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How long to smoke brisket per pound at 250? (Explained)

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How long to smoke brisket per pound at 250

There are a variety of ways to cook a brisket and plenty of temperature ranges to do so.

The most common temperature range to cook one at is anywhere between 225 degrees Fahrenheit all the way up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Let’s say you were trying to determine how long you can smoke a brisket on a per pound basis at around 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

That means that you’re going to be smoking a brisket low and slow.

Low and slow cooked briskets at about 250 degrees Fahrenheit should render a fully cooked brisket at a cook through rate of about one hour per pound of cook time. 

Is it OK to smoke a brisket at 250?

Since there is a wide variance in the actual temperature ranges that many Pitmasters decide to smoke a brisket at, it can be a common question to ask in terms of whether or not it is actually okay to be smoking a brisket at a particular temperature.

Just know that it is absolutely okay to smoke a brisket at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. 

What really matters, is how long the Pitmaster wants to be tending to the smoker for.

If they are okay with smoking a brisket at a rate of 1 hour per pound then it makes perfect sense to do so.

Personally though, what I usually recommend for myself and others, is to try and crank the ambient temperature up a little bit hotter because that will save you tons of time going forward and will even produce results equal to or better than a low and slow style of Cook.

 Despite that though, it is perfectly acceptable to produce a brisket that has been smoked at about 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

The end result is excellent, provided that they pulled off at the right internal temperature and let it rest adequately. 

Is it better to smoke brisket at 225 or 250?

If you’re trying to get down into the nitty-gritty of BBQ smoking temperatures, a lot of people have been asking whether or not it is actually better to be smoking at 225 degrees Fahrenheit or 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Honestly, there really is no difference to speak of, most of the briskets that I have done at these temperature ranges tend to be finished at about the same rate of 1 hour per pound of cook time. 

As you start to increase the ambient temperature way past 250 degrees Fahrenheit, is where you really start to see the difference in time that it takes to finish a brisket.

But since you’re wondering whether or not it’s better to smoke a brisket at 225 or 250 degrees Fahrenheit, I would lean more so on the hotter end of 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is just in case the brisket has the propensity to finish a little bit quicker at that hot or temperature range.

I’m someone who values time very much, so I’m always going to recommend a hotter ambient temperature to smoke a brisket at. 

How long does it take to cook a 5 lb brisket at 250 degrees?

If you’re smoking a 5lb brisket at roughly 250 degrees Fahrenheit, you can expect an average cook time of about 5 hours.

That is because at 250 degrees Fahrenheit, the cook through rate is very similar to that of 225 degrees Fahrenheit, which is effectively 1 lb of cooked meat per hour.

If you want to shorten the time by a substantial amount, consider wrapping the brisket throughout the stall.

Where the internal temperature reaches anywhere between 150 degrees Fahrenheit to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

This can slightly decrease the overall cooking time that is needed to smoke a brisket 5 lb in weight at 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Of course though, the most obvious way to decrease the time it takes to cook a 5 lb brisket is to simply increase the ambient temperature from 250 degrees Fahrenheit way past 300 degrees Fahrenheit. 

How long to smoke a 10 lb brisket at 250

Let’s say though that you’re not smoking a 5lb brisket anymore, but are now considering smoking a whole Packer style brisket that weighs about 10 lb and wait.

If you decide to smoke it at a temperature of about 250 degrees Fahrenheit, expect it to cook in about 10 hours.

As always, use the ballpark estimation of about 1 hour per pound of cooked time to sort of guesstimate how long it should take to smoke it.

 Furthermore, if you do not want to be tending to a smoker for over 10 hours, consider cranking up the ambient temperature to over 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

This should cut the overall cook time of 10 hours down to about 5 hours, which is way more reasonable. 

How long to smoke a brisket per pound at 250

In recap, a 250 degrees Fahrenheit ambient cook should render a fully cooked brisket at the rate of about one hour per pound of cook time.

This is very similar to the low and slow style of cooking that is done at about 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you are not happy with the 1 hour per pound of cook time, then it is recommended to begin wrapping your brisket throughout the stall, and perhaps even increasing the ambient temperature substantially. 

Final thoughts

There is a pretty significant variance in the amount of temperature ranges that you can begin to smoke a brisket at.

Just know that if you happen to land on the 250 degree Fahrenheit mark, the brisket that you have will be finished at an approximate cook through rate at about 1 hour per pound of cook time.

This can render amazing quality briskets, but frankly takes quite a bit longer than hotter temperature ranges such as those at 300 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter.