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How long does a brisket need to smoke? (Explained)

How long does a brisket need to smoke?

If you’re about to smoke a piece of brisket, you’ll need to know how long you can expect to smoke one for.

For simplicity’s sake, if you’re smoking it anywhere from 225 degrees Fahrenheit to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, then you can expect to cook one at a rate of about one hour per pound. 

For hotter style of cooks, then that cook-through rate is cut in half so you can expect about 1 to 2 lb of meat to be cooked in 1 hour for temperature ranges above 300 degrees Fahrenheit. The hotter and faster you cook your briskets, you can expect shorter cook times than the low and slow style of cooks. It saves you quite a bit of time and the results are pretty much the same, if not better. 

Can you smoke a brisket too long

Briskets are just huge hunks of meat, and are rather finicky in nature. That means that you don’t want to be smoking one for too long. To ensure that you don’t, just pull it once it reaches an internal temperature of about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Once it reaches that point in the cooking process, then you’ll want to grab a toothpick or even take the thermometer out and begin reinserting it all throughout the brisket itself. What you want to test for is if it goes in with any resistance.

If there is no resistance to speak of, then you can pull the brisket off the smoker and put it in a preferred storage container such as an ice cooler or warming oven for adequate resting.

What happens if you smoke brisket too long

Since briskets can be prone to being overcooked, you’ll definitely not want to smoke one for too long. If you do happen to smoke one past an internal temperature of about 205 degrees Fahrenheit, then it will be over cooked and very dry and crumbly once you slice into it. 

Even if you were to rest it adequately afterwards, the damage will have already been done and you really can’t salvage in an overcooked brisket. That is why it’s so critical to pull it off at the right internal temperature and only one it probes tender at around that temperature range. 

Final thoughts 

Briskets are huge pieces of meat that require tons of cooking. Despite that, you don’t want to cook it past the necessary time frame or cooking temp.

To ensure that you don’t overcook one just cook it or smoke it to an internal temperature of about 200 degrees Fahrenheit and make sure that it probes tender all throughout. That’s all you need to do for a brisket to be done. 

On average briskets way between 10 to 20 lb for a whole Packer style brisket. That means if you’re smoking at an average temperature of about 250 degrees Fahrenheit, then you can expect to be tending to the fire for 10 to 20 hours.