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Smoked beef brisket is one of the most popular barbecue dishes in America. The juicy, beefy, smoky meat is great all on its own or piled high on a sandwich.
Smoking a brisket can be intimidating, but with the Ninja Woodfire Grill, it’s literally as easy as seasoning the meat and pushing a button.
Follow my below tips and recipe below to smoke a perfect brisket.
What is brisket
Brisket is a cut of beef made up of two muscles (the point and the flat) that comes from the chest of a cow. It’s a rather tough piece of meat, because the cow uses these muscle frequently.
Smoking brisket for several hours helps break down the tough muscle fibers, which turns this beef cut into one of the most desirable on the cow.
The flat meat is more lean; whereas the point meat is much more fatty and tender. It’s more common to find brisket flats than brisket points, but if you can find a point, give it a try, you’ll love the results.
I have been smoking brisket for years and have a comprehensive article on the no-fail way to smoke brisket on a pellet or charcoal grill. It breaks down everything from picking out a brisket to trimming it to the importance of the rest stage.
- Brisket: The Woodfire Grill Grate is about 15 inches long, so be sure that you choose a brisket that will fit. Usually, one that is under 10 pounds will work. You can buy the flat, point or a combination of both.
- Brisket Rub: My award-winning Brisket Rub from Spiceology was designed for all things beef, especially brisket.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: For added moisture, spritz the brisket every 1-2 hours with this flavor enhancer.
Substitutions: You can also season your brisket with a combination of salt, pepper and granulated garlic or any other barbecue seasoning that you love.
How to make smoked brisket on the Ninja Woodfire Grill
- STEP ONE: Start by trimming down the thick layer of fat on the bottom or sides. I recommend trimming them until they are about 1/4-inch thick. Read my full brisket trimming tutorial for details. Then, season the brisket liberally with Brisket Rub.
- STEP TWO: Fill the smoke box with pellets. Place the brisket on the Ninja Woodfire Grill and set the grill to smoker at 225F degrees and the time to 8 hours. The pellets will ignite as the grill heats.
- STEP THREE: Depending on how much smoke flavor you prefer, you can add more pellets to the smoke box once you see the smoke start fade. As the brisket smokes, a flavorful bark will begin to form.
- STEP FOUR: While the convection fan in the Ninja Woodfire Grill helps keep the brisket moist, you can also spritz it with a little water or apple cider vinegar every 1-2 hours for an added boost of moisture and flavor.
NINJA PRO TIP: When smoking brisket on the Ninja Woodfire Grill, there is no need to wrap it in foil or butcher paper. In fact, doing so can effect the way the grill works. Instead, just allow the grill’s convection system to do its magic.
- STEP FIVE: Cook the brisket until it is probe tender, usually this will be at an internal temperature from 200-210F degrees. When barbecuing at different altitudes, the final temp will vary. If you have the Ninja Woodfire Pro Outdoor Grill, you can use the built-in thermometer to monitor the cook temp for you.
- STEP SIX: Once the brisket is done smoking, wrap it in plastic wrap, foil or butcher paper and allow it to rest in a cooler without ice for at least an hour. This will allow the juices to settle and redistribute back into the meat.
How to serve smoked brisket
NINJA PRO TIP: It’s important to slice the meat against the grain. The grain refers to the direction in which the fibers are running. If you run the knife in the same direction as the grain, the bite will be chewy. If you slice against the grain, so that you can see all the lines (pictured below), the bite will be more tender.
The outer crust of a brisket that looks blackened is called the bark. This is perfectly normal and very flavorful. It’s the candied combination of seasoning and smoke that adds that special touch to smoked brisket.
If you end up with leftover brisket, you can store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Or you can store it in the freezer for up to six months.
You can reheat slices in the microwave on a reduced-heat setting.
Frequently Asked Questions
When cooking on the Ninja Woodfire Grill, I don’t recommend wrapping the brisket. Doing so can interfere with the grill’s convection technology. Allow the magic Ninja is known for to do its thing.
The time it takes to smoke a brisket on a Ninja Grill depends on the size of brisket that you have and the temperature you’re cooking at. Plan on around 30 minutes per pound. A 10-pound brisket cooked at 225F degrees should take around 5 1/2 hours to cook and another 1-2 hours to rest.
When smoking a brisket, it’s best to face the fat cap toward the heat source. With the Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill, the heat is generated from the top of the grill, so placing the fat cap toward the top would be recommended. However, I like the look of pretty bark, so I’ve also smoked the brisket with the fat cap down and had wonderful results.
I don’t usually flip a brisket when cooking at low temperatures. If you cook a brisket using the hot and fast method, that’s when flipping is recommended. However, because the Ninja Woodfire Grill’s heat source is at the top, you could start the cook with the fat cap up and then flip it after a couple of hours to help form a better bark on top.
Brisket flat is usually done around an internal temperature of 200-205F degrees. Since brisket point has more fat, it can stand to be cooked a little longer – to an internal temperature of 210F degrees. This can all vary however, depending on your altitude. The higher the altitude, the lower the final temp. The best way to know if a brisket is done is to pierce it with a probe. If it goes in smoothly with little resistance, it’s ready.
The Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill uses electric as its heat source, not the pellets. While the pellets will provide real woodfire flavor, you won’t see a heavy smoke ring. It has to do with the science of how smoke rings are created. If you want to add more smoke flavor, you can refill the smoke box throughout the cook.
More recipes on a Ninja Woodfire Grill
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Smoked Brisket on a Ninja Woodfire Grill
- 10 lb beef brisket
- 1/4 cup Christie Vanover's Brisket Rub
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- Trim: Trim the bottom of the brisket so that the fat layer is no more than 1/4-inch thick. View my comprehensive tutorial (link above) for more details.
- Season: Sprinkle a liberal amount of brisket seasoning all over the top, bottom and sides of the brisket.
- Grill Setup: Fill the smoke box with a scoop of pellets. Set the Ninja Woodfire Grill to Smoker with a temperature of 225F degrees and a time of 8 hours.
- Smoke: Smoke the brisket for about 5 1/2 hours, spritzing every 1-2 hours with apple cider vinegar, until it is probe tender and registers at an internal temperature of 200-210F degrees.
- Rest: Once the brisket has finished cooking, wrap it in plastic wrap or foil and let it rest in a cooler without ice for at least 1 hour.
- Slice: Remove the brisket from the wrapping and slice it against the grain.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.