Brisket tends to cook faster than pork shoulder, with an average cook time of 1 hour per pound of meat. Pork shoulder cooks a little longer with about 1.5 hours per pound of meat.
Both brisket and pork shoulder take a long time to smoke, but on average, brisket takes a less amount of time. The length of the cook depends depends on the ambient temperature, grade of the meat, and how much each cut weighs.
How Long To Smoke Brisket Per Pound
Brisket per pound takes roughly 1 hour per pound.
This is especially true when smoking at a variety of temperature ranges from 225 to 300 degrees.
As you go up in ambient temperature the 1 hour per pound estimation starts to increase, meaning you can budget a quicker cook the hotter you cook it.
How Long To Smoke Brisket Per Pound at 225
It generally takes roughly 1 pound of brisket to cook every hour. Essentially, budget 1 hour per pound of brisket, when you are smoking low and slow at 225 degrees.
Smoking a brisket at 225 is one of the most popular barbecue methods, all types of meat respond very well to this temperature range.
Smoking at 225 can be a great way for beginners to get experience with really long brisket cooks.
All of this being said, there may be some lingering questions you may have regarding whether or not you can overcook a brisket in this temperature range, and how long it takes to actually smoke a brisket in varying weights.
Can you overcook brisket at 225 degrees?
You can certainly overcook a brisket smoked at 225 degrees if you do not pull the brisket off at the right time and rest it properly.
To prevent your brisket from overcooking at 225 degrees, the meat must be pulled when it is probe tender.
This ensures that the meat has effectively rendered down all of the tough connective tissue. When the connective tissue renders down, the brisket becomes incredibly tender, which is what we all want!
How Long To Smoke A 3 Pound Brisket at 225
Taking into account a 1 hour per pound of brisket cook time, a 3lb brisket should be finished smoking in about 3 hours.
3lb briskets are really easy to smoke, and don’t take much time at all.
That being said, just be aware that this is just taking into account the cook time itself and not all of the prep work. Getting your pit ready to smoke at a low enough temperature can take an hour or so, so just budget your time accordingly!
How Long Does It Take To Smoke A 10 lb Brisket at 225?
Following the same pound per hour estimations, a 10lb brisket can take up to 10 hours so smoke all the way through.
This is around the average smoke time you will see throughout all of your cooks, regardless of the temperature smoked. This is because these cuts of meat have all different sizes and weights, which can add or subtract the cook time accordingly.
Not only that, a lot of barbecue is measured in grades. This means a brisket can be either a select, choice, prime, or even wagyu grade. These have their own metrics to follow when calculating cook time per pound due to their marbling and fat contents.
How Long To Smoke Brisket Per Pound at 250
Smoking a brisket at 250 will slightly speed up your cooking time per pound. Brisket per pound will take anywhere from 1-.75 hours per pound at this cook at this cooking temperature.
Smoking a brisket quicker and at a higher temperature can certainly save Pitmasters loads of time over the long run. A brisket that normally would have taken almost 10 hours to smoke at 225 would only take roughly 8-10 hours. As you can see, a slight increase in ambient temperature starts to really decrease your cook time!
How Long To Smoke A 13 Pound Brisket at 250
Smoking a 13 pound brisket at 250 degrees would roughly take 11 to 13 hours if you keep the temperatures steady. Timing can still fluctuate due to the inconsistencies of the ambient temperature, grade, and exactly marbling of the brisket – so try to keep consistent temperatures as best you can.
Most briskets you find in grocery store meat markets are anywhere between 10-20 pounds, so a 13lb brisket estimation is a great fit for figuring out how long it should take to smoke.
How Long To Cook A 5 Pound Brisket At 250 Degrees
Cooking a 5 lb brisket at 250 degrees roughly takes anywhere from 4-5 hours. This can fluctuate somewhat due to the overall leanness of your meat, how consistent you temperatures really are, whether or not you wrap or not.
This being said, you will want to ensure you start your smoker an hour or so before you are ready to place the meat on the grates. This is to make sure you don’t have to wait for the ambient temps to get up, which can increase your cook time by 1-2 hours.
Is it better to smoke a brisket at 225 or 250?
Choosing to smoke a brisket at either 225 or 250 is up for debate, but I recommend smoking at 250 degrees. It provides a quicker way to cook by decreasing time by an hour, and does not use much more fuel.
If you still want to smoke a brisket at 225, but want a little quicker of a cook – try wrapping it in either foil or butcher paper. This will tend to speed things up quite a bit.
Wrapping your brisket also has the added benefit of getting it through the stall. At these lower temperature ranges, you’ll find that when your brisket internal temperature starts to hover around 150-170 – it will take a pretty long time to get past it. Therefore, wrapping is the preferred option in most cooks.
