Smoking a brisket to perfection requires patience, skills, and especially the right smoking temperature. That’s why many people nowadays debate about whether to smoke brisket at 180 or 225.
Although I believe that 225 °F is an ideal smoking temperature range but 180 °F isn’t all bad and is suitable for those who like intense smoky flavors in their brisket.
There are some other notable differences between these two smoking temperatures that I will highlight in this article.
Let me move forward and help you smoke a perfect brisket.
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Smoking brisket at 180 °F can add intense smoky flavors to your meat, making it more tender and juicy, but it requires a longer cooking duration.
However, smoking at 225 °F is ideal if you prefer a high-quality brisket with a crispy bark and crust on the outside. Also, it can save you 3 to 5 hours compared to smoking at 180 °F.
Smoke Brisket at 180 or 225 °F
When you cook brisket at a too lower temperature, like 180 or 200 degrees, the meat gets plenty of time to break the connective tissues nicely and slowly. It can make the meat intensely flavorful and tender, which some people like and some don’t.
Although 225 degrees also provide all these results, it keeps the taste and flavors as authentic as possible without you waiting too long for your meat to cook properly.
Moreover, at this temperature, you can also achieve a nice caramelized crust on the outer layer of your brisket.
So according to my observation, 225 °F is undoubtedly an optimal temperature to smoke brisket unless you are fond of intense smoky flavors and tenderness in the meat.
Smoking duration is one of the most significant differences between these heat settings. So, let’s move on and see how long you will need to smoke a brisket at 180 °F or 225 °F.
Recommended Read: Figure out another perspective on whether you should smoke your brisket at 225 or 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
How Long to Smoke Brisket At 180 °F?
If you smoke your brisket at 180 °F, it can take roughly about 2 to 2.5 hours per pound. For instance, smoking a 10 lb brisket at such a low temperature will require 20 to 25 hours to get smoked to perfection.
A few other essential factors can also expand the smoking session, like brisket’s weight, smoker’s type, the weather outside, etc.
Now here comes a tricky thing. You may prolong the smoking duration of your brisket if you keep the temperature at 180 °F throughout the session.
Therefore, I suggest increasing the smoking temperature to 225 °F after a couple of hours. But if you have time, you can keep the 180 °F consistent until the brisket reaches the internal temperature of 195 to 205 °F.
Moreover, you need to save your meat from the danger zone, which is below 140 °F and above 40 °F.
How to smoke brisket at 180 °F?
Let’s discuss how you can smoke your brisket at 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Buying the brisket: When purchasing a brisket, I suggest you choose one with a good marbling over it and must have an even surface. The reason is that a lot of fat will prolong the smoking session unnecessarily because the temperature is too low.
- Seasoning the brisket: I advise you to mix kosher salt and brown sugar with onion and garlic powder to season a brisket. These ingredients seem to be a simple rub, but they make the outcome tasty and flavorful.
- Once you have seasoned your brisket, let it rest for 1 to 2 hours or overnight if you want a more authentic taste and flavor.
- Preheating the smoker: Before you preheat your smoker, ensure to clean its rack nicely so there is no debris from the previous cooking session. Next, set the temperature to 180 degrees and let the smoker preheat for 50 to 60 minutes.
- Begin Smoking: It is an essential step in which the smoking starts at 180 °F, but you should increase the heat to 225 degrees after a couple of hours to save time. But if time is not the concern, you can keep on smoking at the same 180 °F.
- Wrap up the brisket: During the smoking procedure, when your brisket reaches 165 °F, remove it from the smoker and wrap it tightly inside butcher paper or aluminum foil.
- Smoking for the final time: Now, place the wrapped brisket back in the smoker and continue smoking at 225 °F. Ensure to maintain the cooking temperature and wait until the brisket’s internal temperature is above 180 °F and below 210 °F.
- This is the perfect time to pull your smoked brisket from the smoker, and I believe 203 °F is a magical inner temp for smoked brisket.
- Resting the brisket: When you are done smoking your beef brisket, you should rest your brisket for at least an hour, which will help all the juices to redistribute around the meat for an evenly tender and juicy brisket.
How Long to Smoke Brisket At 225?
Now, let me discuss how long a brisket takes to smoke at 225 °F. At this temperature, per pound demands 1.5 to 2 hours of smoking for desired results. This time a 10 lb brisket will take around 20 hours to smoke if you keep the temperature constant.
I consider 225 degrees as a lower heat, too, when it comes to smoking it faster, but it promises one thing, a perfect outcome with a crust on the outside.
Most importantly, you won’t need to increase or decrease the smoking temperature with time as you need to when smoking at 180 degrees.
How to smoke brisket at 225 °F?
If you are wondering how to smoke a brisket at 225 °F, it is the same as smoking at 180 °F. You just need to follow the abovementioned steps and keep the temperature constant.
For further reference, you can read our guide on how long to smoke brisket at 225.
Whatever temperature settings you choose for smoking your brisket, but one thing is for sure you need a high-quality device for optimal results. For that, there are so many great smoker grill combos available in the market to fulfill your BBQ craving.
When To Smoke Brisket at 180?
When you choose to smoke a brisket at 180 degrees, ensure you have plenty of time, good heat regulation skills, and can monitor things closely. This is how you can elect to smoke at this temperature.
Furthermore, if you want it to come out of the smoker with intense smoky flavors and maximum tenderness, I believe the 180 °F fits your cooking requirements.
Last but not least, people who smoke at this temperature usually don’t get a crispy and crusty smoked brisket.
When To Smoke Brisket At 225?
If you want a traditional smoking experience with a genuine brisket taste, I endorse you to set your smoker to 225 degrees and begin smoking your brisket.
