7 of the Best Pellets for Brisket | Rock the Grill

7 of the Best Pellets for Brisket

BenPublished: August 10, 2023
7 of the Best Pellets for Brisket

You've got your pellet grill cleaned and ready to go, 15 pounds of brisket, and your neighbors drooling in anticipation. Now all that's left is to pick the best pellets for the job. But with so many pellet flavors and brands out there, how do you decide which one will make your brisket truly succulent?

Of course, you know the Rock the Grill is going to come through with the answers. Here are seven of our favorite pellets for making a delicious brisket on your pellet grill:

The importance of choosing the right pellet for brisket.

Choosing the right pellet for your brisket is a crucial step in smoking. Some might even say it's the most important step, even more than the meat itself. The type of pellet you use can significantly affect the flavor profile of your meat, either enhancing its natural taste or adding an entirely new dimension to it.

As we've explored different types of pellets, it's clear that each brings its unique character to the table. Whether you prefer a robust, smoky flavor or a milder, sweeter touch, finding the perfect pellet for your brisket can make all the difference.

So, you can just take the time to experiment with different options until you find the one that takes your brisket from good to great.

What Makes a Good Pellet for Brisket?

Smoked Brisket Fresh off of the Wood Pellet Smoker

Not all pellets are created equal when smoking brisket on your pellet grill. On top of that, not all brands are created equal. Certain factors distinguish an excellent pellet for brisket from the rest. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind—

  • Pellet composition. The type of wood used in the pellet significantly impacts the flavor of your brisket. Hardwoods like hickory and mesquite give a strong, smoky flavor, while fruitwoods like apple or cherry offer a milder, sweeter taste. Some brands also offer blends of different woods for a more complex flavor profile.
  • Heat consistency. A good pellet should provide consistent heat throughout smoking. Fluctuating temperatures can affect the tenderness and juiciness of your brisket. Look for pellets that are known for their steady burn.
  • Quality of the wood. The quality of the wood used in the pellets is crucial. Inferior wood or those treated with chemicals can taint the flavor of your meat and even pose health risks. Opt for pellets made from 100% natural hardwood.
  • Ash production. Good quality pellets produce less ash. Excessive ash can choke up your smoker and affect its performance over time. Ash should be an important factor for those that don't buy new wood pellet grills every season.
  • Price. Higher-priced pellets often indicate superior quality, but it's only sometimes the case. It's possible to find reasonably priced pellets that deliver excellent results.

When we chose the best wood pellets for smoking brisket, we honed in on these factors and more to develop our top picks.

Grill your brisket with the best wood pellets.

Okay, we get it; you're tired of hearing about the different types of pellets and want to get smoking already. Our mouth is watering as well. Look at our top 7 picks for the best wood pellets when smoking a brisket.

Traeger Grills PEL331 Signature Blend.

Traeger Grills PEL331 Signature Blend

Kicking off our list of the best pellets for smoking brisket is the Traeger Grills PEL331 Signature Blend. This particular blend is a fan favorite and for a good reason. It mixes 100% all-natural hardwood, combining hickory, maple, and cherry woods. The result is a robust and balanced flavor that can enhance any cut of meat, but it truly shines when used with a beautiful brisket.

Traeger has built a strong reputation in the grilling community as a brand. They are known for their quality products; these pellets are no exception. The PEL331 Signature Blend embodies their commitment to providing grill masters with the tools they need to elevate their barbecue.

We love this wood pellet for smoking brisket because it produces a consistent, slow burn that infuses the meat with a complex flavor profile. The hickory provides a hearty base, the maple adds a touch of sweetness, and the cherry wood rounds it out with a hint of fruitiness. This blend enhances the rich, savory flavor of the brisket without overpowering it, making the Traeger Grills PEL331 Signature Blend our top choice for smoking brisket.

CookinPellets 40PM Perfect Mix.

CookinPellets 40PM Perfect Mix

Next up on our list is the CookinPellets 40PM Perfect Mix. This blend uniquely combines four hardwoods: hickory, cherry, hard maple, and apple wood. What sets CookinPellets apart is their commitment to purity in their wood pellet flavors - they promise that their mix contains no oak or alder filler, a claim that not all pellet producers can make. They're not as popular as some of the other brands, but that doesn't mean they don't make an amazing pellet.

