How Long To Smoke Brisket Per Pound: The Ultimate Guide

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If you’re a true BBQ aficionado who focuses on slow cooking, smoked brisket is likely your signature dish. The smell of the smoke perfectly teases your nose as it wafts through the air and the tenderness of the meat melting in your mouth – there’s nothing quite like it! But do you ever find yourself wondering How Long To Smoke Brisket Per Pound? Don’t worry, because we have all the answers here! In this blog post, we’ll break down exactly what you need to know when determining the time for preparing that delicious meal. So buckle up and get ready to learn how long to smoke a brisket per pound!

How Long To Smoke Brisket Per Pound

The art of smoking a brisket is both a science and a labor of love. As any pitmaster will tell you, the key is low and slow. Our general rule of thumb is to plan on between 30 and 60 minutes per pound. For example, a 16-pound brisket cooked at 275 degrees Fahrenheit will take between 10 and 12 hours. The entire process from trimming, injection, seasoning, and cooking will take between 18 and 20 hours. Give yourself enough time

To achieve the perfect balance of tenderness, flavor, and juiciness, it’s important to keep a close eye on your brisket throughout the smoking process. This means monitoring temperature, adjusting vents or dampers as needed, and occasionally spritzing the brisket with a flavorful liquid to keep it moist. But the end result is worth the effort- a beautiful, mouth-watering brisket that will be the centerpiece of any barbecue feast.

Smoke Brisket

How Long Does It Take to Smoke a Brisket Per Pound at 225 Degrees?

As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to smoke your brisket for about 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes per pound at 225 degrees. However, this is just an estimate and there are many factors that can impact the cooking time.

How Long Should I Smoke Brisket at 250°F Per Pound?

If you’re smoking at 250°F, a general rule of thumb is to smoke the brisket for approximately 1 to 1.5 hours per pound. However, it’s important to keep in mind that every brisket is different and may require more or less time to achieve the desired tenderness and flavor.

To ensure that your brisket is cooked to perfection, invest in a good quality meat thermometer to keep a close eye on the internal temperature as it smokes. Remember, when it comes to smoking brisket, slow and steady wins the race. 

How To Know When It Is Done

To determine when a brisket is done:

  • Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer; aim for around 200°F (93°C).
  • Perform a “probe tender” test – the probe should glide through with ease.
  • Try the bend test – the brisket should bend without breaking.
  • Cooking time can be roughly 1 to 1.5 hours per pound at 225°F to 250°F (107°C to 121°C).
  • After cooking, rest the brisket for at least 30 minutes for optimal tenderness and flavor.

How To Know When It Is Done

When Slicing a Brisket, How Long Should It Rest?

While some may be tempted to dive in right away, professionals recommend letting the brisket rest for at least 20 to 30 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute and the meat to relax, resulting in a more flavorful and tender brisket. So next time you’re slicing up this classic cut, take a deep breath and resist the urge to dig in immediately. Trust us, the wait will be worth it.

How To Trim A Smoked Brisket

  1. The first step in trimming a smoked brisket is to remove any excess fat, as this will prevent the meat from drying out during the cooking process.
  2. When it comes to seasoning, there are countless options to choose from.
  3. You can keep it simple with just salt and pepper, or get creative with a rub that includes a mixture of different spices like paprika, garlic, and brown sugar.
  4. Whatever you choose, be sure to coat the entire brisket evenly for a tasty, flavorful crust. So fire up your smoker and get ready to impress your taste buds with a perfectly cooked brisket!

Ways To Shorten The Cooking Time of Cooking Brisket

We all love a home-cooked meal, but sometimes we simply don’t have the time to spend hours in the kitchen. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to shorten the cooking time and still enjoy a delicious, healthy meal. Shortening the cooking time of brisket while still achieving tender and flavorful results can be achieved through a few methods:

Wrap in Foil or Butcher Paper:

After a few hours of smoking, wrap the brisket tightly in aluminum foil or butcher paper. This helps retain moisture and speeds up the cooking process by creating a “Texas crutch.”

