How long to cook a brisket in the oven
A brisket will usually take anywhere between 12 to 15 hours if you are cooking it in the oven at around 225°F.
This is also considering if you are cooking a 12 pound or more brisket.
One of the reasons why you will often see a direct correlation between cooking time and amount of weight with brisket is because at that low of a temperature, it just so happens to come out at around one hour of cook time per 1 pound of brisket.
Cooking brisket at 350 degrees
Considering the average cook time around 1 pound of brisket per hour, you can expect that timeframe to decrease substantially as you cook the meat at a lot hotter of temperatures.
Let’s take a simple example of around 12 pounds worth of brisket.
Normally, you can expect about a 12 hour cook time if you were to cook it in the oven at around 225°F.
At roughly 350°F, you should expect somewhere in the ballpark of 6 to 10 hours worth of cook time as opposed to the substantially longer, 12 hours.
Why you would cook brisket at 350
One simple reason why you would want to even consider cooking a brisket at 350°F is simply because it takes a lot less amount of time than if you were to do a low and slow styled cook.
How does the brisket compare for a hot and fast vs a low and slow cook?
The difference in results between cooking hot and fast and low and slow are very minimal.
There is really no difference between two briskets cooked in the oven at 225°F and 350°F.
A Brisket is a Brisket.
The only real difference is how you got there, now, there may be some other considerations such as carryover heat and length of time in the actual cooking process, but the overall after product is absolutely the same.
Factors that increase the cooking time
One of the things that can increase cooking time for a brisket in the oven would probably be just cooking it at a low enough temperature such as 225°F or 250°F.
Another such factor that can increase the cooking time is constantly opening the door.
In the words of Aaron Franklin, if you’re looking you ain’t cooking!
Factors that decrease the cooking time
A great way to decrease the cooking time for your brisket is to increase the temperature that you were cooking it at and not open the door all the time to check on it.
If you insist on checking on your glorious piece of meat, then consider doing so once every hour.
This will give it a long enough time over the course of each hour to cook thoroughly.
Hours per pound of meat
The hours per pound of meat that you can expect for a brisket is entirely dependent on the temperature that you were cooking it at as well as whether or not you happen to be wrapping it.
Wrapping a brisket can serve to decrease your cooking time substantially along with increasing the temperature that you’re cooking the brisket at.
Not wrapping your brisket can give you some really great bark and flavor profile, but will definitely prolong the cooking process entirely.
And barbecue, it is all about give-and-take so plan accordingly.
Wrapping or not
Speaking of whether or not you should wrap the brisket, just consider how long of a cook you want to have.
Do you want to be cooking the brisket in your oven for 12 or more hours?
If so, then don’t wrap your brisket.
If you don’t wanna wait that long and aren’t really worried about the bark because you know it will taste great regardless, go ahead and wrap the brisket.
In case you haven’t noticed, there are a few common themes among wrapping and unwrapping a brisket.
The first of which is the flavor profile.
If you want an excellent flavor profile then consider not wrapping your brisket, as that will help form a better bark and crisp up the seasoning that you poured all over it.
And likewise, if you are not as concerned about the bark being as crispy and flavorful as possible but rather just want a very juicy and tender brisket, then go ahead and wrap it.
How many hours does a brisket take in the oven?
The average time that it takes to cook a brisket in an oven is around 12 hours.
This is based off the common temperature that is recommended and the average size of a packer style brisket.
Optimal temperature for cooking brisket in the oven
The best temperature to cook a brisket in the oven is the one that aligns most closely with your preferred flavor profile and length of time in the cooking process.
For cooks that do not want to have to spend all day long worrying about a brisket blazing away inside their oven, consider wrapping it and cranking out the temperature to get it done quicker.
Temperatures for this type of use case would most likely be anything above 300°F.
On the contrary, if you are really concerned about the crispiness and flavor profile of your brisket and aren’t really that mindful of the time, go ahead and try unwrapping your brisket and letting the temperature get at a low enough temperature to increase the overall cook time.
Who knows, maybe it will come out just how you like it!
The length of time for a brisket can vary greatly, but is often determined by the average size of a brisket, As well as the temperature that you were kicking it at.
There is no right or wrong answer, and only the pitmaster himself can be the ultimate factor in deciding a course of action.