How Long To Smoke a Brisket – A Brief Guide

Smoke a Brisket are a fan favorite; everyone loves them. We’re sure you’ve tried your favorite smoked brisket at your favorite BBQ joint or with your friends. But what if you’re in the mood to smoke one for yourself? What temperature does a brisket stall and how long do you need to smoke it? We have all the answers here!

Why Does Brisket Take So Long To Smoke?

If you want a perfectly-cooked, well-tasting brisket, you’ll need to wait. The best brisket is always prepared low and slow. Smoking a brisket at a low temperature for a long time allows all the connective tissue and collagen to break down. Until reaching an internal gas mark of around 200F, the tissue and collagen won’t break down. So, you’ll need to be a little patient.

If you make your brisket reach the 200F mark too quickly, the meat may dry out from the outside and not get tender inside. To get the perfect, tender, and juicy brisket, with each cut having the perfect flavor, you’ll need to set aside your brisket for a long time. The longer you let it cook and smoke, the tastier your brisket will come out!

Factors Affecting the Time to Smoke Brisket Per Pound:

Factors Affecting the Time to Smoke Brisket Per Pound The question of smoking brisket and how long varies based on certain factors like the brisket you choose, the smoker, and the smoking temperature. These can have an impact on how quickly your brisket smokes. Let’s have a look at these factors.

1.    Smoking Temperature:

The temp to smoke brisket will affect how long it takes to be prepared. When it comes to the ideal temperature, you’ll find multiple recommendations to smoke a brisket at. The most common recommendation for temperature is 250F. Briskets take quite a long time to cook but if you raise the temperature, the waiting time can be reduced.

Yet, experts suggest that lower temperatures give the brisket a better-smoked flavor. So, the longer it cooks, the better and more enriched the flavor. If you’re short on time, however, you can always turn the flame a little higher.

2.    The Smoker You Use:

The smoker you choose for your brisket may also affect its cooking time. Some electric smokers or pellet grills have a self-regulation system for temperature, giving you better control. Yet, some other smokers, like charcoal or offsets may have fluctuations that may take a longer time to smoke a brisket.

3.    The Brisket:

Another thing that affects your brisket’s smoking time is the brisket you choose. Not all briskets are the same. Smaller-sized ones often cook much quicker than larger-sized ones. However, most people will go for a brisket size that is enough for serving their friends and family. If you take a thicker brisket, it may take much longer to cook than a thinner one of the same weight. Moreover, the marbling of the brisket can also affect the cooking time.

4.    Other Factors:

Other Factors

In addition to the factors above, some other things also affect the smoking time of your brisket. This includes the fat content thickness and grade.

The higher grade your brisket is tender and faster it will cook as compared to a lower-grade one. That’s because a higher-grade brisket has more fats and marbling that makes helps it cook quicker.

Another factor affecting your brisket’s smoking time is the humidity and wind. So, it’s always a good idea to keep the wind and humidity levels under check. In normal conditions, you’re less likely to note much difference. But with a drop in temperature and rise in humidity, you will need to reconsider your time estimates.

How Long To Smoke A Brisket?

There’s certainly no single answer to how long you are to smoke your brisket. That’s because there’s no universal algorithm that defines this. However, you can assess the time based on your brisket’s weight. Overall, your brisket needs to reach an internal temperature of 200 to 203F to cook perfectly. Here are some estimates for the time of smoking a brisket based on weight.

  • 10lbs brisket – smoke for 6 to 9 hours and rest for 1 hour.
  • 15lbs brisket – smoke for 10 to 12 hours and rest for 1 hour.
  • 20lbs brisket – smoke for 12 to 16 hours and rest for 1 hour.

As a basic rule, smoking a brisket time per pound is around 30 to 60 minutes. For example, if you’re cooking a 16-pound brisket at a temperature of 274 F, you will have to wait for 10 to 12 hours. If you take an estimate of the total time including injection, trimming, cooking, and seasoning, it can take almost 18 to 20 hours.

