brisket,,how much time to cook

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Jun 6, 2007
new york
i want to try a brisket,so i went to the butcher and he had a small 3 pound only question is ,how long should it take to smoke this thing.please help me with an idea of how long i need to cook this as i never did one before and i have no clue when to put this on the smoker,,,,,thank you for all your great advise so far and i am learning so much from the good folk on this site
i did some more research and it seems to be 1.5 hour per pound,,,,does this seem correct
Hey Panhead I recently did a 4 pound brisket I got from the supermarket. It was my first one and I learned a hard lesson. It seems the smaller briskets usually have the fat cap trimmed way down if not almost completely off because everyone wants lean meat. The downside to that is my brisket came out way to dry for my taste. The flavor was awesome but it was just too dry. After asking these fine folks here what the problem could have been, the lack of the fat cap seemed to be the culprit.

Here is a link to that thread if you want to read it:
I always get the full packer for that reason. I have read that if you layer it with bacon, that will help. The fat from the bacon helps.... or, you can smoke it for (that small of a one) about maybe a couple of hours. Then put it in an aluminum pan with some apple juice, or other moisture, and then close it up real tight with aluminum foil. That will steam it and make it more moist. It will cook faster as you will actually steam it.

And the 1 1/2 hrs is only for estimation only. Cook it until it reaches 195, pull it, and then let it rest for a minimum of 30 minutes. This will help the juices to soak back up into the meat. Some will wrap the brisket with foil when it reaches about 170 degrees, add some juice, and then finish cooking it.

Hope this helps some.

Don't watch the clock with briskets and butts you never know when they're going to plateu and it'll make you nuts as a newbie - watch the temperature. 1.5 hour per pound is only a guide and it may take 2.5 hours per pound if it wants too.

I almost always wrap my briskets after about 170° to 180°F if I'm slicing them and about 200°F if I'm pulling them. I don't add juice to the wrap some people do. I find they make plenty of juice on their own after the rest for awhile.

I trim alot leaner than most people do when my briskets going to be pastrami and they're always juicey!
my opinion but... if yer gonna do a 3-4lb trimmed point.... ya may as well do a whole chix & pastrami- yer just wasting fuel & missing the whole aspect of the full day/overnight "brisket sit". get 2 cases of beer & a couple of friends & the kids w/ a tent in the yard & tell stories, camp, tell "war stories" ... it was soooo cool w/ my dad & the other men to do all night "skit over skeet" cooks for little league & maybe scam a beer or 3 for us boys... it's like the blood smear from your first deer kill.... it's a texas tradition. a packer ain't just a cook... it's an experience.
I just put a 14# before trimming on at around9:15, this is my first all niter in a wile, going to stick with vary strong ice tea for this one.
Well said Gypsy !
well the small brisket was put on the smoker at 7.30 am....i wish i had a working digital camera....i think all will be fine thanks to all the help ftom the folk here on this site.....later yoday i will toss a few fattys on the smoker and maybe a small chicken....i will try to keep everyone posted....thanks everyone for the help,i feel confident using my smoker now
I always like to use up as much space in the smoker if I fire it up. Never hurts to have extra smoked food around!

Take care, have fun, and do good!


meowy...good point,so i just ran out to the store ,i was going to add a meatloaf to the smoker....but i dont know what happened,,,,i was on the harley going to the supermarket, i stopped for some gas to fill the bike then i go to the supermarket and buy everything exept meatloaf stuff.....i got a ton of chicken legs and thighs and a few packs of bratwursts...i never did brats but i am sure they will be great...... is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.