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Picked up a beautiful 20# choice brisket for under $40 (1.99/lb)... how long will it take to smoke at 225?

jerbee

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I’ve always used the rule of thumb that says you should plan on it taking “an hour and a half per pound”, but I’ve never cooked one this size before… Most of mine are in the 12 pound range. Should I just plan on it taking about 30 hours to cook, and another four or five hours to rest in the cooler? I plan on smoking it at 225°… I was thinking I would start at 6 AM tomorrow, which would mean it would finish cooking at around noon on Sunday, and then it should be ready for dinner after it rests in the cooler until 6 PM Sunday evening.

I was going to dry rub it this evening and let it sit in the fridge overnight, or would it cook quicker if I left it out on the counter instead so it comes to room temp? Or could I just leave it out in the Cryovac on the counter overnight to bring it to room temperature, then season it before putting it in the smoker?
 

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oldsmokerdude

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I think an hour and half per pound cook time is a bit high. I plan on 45 to 60 mins per pound at about 250. But that is just an estimate as different briskets cook at different rates and are done at different IT. As they say, you should cook to temp and not by time.

There is no harm in letting the brisket sit on the counter for an hour or so (some say up to two hours), but I wouldn't go more than that.

Some will say season the night before, others right before it goes in the cooker. I think it depends on what type of seasoning you are using. For brisket, I personally prefer a "Texas Style" rub which is completely or largely salt and pepper. I put it on after I pull it from the fridge as the smoker is coming to temp and stabilizing.

Good luck. Let us know how it runs out and welcome to the best forum on the web!!!
 

SmokinAl

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If I were you I would smoke it hot & fast, that would be a pit temp of 275-300. I smoke mine at about 270-280 & it really doesn’t matter how much they weigh, it depends on how thick they are. Obviously the thicker ones will take longer. It’s very hard to estimate the finish time for a brisket, some will take 1 hour per pound & others will take 2 hours per pound. That is why I do them at higher temps, they don’t go thru a stall & get done much quicker. Just as juicy & tender as low & slow. Good luck!
Al
 

noboundaries

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I was going to dry rub it this evening and let it sit in the fridge overnight, or would it cook quicker if I left it out on the counter instead so it comes to room temp? Or could I just leave it out in the Cryovac on the counter overnight to bring it to room temperature, then season it before putting it in the smoker?
Please erase from your memory ANY reference to starting from room temperature. It is a dangerous idea spawned by steak cooking that has migrated to anything involving meat. If you could safely bring the brisket to room temp, you'd save an hour, max. 30-60 minutes is how long it takes a brisket at 34-38F internal temp to reach room temp in a 225F smoker, even a 20 lb'er, which will probably weigh 17 lbs after trimming

Your first sentence is in bold because the rest is pure overthinking. I've said before, an overthought brisket is an undercooked brisket because your mind fears overcooking it. When it turns out dry and tough (undercooked), you'll believe it was overcooked because you'll compare it to steak, a completely different part of the animal that is less exercised and therefore more tender.

Rub, smoke, wrap or don't wrap, probe the flat for tenderness-not the point, and rest wrapped in a warm place for several hours.
Briskets are easy. Overthinking makes them hard.
 

912smoker

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Cook it, foil wrap, pull at probe tender, saran wrap over foil and place in cooler and cover with towels. Warm cooler with hair dryer if needed. I've keep them warm for 4 hrs and come out tender and juicy!
 

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