People love to smoke when they have thick and large cuts of meat like beef brisket because it breaks down the connective tissues nicely and results in a juicy, moist, and tender outcome.
However, when it comes to smoking brisket, you can cook it at different temperature levels, but you may want to know how long to smoke brisket at 225 °F and what the outcome would be.
Smoking brisket at this temperature range can take hours, depending on the size, but it comes out with a delicious taste and rich smoky flavors.
You can expect the brisket to take 1.5 to 2 hours per pound at 225°F to get perfectly smoked. For instance, a 12-pound brisket will require 18 to 24 hours of smoking time to reach an ideal internal temperature of 195 °F.
Also, make sure to keep the fat side up so the juices can seep into the meat evenly. You can also wrap it in butcher paper or aluminum foil once the internal temperature reaches 160 to 165 °F and smoke it again until it’s properly cooked.
In this article, you will come to know all the information about how to achieve the perfect results with a unique flavor and delicious taste.
Smoking Times for Briskets Based On Different Sizes & Cuts
Let’s answer some of the important and frequently asked questions for your convenience.
How long to smoke a brisket flat at 225 °F?
Let me first clarify some of your doubts about the types of briskets. It is composed of two different muscles. One is the flat (also known as the first cut) which refers to the leaner, thinner portion.
And the other one is the point (also known as the second cut or deckle) which is a fattier and more heavily marbled section of the brisket. You can read more about them here.
Now coming back to the main discussion. Many people wish to smoke their brisket flat, but they get confused about how long it will take to be properly cooked.
Whether it is brisket flat or point muscle, it does not make much impact, and the smoking duration per pound at 225 °F remains the same.
For example, if you plan to smoke a 10-pound brisket flat, It will take around 15 – 20 hours of smoking for an ideal outcome.
How Long to smoke a 4 lb brisket at 225 °F?
Some BBQ enthusiasts prefer to smoke small-sized brisket because fatty and large cuts of meat require more attention, skills, and patience.
So, if you are looking to smoke a 4 lb brisket at 225 degrees Fahrenheit, it should be cooked appropriately within 6 to 8 hours if the temperature remains consistent throughout the barbecue session.
How Long to smoke a 5 lb brisket at 225 °F?
Now, there’s also a huge fan base of BBQ lovers who often buy a 5 lb brisket to smoke. If you also smoke one at 225, which weighs around 5 pounds, you can expect it to take 7.5 to 10 hours.
Here’s my advice for all of you. When cooking a smaller cut, I suggest you look after things carefully and keep checking their internal temperature. The reason is that it can cook relatively faster, and you may overcook it if you don’t pay attention.
What Should Be The Ideal Goal When Smoking A Brisket?
While smoking thick cuts of meat, our main aim should be to get a tender, flavorful, and moist piece of meat with a little crispy texture outside.
Therefore the ultimate goal when smoking brisket is to reach an internal temperature of 195 °F to 205 °F in its thickest part, which is considered perfect for delicious smoked meat.
But not everyone has the same level of doneness. Some people stop cooking when it reaches 180 °F, while others will keep going until the brisket reaches 210 °F. So sometimes it also depends on preferences as well.
The exact time still depends on significant factors, such as the brisket’s weight, the type of smoker you use, and the temperature consistency, etc.
What factors set the smoking time of brisket?
There are several essential factors that play a vital role in determining the exact smoking duration. Let’s share the primary ones.
- Brisket’s size and weight: One of the most important things that impact smoking time is its weight and size. It is pretty simple to understand that a lightweight one will take less cooking time, while a heavier one will require more time.
- Cooking temperature: It is another essential factor to remember when setting the smoking time. The high temperature will smoke faster and may overcook brisket, and a low temperature like 250 °F can take longer to smoke.
- Other factors: Apart from these two factors, the weather outside, the type of smoker you use, whether you smoke using aluminum foil or butcher paper, and your desired doneness level can also prolong or shorten the cooking time of your brisket.
How to smoke a brisket at 225 °F – A Quick Overview
So now you have a rough idea of how much time a brisket can take to smoke. Let’s share a quick overview of smoking it when the goal is to keep the temperature at 225 °F.
- Cut the fat from the brisket: First, you need to remove any extra fat from the skin and select your recipe with your favorite BBQ sauce and spices.
- Preheating the smoker: Next, start your smoker and set the desired temperature, which is 225 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use charcoal and wood pellets of your favorite flavor while preheating. Generally, it takes around 30 minutes for the smoker to preheat nicely.
- Begin smoking: As soon as you realize the smoker is ready, place the seasoned brisket fat side up inside and start smoking.
- Wrapping the brisket: You can also smoke it in Texas style, for which you can wrap it inside butcher paper or aluminum foil once its internal temperature reaches between 160 to 165 °F and start smoking it again.
