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4lb Brisket | Everything You Need to Know

4lb Brisket | Everything You Need to Know

4lb briskets are a rare commodity, but when you have one – it helps to know what to do with it!

You can smoke one at 225 for roughly 4 hours until ready.

At 250, the 4lb brisket is ready in roughly the same amount of time – 4 hours or so.

If you are smoking on a pellet smoker, big green egg, electric smoker, or are cooking it in the oven – just set and forget, smoke the 4lb brisket at either of those two temperatures and have it ready in 4 hours. 

How Long Does it take to Cook a 4lb Brisket?

Cooking a 4lb brisket doesn’t take that long – only about 4 hours or so.

You want to use the general advice any pitmaster will give – calculate about 1 hour of cook time per pound of meat.

In this case, a 4lb brisket will be done and ready to rest in roughly 4 hours.

Cooking a 4lb brisket is fairly simple, but requires some attention to detail due to how small it is.

It becomes critical to not under or over cook your brisket.

Many times a pit master will think it will still take the regular 12+ hours to cook it when that is simply not the case. 

You want to gauge how long to cook a brisket by it’s weight.

That can give you the right indication and level set expectations on the length of the cook.

Temperature for 4lb Brisket

Here’s a quick representation about how long to cook a 4lb brisket based on the temperatures you’re smoking at:

TemperatureLength of Cook
2254 hours
2503.5 hours
2753 hours
3002.5 hours

As you can see, the hotter you cook your 4lb brisket – the shorter the cook time.

These are just rough estimations based on my experience with cooking brisket, but should give you that clear indication.

4lb Brisket at 225

When cooking your 4lb brisket at 225 – you can expect it to be finished cooking at the 4 hour mark.

This is where you will want to promptly pull it off the smoker and into a storage container.

This can be a faux Cambro or warming oven. Before pulling off the smoker though – just make sure that the brisket is probing tender.

This will really give you that clear indication that it is ready.

4lb brisket at 225 big green egg

Smoking a 4lb brisket at 225 on a big green egg can be a great choice.

It can be a quick way to get some great tasting brisket at hand.

Some people report the cooking process of cooking a 4lb brisket at 225 to take them over 15 hours.

That is not what I have experienced.

Usually, you will just have to make sure the charcoal area is ripe with enough lump charcoal and just let it rip.

The entire cooking process should only take 4 hours.

This is a rough estimate, however this is generally what you can expect.

If you find your cook taking way too long – you will want to make sure your thermometers are accurate and reading the grate temps properly.

I have seen this happen where you think you are smoking your beautiful 4lb brisket at a certain temperature – but come to find out it took you double the amount of time you thought of originally. 

Temperatures for cooking a 4lb brisket at 225 on a big green egg stay relatively consistent.

You generally don’t have to tend to it as often as you would with say an offset smoker where you will have to constantly feed the thing wood.

Just close your big green egg lid and enjoy!

4lb brisket at 225 pellet smoker

Cooking a 4lb brisket at 225 on a pellet smoker requires you to just season, prepare and place the brisket on the grates.

That’s all the ‘pit master’ has to really do.

A pellet smoker is a set and forget type of device that does not require any actual skill.

Since it is a set and forget device – just come back in 4 hours, and you should have a done brisket.

4lb brisket at 225 offset smoker

4lb brisket at 225 on an offset smoker requires more skill.

Make sure you have an adequate amount of wood to make sure the entirety of the cook can be sustained.

Generally however, you will not need that much wood if you are cooking a small cut of meat at a low temperature.

Pack the offset smoker firebox tight with a solid amount of wood, make sure you see the blue flames come out, and just monitor to make sure the temperature is held steady.

4lb brisket at 225 oven

Cooking a 4lb brisket at 225 in an oven is very similar to how you would handle the temperatures in a pellet grill.

Season and prepare your brisket, and simply place it in your oven. Set and forget!

4lb brisket at 225 WSM

WSM’s are one of my favorite cooking smokers!

For maintaining temperatures at 225 – grab a full chimney of charcoal, start it and pour all of the briquettes into the container at the bottom.

