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

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How long do you need to smoke a brisket

If you’re wondering how long you need to be smoking your brisket for, then you have come to the right place.

Any brisket will take about 1 pound per hour or 2 pounds per hour to fully cook through, assuming you are smoking at the conventional temperature ranges that Pitmasters tend to follow.

These temperature ranges are basically anywhere from 225°F to above 300°F.

Notably, 225°F is considered low and slow while 300 and above is considered hot and fast. 

Depending on which one you choose or where within that range you happen to land, you can finish briskets in roughly 10 to 20 hours also depending on their overall weight.

Average cook time per pound for brisket

For brisket, expect about 1 pound per hour or 2 pounds per hour to fully cook through and render down all the connective tissues and collagen inside of the meat.

This is strictly derived from the hot and fast temperatures noted above.

How long should I smoke a 10 lb brisket?

In order to properly smoke a brisket, you will need to fully cook it to about 200°F in internal temperature and when you can insert a toothpick into it with zero resistance.

For a 10 pound brisket, it should take about 5 to 10 hours to reach this point in the cook.

Obviously, it is entirely dependent on how hot or how low you are cooking at in terms of temperature variance.

Make sure to wrap it thoroughly throughout the stall portion to cook for at least a couple of hours, to expedite the internal temperature rise and decrease the overall time that you have to wait for completing your brisket cook.

Average cook temp for brisket

The average temperature that any pit master will tend to smoke a particular brisket at, is anywhere from 225°F to about 300°F.

More often than not, most will suggest somewhere in the middle at around 250 to 275°F.

This is something that you really need to test for yourself and see what temperature range works for you both, in terms of the amount of fuel consumed from the fire and overall length of time that is expected for each respective temperature range.

Once you have a level of experience underneath your belt, you can make the most educated assumption for yourself in terms of what average temperature works for you and your brisket.

The only thing that really matters when cooking brisket, is when you pull it and how long you let it rest.

Everything else is up to your own discretion such as the temperature at which you are smoking it at.

Smoking brisket at 250 vs 225

There is very little variance between smoking at 250°F and 225°F.

In terms of the cook through rate, I would still personally use the 1 pound per hour mark to fully cook a brisket at those two temperature ranges.

BBQ Dropout’s recommended method for smoking brisket fast

If you’re looking for my own personal recommendation, always consider smoking a brisket at at least 275°F. This will just help ensure that you have a timely cook and can effectively bring the internal temperature up to around 200°F.

At this stage, you should expect to be able to insert a toothpick or re-insert your thermometer probe in and out of your meet with zero resistance.

Make sure to pull the brisket off once this occurs, and let it rest on the counter for about 30 minutes.

After this point, you should throw it in either a warming oven or an ice cooler for adequate resting before you ever think about slicing it.

Final Thoughts

In terms of how long you actually need to smoke a brisket for, I found that smoking brisket‘s at hotter temperatures can accomplish rendering them down in totality, at a quite efficient rates compared to smoking them at lower temperatures.

In other words, you don’t need to be smoking brisket for extended periods of time for no reason at low temperature ranges.