Increase Cooking Temperature:

Cook the brisket at a slightly higher temperature, such as 275°F (135°C), instead of the traditional 225°F (107°C). This can reduce the overall cooking time.

Use a Smaller Brisket:

Opt for a smaller-sized brisket. A smaller cut will naturally take less time to cook than a larger one.

Pre-Cook or Partially Cook:

Pre-cook the brisket in an oven or sous vide bath at a higher temperature for a shorter period before smoking. This reduces the overall smoking time while still infusing smoky flavor.

Thin the Brisket:

If you’re comfortable with meat preparation, consider butterflying or thinning the brisket slightly. This reduces thickness and can lead to faster cooking.

Trim Excess Fat:

Trim excess fat before cooking. Less fat means less time needed for rendering during cooking.

Sous Vide and Smoke:

Use sous vide to pre-cook the brisket to a specific level of tenderness. Finish it on the smoker for a shorter time to infuse smoky flavor.

Boneless Brisket:

Opt for a boneless brisket or ask your butcher to remove the bone. Boneless cuts tend to cook faster.

Increase Heat Intensity:

If using a pellet grill or smoker, increase the intensity of the heat source to achieve higher temperatures and faster cooking.

Slicing Before Cooking:

 If you’re open to a different presentation, slice the brisket into individual portions before cooking. This can significantly reduce cooking time.

What To Eat With Smoke Brisket

As soon as you take that first bite of smoky, succulent brisket, you’ll want to pair it with the perfect side dish. While there are plenty of options to choose from, certain sides complement the rich, hearty flavor of brisket better than others.

Tasting notes of caramelized onions, garlic, and a hint of sweetness go hand-in-hand with smoke brisket. That’s why baked beans, creamy macaroni and cheese, and cornbread are some of the classic choices.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a fresher option, try pairing your brisket with a bright and zesty coleslaw or a crisp Caesar salad. Whatever you choose, make sure your drink of choice is a cold one- the perfect accompaniment to the smoky flavor of your brisket. 

What To Eat With Smoke Brisket

How To Preserve Smoke Brisket

There are several different methods for preserving smoke brisket, including freezing, vacuum-sealing, or canning. Freezing is the simplest method, as all you need is a freezer-safe container or bag. Vacuum-sealing is another popular way to preserve smoke brisket, as it removes all the air from the package and keeps the meat fresh for a longer period.

Canning is a more complicated process, but it can extend the shelf life of smoke brisket even further. Remember to follow proper food safety guidelines when preserving smoke brisket, and always store it in a cool, dry place. By preserving your smoke brisket, you can enjoy its delicious flavor for weeks or even months to come.

Best Wood PellestS For Smoking Brisket

To get that perfect, mouthwatering flavor, you need to choose the right type of wood pellets. The choice of wood pellets for smoking brisket depends on your flavor preferences and the kind of smoke profile you want to achieve. Here are some popular wood pellet options that work well for smoking brisket:

  1. Hickory:
    • Hickory is a classic choice for smoking meats. It imparts a strong, robust flavor with a slightly sweet undertone. It’s well-suited for brisket due to its ability to penetrate the meat and provide a traditional smoky taste.
  2. Oak:
    • Oak offers a milder smoke flavor that complements the natural flavors of the meat. It’s a versatile wood that doesn’t overpower the brisket, making it a popular choice among pitmasters.
  3. Mesquite:
    • Mesquite is known for its strong and bold flavor. It can infuse a rich smokiness to brisket, but it’s advisable to use mesquite sparingly, as it can become overpowering if not balanced well.

Tips For Smoking Brisket

Smoking brisket is an art form that requires patience, skill, and some insider knowledge.

  1. To start, choose the right cut of meat and season it generously with a dry rub.
  2. Use a smoker with a consistent temperature and add wood chips every few hours to infuse your brisket with that classic smoky flavor.
  3. Don’t rush the cooking process – low and slow is the way to go.
  4. After several hours, wrap your brisket in foil or butcher paper to retain moisture and continue cooking until tender.
  5. Finally, be sure to let your brisket rest before slicing it against the grain. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to smoking the perfect brisket every time.

