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Is 300 degrees too hot for brisket? (Explained!)

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Is 300 degrees too hot for brisket

Cooking a brisket at 300°F is definitely not too hot for a brisket.

What do you think about it, a brisket is a very thick and tough cut of meat that requires extensive cooking to begin with.

Not only that, there is a lot of connective tissue, fat, and collagen that all need to be rendered down completely before it can even be considered done.

Therefore smoking or cooking a brisket at 300°F or higher is one of the best ways to prepare one.

There is really no downside to cooking a brisket at 300°F.

It saves you all the time, can make the bark or crust become a lot crispier than usual, and will certainly produce the same or even better results than if you were to cook at a lower temperature range.

Can you cook brisket at 300 degrees?

Yes you can smoke a brisket at 300°F.

In fact, lots of Pit-masters and experienced chefs will even advocate for cooking a brisket at a higher and hotter temperature.

It used to be that you had to smoke or cook a brisket in the oven at around 225°F, however word is now starting to get out that you can have the same results as smoking at 225°F that you would at 300°F.

So you really just have to look at the differences between the after products and their time and effort that goes into both styles cooking.

Personally, I am always an advocate for smoking brisket or preparing it in the oven at very high temperatures to save my precious time.

How hot is too hot for brisket

Since you can now smoke or prepare a brisket at temperatures of around 300°F, the next question is usually how hot can you start to increase it from that point.

I like to smoke my brisket and any piece of barbecue for that matter, between the temperature ranges of 300°F in 350°F. 

Anything past 350°F doesn’t necessarily mean that the brisket will come out bad, it just means that it will be a lot harder to manage the temperature and all of the drippings and grease that is rendered down from the brisket.

I’ve had a couple close calls where I had a brisket in the oven that I was smoking at 400°F and it started smoking because it was so hot. 

So a good rule of thumb is to just play it safe and smoke at the tried and true hot and fast style of cooking where you prepare it at between 300°F and 350°F.

This should certainly decrease your cut time substantially.

How long does it take to cook a brisket in the oven at 300 degrees?

I’ve seen a lot of debate online and in talking to Pit-masters in person regarding how long the brisket should take to cook it all the way through.

On average, you can expect anywhere from 1 pound per hour to one and a half a pound per hour of cook time.

The amount of pounds that can be cooked through per hour is increased alongside the increase in temperature. 

What that means basically is that as you start to increase the temperature of the smoker or oven or whatever type of cooking device you were using, the amount of brisket in this case, can be cut through at a quicker rate than if you were smoking or cooking it at a lower temperature.

Four briskets that are about 15 pounds or more, you can expect a cut time of certainly less than 15 hours.

That is pretty significant, because if you were to smoke the same brisket at that way at around 225°F, you would certainly expect to cook more than 15 hours through total cook time, basically wasting a lot of your precious time in your personal life.

How long do you cook a brisket at 325 degrees?

At around 325°F, you can’t expect to cook a brisket at the rate of 1 1/2 to 2 pounds per hour.

So if you had a 15 pound brisket, you can expect it to be done at around the seven hour mark.

Don’t always consider just the cooking time itself to be the length of time needed to fully cook a brisket.

That is really only half the battle.

What do you have to do, is actually be very attentive to the piece of meat and only pull it when it probes tender like a piece of butter and it is tempting out at an internal temperature of around 200°F.

That is really how you know it is done.

All of these estimates say laid out above really just our guidelines more so than facts to follow. 

Not only that, but when you start to pull the brisket off the smoker that again is the first part of the process.

The next part you have to pay close attention to, is letting it rest appropriately.

This basically means just letting the internal temperature of 200°F to come down to a reasonable 145°F to 155°F.

When you slice into a brisket that has not been arrested, he will try it out.

There’s really no way around it.

All of the meat moisture and juices that you worked so hard to create by pulling it off when it probes tender, will then be evaporated and causing a very unpleasant piece of barbecue to be eating.

Can you cook brisket at 350?

Cooking brisket at 350°F is certainly at the higher end of the hot and fast style of cooking.

That’s just because anything past that point will start to boil any drippings or oil that had further render down from the piece of meat itself. 

Like I mentioned above, there has been an instance where I cooked a brisket above 350°F and it started smoking.

This happened in the oven, and if I had not been home or paying attention, things could have ended badly.

Always make sure to be in the close vicinity of your oven or smoker whenever you are smoking any type of barbecue let alone a bris

Finish brisket at higher temp

Finishing a brisket at a higher temperature is the preferred method of cooking for modern Pit-masters.

A lot of old guard style of Pit-masters will still use the adage of smoking at 225°F and cooking a brisket 1 pound per hour.

There is nothing wrong with that, however I personally value my time very much and would rather not spend 24 hours for no reason cooking a piece of meat.

Especially if I can cook the same poundage of meat in a fraction of the time and get even better results.

There’s really no reason to smoke anything less than a range of 300°F for a piece of brisket

One thing you have to take into consideration though, with higher temperature smokes for your brisket, is that the carryover heat propensity is a lot higher than if you were to smoke the brisket or cook it at a lower temperature range.

Basically what that means is that as you start to increase the ambient temperature of your brisket, the internal temperature is like a freight train and can be very hard to stop or estimate when it will stop rising exponentially.

This becomes critical when you begin to pull the meat at around 200°F or when it press tender, because you don’t want to pull the meat off the smoker at the right time or temperature but come out with the dry brisket because the carryover heat was so substantial due to the higher temperatures.

6 hour brisket

Cooking a brisket in only six hours takes a lot of skill, but it’s not impossible to do.

Pay close attention to how much your brisket weighs, what grade it is, and how thick and even the spacing between each end of the brisket is.

If you hold the brisket on your palm and it is flappy then you know you have a great brisket that can be managed appropriately. 

If your bet on trying to pick a brisket in around six hours there’s really nothing wrong with that.

To do so, make sure you crank up the ambient heat. Something past 300°F will certainly do in this case.

You just want to have a hide of temperature that you were cooking the meat at to ensure a timely finish.

Speeding up brisket

What side of cooking a piece of meat at 300°F or more you can certainly try to rap it.

This basically just speeds up the QuickTime even more and is actually a preferred method to push a particular brisket past the stall when it has an internal temperature of around 160°F.

It basically traps all the steam and moisture that would normally get omitted if it were unwrapped, inside the casing of the piece of foil or butcher paper.

Final thoughts

Cooking a brisket at 300°F or hotter is certainly not a negative.

In fact, it is a positive, that produces the same quality and style of barbecue in lower temperature cooks, while also producing the same or even better results than those temperature range cooks.