, it will take around 30 to 60 minutes of cooking time. However, you will be cooking to internal temperatures and not time.
As you can see from the infographic above, a 10lb brisket is obviously going to take several hours less than a brisket twice its size, maybe many hours more.
What I would also say is to ignore those rest times in the Traeger infographic. They obviously make no sense being 1 hour, no matter the size/weight of the brisket.