How long to smoke a brisket – Get your brisket timing right

by | Oct 26, 2022 | Barbecue, Smoker | 0 comments

Smoking a brisket can feel like a right of passage for any aspiring pit master. For some people, it’s the reason they get into BBQ. It holds such reverence within the cooking community that I’m pretty sure, everyone who is interested in BBQ and smoking meat will eventually smoke a brisket.

You may have smoked a brisket before, or this may be your first time. Either way, it’s important to really understand the right amount of time to cook the brisket.

Smoking any cut of meat requires forward planning, so it’s best to understand the estimated time it takes. you’ll want to know how many hours per pound there are so you can plan in advance and get the best tender brisket and the best results.

Once you have your brisket, you’ll want to get the correct weight so you can get a good idea of how long it will take to cook. You can then plan your day around cooking the brisket.

Hot tip: Trim your brisket and square it off before you weigh it so you get the correct measurements.

How much time per pound of brisket

The time it take per pound does depend on the temperature of the smoker but as a rule of thumb use the following guide

225 degrees Fahrenheit – 90 to 120 minutes per pound of beef brisket

250 degrees Fahrenheit – 60 to 90 minutes per pound of beef brisket

perfect smoked brisket

How long should it take to smoke a brisket at 225 degrees Fahrenheit

If you’re cooking at 225 degrees Fahrenheit then it will take 60 to 120 minutes per pound of brisket.

So, for example, a 10-pound brisket will take 10–20 hours. It does depend on your smoker and your experience.

Some people would feel confident that it would be ready in 10 hours, and some people would have to smoke for much longer.

At this temperature, it is definitely going for the low and slow method. It will take it’s time but it will be worth it.

How long should it take to smoke a brisket at 250 degrees Fahrenheit

Some people, including me, would recommend smoking brisket at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. If you cook the meat at this temperature, it will be done more quickly than if you cooked it at 225 degrees. However, it will still be tender and the beef brisket will melt in your mouth.

If you’re cooking at 250 degrees Fahrenheit it will take 90-120 mins per pound.

So to smoke brisket at 250 it should be done in 10-15 hours.

I prefer this temperature as the fat still renders beautifully but can be done so much quicker.

How long to smoke a small brisket

Cooking a large 10-pound isn’t always necessary. Sometimes you just want enough for one or two of you. Just cooking a 2-pound brisket can be just as good as cooking a large brisket.

When cooking a small brisket it’s important to buy the best quality cut you can.

When cooking a smaller brisket I recommend using a lower heat like 225 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s better to control the rendering of the fat this way.

When cooking a small brisket of 2 pounds timing is the same as a larger one. At 225 degrees Fahrenheit, it will take between 3 to 4 hours.

How to tell when the brisket is done

Testing the internal temperature is the best way to tell when it is done. Using a meat thermometer is the most reliable way to ensure that your brisket reaches an internal temperature that is safe to eat. Look for a temperature of 190-200 degrees Fahrenheit.

The brisket is done if you can poke it with a fork and the fork slides in with no resistance.

smoked brisket internal temperature

How to reduce the cooking time of the brisket

Hot tip: You can reduce the cooking time by cutting the brisket in half. Doing this will increase the surface area that is exposed to the heat. This allows for the brisket to smoke more quicker.




Colin has been grilling, smoking, and barbecuing in his yard for as long as he remembers.  His favorite dish is pork belly smoked on his favorite offset smoker. Read more about Colin here.


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