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How long to smoke a quarter brisket? (Explained)

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How do you smoke a brisket quarter?

If you happen to have a quarter-size brisket, consider how much it actually weighs and how you want to prepare it. 

The most common way to prepare any type of brisket, whether it be a quarter-size brisket or a whole Packer style brisket, is to first of all season it properly. You can season it by just applying tons of kosher salt and black pepper to it. 

Make sure there is no pink spots or any raw meat exposed to the air, because every type of brisket needs tons of seasoning and don’t worry about ever seasoning it. There has never been an instance, in my experience, where I’ve over seasoned a piece of brisket.

You’ll then want to probably throw it onto the smoker with your favorite type of wood. I personally use Post Oak because that’s a staple here in Texas. 

Make sure to crank up the heat to around 225 degrees Fahrenheit to around 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Pick some temperature within that range and let it get going.

Depending on what temperature setting you actually set the brisket to be smoked at, you can expect it to be done anywhere from about 10 to 12 hours. 

This also depends on how much the quarter size brisket actually weighs, but is usually a good estimation to follow and plan ahead with.

Once the internal temperature reaches about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, grab a toothpick or some other type of probing device, maybe even grab your thermometer, and take it out of the meat, and begin probing all around it to test for doneness. 

You don’t want any resistance at all. 

If you do have resistance then that means the meat and connective tissues have not rendered down properly, and the brisket is not actually done. 

If there is zero resistance, then the brisket is done and you should pull it off the smoker and then let it rest for about 3 to 5 hours.

How long does it take to smoke a 4 1/2 pound brisket?

For a brisket that weighs about 4 to 5 lb, expect an average cook time of about 4 to 5 hours. 

That’s assuming that you’re cooking it low and slow at a rate of about one pound per hour. This cooking ratio is derived from a cooking temperature of about 225 degrees Fahrenheit. 

That is definitely on the lower end of any temperature range that I would recommend smoking any size of brisket.

If you want a 4 & a 1/2 pound brisket to cook a lot quicker though, then certainly consider cooking it at hotter temperatures.

How long does it take to smoke a 1 pound brisket?

I have never seen a 1 lb brisket, and would question whether or not you actually have a brisket that only weighs about 1 lb, but if you do, then consider just cooking it at any temperature range, even a low and slow temperature range of about 225 degrees Fahrenheit. 

That’s simply because brisket weighing in that small, won’t really make any difference in time no matter what temperature you are cooking it at. 

In practice, expect about 1 to 2 hours of cook time for a 1 lb brisket.

How long does it take to smoke a small brisket?

Small briskets ranging anywhere from about 4 to 7 lb, can take anywhere from 4 to 7 hours to cook through fully. 

Even if they do happen to be done quicker than that time estimation, you will always want to let them rest, and you should always factor that into the total cook time as well. For any type of brisket, I would personally recommend letting them rest for about 3 to 5 hours. 

So let’s say your brisket finishes in about 4 to 7 hours, you should also add about 2 to 3 hours of that time frame for a total cooking time and resting time of about 10 hours.

How long to set brisket out before smoking

Like I just mentioned above, you really want to make sure that you let any brisket you cook through fully, to rest properly.

Letting a brisket rest is perhaps one of the most underrated ways of producing great results. To get those great results, make sure to let any brisket rest for at least three to five hours. You really want the internal temperature to come down from 200 degrees Fahrenheit to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit

Final thoughts 

The average cook time for a quarter-size brisket really depends on how hot and fast or low and slow you cook it as far as the temperature goes, as well as how much the brisket actually weighs. 

In practice, most briskets will finish anywhere from about 1 to 2 lb per hour. If you are cooking at low and slow temperatures, lean more towards the 1 pound per hour mark. 

For hotter and faster Cooks, definitely lean more towards the 2 lb per hour mark.