How Long Does Brisket Take To Smoke: An Ultimate Cooking Guide 

You must not be brisk in cooking a brisket, you must take it low and slow for you to keep it tender, juicy, and have a smokey flavor.

The brisket is a piece of beef from the cow’s chest and pork shoulder is also great for low and slow cooking.

Its cooking process requires a lot of patience for a long time and needs your strategic thinking to cook it nicely and have the best results.

You might gain great information from different articles on how to cook it.

However, it does not assist you in determining how long the smoking or grilling procedure will take from beginning to end.

In this article, we will show you how to figure out hours to smoke a whole brisket in terms of pounds.

In a Hurry? Let’s start!

Knowing first what things you need to consider and understanding the cooking process will make you a better cook.

Smoking brisket takes an average of two hours per pound, depending on the temperature of your smoker and the weight and size of the meat.

Let us discuss the important factors that play a vital role in cooking or smoking a brisket.

However, before we get to the important part, here’s what you need to do:

Pounds (Brisket Size)Smoke TemperatureCooking Time GuideImportant to Note
1.5 lb225 degrees Fahrenheit2 hoursCheck the brisket at the 90-minute mark to see how it’s doing. If it appears to be taking its time, don’t panic. You don’t want to overcook your meat and end up with dry, leathery results.
2 lbs3 hours3 to 3.5 hours of cooking time is recommended, or slightly more if you want a very tender brisket.
2.5 lbs4 hoursDon’t be tempted to skip out on your relaxation time. This phase is required even for minor wounds, as it allows the proteins to firm up again.
3 lbs4-5 hoursIf it’s a section of the point rather than the flat, keep in mind that it can cook to a higher internal temperature reaches without drying out. This is owing to the point end’s increased fat content. When making burnt ends, some chefs purposefully “overcook” the tip.
4 lbs6 hoursSome briskets may be done at this stage, while others may require a little more time on the grill.
5 lbs7-8 hoursFor 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. If you’re smoking a 5-pound brisket point, you don’t need to be as careful.
8 lbs10-16 hoursOccasionally, if the smoker’s temperature is high, a little less hour is needed. Plan ahead of time so you can begin monitoring the meat for doneness around the 8-hour mark.
9 lbs12-18 hoursMake careful to check the temperature at the 10-hour mark just to be safe.
10lbs15 hours,However, as we’ve pointed out, there’s no hard and fast rule, especially when you’re dealing with larger cuts.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.
14 lbs1 hour and 15 minutesAlthough the brisket may still take this long (or even longer) to finish cooking, we recommend checking for doneness after about 1 hour and 15 minutes per pound on the smoker.This phase would be reached after 17.5 hours of cooking for a 14-pound full packer brisket. This isn’t the first time you’ve tried to test the brisket’s temperature, but it’s more likely to pass the probe test now.
15 lbs18 hoursIt’s likely that it won’t be finished until later, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Cooking a brisket this size could take up to 24 hours.
16 lbs24 hours16-pound briskets necessitate a significant amount of preparation time. The good news is that you’ll spend most of that time waiting for the smoker to finish its job.If you’re hosting a party and need the brisket to be ready by a certain time, start the smoker approximately 32 hours ahead of time. You may keep the brisket warm in a faux Cambro or refrigerate and reheat it later if it finishes cooking early.
  1. Equipment
  • aluminum foil/butcher paper
  • spray bottle
  • Smoker
  • Wood Chips
  • latex gloves
  • Ingredients

Spice Rub

  • Olive oil
  • 3 tbsp chili powder use 1– 2 if you don’t like too much spice
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp oregano preferably fresh if not dried, is fine
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 3 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper leave out if you don’t like spice
  • 1 tsp onion powder


  • 1 brisket 8 pounds
  • Apple juice beer
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Stock
  • Water pan for basting
  1. Cooking Temperature

The key to tender brisket is to smoke it at a constant temperature using the low and slow method in the settings specified in this article.

Briskets can be smoked in different ways and styles, including at differing temperatures.

The ideal temperature in smoking a brisket is at a low temperature ranging from 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Depending on the brisket, smoker, and external temperature, each cook will differ.

A good rule of thumb is to smoke for 1 hour and then 30 minutes for every pound of body weight.

We strongly advise using a digital meat thermometer to monitor the interior temperature of your brisket.

  1. Size and Weight

Cooking temperature isn’t the only thing to think about. It’s also an important thing to consider the brisket’s size.

Because heat takes longer to penetrate the middle of the beef, the larger the brisket, the longer it will take to cook per pound.

Briskets can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes. From a modest trimmed 5 lb of brisket cut to a whole packer brisket cut, there’s something for everyone.

The average brisket, on the other hand, weighs between 10 and 16 pounds. Several factors will influence the size and weight you choose. The number of people you’ll be cooking for, the size of your smoker, and your budget are all factors to consider.

In picking a brisket, you must take note of the following:

  • Quality.

Quality meat is the foundation of superb smoked beef brisket.

Start with the greatest grade cut of meat possible if you want to make the best-smoked brisket.

If you’re new to smoking brisket and want to practice, use your local grocery store meat.

But if you’re ready to step up, use nothing but the freshest and highest-quality meat.

  • Flexibility. 

Briskets that easily bend or flex are best. Briskets with little connective tissue are best.

The final result will be more tender if the brisket has less connective tissue.

