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How long do you add smoke to a brisket? (Explained)

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How long do you add smoke to a brisket

If you’re wondering how long you should be adding smoke to a brisket, you’re in the right place! Usually, briskets should always be smoked throughout the entirety of the cook.

They are huge hunks of meat that need plenty of cooking to let all the flavor permeate every Inch of the meat.

Even more importantly, if you’re concerned about the overall smoke flavor for your brisket, you should consider leaving it completely unwrapped. This will let the brisket have every chance possible to obtain that smoke flavor that you may want. 

By letting briskets sit in the smoking chamber for several hours, the meat will begin to absorb the flavor, which is a hallmark staple of any barbecue you happen to be smoking.

How to smoke a brisket and keep it moist

If you’re wondering show to keep a smoked brisket nice and moist, keep reading.

To do so, you’ll firstly want to pay close attention to the internal temperature and make sure it never reaches above 205 degrees.

You’re going to want to let it come all the way up to around 200 degrees, then start probing it all around for doneness.

That is the first step in making sure your brisket will render into a nice moist piece of barbecue. 

Secondly, it’s recommended to only pull it off the smoker once it reaches a point where you can insert a tooth pick into it like it’s going into a stick of warm butter.

There should be zero resistance in the meat whatsoever when you do this. 

Once there is no resistance, feel free to pull it off the smoker and promptly place it into an ice cooler for adequate resting.

Placing the brisket in the ice cooler is the best way to let the internal temperature of the meat come down to a point where the juices have a chance to soak back into the meat.

This is what makes briskets so juicy. 

It’s not really more about when you pull them, but in fact, how long you let them rest.

This is absolutely so critical!

What temp to smoke brisket

The average temperature that you should be smoking a brisket at is around 225°F and all the way up to about 320°F.

That is the widest range of temperatures that will encapsulate just about any type of brisket smoking session. 

As you get to the lower end of the spectrum, you can expect a lot more smoke flavor at the expense of taking substantially longer periods of time to cook through the meat.

On the contrary, as you get closer to around 320°F, your cook times will essentially be cut in half, at the expense of some smoke flavor. 

Despite the level of smoke flavor you get, it is certainly recommended that you cook on the hotter end of the spectrum just due to the time savings alone.

The smoke savings that you would get from smoking at lower temperatures is not really that much of a difference, it is marginal at best.

Do you turn a brisket over when smoking it

If you’re trying to figure out how long you should be adding smoke to your brisket and whether or not you should turn it over when smoking it, then keep reading. 

It is certainly recommended in a lot of cases to begin turning over your brisket when you are smoking it. This is so the overall meat has a chance to evenly spread out and smoke flavor. 

Not only that, but as you flip the brisket over, you prevent it from sticking to the grates on one side. 

This is actually a very common problem that I have seen and the only way around it is if you happen to spray it with nonstick spray ahead of time or you begin flipping it throughout the cook.

Final Thoughts

In summation, if you’re wondering how long approximately you should be smoking your brisket for and adding smoke to it, it’s very common to let it be smoked throughout the entirety of the cook.

In doing so, you can obtain the richest smoke flavor possible, while also developing an excellent outer crust and bark.

Don’t be worried about it not coming out moist.

Wrapping vs not wrapping a brisket has no real bearing on how juicy it comes out. What does matter, is when you pull it and how long you let it rest!