Should Brisket be Smoked at 225 or 250?

Should Brisket be Smoked at 225 or 250?

Generally, a smoking temperature of 225 degrees is better for a brisket because it results in a juicer and tender finish. When you cook at a lower temperature of 225, the collagen breaks down slowly. The meat also takes in the juice and soaks it better. However, if you’re cooking at a higher temperature of 250 degrees, your brisket will be easier to cut and more evenly cooked.

In most cases, 225F is the most commonly recommended temperature to cook a low and slow-smoked brisket. This can take anywhere between one and a half hours to two hours to cook completely. When you smoke your brisket at this temperature, you give enough time for the smoke to wrap the brisket and give it that tasty peppery touch. Moreover, this low temperature also breaks the connective tissue evenly throughout the brisket. Yet, you’ll need to wait a while if you want the perfectly-cooked brisket at your table. But it’ll be worth the wait!

In some cases, people prefer smoking a brisket at a slightly higher temperature of 250F. If you choose this temperature, the time you need will be between an hour and a half or so. This little raise of heat is enough to reduce the smoking time without really compromising much on the flavor.

How To Reduce Brisket Smoking Time?

How To Reduce Brisket Smoking Time?

If you think that your brisket is taking too long to smoke and you want to get done with it quicker, there’s an easy way around it. One way is to choose a smaller brisket. The smaller your brisket is, the lesser time it takes to smoke. Yet, this isn’t always the best option since people often cook briskets for family and friend get-togethers where a small brisket just won’t be enough. So what can you do to cut down on smoking time?

1.    Wrap Your Brisket During the Stall:

When smoking the brisket, you may have faced a panicking time when the temperature stalls at 160F. This is especially true if you’re smoking for the first time. The internal temperature will stop and stay steady for a while. In this case, you can raise the brisket temperature or let the brisket out. Nevertheless, this can take time.

At the stall stage, the moisture coming from the brisket evaporates enough for cooling the brisket at a rate similar to the smoker heating it. Hence, this is the stage where the brisket absorbs the moisture to resume the cooking process.

If you want to reduce the stall time, wrap your brisket with aluminum foil as this helps to trap the moisture and quickens the smoking process.

2.    Raise The Temperature:

The easiest way to quicken the smoking process of your brisket is to raise the temperature higher. At a higher temperature, your brisket will cook faster, but the flavor turns out slightly different. While you don’t get the same enriched smoky flavor, it takes like a roast steak or beef instead of a low and slow brisket. Yet, most people enjoy the tasty smoked flavor of brisket cooked quicker at 275 to 300F.

Frequently Ask Questions!

How Long does it Take to Smoke a 7-Pound Brisket at 225?

If you’re smoking a 1-pound brisket at 225 to 250F, you can expect it to be ready in around one or one and a half hours. So, your 7-pound brisket may be ready in almost 7 to 10 hours if smoked at 225F.

How Long To Smoke a 5lb Brisket?

If you have a 5lbs brisket, the average cooking time is around 7 to 8 hours. Yet, you won’t need to look after this brisket for too long. However, do check in between to avoid overcooking or drying out the meat.

Is 225 very high for smoking brisket?

225F isn’t a high temperature for smoking a brisket. In fact, it is considered as being the ideal smoking temperature. At this gas mark, your brisket can take anywhere between one and a half hours to around two hours per pound to cook completely. How long your brisket takes depends on its weight.

Final Words:

Most people find it a daunting task to cook the perfect brisket for a family or friend’s meetup. Yet, if you reach the right smoked brisket time and temp, it isn’t at all that hard. Typically, a brisket can take around one to two hours to smoke completely but this depends on the pounds. Moreover, further variations come in terms of the size and marbling of your brisket. The temperature here is another important factor to consider.

So, the most essential part of smoking your brisket isn’t about how long you’re doing it. Instead, it’s more about breaking those connective tissues so you don’t end up with those chewy and tough brisket pieces in your barbecue. You’ll always want your brisket to be tender and juicy!