A Brisket On a Pellet Grill: Smoking Instructions


  • Brisket (typically 10-15 pounds)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Other desired dry rub spices (optional)
  • Wood pellets (such as hickory, mesquite, or oak)


  • Leave about 1/4 inch of fat on the brisket’s surface after trimming away extra fat.
  • The brisket should be liberally sprinkled with black pepper and kosher salt. A dry rub made with your favorite spices is another option.

Setup for a pellet grill:

  • Choose the type of wood pellets you want to put in the pellet hopper. Oak, hickory, and mesquite are common alternatives for beef.
  • Heat the pellet grill to about 225 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit (107 and 121 degrees Celsius).

Brisket is smoked:

  • Place the brisket, fat side up, on the grill grates in the center of the grill.
  • The brisket should smoke for several hours with the lid shut. Depending on the type of tobacco used, smoking can take anywhere from 6 to 10 hours.

Upkeep of Temperature:

  • Using a meat thermometer, keep an eye on the internal temperature of the brisket as well as the grill’s surface temperature.
  • The temperature is usually maintained consistently by pellet grills, but you might need to make a few little tweaks now and then to keep it within the required range.

Wrap with foil, if desired:

  • You may decide to wrap the brisket in aluminum foil after smoking it for a few hours (around 4-6 hours). This quickens the cooking process and preserves the moisture of the meat.
  • In order to achieve the best tenderness, put the wrapped brisket back on the grill and continue cooking it until the internal temperature reaches about 200°F (93°C).

Slicing and Resting:

  • Remove the brisket from the grill after it reaches the proper internal temperature.
  • The brisket should be wrapped in several layers of foil.

Slicing and Serving:

  • When ready to serve, slice the brisket against the grain to ensure tenderness.
  • Serve the sliced brisket with your favorite barbecue sauce, pickles, onions, and other accompaniments.

Conclusion: How Long To Smoke Brisket Per Pound

All in all, brisket is a very delicious type of meat that requires a lot of patience to cook. But when done right it will be worth the time. The first step in smoking a brisket is to understand how different temperatures and methods affect cooking time. In most cases, you should smoke the meat at 225 or 250 degrees for 1.5 hours per pound of meat. However, if you want to reduce cooking time then marinating your brisket with seasoning overnight could help speed up the process. Furthermore, different types of wood pellets produce different flavors when added to your pit so make sure you select the perfect combination for the ultimate taste experience. One last tip when preparing your smoked brisket is remembering to let it rest before slicing and serving, this will help ensure even cooking and ensure an even better taste. With these tips in mind, it can be easy to understand how long it takes to smoke a brisket per pound and give yourself plenty of time when planning your meal.


What’s the recommended smoking temperature for brisket?

A common temperature range for smoking brisket is 225°F to 250°F (107°C to 121°C).

Can I smoke brisket faster at higher temperatures?

While higher temperatures can reduce cooking time, lower temperatures are ideal for achieving tender, flavorful results with proper smoke penetration.

What is the “stall” during smoking?

The stall is when the brisket’s internal temperature plateaus as moisture evaporates. This is normal and can last for hours. You can be patient or wrap the brisket to move past this phase.

When should I wrap the brisket during smoking?

Consider wrapping the brisket in foil or butcher paper around the 4 to 6-hour mark or when the internal temperature reaches about 160°F (71°C). This can help accelerate cooking.

How do I determine if the brisket is done smoking?

Use a meat thermometer. Typically, brisket is done when the internal temperature reaches around 200°F (93°C) for optimal tenderness.

Is resting the brisket important after smoking?

Absolutely. After removing it from the smoker, wrap the brisket in foil and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. This allows juices to redistribute, resulting in a more tender and flavorful brisket.

Should You Cook Brisket With Fat Side Up or Down?

While there’s no single right answer, many experienced cooks swear by cooking the brisket with the fat cap facing up. The idea is that as the meat cooks, the fat will naturally render down into the meat below, imbuing it with moisture and flavor. 

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