Whether you are a BBQ novice or a veteran, it’s normal for BBQ enthusiasts to smoke at least 1 brisket per season. However, smoking brisket is not as easy as it seems.
You must figure out which temperature to smoke brisket at and how long to smoke it. Smoke your brisket at 250°F for 12-18 hours.
- Is It Better to Smoke Brisket at 250 or 275?
- Factors That Affect How Long to Smoke Brisket
- How Long to Smoke a Brisket at 250
- Internal Temperature
- Final Thoughts
Is It Better to Smoke Brisket at 250 or 275?
Temperature is one of the most important aspects of smoking brisket. It’s no wonder that BBQ experts are debating whether 250°F or 275°F is best for smoking brisket.
Nevertheless, it depends on who you ask. Some people believe 250°F is best, while others believe 275°F is better. Since 250°F is the lower temperature, it is better for smoking brisket.
There is less likelihood that the brisket will dry out. However, the brisket will cook faster if it’s smoked at 275°F.
Factors That Affect How Long to Smoke Brisket
Before we get to the smoking time of brisket, we must discuss factors affecting the time. The weight, water, and connective tissues can affect the smoking time of brisket. The stall can also affect the brisket’s cooking time.
The more weight food has, the longer it takes to cook. The bigger the brisket, the longer it will take to cook.
For example, if you smoke two similar-sized briskets, but one is heavier, it will take longer to cook.
Water and Connective Tissue
In addition to the weight, the water content and connective tissue can also affect smoking time.
Raw brisket consists of approximately 71% water. After it’s cooked, the water content decreases to 56% water. Although it’s only a 15% loss, it takes a long time for this amount of water to evaporate.
If you have never smoked brisket, it is filled with connective tissues. Connective tissues take a long time to break down. This is why brisket takes so long to smoke.
The stall is also another reason brisket takes so long to cook. During the stall, the brisket’s temperature does not increase or decrease. It remains the same.
The stall can last for hours. For this reason, people wrap the brisket to speed up the cooking process.
How Long to Smoke a Brisket at 250
Generally speaking, brisket takes about 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes per pound to smoke at 250. For example, a 1-pound brisket will take 1-1 1/2 hours to smoke, while a 2-pound brisket will take 2-3 hours to cook.
In contrast, a 3-pound brisket takes 3-4 1/2 hours to smoke, and a 4-pound brisket will take 4-6 hours to cook.
However, the times listed below are not hard rules. Therefore, it’s better to check the brisket sooner rather than later. Very rarely will the brisket take the full time to cook, so check the brisket after the first part of the cooking time elapses.
Additionally, you should always pay attention to the temperature. The temperature lets you know when to pull the brisket off the smoker.
How Long To Cook a 6-Pound Brisket at 250
Remember, brisket takes 1-1 1/2 hours to cook per pound. Therefore if you are cooking a 6-pound brisket, it will take 6-8 hours to cook. However, do a temperature check after 6 hours.
How Long to Smoke a 10 Pound Brisket at 250
Remember, the bigger the brisket, the longer the cooking time. At a rate of 60-90 minutes, a 10-pound brisket takes 10-15 hours to smoke. However, check it after 10 hours to make sure it does not dry out.
How Long to Smoke a 14 Pound Brisket at 250
A whole packer brisket takes about 14-17 1/2 hours to cook. Since it is a longer cooking time, make sure you plan to spend most of the day smoking a brisket. It may be best to start early so the brisket is done by dinner time.
How Long to Smoke a 15 Pound Brisket at 250
A 15-pound brisket takes 15-20 hours to cook at 259°F. Remember, the brisket may not take the full 20 hours to cook. However, check the temperature of the brisket after 15 hours.
How Long to Smoke a 16-20 Pound Brisket at 250
Remember, the bigger the brisket, the longer the cooking time.
A 16-pound brisket takes 16-24 hours to cook. A 17-pound brisket takes 17-25 1/2 hours to cook.
An 18-pound brisket will take 18-27 hours to cook, and a 19-pound brisket will take 19-28 1/2 hours to cook.
A 20-pound brisket will take 20-30 hours to smoke at 250°F. However, remember to check the brisket sooner rather than later.
The brisket could dry out if you leave it in the smoker for the full cooking time.
Since the cooking time ranges from 16-30 hours, I would not suggest cooking a brisket that weighs more than 10-16 pounds.
Usually, the serving size is 1 pound of raw brisket per person. This translates to about 1/2 pound of cooked brisket per person. Therefore you can cook multiple 10-16 pound briskets if necessary to feed your guests.
When cooking brisket, use the general cooking times mentioned above as a general guideline. It’s best to monitor the brisket’s internal temperature.
Most smokers come with a thermometer. However, it’s better to use an external smoker thermometer.
Brisket is cooked when it has an internal temperature between 190°F and 200°F.
You can remove your brisket from the smoker when it has a temperature of 195°F. The briskets temperature will rise 5-10 degrees. Therefore, the brisket will be at the perfect temperature when it is time to serve it.
Smoking brisket at 250°F is not that hard. The trick is knowing how long to smoke it.
Smoke your brisket for 1-1 1/2 hours per pound for the best results. You will have the juiciest and most delicious brisket if you use this equation to smoke your brisket.
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.