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How Long to Smoke a 12 lb Brisket? (2 Important Tips)

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Hey y’all, BBQ Dropout here with the answer to one of the most important questions in the world of barbecue: how long should you smoke a 12-pound brisket? 

In this post, I’ll break down the two main factors to consider when smoking any kind of brisket, regardless of its weight.

A 12-pound brisket should take about 12 hours if cooked low and slow at 225-250°F or 6 hours if cooked hot and fast at 275°F or above. Budget an extra hour for prepping the meat and smoker. Remember, the weight of your brisket and cooking temperature are the two main factors to consider for perfect results.

Before we get started, you may be wondering who I am? I’m Robert McCall (BBQ Dropout), and bring over a decade of first-hand experience in cooking all kinds of meats, from juicy cuts of steak to authentic, slow-smoked barbecue. I pride myself on my extensive knowledge of virtually every grill and smoker on the market, enabling me to create mouth-watering dishes that leave my family and friends speechless. 

My passion for barbecue extends to my online presence, where I own and operate a YouTube channel with over 135 subscribers. I am dedicated to sharing my expertise, ensuring that my content is always authoritative and trustworthy, so that fellow barbecue enthusiasts can elevate their grilling game. Feel free to also follow my BBQ journey on Pinterest and instagram as well!

Factors to Consider When Smoking a Brisket

There are two main factors to consider when smoking a brisket: its weight and the temperature at which you cook it. Whether you’re cooking your brisket hot and fast or low and slow, these two factors always apply.

Weight of Your Brisket

The weight of your brisket is the first factor to consider. On average, your brisket should take about one hour of cook time for every pound. 

For a 12-pound brisket, you should budget in about 12 hours, plus another hour to prep the meat, season it, and prep the smoker.

Temperature at Which You Cook Your Brisket

The second factor to consider is the temperature at which you cook your brisket. If you’re cooking your brisket at a low and slow temperature range of 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit, your 12-pound brisket should take about 12-14 hours to cook. 

However, if you’re cooking your brisket at higher temperatures of 275 degrees Fahrenheit or above, your cook time will drop dramatically. For a 12-pound brisket at those hotter temperature ranges, you should budget about 6 hours of cook time, plus another hour or two to prep the meat and smoker.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, folks. A comprehensive guide on how long to smoke a 12-pound brisket. Remember, the two main factors to consider are the weight of your brisket and the temperature at which you cook it. By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to estimate the cook time and ensure that your brisket turns out perfectly smoked every time. Happy cooking!