This heat slowly and steadily melts down the tough collagen and connective tissues in your beef brisket and makes the outcome reasonably tender and juicy with unique smoke flavors.
Moreover, the temp of 225 °F also demands patience, close monitoring, and skills. So, see your smoking preferences and schedule, and you are ready to satisfy your guests with a perfectly smoked brisket.
Valuable Tips For Smoking A Perfect Brisket
Regardless of the brisket smoking temperature, you can confidently follow the tips shared below to achieve extraordinary results from smoking.
Use Quality Woods
If you are going to smoke your brisket inside a charcoal or offset smoker, I suggest using the best woods for smoking that can provide constant heat and add unique smoky flavors to the meat.
When you smoke a beef brisket using charcoal or an offset smoker, I suggest you to burn Oak, Hickory, Mesquite, Maple, or Pecan wood. They can offer your meat medium to strong smoky flavors and burn longer.
Monitoring The Brisket’s Temperature
If you don’t stay in touch with the internal temperature of your brisket while smoking, it can cause the issue of undercooked or overcooked brisket.
You have two options for temperature monitoring, a wireless or wired food thermometer. Both can do the job right, but I recommend using a wired one to keep the smoker’s temperature consistent.
The reason is that you won’t need to open the lid or window of your smoker frequently to check the brisket’s temperature, and the heat and smoke will stay inside the smoking chamber for longer.
It is a widespread technique that many chefs and Pitmasters apply while smoking their beef briskets. It refers to wrapping the brisket inside butcher paper or aluminum foil when it reaches 165 degrees.
When you smoke the brisket again after wrapping, it accelerates the smoking process and traps the heat and smoker inside. As a result, it gets to cook evenly, making it moist and juicy from each bite.
Use Water Pan When Smoking Brisket
Many bbq lovers use a water pan during smoking as it is advantageous in several ways. Firstly, it is suitable when you are cooking thick meat like brisket or turkey because they require longer smoking and it keeps the temperature consistent.
Moreover, it provides a moist environment that repels your meat from drying out. Lastly, the water pan catches dripping, which you can use later when slicing your meat.
Rest Brisket Before Slicing
One of the essential parts of smoking is resting, which you can’t afford to overlook. It does multiple tasks pretty well, such as fixing the undercooked brisket, redistributing the juice inside the brisket, and enhancing the flavor profile.
If somebody ignores this step, they can waste juices and leave the meat dry from several parts. Therefore, the juices redistribute throughout when the smoked brisket rests inside the cooler for the required time.
Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Smoking Temp For Brisket
Choosing the right smoking temperature is imperative so you can get what you are spending hours on. Here are a few factors you must keep in mind while selecting a temp to smoke your brisket.
You should see your schedule first and decide if the smoking temperature suits your requirements. As I’m discussing smoking brisket at 180 or 225, it is important to remember that 180 °F will require more smoking duration than 225 °F.
Per my understanding, you can save up to 4 hours smoking the same brisket at these two different temp ranges. So, it is important to see if you can wait that much or not and monitor things closely.
Smoker You Use
The type of smoker you use for smoking can significantly impact the whole smoking session. For example, various kinds of smokers are available, and they all smoke relatively different brisket in different durations.
Furthermore, these smokers will have different heat regulation systems, deciding if you can regulate the temperature easier on them or require some skills.
For instance, pellet, gas, and electric smokers usually offer control knobs or a PID controller through which you can easily adjust the temperature while smoking.
Conversely, a charcoal or offset smoker has vents and dampers, making heat regulation difficult for a newbie.
So, by using a smoker that matches your skills, you can keep the temp constant, and the smoking will end within the set time.
Your Preferred Taste
It is the most prominent factor you must consider when choosing a smoking temperature, whether for a brisket, turkey, or any other thick meat.
If you are fond of an authentic and traditional smoking taste with the required amount of tenderness and smoky flavors, you can go with 225 °F.
Suppose you wish your brisket to be loaded with smoke flavors, more tender, and ready to fall apart, 180 degrees can bring you an outcome like this.
So, it is essential to determine what you prefer the most in a brisket before choosing the smoking temperature.
Smoking Duration For Different Brisket’s Weights
Let me quickly share an estimated smoking duration for briskets of different weights.
|Smoking Time At 180
|Smoking Time At 225
|12 to 15 Hours
|9 to 12 Hours
|15 to 20 Hours
|12 to 16 Hours
|20 to 25 Hours
|15 to 20 Hours
|24 to 30 Hours
|18 to 24 Hours
Smoking brisket at 180 or 225 significantly impacts your brisket’s taste, flavor, and tenderness. Therefore, you must choose one that completes your smoking priorities and bring you what you like the most.
This article thoroughly covered all the key points with pro tips to achieve better smoking results.
Enjoy a perfectly smoked brisket!
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can you smoke a brisket at 180?
You can smoke it at 180 °F for 2 to 3 hours, and then you will need to increase the smoking temperature to 225 °F. If you don’t, the smoking duration can prolong to a couple of extra hours.
What is the danger zone for brisket?
The danger zone refers to an internal temperature between 40 °F to 140 °F. At this point, bacterial growth can increase rapidly. It usually happens when you smoke brisket at a too lower temperature, such as 180 °F.
Can you smoke brisket overnight at 180?
Yes, it is possible to smoke it overnight at 180, but ideally, you should increase the temperature to 225 °F as soon as your brisket reaches an internal temperature of 150 °F.
Is it ok to smoke brisket at 180?
Smoking at 180 degrees Fahrenheit seems suitable for all those who like intense smoky flavors and tenderness in their beef brisket. Also, remember that you may need to spend 4 to 5 extra hours smoking your brisket at this temp as compared to 225.
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.