How Long to Smoke a Brisket

Have you ever gone to Google to find out how long to smoke a brisket?

In most cases, smoking brisket takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour per pound on a grill set to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the size of your brisket, you may need to carve out at least a day to smoke it fully.

As such, going over how long you need to smoke a brisket is important to plan your day and how much time you’ll need to fully prepare for a special get-together.

how long to smoke a brisket per pound

When it comes to smoking brisket, it isn’t as simple as just popping it in the smoker.

The brisket needs to be trimmed, then seasoned. In some cases, it may even need to be injected with different marinades made up of brown sugar, beef broth, and whiskey for an even more flavorful bite (is that even possible!?)

All of this increases your prep and cooking time.

Whether you’re serving brisket as is or chopping it up to serve as a sandwich, there are countless beef brisket recipes for you to sink your teeth into. But first – let’s go over everything you need to know about smoking a brisket per pound.

How Long to Smoke a Brisket Per Pound?

How long does it take to smoke a brisket? That’s the age-old question, and the answer is: it depends on its size.

Here’s how long you should smoke a brisket for depending on how large it is:

  • 1.5 lb: Smoke at 225 degrees F for 1.5-2 hours
  • 2 lbs: Smoke at 225 F for about 3-3.5 hours. Since the size difference between a 1.5 and 2-pound brisket is so small, the smoking time won’t be too different, maybe an hour longer.
  • 2.5 lbs: At 225 F, smoke for four hours
  • 3 lbs: At 225 F, smoke for approximately 4-5 hours. The longer you cook it. The more tender your brisket will be.
  • 4 lbs: At 225 F, smoke a 4lb brisket for six hours.
  • 5 lbs: At 225 F, smoke for about 5-7 hours.
  • 8 lbs: Smoking time will vary depending on how hot your grill is. Smoke an 8 lb brisket at 225 F for about 10-16 hours. Check its progress at around 8 hours to determine additional cooking time.
  • 9 lbs: Smoke at 225 F between 12 and 18 hours, checking the internal temperature around 10 hours.
  • 10 lb: A 10 lb brisket could take anywhere from 10-20 hours to fully cook when smoked at 225 F. This depends on how thick the cut of meat is.

how long to smoke a brisket at 225

The general rule of thumb is to determine your ideal cooking time when it comes to brisket.

Each slab of meat could require more or less time, depending on how thick it is.

Furthermore, it’ll depend on how tender you want it. In most cases, the longer you smoke it, the more tender the meat will be and the easier it’ll fall off the bone.

Check Also How?

How Many Hours Per Pound to Smoke a Brisket?

As noted above, the cooking time for smoking brisket could vary from as little as 30 minutes all the way to 20 hours, depending on the size of the meat and the temperature you cook it at.

While many experts agree that 225 F is the optimal setting for smoking brisket on the grill, you could smoke 1.5 pounds of brisket for as little as 30-45 minutes if you cook it at 300 degrees F. It’ll depend on your preference.

How Long to Cook a Small Brisket?

The smaller the brisket, the less time it’ll take to cook. To determine how long it’ll take you to cook a small brisket, use the “hours-per pound” rule.

In other words, your brisket will need to cook one hour per pound it weighs. So, if your small brisket only weighs a pound, it’ll usually be ready to eat in about an hour.

This brisket smoke time rule applies to cuts less than a pound; just reduce the cooking time per how much fat you trim off your brisket.

Should You Cook Brisket With Fat Side Up or Down?

One of the most commonly asked questions about smoked brisket is whether it should be cooked with the fatty side up or down.

As a general rule of thumb, any parts of the brisket that are closest to the source of heat get cooked faster. However, this ultimately depends on the type of cooking method you choose to use.

If your source of heat is located directly beneath your brisket, turning the fatty side down will help protect it from drying out.

On the other hand, if you’re using an offset smoker – a type of smoker typically used for barbeque as it heats “low and slow” – you’ll want to cook with the fat side up but flip it over, so one side doesn’t get more burnt than the other.