The flavor profile of the 40PM Perfect Mix is complex and versatile. The hickory and hard maple provide a strong, smoky base, while the cherry and apple woods add a touch of sweetness and fruity undertones. This balance of flavors makes these pellets perfect for smoking a wide variety of meats, but we find it incredibly delicious with brisket. The rich, robust flavors of the hardwoods complement the natural savoriness of the brisket, and the subtle sweetness helps to highlight its inherent richness.

We love the CookinPellets 40PM Perfect Mix for brisket because these pellets create a consistent, long-lasting burn, ideal for the slow and low cooking that brisket requires. The result is a beautifully smoked brisket with a deep, smoky flavor and a hint of sweet fruitiness. Whether you're a seasoned pit master or a barbecue beginner, these pellets will help you take your brisket to the next level.

Bear Mountain Oak Wood Pellets.

Bear Mountain Oak Wood Pellets

Coming in third on our list are the Bear Mountain Oak Wood Pellets. These pellets offer a single-source wood, giving you a consistent and distinct oak flavor. Bear Mountain is a well-respected brand in the grilling community, renowned for its commitment to sustainability and quality.

Oak wood has a robust and sweet flavor that works wonderfully with brisket. It's known for producing a moderate smoke intensity, giving your brisket a rich and smoky taste without overpowering the meat's natural flavors. The slight sweetness of the oak wood also pairs well with the savoriness of the brisket, adding an extra layer of complexity to its flavor profile.

We adore the Bear Mountain Oak Wood Pellets when we smoke brisket because their wood pellets produce a steady and predictable burn. This allows for a more controlled smoking process, crucial when cooking a delicate cut like brisket. Furthermore, the pure oak flavor of the brisket is simply unbeatable. It enhances the meat's natural flavors while adding a unique twist that will have your guests asking for seconds. If you're looking for a reliable and flavorful option for smoking brisket, you can't go wrong with these pellets.

Pit Boss Hickory Hardwood Pellets.

Pit Boss Hickory Hardwood Pellets

Securing the fourth spot on our list are the Pit Boss Hickory Pellets. Known for its quality and consistency, Pit Boss is a brand that has become synonymous with delicious barbecuing. These pellets are made from 100% natural hardwood, ensuring a clean burn and a rich, smoky flavor.

Hickory-flavored wood pellets are a classic choice for smoking meats - including beef brisket. It imparts a strong, hearty smoke flavor that can stand up to the robust taste of brisket. The hickory wood pellets produce a slightly sweet and tangy flavor with a heavy bacon-like smoke profile, making them an excellent match for brisket's rich, savory taste.

We're big fans of the Pit Boss Hickory Hardwood Pellets for brisket because they deliver a consistent burn, allowing for a steady smoking process. This is essential for achieving that perfect tender texture in your brisket. The robust and smoky flavor of hickory is irresistible in a brisket. It complements the meat's natural flavors beautifully, resulting in a brisket bursting with taste. If you're a fan of traditional barbecue flavors, these hickory pellets from Pit Boss are a fantastic choice.

Traeger Grills Natural Mesquite Hardwood Pellets.

Traeger Grills Natural Mesquite Hardwood Pellets

Coming in at number five on our list are the Traeger Grills Natural Mesquite Hardwood Pellets. If you couldn't tell by now, Traeger is well-known and highly respected in grilling. They have a reputation for creating high-quality, natural hardwood pellets that deliver consistent results.

Mesquite wood has a robust, earthy flavor that's sharper than other hardwoods. It's known for adding a unique twist to the smoky flavor profile, and its intense smoke can give your brisket an exotic, southwestern touch. The natural mesquite hardwood pellets provide a strong, spicy, and distinct flavor that adds depth and complexity to the taste of your brisket.