How Long To Smoke Brisket Per Pound at 300
Cooking a brisket at 300 degrees temperature will greatly expedite your cooking time. For brisket, this can decrease the time it takes to smoke any pound of brisket by roughly 1-2 hours.
Is 300 degrees too hot for brisket?
Smoking a brisket at around 300 degrees is considered the hot and fast method. It is definitely a hotter temperature to be cooking a brisket at, but is not anywhere close to being too hot for even a single brisket.
When you think about it, brisket can take a LOT of heat for literally hours on end. The amount of heat and range in temperatures it can tolerate is anywhere from 225 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Don’t worry about overcooking your brisket at this temperature, just make sure to pull the brisket off once it probes tender and let it rest properly!
How Long To Smoke A 9 Pound Brisket at 300
Smoking a brisket weighing at 9lbs at 300 degrees should take less than 9 or so hours.
Using the metric provided, estimate a cook time 1-2 hours quicker than you would have otherwise gotten with a low and slow styled cook at 225-250 degrees.
What happens when brisket cooks too fast?
When you are cooking brisket at these higher temperatures, you will see it has a lot of carry over heat. This is important to know, as you begin the process of pulling the brisket off the smoker. Carry over heat has the propensity to add an additional 5-10 degrees in internal temperature, leading some Pitmasters to suggest you should be pulling your brisket off at a lower internal temperature to accommodate.
Taking brisket off of the smoker based purely on temperatures can give inconsistent results. This is because of the difference in every brisket you will have – the grades, weight, marbling, etc. are all different and can give different temperature readings at different stages of the cook.
When you are ready to pull the brisket off the smoker – even with a lot of carry over heat present – just pull it off when it probes tender like butter. Once it is placed off the smoker – if it happens to have any wrapping – make sure to pull that off.
Pulling wrapping off will be what gives the most consistent results and will protect against any damaging carry over heat.
How Long To Pork Shoulder Per Pound
Smoking a pork shoulder takes slightly longer than that of brisket. On average, a pork shoulder may take anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours longer per pound.
Although very similar meats in weight – a pork shoulder has a lot more fat and connective tissue per pound than a brisket does. It is a very fatty cut of meat!
How Long Does It Take To Smoke Pork Shoulder at 225
Smoking a pork shoulder at the low and slow temperature can take a while, but will certainly produce amazing results. For cuts around 10lbs, expect anywhere from 10-12 hours to fully cook through the meat.
Pork shoulders take anywhere from 1-1.5 hours per pound to cook through at 225 degrees. This is different than brisket, which is slightly less at 1 hour per pound. Even though pork shoulder may take a little longer – don’t fret since both after products are awesome!
How Long Does It Take To Smoke A 10lb Pork Shoulder at 225
Smoking a 10lb pork shoulder at 225 degrees will take anywhere from 10-12 hours to fully cook through.
The connective tissue, fat, and collagen all have to render down completely before it is edible. Once the pork shoulder is probe tender at around the 200 degrees mark, pull that bad boy off the smoker and be sure to remove any wrapping you may have on it to let the excess heat escape.
How Long Does It Take To Smoke Pork Shoulder at 250
Smoking a pork shoulder at 250 will slightly decrease your overall cook time compared to smoking at 225. Expect to have roughly a 1lb per hour cook through rate.
This is the middle ground between a low and slow and hot and fast style cook for smoking barbecue.
Smoking anything at 250 can be a great happy medium if you are worried about cooking through your pork shoulder too fast or slow.
How Long Does It Take To Smoke A 10lb Pork Shoulder at 250
It should take about 9-10 hours to completely finish smoking it.
There shouldn’t be too much carry over heat like you would see at around 300 degrees smokes, but just be aware that the pork shoulder may finish quicker than expected.
Regarding the stall, expect that to occur a few hours into the cook. For both brisket and pork shoulder actually, they seem to have their internal temperatures hover around 150-170 for several hours at a time.
How Long To Smoke Pork Shoulder at 300
Smoking a pork shoulder at 300 is a hot and fast cook. For the average pork shoulder, expect to have it cook through at a rate of 1.5 lbs per hour of cook time. This is a quicker way to get through the stall, and will help you if you are strapped for time.
300 degree cooks are my favorite style of cooks for any piece of barbecue.
They are quick, efficient, and the results are not impacted negatively at all. What
How Long Does It Take To Smoke A 10lb Pork Shoulder at 300
A 10lb Pork shoulder smoked at 300 should be complete around the 6 hour mark. That’s fast!
One of the main reasons why I will suggest to always cook your barbecue as hot as reasonably possible is because it can almost cut your cook time in half than what you would have seen at 225 degrees.