In most cases, you’ll want to flip your brisket at least once while it cooks. However, it’s safe to smoke with the fat side down the majority of the time.

How to Smoke a Brisket on a Pellet Grill?

Knowing how to smoke a brisket on a pellet grill is essential for anyone who loves to grill or barbeque. A pellet grill allows you to inject your brisket with additional flavors such as maple or apple.

To safely and effectively smoke a brisket on a pellet grill, set the temperature to 225 degrees F and preheat for 15 minutes.

Then, place the brisket on the grill with the fat side down. The cooking time will vary depending on your slab of meat, but let’s say you’re cooking 6 lbs of brisket; you’ll want to cook for at least six hours or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.

Once the meat has been cooked, wrap it in a doubled layer of aluminum foil and place it back on the grill until it reaches an internal temperature of 200 F.

This should take about an hour. Remove from the grill and let rest for an hour.

how long does it take to smoke a brisket

How Do You Know When the Brisket is Done?

The easiest way to determine when the brisket is done is by measuring its internal temperature.

Anything from 200-210 F is an ideal internal temperature. You can, of course, measure this with a meat thermometer which is available at home stores or online.

If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can use a fork to determine if it is fully cooked. Slide the fork into the brisket; if it quickly falls off the bone with the fork, then it’s fully cooked and ready to serve.

Tools Needed to Smoke Brisket

A smoked brisket recipe is what’s for dinner, but do you have the tools you need in order to accomplish it?

Most smoked brisket recipes include a pellet grill, but you need not worry if you don’t own one.

There are plenty of other methods you can use to cook a tasty brisket, such as in your oven or in a stainless steel pan on the stovetop.

Regardless of the heating method, you select, here are some important tools you’ll need to smoke brisket:

  • Meat thermometer
  • BBQ tongs to flip and rotate the meat while it’s cooking
  • Boning knife to effortlessly trim the fat
  • Basting brush to add a marinade
  • A BBQ grill brush to clean up after you’re done cooking
  • Pellet chips if you’re using a pellet grill
  • Aluminum foil
  • Heat-resistant gloves or oven mitt to protect yourself while cooking
  • Meat injector if you want to add some additional flavor or moisture to your meat before putting it on the grill

Of course, you can feel free to add additional tools to make this process easier, but these are the essentials you’ll need to smoke a brisket from start to finish.

How to Smoke a Brisket?

Smoking brisket temp and time will vary depending on how small or big your cut of meat is. However, despite this, the process of smoking a brisket remains relatively the same.

Before you add your brisket to the smoker, you’ll first want to trim it. With your boning knife, cut off the areas of fat that won’t render – or melt away during the cooking process.

Next, you’ll want to season it. This is where you get to really be creative! Traditional brisket rubs involve salt, pepper, and garlic, but you can add any type of seasoning or marinade you prefer.

Once you’ve got your brisket the way you want it, it’s time to turn up the heat! Set your grill to 225 – 250 degrees F depending on how quickly you’d like your fat to render.

After it’s been on the grill for the recommended amount of time, grab your meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.

Once it reaches 165 degrees F, take it off the grill and wrap it in aluminum foil or butcher paper, and put it back on the grill until the internal temperature reaches around 200 degrees. Why the foil or butcher paper? This simply helps the internal temperature of the brisket rise faster.

Once fully cooked, take it off the grill and let it rest. This step is vital to keeping your brisket juicy.

Tips for the Best Smoked Beef Brisket

A brisket recipe requires the right precision and execution. Luckily, you’re in the right place because we have just the helpful tips to make that happen:

  1. Prepare your smoker ahead of time. Before you add your meat, you’ll already want the grill’s temperature to be between 225 – 250 degrees F. Make sure your coals are gray and add some wood to it that way there is no delay.
  2. Trim the fat of your brisket to ¼ inch of thickness. The less fat there is, the less time it’ll take to render.
  3. Season your meat, but don’t rub it in. While the phrase “dry rub” would make you think otherwise, you should actually pat your dry rub or marinade into the meat, rather than rubbing it on. By putting it on, you’re actually helping it sink into the meat easier for a more flavorful bite.
  4. Inject the brisket at least 12 hours before you grill it. If you’re injecting your meat with a marinade, you should do so at least 12 hours in advance to make sure it has reached room temperature.

