How Long to Smoke Brisket per Pound for a Tender Juicy Roast

Brisket sliced in a glass dish
At 225°F, it takes approximately 90 minutes per pound to smoke a brisket. At 250°F, it takes an hour per pound to smoke a brisket.

Cooking Time per Pound of Brisket

The amount of time needed for smoking brisket depends on the temperature of your smoker as well as the size and weight of the meat. You should expect to get juicy and tender results if you smoke a brisket at 225 degrees for 1.5 to two hours per pound. 

In calculating how long to smoke a brisket, many people opt for the hours-per-pound method. It is important to keep in mind that the amount of cooking time per pound depends on a number of factors, but primarily on the temperature of cooking. The process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours per pound at different cooking temperatures.

The following chart will give you a rough idea of how long it will take to smoke a brisket. If it’s your first time, be sure to allow for extra time as the meat can stall during cooking, and be sure to give it at least an hour to rest before it’s sliced.

Temperature of Grill (Fahrenheit)Time to Cook 1 Pound of Brisket
225°F1.5 to 2 hours
250°F1.5 hours
275°F30 minutes to 1 hour
300°F30 minutes to 45 minutes

Of course, there are other factors you should consider in addition to the cooking temperature, starting with the size of the brisket. The larger the brisket, the longer it will take to cook per pound, since the heat takes longer to penetrate into the center of the beef.

Size of Brisket (in pounds)Time to Smoke at 225°F
1.5 lbs1.5 – 2 hours
2.5 lbs3.5 to 4 hours
4 lbs 5 to 6 hours
5 lbs5 to 7 hours
8 lbs10 to 16 hours
10 lbs12 to 20 hours

Why You Should Use a Pellet Grill or Electric Smoker

Anyone who enjoys grilling or barbecuing should know how to smoke a brisket on a pellet grill to get a delicious smoke flavor.

By using pellet grills, you can add additional flavors to your brisket such as maple or apple. The cooking method and type of smoker also affect the cooking time per pound.

It may be necessary to use a trial-and-error method until you become familiar with your particular smoker type. There is seldom enough gas produced by electric smokers to produce a smoke ring without the assistance of other gases. Pellet grills consistently produce these gases as a result of burning wood as both a source of heat and a source of flavor and are therefore the superior choice.

Since electric and gas smokers have consistent temperatures, it is easier to predict the amount of time it will take to cook a pound of meat than it is for pit or barrel smokers. When the lid is closed, the heat is contained and the cooking time is reduced.

Additionally, the thickness of the meat, the amount of fat, the outside temperature, wind, humidity, the grade of the meat, and the composition of the meat tissue influence the cooking time per pound.

The Best Wood Chips for Smoking Brisket

For a bold smoky flavor, choose mesquite, hickory, or oak wood. All of these woods contribute to adding a strong smoke flavor to beef.

You can also use cherry wood to give your steak a milder wood-fired flavor and vibrant color. You will not only enjoy the taste of the brisket but the appearance as well!

How to Season Your Brisket and Remove Excess Fat

Prior to seasoning, you will want to trim off any excess fat from your brisket. Once you’ve removed the fat cap, you can season the meat to suit your taste.

Brisket rubs usually include salt, pepper, and garlic powder but you can add any seasoning or marinade you like.

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Sliced meat with dark crust

Smoked Texas BBQ Brisket Recipe

  • Total Time: 12 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x


Smoking brisket isn't as easy as popping it in the smoker but the extra time it takes to prepare pays off.

To add an extra dose of flavor, you can inject brisket with a marinade made up of brown sugar, beef broth, and whiskey (or your preferred combination) for a more flavorful bite.


Units Scale


  1. Remove excess fat from the brisket while it’s cold. Pay special attention to the side, underside, and the area between the point and flat part. Trim excess fat but leave around 1/4 inch fat cover.
  2. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Set your smoker to 225°F and add preferred wood pellets.
  4. Cook your brisket for 6 to 8 hours. Check the temperature. Be sure that you are checking the thickest part of the brisket and continue monitoring until it reaches 165 -170°F internal temperature.
  5. Remove brisket from the smoker and wrap brisket with aluminum foil or pink/peach barbecue paper. Continue cooking in your smoker or place in an oven at 225°F until brisket reaches an internal temperature of 195°F.
  6. Remove the brisket from smoker or oven, open the foil a tiny bit just to allow the steam to vent. Allow it to rest for 2 hours in a cooler or on the counter.
  7. To serve, separate the flat muscle from the point with a horizontal cut between the two. Slice the meat thinly against the grain. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 hours
  • Cuisine: American

Tips for the Best Brisket Ever

Set up your smoker ahead of time. You’ll want the grill temperature to be between 225°F – 250°F before you add your meat. Ensure that you add some wood to your coals to start producing smoke while pre-heating the grill.

Trim your brisket’s fat to 1/4 inch thick. It’ll take less time to render if there’s less fat.

Make sure you season your meat but don’t rub it in. Despite what the phrase “dry rub” suggests, you should pat your dry rub or marinade into the meat, not rub it on.

At least 12 hours before grilling, inject the brisket. It’s best to inject your meat with a marinade at least 12 hours in advance so that it’s at room temperature.

How Long Should You Smoke a 10-pound Brisket?

Using the guideline of 90 minutes per pound, a 10-pound piece of meat should be ready in about 15 hours. However, as we have previously explained, there is no hard and fast rule, especially when dealing with larger cuts.

Allow yourself a generous amount of time for briskets weighing 10 pounds or more. Depending on the weight, the internal temperature reaches 200°F around the 10-hour mark, or it could stall multiple times and take up to twice as long.

The temperature and texture of the brisket are more important than the time on the clock. Check using a meat thermometer and be sure to insert past the surface of the meat to get an accurate read on the temperature of the brisket.


Florida native, home to the Sunday all-day poolside grilling party. When I’m not working, I’m either on the water, minding the grill, or trying to devote some time to help keep our oceans clean.

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