- Finishing touch: Now keep smoking until the internal temperature reaches 195 to 205 °F. Your super delicious meat will be ready by then. After that, you can remove it from the smoker and let it rest.
- Resting the brisket: The size will decide how long you should rest it. There are different methods of resting. You can either use a steam cabinet, Faux Cambro, or a cooler to let your it rest.
Benefits of Smoking Brisket at 225 °F
Smoking brisket and other thick meats at 225 °F is a tested and ideal temperature. It promises tender and juicy meat with a unique smoky and juicy flavor if appropriately smoked.
There are several other advantages of preparing your beef cut at this temp. Let’s share some of them.
Setting the temperature to 225 °F will cook slowly, perfect for breaking down the tough connective tissues inside the brisket. As a result, it comes out of the smoker with maximum juiciness and tenderness, the wish of every BBQ lover.
Furthermore, the low and slow cooking process lets the wood flavors inject into the meat easily, making it flavorful from each bite. Also, it helps in keeping the brisket moist and prevents it from drying out.
Last but not least, many BBQ enthusiasts complain about the issue of overcooked or undercooked brisket. This mainly appears when they don’t smoke at the right temp. If you smoke at 225 °F for the required time, you won’t face these issues.
How to keep smoker at 225 °F – the right way
As I just finished telling you the benefits of cooking at 225 °F, but how do you keep the temperature consistent?
It becomes challenging to maintain the heat due to the presence of several smokers and grills, and everyone owns a different appliance. So, let’s share some tips that will help you overcome this error.
Stop opening the lid
Brisket isn’t a small cut of meat like chicken that will smoke or grill quickly. It takes hours or even a day to get smoked perfectly. Therefore, opening the smoker’s lid frequently does not make any sense.
Moreover, when you open the lid once, it will escape the heat and smoke you have trapped for hours, and you may need to spend extra time smoking. To cut it short, opening the lid isn’t recommended.
Using a meat thermometer
Do you repeatedly open the lid to check the food’s status?
Why don’t you always use a meat thermometer, probe it inside the brisket, keep the lid closed, and know the internal temperature of your meat while smoking? It will not only cook meat to perfection but also provide a suitable environment.
So, I recommend you invest in a good digital thermometer and must use it when smoking thick meats like ribs, turkey, or steak.
Adjusting the vents
If you use a charcoal or offset smoker, my recommendation is that you should learn the mechanism of vents in these smokers and know how to use them to keep the temperature consistent.
The smoker vents control how much air gets in. Open vents let more air in and make the smoker hotter, while closed vents let less air in and keep it cooler.
Also, you should know how much charcoal to use because it can also affect the temperature inside the smoker.
If you use too much charcoal, the heat inside the smoker will be too much, and it can ruin the taste. So, bringing the right amount of coals is necessary.
Tips for Smoking Brisket at 225 °F
Experts keep sharing tips regarding how to smoke a brisket like a pro. These tips and techniques are helpful in achieving better smoking results per your requirements.
Let’s highlight some of the most valuable hacks. Most importantly, you can apply them whether smoking at 225 °F or any other temperature.
Choose a high-quality brisket
If you want to hold a special smoking session and achieve the desired outcome, you must find a fresh and untrimmed brisket.
You will be able to smoke it nicely with all the juices, tenderness, and flavors inside it. Also, quality meat finishes cooking within the given time.
Wood for Smoking
If you are going to smoke a brisket on a pellet, charcoal, or offset smoker, you must choose a suitable wood for smoking that could impart unique smoky flavors to your meat.
As I am discussing briskets here, you can go with Hickory, Mesquite, Oak, Cherry, and Maple. I consider them the best options.
Smoker’s lid and a food thermometer
When you keep the lid closed, it not only helps to provide a consistent temperature, but it can also make brisket delicious and add flavor to it.
A meat thermometer will allow you to cook brisket to perfection without the fear of undercooking or overcooking.
Try different smoking methods
There are several smoking methods available that you should explore and try when making brisket. These methods use different temperatures and cook in different durations but provide excellent results.
Some of the most admirable methods are Texas-style brisket, wrapped smoking, and low and slow smoking. So, learn more about these techniques, and you will be able to smoke meats like a pro every time.
Smoke brisket with a water pan
If you are a newbie or struggle to maintain the heat inside your smoker, I recommend you fill an aluminum pan with water and place it near the meat.
It is helpful in several ways, such as it regulates the heat accordingly, helping to keep the smoker’s temperature the same, and producing steam that keeps your brisket moist and prevents it from drying out.
As a result, when you cut it, you get a juicy outcome with a unique smoke flavor that you will love.
