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How Long To Smoke Moist brisket? (Explained)

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How long to smoke moist brisket

If you’re wondering how long you should smoke a brisket to obtain a very moist after product, just know that you can expect to cook any type of brisket for about 10 to 12 hours, depending on how much it actually weighs.

Not only that, but just know that how hot and fast you are cooking the brisket also plays a huge part in how quickly you can obtain a finished piece of barbecue that is very moist and juicy. 

In practice, most briskets are cooked anywhere from 225 degrees Fahrenheit to about 250 degrees Fahrenheit, with a cook through at a rate of about one hour per pound of meat.

For briskets that are cooked at about 300 degrees Fahrenheit or more, they are cooked at about 1 to 2 lb of meat per hour. As you can see, the hotter you cook your meat, the quicker you can be done and the quicker you can enjoy your Meat.

Time is really something you never get back in life, so I’m always a huge proponent of cooking things hot and fast because there’s really no difference in the quality of how it comes out compared to a low and slow style of cooking.

You get faster produced meat at the same or perhaps even better quality than that which was smoked at lower temperature ranges. 

What it takes to get a moist brisket

Besides the length of time it actually takes to get a done brisket, you’ll need to know first of all how to actually get a moist brisket. To get one, you can follow this helpful piece of advice.

Pull the brisket off at 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and make sure that you can insert a toothpick inside of any part of the meat with 0 resistance. 

That is how you know that a brisket is done and will come out very moist. Not only that, but once you actually pull it off the smoker itself, make sure to let it rest for at least three to five hours.

That lets all the moisture and fat and connective tissue within the brisket come down to a reasonable temp and it won’t evaporate the second you slice into it. 

Pulling it off at 200 degrees

Pulling a brisket off at 200 degrees is critical to obtain a moist brisket. Not only that though, it can take anywhere from ten to twelve hours to actually reach this point in the cooking process.

But once you reach it, really, just make sure to pull it off at around 200 degrees Fahrenheit and check to see if it probes tender like butter. 

Those are the two main things that you absolutely need to be doing for any brisket cook regardless of the weight or grade, to ensure that it comes out moist and juicy. Having a brisket moist and juicy is one of the best things you can have when eating a brisket.

You don’t want one that is very dry or crumbly, which is also a sign of being overcooked, and you spend so much time to begin with that you want to make sure you do everything right to make the best type of BBQ you can. 

Testing for doneness

Once you’ve smoked your brisket for about 10 to 12 hours, You’re going to need a test for doneness.

As noted above, just pull the brisket off at around 200 degrees Fahrenheit and when you can stick the thermometer or a toothpick back into any part of the brisket with zero resistance whatsoever.

That is how you know that the connective tissues within the meat and the collagen within the meat have completely run or down, which will make your brisket moist and tender once you’re done resting it. 

What happens if you smoke brisket too long

Let’s say you’re at around the 10 or 12 hour mark and your brisket is just about done, you’ll need to begin testing for doneness and actually test for the internal temperature to be around 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you don’t do this, you risk a propensity that you’ll smoke a brisket for way too long. You don’t want to smoke a brisket for too long, because you’ll risk overcooking it. An over cooked brisket is dry first of all, and is very crumbly. 

This is a matter of fact not so a matter of opinion. Even if you were to pull the brisket off and rest it adequately, letting it smoke for too long, the damage will have already been done!. And you don’t want that. So, always follow the advice that a brisket should Pretender once it reaches around 200 degrees and internal Fahrenheit temperature.

How long to smoke a 6lb brisket

Since briskets come in all sizes and weights and all types of shapes, it can be hard to determine how long you should be smoking one for.. Just know that any brisket you have and of course depending on how fast and how hot you decide to cook it at, the cook through rates can be very different.

Not only that but every brisket has different amounts of marbling as well as grade categorizations. Let’s say you have a 6lb brisket and want to know how long you should actually smoke it for. 

If you’re smoking at a temperature range of about 250 degrees Fahrenheit, you can expect on average to cook it for about 6 hours. If you happen to be smoking it at around 300 degrees Fahrenheit however, then you can actually expect to cook it all the way through to a done temperature at the 3-hour mark.

This can be expedited even more by wrapping the brisket throughout the cook in either foil or butcher paper. As you can see, there’s no one-size-fits-all type of recommendation, but more so guidelines to follow as you smoke your briskets in all shapes and sizes. 

Does brisket get more tender the longer you smoke it?

As you start to smoke briskets throughout your barbecue career, you’ll need to know what actually produces a moist and tender piece of meat.

Basically what happens is as you begin to smoke your briskets for longer periods of time, and up to around 200 degrees Fahrenheit in internal temperature, you’ll notice that they become very tender as you start inserting a toothpick into them. 

That’s because as you cook one for longer periods of time, the connective tissue and collagen within the meat actually starts to break down and that is exactly what you want because it produces very tender and moist pieces of barbecue.

This is actually contrary to popular belief regarding cooking steaks or any other type of meat. BBQ Meats such as brisket and others like pork shoulder, require one to smoke it for excessive amounts of time to ensure that all of the connective tissue has had a chance to render down. 

Final Thoughts 

At the end of the day if you want a moist and smoked brisket just cook it from a temperature range of between 225 degrees Fahrenheit and 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the most common temperature range that any Pitmaster will choose to smoke their BBQ at.

What matters the most though, is when you pull the brisket and how long you let it rest. You want to pull the brisket off the smoker once it reaches an internal temperature of around 200 degrees Fahrenheit and once it probes tender all throughout the meat with zero resistance.

That is how it is done. After that, just pull it off the smoker grates and let it rest for about 3 to 5 hours or until the internal temperature reaches about 165 degrees Fahrenheit.