Brisket Cut and Perfectly Done after Smoking for Hours Being Held By A Gut with Black Gloves

How Long Do I Smoke a Brisket?

Before we look at how long a brisket should be smoked, let’s look at the perfect temperature for smoking a brisket first.

What is the ideal temperature for smoking a Brisket?

Brisket is a tough piece of beef that requires many hours of cooking at a low temperature to break down all the connective tissue and transform it into the tender, juicy brisket we all know and love. If the brisket is cooked at too high a temperature, all of the moisture will evaporate, leaving it harsh and dry. You can prevent the moisture from leaving by wrapping it in foil. I did some research to figure out what temperature the pros smoke their brisket at in barbeque competitions.

Most barbeque masters smoke brisket in a stick burner pit between 225°F and 250°F on average, But we will also cover the average time in smoking a brisket using a pellet grill. A conventional Texas-style brisket is smoked at 225°F, which is the safest temperature for beginners in barbecue competitions. Once you’ve mastered the principles of smoking brisket, try experimenting with temps in the 165°F to 185°F range to increase the flavor and quality of the brisket.

Smoking Brisket in a Pellet Grill

What is special about a Pellet Grill?

The most appealing feature of a Pellet Grill is its ability to maintain a low, consistent temperature for long periods of time without requiring changes. Slow-smoking Brisket requires this level of expertise to avoid burning and drying out the meat.

Brisket cooked at 225°F

Beef brisket normally takes 1-1/2 to 2 hours per pound to cook at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep a close check on the thermometer because the rate will vary depending on the cut of meat and the smoker’s reliability.

Brisket cooked at 275°F

When cooked at 275 degrees Fahrenheit, brisket should take 30 to 45 minutes per pound. Because this temperature is slightly higher than the suggested setting, it’s critical to trim away the majority of the fat cap and keep an eye on the thermometer during the cooking process.

Why is it important to trim away the fat cap?

Because beef brisket comes from a part of the steer that gets a lot of action, the meat can be difficult if it isn’t handled properly. As a result, the smoker is an excellent choice for this cut. The fat drains out and the connective tissue breaks down when the brisket is cooked “low and slow,” resulting in beef that is both juicy and tender. The ultimate result will not be nearly as impressive if the smoker temperature is set too high.

Is 275 degrees considered to be excessively hot? Some pitmasters say that the smoker should be set between 225 and 250 degrees, and in most situations, I agree. 275 degrees is still an appropriate temperature if you want to speed up the procedure a little.

Brisket cooked at 350°F to 400°F

You don’t always have 20 hours in a day to smoke a delicate, juicy brisket, and you need one for a weekend BBQ. Fast briskets at high temps in four hours are achievable and excellent, but you’ll need a firm grasp on all of the other procedures if you want it to be tender. I wouldn’t expect a 4-hour brisket to win any awards, but if you don’t have all day and half-night to smoke your brisket at 220°F, it can be done.

Leave some additional fat on your brisket while cooking it at 350°F or higher to protect it, and keep it moist by spritzing/mopping every half hour. Keep an eye on the interior meat temperature while cooking at such a high temperature because it will rise quickly.

Smoking in 225°F

How Long Does It Take to Cook a Small Brisket?

Cooking a small cut brisket that weighs only a few pounds; 20 minutes per side will take substantially less time. Allow around 1 hour of cooking time per pound after searing. In fact, you’ll want to keep an eye on it to ensure that it doesn’t dry out due to overcooking.

How long should a 2-pound brisket be smoked?

A 2-pound brisket follows the same guidelines. It’s only a smidgeon bigger than a 1-pounder, after all. Plan on a cooking period of 3 to 3.5 hours, or slightly more if you want a truly tender brisket.

How long should a 3-pound brisket be smoked?

A 3-pound brisket will take 4 to 5 hours to cook on the smoker. If it’s a section of the point rather than the flat, keep in mind that it can cook to a higher internal temperature without drying out. This is owing to the point end’s increased fat content. When making burnt ends, some chefs purposefully “overcook” the point.

How long should a 5-pound brisket be smoked?

For this size, a 7- to 8-hour cooking time is typical. You’ll want to be careful not to overcook the flat because it’s leaner than the point. When smoking a 5-pound brisket point, as previously stated, you don’t need to be a chevalier.

How long should an 8-pound brisket be smoked?

An 8-pound brisket should be cooked for 10 to 16 hours, depending on the temperature of the smoker. Plan ahead of time so you can begin checking the meat for doneness around the 8-hour mark.

How long should a 10-pound brisket be smoked?

Give yourself plenty of time for briskets weighing 10 pounds or more. A 10-pounder could finish in 10 hours or take 20 hours to reach 200 degrees if it stalls numerous times. More crucial than the time on the clock is the temperature and texture of the brisket.

How Long Should a 16-pound Brisket Be Smoked?

When smoking a 16-pounder, give yourself at least a 24-hour window. If you’re entertaining and need the brisket to be done by a certain time, be safe and start the smoker around 32 hours ahead of time. You may keep the brisket warm in a cooler while it rests beforehand.


While there is no definitive explanation to how long to smoke a brisket per pound, these guidelines can help you estimate how long it will take to smoke a brisket from start to finish. Knowing how much time to provide can enable your guests to enjoy a fantastic barbeque lunch without having to wait too long.

Knowing these factors will help you improve your ability to smoke and grill the greatest meals possible.

Please let us know if this post was helpful or if we could have explained something more clearly. Be a BRISKET PRO


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Since BBQ is now a professional career, I designed this website to turn you into a Brisket Pro. BBQ is more than a cooking style; it’s a lifestyle and art form. 

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