The GrillingDad Answer: How long you need to smoke your brisket will depend on its weight. At 225°F you should plan for 1.5-2 hours per pound of meat. This means a 5lb brisket will take 7-10 hours to be fully cooked.
As a griller, making your first brisket is a rite of passage! But how long should you plan to smoke your brisket if you want to smoke it at 225°F? Read on to find out!
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How Long Do You Need to Smoke a Brisket at 225?
One of the most important factors in smoking brisket is the cooking time. Smoking a brisket at 225 degrees Fahrenheit is a popular temperature, but it requires a significant amount of time and patience.
To get the best results, we recommend smoking your brisket at 225°F for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours per pound of meat. This means that a 10-pound brisket could take anywhere from 15 to 20 hours to cook.
Keep in mind that these times are not set in stone, and you may need to adjust them based on your specific smoker and the size of your brisket.
To ensure that your brisket is cooked to perfection, we recommend using a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The ideal temperature for a brisket is between 195°F and 205°F. Once your brisket reaches this temperature, you can remove it from the smoker and let it rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
Remember, even if it is taking a while, low and slow with brisket is the way to go. Don’t turn up the heat unless the brisket has stalled and you planned to do so.
Recently, we smoked a 6.6lb brisket at 225°F following our Easy Brisket Recipe and it took just about 10 hours.
Factors That Affect Brisket Smoking Time
There are several factors that can affect the smoking time of a brisket. Here are some of the most important factors to consider:
Size of Brisket
The size of the brisket is one of the most important factors to consider when smoking a brisket. Two 10 lbs briskets may look nothing alike due to different shapes between cows and differing fat content. If your brisket is longer and leaner, it may cook faster than one that is thicker and more fatty.
Speaking of fat, trimming the brisket can also affect the cooking time. It’s important to trim any excess fat from the brisket before smoking it, as this can affect the flavor and texture of the meat.
However, be careful not to trim too much fat, as this can cause the brisket to dry out during the smoking process.
Fat Side Up or Down
Another factor to consider when smoking a brisket is whether to place the fat side up or down. Some people prefer to place the fat side up, as this can help to keep the meat moist during the smoking process. Others prefer to place the fat side down, as this can help to protect the meat from the heat of the smoker.
Here at The Grilling Dad, we recommend smoking your brisket fat side down.
Every pitmaster has their own idea of what temperature a brisket should be cooked to. Here at TheGrillingDad.com, we believe 195°F is the best temperature to remove a brisket from the grill, but some people swear its 200°F or 205°F.
Depending on what temperature you want yours cooked to, the cooking time will vary.
Fluctuations in temperature can cause the brisket to cook unevenly, resulting in dry, tough meat. To maintain a stable temperature, it’s important to use a high-quality smoker and to monitor the temperature closely throughout the smoking process.
Also, lift the lid as little as possible. We know its tempting to look at your brisket while it smokes, but trust us, it will cook faster if you aren’t always peeking.
The stall is a phenomenon that can occur during the smoking process, where the internal temperature of the brisket stops rising for several hours. This can be frustrating for many people, as it can make the cooking time longer than expected.
However, it’s important to be patient and to let the brisket continue to cook until it reaches the desired internal temperature.
Finally, it’s important to let the brisket rest for at least 30 minutes after it’s finished cooking. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and tender brisket.
Need more information about resting your brisket? Head over to our article How to Rest a Brisket.
How to Speed Up Brisket Smoking Time
When smoking brisket, we typically aim for a low and slow cooking process, which can take up to 12-18 hours at a temperature of 225°F. However, sometimes we need to speed up the process without compromising the quality of the meat. Here are a few tips to help us achieve that:
1. Trim the Brisket
Trimming the brisket before smoking it can help reduce the cooking time. We can remove any excess fat, which can take longer to render down and can affect the cooking time.
Trimming also helps the meat absorb more smoke, leading to a more flavorful and tender brisket.
2. Increase the Temperature
While we aim for a temperature of 225°F, we can increase it to 275°F once we wrap the brisket in pink butcher paper or foil. This will help speed up the cooking process without affecting the quality of the meat.
3. Use a Smaller Brisket
Smaller briskets will cook faster than larger ones. For example, a 6-pound brisket will take approximately 6-8 hours to smoke at 225°F, while a 12-pound brisket can take up to 18 hours. So, if we’re short on time, we can opt for a smaller brisket.
4. Leave Your Brisket Out Before Smoking
Before it’s time to put your brisket in the smoker, plan to leave it on the counter for 45 minutes to one hour. This will help the brisket rise in temperature and shorten its stall period by warming it a bit before it goes on the smoker.
Some professionals are against this as they think it changes the flavor of the meat, but when you’re in a bind, it really can shorten the stall and your brisket will still taste fantastic!
5. Wrap the Brisket
Wrapping the brisket in pink butcher paper or foil can help reduce the cooking time. This method helps retain moisture and heat, leading to a more tender and juicy brisket. Once we wrap the brisket, we can increase the temperature to 275°F to speed up the cooking process.
Need more information about wrapping your brisket? Check out When to Wrap Brisket (And Why You Should!)
Overall, at the end of the day, we recommend not rushing your brisket. Just make sure you plan for it to be an all-day event. Happy brisket smoking!
Related >> Keeping Brisket Warm: Tips for Serving Tasty, Hot Meat