Smoking a brisket properly can be a time-consuming process. It can take up to 20 hours to completely cook a brisket, depending on its size.
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After all, it takes time to fully breakdown all of its fatty tissues and connective fibers, resulting in a lusciously soft texture and satisfyingly rich flavors.
That being said, one complication you might not expect to encounter is a brisket that cooks much faster than expected.
The ambient smoke heat, weather conditions outside the smoker, and the amount of fat in the brisket are all elements that can affect how quickly it smokes.
This article will go over all of the reasons why your brisket is rapidly rising in temperature, and what you can do about it.
How Fast Does Brisket Normally Cook?
Brisket should be smoked at temperatures ranging from 225 to 250 degrees(F). At these temperatures, the brisket will take roughly 1½ to 2 hours per pound of meat to thoroughly smoke.
This means that a 10-pound brisket on a smoker might very well take up to 20 hours to properly cook.
Although it is not recommended, higher temps will allow your brisket to smoke much faster. For example, at 300 degrees(F), the cooking time per pound of meat is lowered to 30-45 minutes.
That same 10-pound brisket would take only roughly 5 hours to fully cook.
What Causes Brisket to Cook Too Quickly?
Smoke Heat Too High
This may seem overly obvious, but it is a common error made by beginners.
As previously stated, any temperature above 250 degrees(F) will rapidly cook your brisket. This could cause it to finish several hours earlier than planned.
A speedy smoked brisket may not appear to be a problem, but it has an impact on the meat’s quality. Yes, it could be done faster, but those fatty tissues need time to dissolve and emulsify into the meat.
After smoking at 275-300 degrees(F), the end product may be rough, dry, or difficult to shred.
Not Enough Fat
Trimming a brisket is critical because too much fat on the meat produces severe stalls and, in some cases, temperature drops. The more fat there is, the longer it will take to cook.
Brisket with too little fat, on the other hand, has the exact opposite effect, cooking much too quickly. Because there are fewer fatty components to break down, the meat will likely power past the stall and rapidly rise to 190 degrees(F).
Always leave at least half of the fat cap untrimmed for the best results.
The weather conditions outside the smoker influence the environment within.
For example, if it’s exceptionally hot outside, you’ll need to lower the ambient smoke temperature to compensate for the increased heat.
Even if your smoker is set to the perfect temperature, the warm weather might cause it to rapidly increase, resulting in a quick-cooking brisket.
What To Do If Your Briskets Temp Is Rising Too Fast
One option is to incorporate a water pan into the smoker. This will cause the humidity within to rise, thereby slowing the rate at which it cooks.
Keep in mind that the more moisture there is, the longer it will take.
You can also add more basting or spritzing to the brisket. This will add moisture and cause a small evaporative cooling effect, slowing the brisket down.
Additionally, if you wrapped the brisket in foil, you could remove it and rewrap it in butcher paper.
Paper provides a looser seal, allowing more airflow around the meat. So, you’ll get the benefits of wrapping while slowing down the cooking time a little bit.
Does The Temperature Rise While It Rests?
When thick cuts of meat, such as brisket or pork shoulder, are removed from a smoker or grill, heat is retained in the meat’s thickest layers.
Even after it is pulled, the residual heat continues to travel toward the centre, causing the temperature to rise by up to 10 degrees(F) while resting.
It’s comparable to how eggs continue to cook in a skillet after they’ve been withdrawn from the heat.
This is referred to as “carry-over cooking.”
Because of this effect, most smokers will pull their meats when it is around 10 degrees(F) below its intended temperature, allowing it to climb while resting.
While a brisket that cooks too quickly may not appear to be a difficult problem, it can occasionally suggest that something has gone wrong or that the temperature was set too high.
However, as long as you keep a consistent heat within the smoker and constantly monitor the internal temperature, you should have no trouble producing a high-quality, delicious-tasting brisket.
This article was written by Robert McCall, the founder of bbqdropout.com. Robert also owns and operates the BBQ dropout YouTube channel where he demonstrates his first-hand experience cooking all kinds of meats and strives to provide helpful, authoritative content for people looking how to barbecue.
He primarily hand writes the bulk of the content but occasionally will leverage AI assisted tools, such as chatGPT, to properly edit and format each blog post on this website. This ensures a pleasurable reading experience for visitors. Read more about our editorial policies here. If there are any improvements that can be made to this article, reach out to us directly at email@example.com