How Long To Smoke Brisket Per Pound? Best Tips For You

Barbecue season is in full swing, and that means there’s nothing like a delicious plate of smoked brisket to take your summer cookouts to the next level. But how long to smoke brisket per pound? It can be tricky to know exactly when your brisket is done, which means it often requires some trial and error before you get it just right. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about deciding on how long to prepare your smoked brisket per pound so that it turns out perfectly juicy and flavorful every time.


Best Wood Pellets For Smoking Brisket

Best Wood Pellets For Smoking Brisket

When it comes to smoking brisket, choosing the right wood pellets is crucial. The type of wood you use can greatly affect the flavor and overall outcome of your smoked brisket. Here are some popular options for wood pellets that go well with brisket:

  • Hickory: This is a classic choice for smoking meats, including brisket. It gives off a strong, smoky flavor that pairs well with beef.
  • Mesquite: Another popular option for smoking brisket, mesquite gives off a bold and slightly sweet flavor. It can be overpowering if used in large amounts, so it’s best to use it sparingly or mix it with other woods.
  • Pecan: This wood has a mild and sweet flavor that works well with beef. It also burns slowly, making it a great option for long smoking sessions.
  • Oak: Oak wood gives off a mellow and smoky flavor that pairs well with brisket. It’s a versatile wood that can be used on its own or mixed with other woods.

When choosing the best wood pellets for smoking brisket, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Experiment with different types of wood to find the one that suits your taste best.

How To Smoke Brisket Per Pound?

To smoke brisket per pound, a general guideline is approximately 1.5 hours at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for larger pieces of meat like brisket and pork shoulder. However, keep in mind that various factors can influence the cooking time, including meat thickness, wind conditions, ambient temperature, and the frequency of opening the smoker door. Below are specific instructions for you:


  • 1 whole brisket (10-12 pounds)
  • Dry rub of your choice
  • Wood pellets of your choice


  1. Prepare the brisket by trimming any excess fat or silver skin.
  2. Apply a generous amount of dry rub on all sides of the brisket, making sure to evenly coat it.
  3. Wrap the brisket in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight.
  4. Preheat your smoker to 225°F. Once it reaches the desired temperature, add your wood pellets.
  5. Place the brisket directly on the smoker rack, fat side up.
  6. Let the brisket smoke for about 1.5 hour per pound. For example, if your brisket weighs 10 pounds, it would take approximately 15 hours to smoke.
  7. After the recommended smoking time, check the internal temperature of the brisket using a meat thermometer. The ideal temperature for sliced brisket is between 195-200°F.
  8. Once the brisket reaches its desired temperature, remove it from the smoker and wrap it in foil. Let it rest for at least 1 hour to allow the juices to redistribute.
  9. Slice against the grain and serve with your favorite barbecue sauce or on its own.

How Long To Smoke Brisket Per Pound?

The recommended guideline for smoking brisket is to allocate approximately 30 to 60 minutes per pound. For instance, a 16-pound brisket cooked at 275 degrees Fahrenheit will require a cooking time of approximately 10 to 12 hours. From the initial steps of trimming, injection, seasoning, to the final cooking process, the overall duration will be approximately 18 to 20 hours.

How To Tell When Smoked Brisket Is Done?

Determining the doneness of smoked brisket can be determined by reaching an internal temperature of 195°F. The time required may vary depending on the smoking method, typically ranging from 1 to 1 ½ hours per pound.

Why Does It Take So Long To Smoke A Brisket?

Why Does It Take So Long To Smoke A Brisket?

The extended smoking duration at a low temperature is necessary for breaking down the connective tissue in the brisket. The collagen and tissue continue to break down, reaching completion around the 200°F internal mark.

How Can I Shorten My Brisket Smoking Time?

To reduce the smoking time of your brisket, consider increasing the heat of your smoker. Smoking the brisket at a temperature of 250°F can expedite the process, reducing cooking time to approximately an hour and a half. This method allows for a shorter smoking time without compromising the desired smoke flavor.

How Long Should You Let Brisket Rest Before Slicing?

It is recommended to let the brisket rest for a minimum of 1 hour, but it can be rested for up to 3 hours before slicing. Resting allows for the redistribution of juices throughout the meat, resulting in a better final product.

Tips For Smoking Brisket

Tips For Smoking Brisket
  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure the brisket reaches the recommended internal temperature for doneness.
  • Avoid opening the smoker door too frequently as it can affect the cooking time and temperature.
  • Let the brisket rest for at least an hour before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute.
  • Experiment with different types of wood pellets to find your preferred flavor profile for smoked brisket.
  • Don’t be afraid to try different seasonings and rubs on your brisket for added flavor.

How To Add Extra Flavor Brisket?

To add extra flavor to your brisket, follow these steps:

  1. The day before cooking, generously apply a flavorful brisket rub to all sides of the meat.
  2. Once the rub is applied, refrigerate the brisket overnight.
  3. The rub not only enhances the flavor but also tenderizes the meat.
  4. For maximum flavor absorption, let the meat soak overnight in a marinade similar to the rub.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to achieve an extra flavorful brisket.

How To Reheat Brisket?

To efficiently reheat brisket in a professional manner, follow these steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F.
  2. Place the brisket in a pan or dish.
  3. Pour beef broth over the brisket. (For our recommended beef broth, click here.)
  4. Tightly cover the brisket with aluminum foil, creating a double layer.
  5. Place the brisket in the oven and reheat for approximately 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  6. Allow the meat to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

FAQ: Smoke Brisket

How long to smoke a 5 lb brisket flat at 250?

For a 5 lb brisket flat, you’ll need to smoke it at 250° for approximately 150-200 minutes.

Do you smoke brisket fat side up or down?

When smoking brisket, it is recommended to place the fat side down. This allows the meat to have a crispier exterior, leading to enhanced flavor and appearance.

Should I wrap brisket in foil when smoking?

Yes, wrapping the brisket in foil when smoking is highly recommended. It helps to retain moisture, resulting in a deliciously juicy and tender smoked brisket.

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