Let all the vents go for about 30 min or so – then place the brisket on.

To make sure the temperature stays on at 225, just modify the vents ever so slightly to ensure not as much oxygen is let into the smoker itself to heat the briquettes up more.

Once you hav your 225 degree temperature dialed in – just wait about 4 hours.

4lb Brisket at 250

Cooking a 4lb brisket at 250 means that it will cook slightly faster than if you were to cook it at 225.

The average cook time for a 4lb brisket smoked at 250 degrees is roughly 3.5 hours.

Just be aware that you still have to rest and take the necessary precautions when finishing the brisket.

4lb brisket at 250 big green egg

4lb briskets at 250 on big green egg’s can still be a great way to cook a brisket in a timely manner.

Grab enough lump charcoal to fill the grates at the bottom of the smoker itself, pour it in, let it come up to around 250 degrees.

Don’t let it go any hotter than that.

If you find the temps rising quicker than anticipated – close the lid immediately.

It can be very difficult to let temperatures decrease in a big green egg! 

4lb brisket at 250 pellet smoker

As always – on a pellet smoker if you want to cook a 4lb brisket at around 250 degrees – just turn a knob and the temperature should hit that exactly.

Prepare, season, and place your brisket on the grates. You’re good to go on this one.

4lb brisket at 250 offset smoker

Maintaining temperatures at around 250 on an offset smoker is harder than all of the other types of smokers.

Just make sure to follow the previous advice of making sure enough wood is in the firebox itself – and have a spare amount ready on the side.

4lb brisket at 250 oven

Cooking a 4lb brisket at 250 in an oven is really easy.

Just plug in 250 and you’re good to go!

4lb brisket at 250 WSM

Smoking a 4lb brisket at 250 on a Weber Smokey Mountain is super simple.

Just grab an entire bag of charcoal alongside your wood chunks, pour about a quarter of the charcoal bag into the firebox grate at the bottom, light it and make sure to maintain the temps in that range.

4lb Brisket at 275

At around the 275 range is when you start to consider your cook to be ‘hot and fast’.

This just means that normally when you cook a brisket at these temps – you will basically be cutting the cooking time down in half.

A 4lb brisket should be done at around 3 hours into the cook at 275 degrees.

4lb brisket at 275 big green egg

When smoking a 4lb brisket in the hot and fast range – just be aware that you may be using more fuel than the first two temperature ranges.

Grab your charcoal and pour enough into the grates that allows you to have temps in 275, then promptly close the dome to make sure the temperature is steady at 275.

4lb brisket at 275 pellet smoker

Pellet smokers are once again just another set and forget type of smoker.

Just be aware that when cooking a brisket, let alone a 4lb brisket at 275 on a pellet smoker – you should be mindful of your fuel.

There shouldn’t be any other outstanding concerns when doing this.

4lb brisket at 275 offset smoker

Now we are talking!

I generally smoke all of my briskets hot and fast, and generally try to keep the smoking temperatures between 275 and 300.

This certainly applies to a 4lb brisket.

You will have one done fairly quickly, but use quite a bit of wood in the process.

I generally recommend throwing some other types of meat on the grates, just to make sure you’re not using all your precious wood on one small cut of meat.

4lb brisket at 275 oven

Cooking a 4lb brisket at 275 in the oven is also very easy – plug and chug!

I wouldn’t really be concerned about adding more meat to the oven to take advantage of the cook like you would an offset smoker.

4lb brisket at 275 WSM

Once again – have your bag of charcoal at hand, and if you are trying to cook the brisket hot and fast at 275, I would recommend that you always have more fuel than you need just on the off chance you happen to burn through your current supply.

4lb Brisket at 300

300 degrees is getting hot!

This substantially cuts down the cook time – to just 2.5 hours.

This is essentially cutting the original cooking time of roughly 4 hours by half.

If you were to wrap the brisket – then it can be done even quicker.

4lb brisket at 300 big green egg

Smoking a brisket at 300 on a big green egg is definitely getting hot.

