Smoking brisket is the most admirable cooking method that allows you to cook a tender, juicy, and flavorful dish for your loved ones.
But one of the most important factors for achieving extraordinary smoking results is the temperature you are going to cook at.
If you have decided to smoke your brisket, you have made a perfect decision.
In this article, we will share plenty of information that will guide you on how long to smoke brisket at 250 °F and how to achieve desired results.
How long to smoke brisket at 250?
If you are smoking brisket at 250 degrees, you will need to smoke it for around 1 to 1.5 hours per pound, which is slightly less cooking time than smoking at 225 °F.
For a 12-pound brisket, you will need to smoke it for 12 to 18 hours until it reaches an internal temperature of 195 to 210 °F.
It is a rough estimate that we have shared above because you need to keep several other aspects in mind before determining the exact smoking time of a brisket.
In these factors, you usually see how’s the weather outside, what type of smoker and grill you are using, and the weight of your brisket.
One of the significant concerns of Pitmasters and chefs while smoking a brisket is the cooking temperature because it plays a vital role in deciding the tenderness, juiciness, flavors, and final outcome of your brisket.
In this case, there are two famous and ideal temperature ranges when it comes to smoking a brisket, 225 °F and 250 °F.
So, we suggest you should always have an idea about these things before placing a brisket on the smoker to achieve desired results.
Is 225 °F or 250 °F a Better Temperature for smoking brisket?
Many people want to know what’s the difference between smoking a beef brisket at 225 °F vs 250 °F.
So, the major difference between them is that when you smoke at 225 degrees, it takes longer, while at 250 degrees, you can smoke your brisket a bit faster.
Here come the personal preferences. Some people want to cook their brisket low and slow and achieve maximum tenderness from it with rich smoky flavors, much like a traditional smoking session. They will keep the temp around 225 °F.
Conversely, if you want your brisket to come out of the smoker a bit early, evenly cooked with a crispy exterior, and you can also compromise a little on flavors, 250 degrees is a better option for you.
But the question that arises here is which one should you choose?
If you are not in a hurry and can also look after things constantly, you can smoke a brisket at a lower temperature of 200 or 225 degrees.
But if you want a quick, hassle-free, and efficient smoking session, increase the temperature by 25 degrees. It can also be a good option when you suddenly plan to smoke a brisket for family or friends.
So long story short, both temperatures promise a delicious, tendered, and flavorful brisket but in different durations and with slightly different textures.
Various Methods for smoking brisket
Smoking brisket is not something new. People have been doing this for centuries to get deliciously cooked foods or preserve them for later use.
But in the modern era, there are several methods of smoking thick meats like brisket, and each method will provide slightly different results.
Let’s highlight the most prominent ways, one by one, to enhance your smoking passion and add more variety to your cooking skills.
Texas Style Smoked Brisket
There is a huge fan base of BBQ enthusiasts and Pitmaster who love to cook their brisket in Texas Crutch Style, and it is relatively different from others.
Let’s share the step-by-step instructions on how to smoke brisket in Texas style at 250 °F.
- First of all, you need to trim off the extra fat from your brisket’s surface and season it with light rubs only, such as salt and black pepper. We also prefer adding garlic powder, but you can skip it as it depends on personal preferences.
- Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees for a while, place your seasoned brisket inside it, and begin smoking. This is the first round of smoking in which the goal is to achieve a loveable dark bark.
- In the second round, once the brisket’s internal temperature reaches 160 °F to 165 °F, you will need to remove your slightly smoked brisket from the smoker and wrap it inside foil paper. Some people prefer aluminum foil, while others prefer butcher paper, but both are pretty good options.
- Once you have wrapped it tightly, place it back inside the smoker and keep cooking until it reaches the internal temperature of 200 °F to 205 °F.
- Last but not least, allow your brisket to rest for minutes or hours, mainly depending on its size and weight.
So, this was a quick overview regarding how to cook brisket in Texas style.
Low and Slow Smoking
The low and slow smoking method is widely admirable by BBQ enthusiasts because it offers excellent outcomes, especially when you cook large cuts of meat like brisket.