With these tips, you’ll be on your way to making the tastiest brisket ever!

How Long to Smoke a Brisket

How to Reheat Brisket

Like a lot of other types of meat, one common fear is that it will dry out if you attempt to reheat it. Fortunately, there’s a way to do this so it doesn’t dry out and lose its juices.

To reheat your leftover brisket, preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. While your oven is preheating, leave your brisket on a baking sheet for about 25 minutes so it reaches room temperature.

This makes it easier to reheat. Drizzle some beef broth over your brisket to inject a little more moisture that has probably dried out from the previous batch.

Next, cover in a double layer of aluminum foil and bake it anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. If the brisket was already cut, bake it for 20 minutes. If you’re reheating a whole brisket, keep it in the oven for an hour.

Smoked Brisket Recipe

When you hear the term “brisket,” you immediately think of Texas. It’s IMPOSSIBLE not to.

Brisket and all types of delicious barbeque have become synonymous with the Lonestar state. As such, we have the perfect recipe for you to make for dinner.

The secret ingredient that gives the brisket a little kick is a ¼ cup of chili powder. If you don’t have this, you can swap it out for some extra paprika.

While this recipe calls for 10 pounds of brisket, you can use this recipe for any amount of brisket.

how long to smoke a brisket

How Long to Smoke a Brisket

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 13 hours
Additional Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 13 hours 15 minutes


  • wood chips
  • ¼ c white sugar
  • ¼ c paprika
  • ¼ c cayenne pepper
  • ¼ c brown sugar
  • ¼ c chili powder
  • ¼ c ground cumin
  • ¼ c onion powder
  • ¼ c garlic powder
  • ¼ c freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ c kosher salt
  • 10 lbs beef brisket, or more to taste


  1. Soak the wood chips for your pellet grill in a bowl of water overnight.
  2. Combine chili powder, garlic, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, white sugar, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, and onion powder in a bowl. Add your dry rub to the brisket.
  3. Put in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  4. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F.
  5. Drain your wood chips and put them in the smoker.
  6. Place your brisket on the grill and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  7. Once it reaches this temperature, wrap in aluminum foil or butcher’s paper and put back on the smoker until internal temps reach 185 degrees.
  8. Take off the smoker and enjoy.

Did you make this recipe?

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How Long to Smoke a Brisket at 225?

225 degrees F is the optimal cooking temperature for brisket. However, the length it’ll take to cook it will depend on its size.

Cooking time is usually one hour per pound of meat. So, 1.5 pounds of brisket will smoke for anywhere from 1.5 -2 hours, whereas 10 pounds of brisket will cook for 10 – 20 hours depending on how thick it is.

Is it Better to Smoke Brisket at 225 or 250?

Smoking brisket at 250 is fine, but 225 is the best temp to smoke a brisket. Doing this helps to keep the juices.

However, cooking times may be slightly reduced if you choose to smoke brisket at 250 degrees F.

How Long to Smoke a Brisket Flat?

A brisket flat is one that has the fatty part of the brisket removed so it’s a lot leaner. If you’re using a pellet grill, it’ll take about 6 hours to smoke a brisket flat if cooked at 225 degrees.

How Long to Cook Brisket in Smoker?

Cooking time for your brisket will vary depending on the size. A three-pound brisket will take between 4-5 hours to fully cook in a smoker, whereas a nine-pound brisket will take between 12 and 18 hours.

How Long do You Smoke a 5-Pound Brisket?

What temp to smoke brisket that weighs five pounds? A five-pound brisket will take approximately 5-7 hours to cook at 225 F.

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