Brisket is close to every barbecuers heart. After all, it is one of the best meats to smoke.
However, the trick is knowing how long to smoke the brisket. The brisket will be dry and tough if you smoke the brisket too long.
However, if you smoke the brisket for too little time, it may be undercooked, causing anyone who eats it to become sick.
This is why it’s so important to know how long to make brisket per pound. It’s the best way to end up with succulent, juicy, smoky brisket.
- What is the Best Temperature to Smoke a Brisket?
- How Long To Smoke Brisket
- How Long to Smoke Brisket per Pound
- Final Thoughts
What is the Best Temperature to Smoke a Brisket?
Although the brisket’s weight determines its cooking time, the temperature is also important. The general consensus is that brisket should be smoked between 225°F and 250°F.
However, there is a debate about the best temperature for smoking brisket.
Some people believe smoking brisket at 225°F, while others believe it should be smoked at 250°F. This is because brisket must be cooked low and slow for a long time.
Remember, brisket contains lots of fat and connective tissues. Smoking the brisket at 225°F gives the fat and connective tissues time to render and become tender.
Most people opt for smoking brisket at 250°F because it speeds up the cooking process. However, the meat will not cook so fast that the fat and connective tissues do not have time to break down.
The truth is there is no perfect temperature to smoke a brisket. What temperature to smoke brisket really depends on your preference.
Both temperatures will yield a juicy brisket that has a nice crispy bark.
How Long To Smoke Brisket
As I mentioned above, there is no perfect temperature for smoking brisket. It depends on your preference. You could smoke the brisket at 300°F.
However, if you do not monitor the brisket perfectly, you could end up drying out the meat. In addition to this, you would also need to change the cooking time.
Therefore, if you are new to cooking brisket, it’s better to stick with 225°F. These are the general smoking times for smoking briskets from 225°F to 350°F.
Briskets smoked at temperatures between 225°F and 250°F should be smoked for 8-10 hours. After that, however, you should remove the brisket from the smoker, wrap it and smoke it for another 2 hours.
Briskets smoked between 275°F and 300°F should be smoked for 5 hours, then wrapped and smoked for another 3-4 hours.
Lastly, briskets smoked between 325°F and 350°F should be smoked for 3 hours, wrapped, and smoked for 4 hours.
These are just general estimations. The smoking time of brisket will depend on other factors such as the grade, how much fat is trimmed, and your smoker’s ability to generate heat.
So, the brisket may take less time or more time to cook.
How Long to Smoke Brisket per Pound
Knowing how long to smoke brisket per pound prevents you from over or under-cooking the brisket. At 225 the general rule of thumb is 1.5-2 hours per pound.
Always go conservative and check the internal temperature to ensure you’re not drying it out.
Nevertheless, the smoking time may need to be adjusted depending on the type of smoker you use and the weather.
How Long to Smoke a 1-2 Pound Briskets
Most briskets range between 3-4 pounds. However, it is possible to source a 2-pound brisket. You can even find a 1 1/2-pound brisket.
While 1 1/2 pounds may not be that much brisket, the good thing about this small brisket is that it doesn’t need to be smoked for 16 hours.
In 3 short hours, you will have tender, smoky brisket. However, it may be best to check the brisket’s temperature once it has been in your electric smoker for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
On average, it can take about 3-4 hours to smoke a 2-pound brisket at 225. However, it may take up to 4 hours.
Nevertheless, a 2-pound brisket is a small piece of meat, so you must treat it with care. In addition to this, a 2-pound brisket is not likely to have much fat, which means it can easily dry out.
Remember, the fat protects the brisket from drying out. This is why you leave some of the fat on the brisket.
Therefore, it’s best to check the brisket’s internal temperature at the two-hour mark. If it is still not done, cook the brisket to check the brisket’s temperature every 30 minutes until it is done.
How Long to Smoke 3-Pound Briskets
Three-pound briskest can handle a little more heat. Since the brisket is only 3 pounds, it is likely the point cut or the flat cut.
Even though the point cut contains more fat, it will still cook faster than the flat cut. Most people tend to overcook the fat, but it still remains juicy since the fat renders creating moist brisket.
All in all, it’s best to smoke 3-pound briskets for at least 4.5 hours at 225.
How Long to Smoke 4-Pound Briskets
A 4-pound brisket takes about 6 hours to cook at 225. Remember, this is only a general guideline.
The brisket may be cooked in 6 hours, or it may take 7 hours to cook. This is why you should check the brisket at the 6-hour mark.
How Long to Smoke 5-Pound Briskets
Five-pound briskets are usually the flat cut. An untrimmed flat cut usually weighs 6-10 pounds. However, once it’s trimmed, it weighs about 5 pounds.
Five-pound briskets take 7-8 hours to smoke at 225. However, the flat is much leaner than the point. So it’s best to check its temperature after 7 hours to ensure it does not become tough and dry.
How Long to Smoke 8-Pound Briskets
An 8-pound brisket will take about 12-16 hours to smoke. However, start checking the brisket’s temperature after 10 hours and monitor it closely to ensure you do not end up with overcooked meat.
How Long to Smoke 9-Pound Briskets
Most people think of a 9-pound brisket as a large cut of big. A 9-pound brisket needs at least 13 hours to cook.
How Long to Smoke 10-Pound Briskets
A 10-pound brisket takes 15-20 hours to cook, which is basically the entire day. If you do not have all day to wait around for your brisket to cook, increase your smoker’s temperature to 300°F.
Increasing the smoker’s temperature will help the brisket cook faster. It will take about 5-8 hours to cook a 10-pound brisket at 300°F.
However, you should monitor the brisket’s temperature closely. The higher temperature can cause the brisket to dry out quickly.
How Long To Smoke A Whole Packer Brisket
Whole briskets weigh about 12-18 pounds. Remember, these are large cuts of beef. The larger the brisket, the more time it will take to cook.
A 12-pound brisket will take 18-24 hours to cook. Therefore 14, 15, and 16-pound briskets will take more than a day to cook.
In fact, BBQ experts suggest cooking 16-pound briskets at least 24 hours and up to 30 hours before you intend to serve the meat to your guest.
It literally takes the entire day and sometimes even 2-3 days to cook whole packer briskets.
Therefore, unless you run a BBQ restaurant or are feeding an unbelievably large amount of people, it’s better to go with a smaller flat or point cut brisket than a whole packer brisket.
Nevertheless, if you attempt to smoke a whole-packer brisket, start monitoring its temperature at the 18-hour mark. In addition to this, set timers so you do not forget about your brisket.
Since it can take up to 24 hours or more to cook the brisket, you will likely fall also and forget about your brisket. This increases the chances that the brisket will dry out and become tough.
Alternatively, you can also cut the whole packer brisket into the point cut and flat cut to speed up the cooking process.
You can even have the butcher do it for you if you purchase the packer brisket from a butcher shop.
Next, weigh each brisket cut to see how many pounds it is and smoke them for 1 1/2 hours per pound.
Brisket is one of the most purchased and eaten meats in the BBQ world. It is tender, moist, and succulent when cooked the right way.
Although you can smoke brisket at a higher temperature and cook it faster, sometimes cooking it low and slow is necessary.
Now that you know how long to cook brisket per pound, you can choose the right-sized brisket.
More importantly, you can know how much time you need to dedicate to smoking your brisket.
Remember, the larger the brisket, the longer it will take to smoke. More importantly, be patient while smoking the brisket, and happy smoking!
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.