Resting the Brisket
When the smoking process is done, it is essential to let your brisket rest. The resting period will depend on the size, but generally, you should give it 1 to 2 hours of resting duration.
You can explore several ways, but I believe resting a brisket in a cooler is one of the most suitable ways to redistribute the juices evenly around the meat.
Time Chart for Smoking Brisket at 225 Degrees Fahrenheit
Let’s share quick insights on how long you will need to smoke your brisket at the optimal temperature of 225 °F. Note that these stats are shared on an average basis and may vary on some other factors.
|3 to 4 pounds
|4.5 to 8 hours
|5 to 6 pounds
|7.5 to 12 hours
|7 to 8 pounds
|10.5 to 16 hours
|9 to 10 pounds
|13.5 to 20 hours
|11 to 12 pounds
|16.5 to 24 hours
Is it better to smoke a brisket at 225 or 250?
The final decision of whether to smoke brisket at 225 or 250 °F completely depends on personal preferences and your schedule, of course.
If you want a better and traditional smoking experience, it is better to smoke it at 225 °F as it is the ideal temperature.
As a result, its tough connective tissue breaks down slowly, leaving a flavorful, tender, juicy, and delicious outcome for your guests.
Cooking beef brisket at 250 isn’t a bad option at all and does the job well, but it is not as good as 225. The reason is that a higher smoker temperature can cook brisket a bit faster, and you may lose its moisture and get a slightly dry outcome.
Overall, it can depend on personal preferences whether you smoke a brisket at 225 °F or 250 °F.
How to Know that Brisket Smoking Is Done?
Many people get confused in knowing if the brisket is done smoking or requires more time. If you are also one of them, don’t worry.
I will help you understand when to remove your brisket from the smoker and wrap it up inside the butcher paper or aluminum foil for resting.
There are several ways to check the status of your meat, but checking its internal temperature is the most effective one. For example, when brisket touches a scale between 195 °F to 203 °F, you can say it has done smoking perfectly.
Another suitable method is to run the poke test, in which you insert a thermometer inside the thickest part of your brisket. If you feel you could insert it smoothly, it means it is smoked properly.
The bark can also tell you if its cooking process is done. So, if you feel the outer surface of the beef cut is dark brown and crunchy, it is another vital sign of properly smoked meat.
The Brisket Stall and How to Tackle It?
One of the most common issues that BBQ lovers face while smoking is brisket stall. You can face this issue when the internal temperature reaches 150 °F or 160 °F, and it can get stuck there for as long as 7 hours.
Don’t worry. You have not done anything wrong. As a matter of fact, it’s natural, and many people face this issue when cooking.
This happens when the moisture inside evaporates. As a result, its internal temperature begins to cool down, stuck at one point, and the smoking session can prolong unexpectedly.
But it does not mean you can’t overcome the brisket stall. It will begin to smoke again as soon as the evaporating process ends. Lastly, it will be as delicious and flavorful as you expected it to be.
Smoking brisket at 225 °F is a great idea that can yield mouth-watering tastes and flavors in it. But achieving these desired results requires skills, patience, and attention.
For that, you must be familiar with your smoker or grill and know how to maintain heat on it for a long time. Also, you should be patient while smoking a brisket, as it can take 10 hours or so, depending on different factors.
But luckily, this article highlights all the aspects you need to know. So, trim your brisket, season it, and smoke it like a pro every time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you wrap brisket while smoking it at 225 degrees?
Yes, you can wrap your brisket while smoking it, but it depends on personal preferences. It helps cook the meat evenly, a bit faster, and retain the moisture inside, which many people like.
Can you reheat cooked brisket?
Yes, you can reheat a perfectly cooked brisket but not on the smoker this time. It is better to turn on your oven and preheat it for a few minutes from 225 °F to 250 °F because a higher temperature may not give desired results. You can stop reheating after the brisket’s internal temperature reaches 165 °F.
How long to smoke a brisket at 225 per pound?
If you are smoking your brisket at 225 °F, you need to constantly smoke it for around 1.5 to 2 hours to get outstanding results. Exceeding or decreasing the time may result in an undercooked or overcooked issue.
How long to smoke a 15 lb brisket at 225?
The smoking session of a 15 lb brisket at 225 degrees can take 20 to 30 hours. But this time depends on several other factors, like the type of smoker you use, the weather outside, and how consistently you provide heat. On these bases, the smoking time may be lessened as well.
Robert Gill, a BBQ enthusiast, and Senior Author at FaveGrills.com bring his extensive knowledge of BBQ equipment and exciting recipes to the team. With his outgoing personality and love for BBQ, Robert plays an essential role in the FaveGrills community, sharing his passion and expertise through informative articles and gear reviews.