We're big fans of the Traeger Grills Natural Mesquite Hardwood Pellets for brisket because of the intense smoky flavor they bring to the table. This characteristic Mesquite flavor, both potent and satisfying, marries well with the hearty nature of brisket, enhancing its natural taste and adding a layer of zest. These pellets burn consistently, crucial for maintaining the low and slow heat necessary for smoking the perfect brisket. If you want to experiment with bold flavors, these mesquite pellets from Traeger are a must-try.

Pit Boss Cherry Hardwood Pellets

Pit Boss Cherry Hardwood Pellets

The Pit Boss Cherry Hardwood Pellets are securing the sixth spot on our list. These cherry pellets are made from 100% natural hardwood, providing a clean and consistent burn for your grilling needs.

Cherry hardwood is known for its mild and fruity smoke flavor, which makes it an exciting choice for brisket. It adds a subtle touch of sweetness to the meat, creating a nice balance with the savory richness of the brisket. The cherry hardwood pellets produce a light smoke, allowing the brisket's natural flavors to shine while adding a hint of fruitiness.

We love the Pit Boss Cherry Hardwood Pellets because they offer a unique flavor profile for brisket. The mild, sweet smoke from the cherry wood enhances the flavor of the meat without overpowering it. This results in a flavorful yet balanced brisket, offering a delightful twist to the usual smoky brisket taste.

Camp Chef Competition Blend BBQ Pellets.

Camp Chef Competition Blend BBQ Pellets

Rounding up our list at number seven, we have the Camp Chef Competition Blend BBQ Pellets. Camp Chef is synonymous with high-quality outdoor cooking equipment; their pellets are no exception. These pellets blend maple, hickory, and cherry hardwoods, offering a unique combination of flavors for your brisket.

The Competition Blend pellets bring something unique to the table in terms of flavor. The hickory provides a hearty, smoky base, the maple adds a touch of sweetness, and the cherry contributes a hint of fruitiness. This blend results in a complex, layered smoke that can elevate your brisket's taste.

We absolutely adore the Camp Chef Competition Blend BBQ Pellets for brisket because they offer a harmonious balance of flavors. Combining three different hardwoods provides an exciting twist to the traditional smoky brisket, adding depth and complexity to its taste. Moreover, these pellets burn consistently, which is crucial when smoking brisket, as it requires steady heat over a long period.

What type of wood pellets are not good for beef brisket?

While many types of wood pellets can enhance the flavor of your beef brisket, some aren't quite as suitable. It's important to note that taste is highly subjective, and what might be less optimal for us could be someone else's favorite. However, in our experience, these are some wood pellet flavors that might not be the best match for beef brisket—

  1. Alder pellets. While alder wood pellets are great for fish and poultry due to their mild, sweet flavor, they might not be robust enough to stand up to the intense flavors of beef brisket.
  2. Pecan pellets. Pecan pellets have a vibrant and nutty flavor. When used with beef brisket, it could overpower the meat's natural flavors.
  3. Pine pellets. Pine pellets are not recommended for smoking meat. They burn at a high temperature, giving the meat a resinous flavor.
  4. Cedar pellets. Cedar burns hot and fast like pine. Plus, it imparts a strong flavor better suited for seafood than beef brisket.
  5. Apple wood pellets. Some people like the sweetness of apple wood pellets with brisket, but its mild smoke flavor gets lost in the mix.

While these pellets might not be the optimal choice for beef brisket, they could work well with other types of meat. It's always worth experimenting with different flavors to discover what works best.

Which wood pellets are you using for your brisket?

In conclusion, the type of wood pellets you choose can significantly influence the flavor outcome of your brisket. From the robust and earthy mesquite pellets to the mild and sweet cherry hardwood, you can explore a wide array of options.

The best wood pellet for you will ultimately depend on your taste preference and the specific flavor profile you're aiming for. We hope these seven wood pellets for smoking brisket give you a starting point. Don't be afraid to experiment with different types to discover what delights your palate the most.




Ben is a certified nutritionist with a special interest in sustainable cooking. He has a master’s degree in Environmental Studies, which gives him a unique understanding of the connection between food and the environment. With years of experience working in organic kitchens and writing about sustainable food practices, Ben brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. His insights guide readers on how to make their outdoor cooking experiences more eco-friendly.