How long to smoke a brisket

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Original poster
Nov 11, 2014
Clara Mississippi
Im going to attemt to smoke a brisket this weekend, ive done this several times before and it turned out pretty good but im always looking to improve, i know different people have different ideas but i was wondering how long do you guys like to smoke your briskets and at what temp. i have been told 14-16 hours at 250 degrees does perfect but was wondering what yalls thoughts were on this? Thanks again
I'm no expert. I have done 5 this year and am doing one Sunday. Seems like they can all be a little different. Depending on several factors. How thick, your machine, how much fat, choice or select. The last one I made was nearly a whole packer, I cut part of the flat off, which is what I'm  planning this weekend. It was done in ten hours at 200 internal and when a probe slid in effortlessly. I foiled it at 150 then let it get to 200 then wrapped in the cooler for an hour and a half and it came out perfect. I'm curious myself to see what happens with this next one Sunday.
Allow 2 hours per pound, but use that as just a guideline, the real timeline is "when it's done, it's done!"....As Smoky pointed out, it comes down to numerous factors, the piece of meat itself, the smoker you are running, the temp you are cooking at, and on and on....Typically, the higher the grade of meat, the faster it will cook, this is due to the internal fat content or marbling being higher than in a lower grade of meat.  When I cook primes for comps, they tend to finish about a half hour to an hour earlier than a Choice or Select.  My pit is a reverse flow stick burner, I will typically cook a 12-15 pound brisket to toothpick tender in 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 hours at 250 degrees.  Once the meats IT reaches 200, start checking the flat section for tenderness, once a toothpick slides in easily, it;'s done, pull it, wrap it up in towels and off to a cooler until you're ready to slice and serve.  I never want to pull a brisket off the pit and head straight to a cutting board, I prefer at l;east a 4 hour rest, with no less than 2.  The IT really needs to come back down into the 160's before you slice into it.  I rub mine down 1 hour before I plan on putting it on the pit (usually right before I start my fire), then back to the fridge.  Get my pit temp at a steady 250 (235-265 range), then the meat goes on fat side down, for 4 hours with a mix of Hickory and Oak woods, then at the 4 hour mark, it's wrapped in a foil pan with either a cup of broth or reserve au jus from a previous cook.  Good luck with your smoke!
You are going to have to add an ingredient only you can add... Patience

However you do your Meat (naked ,wrapped or whatever) , you will be tempted to change some of you cooking parameters, don't , just be patient . . .you'll be rewarded.

Have fun and. . .
1 hour per pound plus 2 hours @ 230 degrees is what I have found to be a good estimate.  You can speed things up a bit by foiling, I usually foil at 165 until brisket reaches 195 - 197, pull cooler for 2 hours then slice.
Good evening here is some brisket info I posted earlier this year

Brisket Texas Style

This is how I Smoke my Briskets

I usually buy my briskets at Sam’s; so far they have been very consistent in quality.

I try to find a “Choice” grade full packer with not too much fat and pliable, but not limp or stiff and around 12 pounds or so.

I do not inject or rub the day or night before. Not saying it is wrong, I just don’t do it.

The morning I am going to smoke (early) I get my brisket out of the fridge while I am getting my smoker fired up.

Take the brisket out of the Cryovac rinse it off and trim the fat cap down to about a ¼ inch.

Rub it down with olive oil and coat it with Course ground black pepper and salt, that’s it. (I have my S & P already mixed in a shaker) Once my smoker is running at 225° I put it on. (Note: I will let my smoker get to 250° - 275° at first, so by the time I get the brisket on and the door closed it drops down to the 225° I’m looking for)  I use a combination of charcoal and wood, hickory, pecan or oak, mainly because that’s what is available.

I let it smoke for about 6 hours, or until I am happy with the bark, then pull it and wrap in butcher paper. (I do spritz a few times prior to wrapping) either with just plain apple juice or 50/50 apple juice and apple cider vinegar, then back on the smoker till done usually another 6 plus hours. I then take it off wrap in a couple old towels and stick it in a warm cooler for an hour or so. (Before I wrap in the towels, I do unwrap the butcher paper a bit and take a look to make sure I am happy).

Pull it out, unwrap and slice. I always have a great bark and smoke ring, moist and tender. I like butcher paper because it will hold in some moisture and let it form a very good bark.

I did foil in the past, up until about 4 or 5 years ago and switched to BP. Sometimes I don’t wrap at all while on the smoker, but found I prefer the BP method.

I have used different rubs, injected and tried lots of different techniques over the years, but have settled on this one because my wife, kids, grandkids and me all like the flavor and texture. To me it brings out that real brisket/meat flavor. I am not saying this is the right or only way, just a very good way.

Gary S is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Hot Threads