Ensure you have the right fuel at hand – grab all your charcoal bags and wood chunks.

Seal the dome when the temp hits 300.

You don’t want it getting any hotter and having uncontrolled temperatures.

4lb brisket at 300 pellet smoker

4lb briskets at 300 degrees on a pellet smoker is also super simple.

Make sure it can even go that high – and let the smoker rip.

4lb brisket at 300 offset smoker

4lb briskets on an offset smoker cooking at 300 degrees can produce outstanding results. Just be aware that it may take longer than usual to let the entire smoker come up to temp. When you think about it – the offset smoker is generally a very large cooking device that requires quite a bit of fuel to come up to the ambient temp you are targeting.

4lb brisket at 300 oven

When cooking a 4lb brisket at 300 degrees in an oven – don’t walk away for too long since the brisket will be done in just a couple of hours. Usually, this may throw people off and result in having the brisket be way overcooked.

4lb brisket at 300 WSM

300 degrees smoked 4lb brisket on a Weber Smokey Mountain!

If you have a Weber Smokey mountain mini – that’s even better – since you won’t have to worry about expending a lot of fuel to heat up an entire smoker for a singular piece of meat.

How much is a 4 lb brisket?

You will generally be paying more per pound regardless of the grade you get if you are buying a special cut brisket that weighs 4 lbs.

This generally amounts to over $6 per pound.

The reason you are paying this heightened price is because the meat markets you are buying from have to expend further work to go and cut your brisket for you. 

Even at the discounted bulk stores such as Costco and Sam’s Club will charge you about $6-7/lb of meat for only a 4lb brisket.

That means you will be paying roughly almost $30 for only 4lbs of meat! 

That is one of the primary reasons I recommend just grabbing a whole brisket and slice it yourself.

It’s not even that difficult to do.

Just take a sharp knife and cut right down the middle.

Of course, if you are still bent on trying to only smoke a 4lb brisket – I have found Costco and Sam’s to be one of the best places to acquire one.

If you don’t have a Sam’s or Costco Club near you:

You can just go to a local meat market either at your grocery store you frequent, or even try to locate a dedicated meat market that has it’s own establishment.

Generally, you can request to the meat makers what type of brisket, the grade, and how much weight of a brisket you want. 

Stand alone meat markets I have found to offer very reasonable pricing for 4lb briskets.

Pellet Smoker 4lb Briskets

Smoking a 4lb brisket on a pellet smoker can be a great way to cook a brisket.

It can be done in roughly 2-4 hours depending on the heat you set the gauge to, and the end product is just as good as one with a 10+lb piece of brisket.

Placing the 4lb brisket on your pellet smoker is pretty self explanatory. 

Just make sure to properly season it how you wish.

My recommendation is to season you brisket with quite a lot of kosher salt and black pepper.

This is Texas after all!

How long does it take to cook a 4lb brisket on a pellet grill?

Cooking a 4lb brisket on a pellet grill can take anywhere from 2-4 hours, as mentioned multiple times above.

General pit master advice is to budget around 1-1.5 hours per pound of meat.

Since we are considering smoking only a 4lb piece of meat – expect the cooking process to conclude at roughly 4 hours after you place your meat on the grates.

So when I put brisket in cooler, am I putting it on ice or just in an empty cooler?

Once you are done actually cooking your 4lb brisket – you need to let it rest.

This is perhaps the most crucial step in the entire process, especially since the 4lb brisket is in reality just the flat part of the brisket.

That means it is very lean, and has no fat shielding it from any heat of your smoker.

Once the brisket is temping out at around 200 degrees internal – promptly take it off the smoker, grab an ice chest (faux cambro) or a warming oven, a few towels to place it on, and place it into your storage container for about 3-8 hours.

WSM 4lb Brisket

All beginners smoking a 4lb brisket should come equipped with a thermometer and an adequate amount of charcoal.

You do not have to constantly watch the WSM while smoking a 4lb brisket.

The Ideal temperature for a 4lb Brisket is roughly 250-300 degrees.

This ensures a fast but not to hot cooking process.