Below are the steps you need to follow when cooking your brisket low and slow.
- Select a fresh and quality brisket and cut all the necessary fats from it to achieve maximum smoky flavors and reduce the risk of flare-ups when smoking.
- Unlike Texas-style smoking, you can season it with multiple dry rubs. We usually recommend simple seasoning, making a mixture of black pepper and kosher salt and applying it all over the meat.
- Let your seasoned brisket rest while you set up your smoker by cleaning its grates or racks and preheating it before it goes in.
- When your smoker is preheated and clean, add a few pieces of your favorite wood flavor to the charcoal to maximize flavor game, place the brisket fat side up, and begin smoking it.
- The only technical thing you need to manage while low and slow smoking is keeping the temperature consistent at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. The complexity of heat regulation depends on what smoker or grill you use.
- The smoking process continues until the thickest part of your brisket reaches the internal temperature of 180 degrees. You can smoke it further to 200 or 205 degrees if you like to have a melt-in-your-mouth experience.
- Lastly, wrap your brisket in butcher paper and let it rest for at least an hour or two inside a cooler, which will help redistribute the juices.
Reverse Sear Brisket
This smoking method is entirely different from the previous two methods, in which you need to cook your brisket twice.
First, smoke at the normal temperature of 250 degrees Fahrenheit and then put it over high heat to give it a finishing touch through searing.
Let’s quickly explain how you can do it.
- Like Texas style and low and slow smoking, choose a high-quality brisket and start by trimming and seasoning it with your favorite recipe.
- Secondly, preheat your smoker to 250 degrees and add wood chips or chunks of your favorite flavors for smoke.
- When your smoker is ready, place your seasoned beef brisket on the smoker, close its lid, and start smoking. Ensure to monitor the brisket’s internal temperature, as you will have to remove it from the smoker when it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Next, remove your smoked brisket from the smoker when its internal temperature is 165 degrees and place it over direct heat for searing. In this case, you can use your pellet or charcoal grill, oven, or any cooking appliance that can provide high heat.
- You can also wrap the brisket inside butcher paper tightly and then sear it to keep it moist and prevent it from drying out. But if you want a crispy exterior, sear it unwrapped.
- You can stop cooking when its internal temperature is around 200 degrees. As a matter of fact, it depends on personal preferences as some people smoke to 180 °F while others go for 205 °F.
- Let it rest for 30 to 40 minutes so that it redistributes the juices evenly.
Should You Cook Brisket in a smoker or a grill?
We recommend you use a smoker for cooking thick meats like brisket because it can offer constant low and slow temperatures for hours, which is essential.
Also, it is true that using a smoker and smoking meat on it requires expertise and skills, especially when it comes to heat regulation.
So, we advise you to cook your brisket on a smoker, but if you do not have one, a grill can also do this task, but it may not be as efficient as on a smoker.
The reason is that grills usually cook meats using higher temperatures and direct heat, which isn’t suitable for smoking purposes.
If you don’t have a separate smoker and want to use your grill as a smoker. You will then have to place your brisket away from the heat source to generate indirect heat for smoking brisket, which can be tricky.
Overall, a smoker is a beast whether you use a charcoal, offset, or pellet one for smoking thick and large cuts of meat. Let’s share the most significant advantages of cooking brisket on a smoker.
- No more overcooking: Many people face the issue of overcooked brisket, which usually happens when people use grills for cooking their brisket. Conversely, you can cook brisket evenly without fearing to undercook or to overcook it on a smoker.
- Smoky flavors: We all smoke a brisket to have a mouth-watering smoke flavor from each bite, right? That’s the most prominent specialty of a smoker as meat cooks slowly in it, imparting unique wood flavors into it.
- Moist cooking environment: If a brisket comes out dry, it may not taste as delicious as it should just because it was not cooked in a moist environment. In this case, a smoker provides a moist environment to prevent your brisket from becoming dry, tough, or chewy.
Is it suitable to smoke brisket wrapped?
