How Long To Smoke A Brisket Per Pound For Best Results

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  March 19, 2022

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You’ve undoubtedly heard that cooking a brisket slowly and low is the best approach.

Two ways for measuring doneness are monitoring the internal temperature and the probing test.

Finding out how to do this though can be tricky.

How Long To Smoke A Brisket Per Pound For Best Results

No matter how hard you search, you struggle to find the answers that you need, leaving you wondering how you can best smoke your brisket.

After all, you don’t want to ruin it!

It’s vital to know how long to smoke a brisket per pound if you want to serve your guests on time.

In this article, we will lead you through the process of calculating the appropriate smoking time for brisket and the right wood.

How Long Should I Smoke A Brisket Per Pound?

The amount of time required when smoking a pound of brisket depends on the temperature of your smoker, the weight and size of the meat, and the temperature of the coals.

On average, 1.5 to 2 hours per pound of brisket smoked at 225 degrees should provide moist, tender meat.

While the hours-per-pound method can be good as a beginning point for deciding how long to smoke brisket, it is not an absolute rule.

Cooking time for a pound of beef is dependent on a variety of variables, the most critical of which are cooking method and temperature.

Per pound, it normally takes between 30 minutes and two hours.

We recommend that you follow these guidelines to calculate the estimated time necessary to prepare brisket.

It takes around 1.5 to two hours per pound to smoke a brisket at 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

It takes between one and 1.5 hours per pound at 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Each pound needs 30-45 minutes at a temperature of 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

This translates to around 18 hours for a 12-pound brisket at 225 degrees Fahrenheit and approximately 12 hours for a 12-pound brisket at 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

This gives an estimate, but leave extra time in case it takes longer than expected, and don’t forget to allow time for it to rest after completion.

How Can I Smoke Perfect Brisket Every Time?

The temperature at which the meal is cooked is not the only thing to consider. Additionally, the brisket’s size should be considered.

Due to the need for heat to reach the inside of the beef, the bigger the brisket, the longer it will take to cook per pound.

By removing the meat early and bringing it to room temperature, you may shorten the cooking time.

Wrapping it in foil or butcher paper is another option to expedite the cooking process.

Wrapped in foil, a ten to twelve-pound brisket will take between seven and nine hours to properly cook over a barbecue.

The manner of cooking and the kind of smoker used also affect the length of time necessary to cook a pound of meat.

Due to the distinct characteristics of each smoker, you may need to experiment until you feel happy with your equipment.

In contrast to pit or barrel smokers, electric and gas smokers maintain a steady temperature, which simplifies the process of forecasting cooking time per pound.

Maintaining a closed lid conserves heat and speeds up the cooking process.

Furthermore, the thickness of the meat, the fat content, the outside temperature, the wind, the humidity, the grade of the meat, and the composition of the meat tissue all affect the cooking time per pound.

Can The Outside Affect Brisket?

On a breezy, cold evening, a brisket may take longer than two hours to cook per pound.

A brisket that has more marbling and fat will often cook faster than one that has less marbling and fat.

Brisket takes around one hour per pound to cook in the oven.

Preheat the oven to 250–325 degrees Fahrenheit and place it in a covered roasting pan with an appropriate quantity of liquid.

Cooking time per pound varies according to the brisket’s weight.

It takes less time to simmer it on the stove. On the stovetop, it takes around five hours to cook a ten to twelve-pound brisket.

What Side Up?

Cooking a brisket fat side up or fat side down does not affect the cooking time. The most often used strategy is to place the fat side up.

This method is most effective when the heat source is directly above the meat since fat aids in the tenderization process.

When heat is being generated from below, it is preferable to have the fat side facing downward.

In this situation, the fat acts as a barrier between the meat and the grate, resulting in a crispier bark.

What About Small Briskets?

The cooking time for a little piece of brisket that weighs just a few pounds will be considerably decreased as a result of this technique.

Indeed, you’ll want to keep an eye on it at all times to ensure that it doesn’t overheat or get dry throughout the cooking process, which may be dangerous.

Final Thoughts

Please keep in mind that frequently opening and closing the top of the smoker might produce temperature variations on the grill, which can interfere with the cooking process.

Using a probe connected to an external temperature monitor, you may determine the inside temperature of the smoker without having to open the lid.

It takes longer to prepare smoked brisket because the brisket must be rested after it has been cooked.

While some people like a short rest period for their brisket, we recommend a minimum of two to four hours.

Then wrap it with towels and place it in a hot cooler until the interior temperature reaches around 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

A 3-pound brisket may take 4 to 5 hours to cook on a smoker, depending on its thickness.

Consider that if you cook on the point rather than the flat, the inside temperature may reach a greater level without drying out.

This is because the tip of the steak has more fat.

Indeed, some chefs purposefully “overcook” the tip, resulting in charred ends, to enhance the flavor.

If you are especially looking for a brisket flat, you could expect to pay between six and ten pounds.

Trimming often results in just 5 pounds of raw flesh, which should provide around 2.5 pounds of cooked meat after processing.

Cooking time of 7 to 8 hours is normal for a supper of this magnitude.

As a result, since the flat is thinner than the point, caution must be used to avoid overcooking it.

According to our previous talk, you do not need to use nearly as much caution while smoking a 5-pound brisket point.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.