  • The Flat and the Point.

You’ve probably heard the terms ‘brisket point’ and ‘brisket flat.’

The fattier section of the brisket is called the point. The flat is the leaner end of the spectrum.

When the fat side hasn’t been trimmed and the flat and point are still attached, it’s called a packer cut.

You might want to look for a packer cut with a thicker flat if you decide to acquire one. This ensures that both ends are cooked evenly.

Note: If you’re using frozen brisket, make sure to read the instructions on how to safely defrost meat.

The dispersion of excess fat in the meat is referred to as marbling. The more marbling your brisket has, the higher the quality.

  1. Cooking Method

The cooking time per pound is also determined by the cooking method and smoker type.

Because each smoker is unique, you may need to employ a trial-and-error technique until you become acquainted with your individual equipment.

Cook time can be cut in half by removing the meat from the oven early and allowing it to come to room temperature.

Wrapping it in aluminum foil or butcher paper can also help it cook faster.

A 10 to 12-pound brisket covered in foil will take seven to nine hours to completely cook on a barbeque.

In addition, trimming your brisket is also an important part of the process.

The quantity of fat left on the meat will impact how well it cooks. A good fat cap will help to keep your meat moist.

If you don’t remove enough fat from the top, the smoke ring won’t be able to penetrate as deeply into the meat.

If you trim the meat too much, it won’t absorb moisture and will be a dry brisket.

Steps for Trimming Brisket: Gather the Necessary Equipment:

1The knife you need for boning should be sharp and narrow. 

With this type of knife, it will be easier to remove the larger bits around the fat cap because of its curved blade.

2. Trimming your brisket should be done when the brisket is cold.

As soon as you take the brisket from the refrigerator, trim the fat first.

  • Begin by trimming the sides, then go on to the ends, removing any loose chunks of fat.
  • Make careful to leave about 14 percent fat on your beef, as this will keep it from drying out.
  • The deckle is a big, thick layer of fat found between the flat and the tip.
  • You should remove this since it will not render while you are smoking a brisket.
  • It should be noted that some butchers will have previously removed the deckle.

3. Consider where you will place your brisket in the smoker.

If you have hot spots, leave a little more fat to preserve your meat.

4. To ensure an even cook, keep your brisket as even as possible.


Electric smokers and gas smokers maintain more consistent temperatures than pit or barrel smokers, allowing you to predict cooking time more accurately.

By keeping the lid closed, cooking time is minimized and heat is contained.

The cooking time per pound is affected by the following:

  • Thickness of the meat
  • Amount of fat
  • Outside temperature
  • Wind
  • Humidity
  • Grade of the meat
  • Composition of the meat tissue

On a cool, windy evening, a brisket can take more than two hours per pound to cook.

A higher-quality brisket with more marbling and fat cooks faster than a lower-quality brisket with less marbling and fat.

A Guide To Smoking Brisket Per Pound: Breaking it Down by Size

Depending on the size of an individual cut, we explain how long a brisket needs to smoke in this section.

This breakdown assumes that the cooking temperature is 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

During extreme weather‌, a smoker’s temperature may fall below 225, which will require a change to the heating time.

Additional Suggestions

Keep in mind that frequently opening the smoker’s top will cause the grill temperature to fluctuate, interfering with the cooking process.

You may maintain track of the inside temperature without opening the smoker by using a probe with an external monitor.

Smoked brisket requires resting after completion, which increases prep time.

Some people only rest their brisket for a few minutes, but we recommend two to four hours.

Double wrap it in towels and place it in a heated cooler until it reaches a temperature of about 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Last thing, if time is of the essence, try separating bigger entire packer briskets and smoking the point and flat sections separately.

They’ll cook faster this way, and it’ll be much easier to place them on the grilling grate.


How Do I Wrap Brisket?

When the brisket has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit, you must take it from the smoker and plastic wrap it in pink butcher paper.

This is commonly referred to as a Texas crutch method.

Wrapping allows the brisket to attain a greater internal temperature while remaining moist.

Wrapping the brisket prevents the “stall,” which occurs when evaporation from the surface of the meat causes the cooking process to come to a halt.

Cooking periods range from 8 to 16 hours depending on size, brisket temperature, and brisket shape.

When cooked at 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, the average smoked brisket takes about 17 hours.

How Long Does It Take To Smoke Brisket?

We have particular animal species; there is nothing universal in all cuts. You estimate the cooking duration of your brisket based on its weight.

Keep in mind that internal temperatures always have the final say.

Beef is considered done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Whereas, brisket is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 190 to 200 degrees.

What are the best wood smokers?

Aaron Franklin prefers post oak for his smoked brisket.

Our comprehensive collection of wood pellets for smoking will assist you in selecting the best flavor to use in your pellet grill smoker.

You may also use a charcoal grill. But if you’re smoking brisket for the first time, I recommend experimenting with several wood combinations before settling on one flavor.

You might discover that you appreciate fruity flavors such as apple, cherry, or even maple.


While there is no clear answer to how long to smoke a brisket per pound, these recommendations might give you an estimate of how long it will take to smoke a brisket from start to finish.

Knowing how much time to set aside will ensure that your guests do not have to wait too long for a tasty BBQ supper.

D. Hahn

DIY guru, dad, husband, blogger. When I'm not creating life hacks I'm teaching my kids how to fix stuff after their dad breaks it.

Recent Posts