Beginner Advice for Smoking a 4lb Brisket?

First time advice for smoking a 4lb brsisket on a WSM includes the following:

  • Bring accurate Thermometer
    • Get a thermometer that will alert you if the temperature crosses above or below a certain temp
  • Grab at least a full bag of charcoal
  • Get grilling gloves to handle the hot equipment

These are some pieces of equipment and advice that I would give to someone brand new to smoking.

Through my own trial and error – these are the points of failure with smoking meat.

If you don’t bring enough fuel – you’re going to have a bad time.

No thermometer?

Bad time.

No way to handle the smoker itself?

Bad time!

Do you have to constantly watch the WSM?

You do not have to constantly watch the WSM while your 4lb brisket cooks.

If you are worried about the ambient temperature while smoking it, make sure you have a thermometer that can measure both the internal and ambient grate temps.

There are also different methods of placing briquettes within your coal chamber. 

It includes lining up all of the individual pieces of charcoal in a coiled line.

You then light one end and one by one they each light, giving a predictable stream of heat that won’t raise any concerns.

Ideal Temperature for a 4lb Brisket?

Ideal temperature for a 4lb brisket is anywhere between 250 – 300 degrees. 

This will give the brisket a hot and fast style cook that will not take the 4 hours if done properly.

You will save a lot of time, and can proceed on with resting the brisket shortly after it is finished cooking.

4lb Brisket in Electric Smoker

It generally takes a 4lb brisket to cook about 4 hours in an electric smoker.

This is if you are smoking the meat at a low temperature of 225.

For higher temperatures – expect this time range to start decreasing.

How long do you cook a brisket in a Masterbuilt electric smoker?

It should only take a maximum of 4 hours to smoke a 4lb brisket in your Masterbuilt Electric Smoker.

In a Masterbuilt electric smoker specifically, you have a variety of temperature options to choose from:


At 225, your Masterbuilt electric smoker will effectively smoke your 4lb brisket in roughly 4 hours. 


250 degrees means your 4lb brisket will begin to cook slightly quicker than just 4 hours. 


At 275 – which is the upper end for an electric smoker – will have your 4lb brisket finished in roughly 3 hours give or take.

PRO TIP: For making good use of your time – make sure to turn on your electric smoker several minutes before you even place the meat on the grates.

You want the grate and ambient temperatures to be exactly what you set them to when you place the meat on.

4lb Brisket in Big Green Egg

Smoking a 4lb brisket in a big green egg takes 4 hours.

Also, the best type of big green egg to smoke a 4lb brisket is on a big green egg mini.

This gives the perfect amount of space to place it on the grates and is quite portable as well. 

What temperature do you cook a brisket on a green egg?

The ideal temperature range for cooking a 4lb brisket on a big green egg is indirect heat on 250 – 275 degrees. 

With big green eggs, it is a lot easier to get the temperature hotter and maintain temps at high heat than it is at a lower temperature.

This has to do with the ceramic plating, that insulates everything inside very well. 

You could certainly try to cook a brisket at only around 225, but it will prove very difficult to regulate those temps. 

Big Green Egg Mini Brisket

The big green egg mini is perfect for smoking a 4lb brisket.

It has a 10 inch cooking diameter, which is just the right size for your brisket.

Furthermore, it is portable, so you can bring it with you wherever you go.

Is the Mini Green Egg worth it?

The mini green egg is absolutely worth it since you can carry it with you wherever you are traveling.

It also has the ability to cook your smaller cuts of meat extremely well. Not to mention, it is way more efficient than trying to cook a smaller cut of brisket on a bigger type of big green egg, since you only need less than 10 inches in diameter of cooking grate anyways.

4lb Brisket in Oven 

Lastly, a 4lb brisket in the oven should be prepared just like every method above.

The only difference is that you can essentially set the ambient temperature to whatever temperature you would like and forget about it. 

The ideal temperature for a 4lb brisket in the Oven is 250 – 275.

This applies for all methods of cooking a 4lb brisket, but in an oven it is very easy to get a streamlined ambient temperature that can really cook through your meat fast.