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How long to smoke a brisket for? (Explained)

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How long to smoke a brisket for

If you’re wondering how long you should be smoking brisket for, you have come to the right place. I never as you should expect the 1 pound or 2 pounds per hour and cook time for rendering the brisket complete.

Just remember that this timeframe on a per pound basis is strictly to allow the collagen within the meat to completely render down and make your barbecue incredibly juicy and tender.

Let’s expand a little bit further in terms of how long you should be smoking a brisket at various different temperature ranges.

How long to smoke a brisket at 200

If you are not as concerned about how long a brisket will take, and want to try and give it as much time as possible to obtain as much smoke as possible, then smoking at the lowest low temperature range of 200°F to 225°F is an acceptable metric. 

For the most part, most Pitmasters, myself included, do not ever go down past 225°F. If you do however go down all the way to round 200°F, then you can expect about 1 pound per hour or even half a pound per hour of cook time. 

This is very long, and for briskets that weigh about 20 pounds or more, can expect about a 20 hour or longer cook. It is really not recommended to cook this low, because you can get great results by cooking just about 50° to 75° hotter in about a fraction of the time.

How long to smoke a brisket at 250

For starters, let’s take a quick look at how long you can expect to be smoking any type of brisket at around 250°F. On average, most briskets smoked at this temperature range will be completed on a per pound basis of 1 pound per hour. 

This is still within the bounds of a low and slow type of cook. One of the reasons why it’s still considered a low and slow is simply because the collagen does not get as tender as quickly as higher temperatures. 

Basically, anywhere from about 225°F to 250°F is considered low and slow. You’ll want to plan ahead accordingly in terms of 1 pound per hour while cooking at this temperature range.

Let’s now take a look at smoking brisket at 270°F.

How long to smoke a brisket at 270

For Pit-masters that would like to smoke their briskets substantially hotter, 270°F is a very good choice. You can expect a ratio of about 1.5 pounds per hour to about 2 pounds per hour of cut time at this temperature. 

This is just because as you start to go higher on the totem pole in terms of temperature, the collagen starts to render a lot quicker.

Regarding smoking at 270°F, you could expect not only quicker cook times but also a lot more fuel utilization. Basically, you want to begin to monitor how much fuel, wood, and charcoal you are using. 

As you start to increase the ambient temperatures for your briskets, always keep in mind how much of these you are using.

Speaking of hotter temperatures for brisket, let’s take a quick look at smoking one at 300°F.

How long to smoke a brisket at 300

As you start to smoke it hotter temperatures such as 300°F, you can certainly expect the average cook time on a per pound basis to be around 1 1/2 to 2 pounds per hour of cook time. 

This means that basically as you start smoking your brisket, you can expect it to be done in about half the time that it would take to smoke one of the same weight at a lower temperature.

You’ll notice again that as you start to increase the ambient temperatures, the cook time starts to decrease exponentially. 

This can be a great way to take it advantage of science and physics in an effort to make sure you produce amazing results for your brisket in a very short amount of time.

Final Thoughts 

Smoking briskets anywhere from 200°F all the way up past 300°F is perhaps the most common temperature range to smoke any kind of brisket. 

For the most part, on a per pound basis, you could expect about 1 pound per hour of cook time for a low and slow temperature ranges from 200°F to 250°F. 

Anything above 250°F, and you can expect an average cook through rate of about 2 pounds per hour. This makes for an excellent like a time that it’s not too much on anyone individual