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How long to smoke a brisket roast? (Explained!)

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How long to smoke a brisket roast

If you’re wondering how long you should be smoking a brisket for, let’s first establish what a brisket roast is in this context. A brisket roast is effectively just known as a brisket. It’s a huge hunk of meat that can weight anywhere from about 10 to 25 lb, and is derived from the cattle’s breast region.

A lot of people will just smoke this huge hunk of meat, but I’ve also seen plenty of other people start to cut it up into the flat and the point. The flat is basically just a leaner part of the brisket while the point is a lot fatter in nature but still has quite a bit of lean muscle to it.

In terms of how long it takes to cook either of these types of briskets, it is all the same in terms of the pound of meat you cook per hour. Not only that, but the main determining factor of how long it can take to cook through a brisket roast, is really how hot you cook it.

There are different temperature variances that you should be aware of. A low and slow temperature variance along with a hot and fast temperature variance.

For the low and slow method, a lot of people myself included, will usually cook briskets at around 225 degrees Fahrenheit and 250 degrees Fahrenheit. 

This has the effect of cooking a brisket at a rate of 1 lb per hour.

The only benefit in my opinion of this type of smoke session, is that the brisket potentially has a longer amount of time to obtain as much smoke flavor as possible. Besides that, the results compared to the Hot and fast method are really not that different and it takes about twice as long to cook through the brisket at a low and slow temperature.

Of course, the hot and fast method will take about half as long as a long slow method. What this looks like in practice, is that at 275 degrees Fahrenheit to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, you can expect an average cook time of about 2 lb of meat per hour. That’s really all it takes in terms of knowing how long to smoke a brisket roast.

Common brisket roast sizes and weight

Brisket roast sizes and weights come in a huge variety. That’s why it’s important to sort of understand that the temperature ranges between 225 degrees Fahrenheit and 325 degrees Fahrenheit, otherwise known as long as slow or hot and fast, should be taken as pure estimations.

As we also noted above, the brisket size and weight is entirely different for each and every brisket. 

So, there’s no really one way of determining how long a particular brisket roast may take to cook through unless you apply the mathematics behind 1 lb per hour or 2 lb per hour and then translate it to however much the brisket actually weighs.

Hot and fast styled cooks

Hot and fast out cooks are an excellent way to get your brisket done in no time at all. Even more notable, is that it takes about half as long to cook any type of brisket and size of brisket, than it does to the corresponding low and slow temperature style of a cooking.

Low and slow styled cooks

For low and slow Styles Cooks, you’ll be cooking a brisket very slowly, at a rate of about one pound per hour. If this is your thing then have at it. It’s not really my thing because I value my time very much, but if you want a lot of smoke flavor, then certainly, you can do that for all of your Briskets. 

Which one you should do 

The style of cooking that you should actually smoke a brisket roast at, is really up to you and how long you want to be smoking it for.

For longer smokes, then take a brisket to a low enough temperature to obtain as much smoke flavor as possible from your wood. For shorter Cooks, which I am personally a fan of, then you should certainly be cooking a brisket at higher temperatures above 275 degrees Fahrenheit.

How long to let brisket sit before smoking

If You’re wondering not only how long a brisket roast takes to finish all the way through in general, but also how long you could potentially let it rest or sit on the counter before smoking it, I have seen that as soon as you take it out of the refrigerator, and while it is still cold, that the brisket has a propensity to hold on to a lot more smoke than it does if it hadn’t just been sitting there warm on the counter.

Basically, just put the brisket in the smoker as soon a you can.

Final thoughts 

Smoking brisket roasts of any type of size or grade and temperature all vary greatly.

That’s why it’s important to consider how hot and fast or low and slow you happen to be wanting to cook it at going forward and how much the brisket actually weighs since those are the two main determining factors that will influence how long your individual brisket roast will last on the smoker.