It depends on the situation and personal preferences. For example, when you want your brisket to be cooked relatively faster, you can wrap it inside butcher paper or aluminum foil and start smoking it.
As a result, you will be able to get the job done more quickly.
The second thing when we discuss wrapping and unwrapping is someone’s preference. So, if you don’t want the exterior of your brisket to be too crispy, you can smoke it wrapped, making it tender and juicy from each bite.
Conversely, if you don’t wrap the brisket, it will have a relatively thicker bark, and the flavors will go deeper into your meat.
So, it is always good to know the fondness of the people who are going to eat the brisket before you decide to smoke it wrapped or not.
Signs That Indicate Your Brisket is Ready
It is easy to know when your brisket is done smoking, and you can allow it to rest. One of the most useful methods is to probe a meat thermometer into the thickest part of your brisket and check the internal temperature.
If you see a scale between 180 °F to 210 °F, you can stop cooking it. Now, you must be wondering why there is so much gap in the temperature range.
Actually, people have different doneness levels, some like medium-cooked brisket, while others like well-cooked.
If the meat thermometer isn’t available, you can run a poke test on the beef brisket. Put your finger or a spoon inside the thickest part of the brisket.
If you can enter the finger smoothly and without any resistance, it means you have perfectly smoked beef brisket.
Moreover, through the poke test, you can also know if a beef brisket is undercooked or overcooked. An overcooked one will be pretty firm inside, whereas an undercooked one will be too soft.
Why and how long should you rest brisket?
Resting the brisket is as vital as any other step in the smoking process. But many people wonder why it is so crucial and how long it should rest.
When you remove your brisket from the smoker and wrap it inside an aluminum foil or butcher paper tightly, it cooks further during the resting period.
During the resting process, the juices that are moved to the middle of the meat will redistribute all over your smoked beef brisket, making a juicy and tender brisket from the center to the corners.
Suppose you don’t rest your brisket and cut it immediately. As a result, there will be juices all over your cutting board because they were in the middle part only.
As for the resting duration, on average, we allow our smoked beef brisket to rest for at least 1 to 2 hours. But the exact time varies on the weight of your brisket. You can make a Faux cambro or use a cooler to rest brisket.
Duration Chart When Smoking Brisket at 250 °F
Read on to find out how much smoking time is required for briskets of different weights when smoking at 250 °F
|Brisket Weight||Smoking Duration|
|4 to 6 pounds||3 to 9 hours|
|7 to 10 pounds||7 to 15 hours|
|11 to 13 pounds||11 to 20 hours|
|14 to 15 pounds||14 to 23 hours|
Wrapping It Up
Smoking beef brisket at 250 °F is a nearly optimal temperature, offering great smoking results. Your meat comes out tender, juicy, and flavorful.
But the smoking time at this temperature depends on several factors, such as the smoker or grill you use, the brisket’s size and weight, etc.
Luckily, we have highlighted all these factors comprehensively in this article. So, go through the tips and different smoking methods we shared, and you will fall in love with smoked brisket.
Have A Good Smoking Time!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you cook brisket faster without raising the temperature?
Yes, you can fasten the cooking process of brisket without increasing the temperature. The most valuable trick for this task is to smoke your brisket wrapped, as it will trap the heat inside, resulting in a slightly faster cooking process for the brisket.
How long to smoke a 10 lb brisket at 250?
If you have a 10 lb brisket and wish to smoke it at 250 degrees Fahrenheit, it can take between 10 to 15 hours to be properly cooked with delicious flavors if the smoker’s temperature remains constant.
Can you overcook a brisket at 250?
Yes, if you smoke your brisket at 250 degrees Fahrenheit more than the required time, you can overcook it easily, and it may affect the brisket’s taste by making it dry or tough.
Caspian James, the Founder and Chief Editor at FaveGrills, is passionate about sharing his knowledge and expertise on the latest Smokers and Grilling Products along with mouth-watering barbecue recipes. He constantly researches new gear with a sharp eye for detail, providing the FaveGrills community with in-depth reviews.