When cooking beef brisket, pulling it off the smoker at the right time is essential if you don’t want your meal to be undercooked or overcooked and looking for tender, flavorful, and mouth-watering results.
However, the perfect time for removing brisket from a smoker mainly depends on what kind of meat you prefer the most, like whether you want a crispy texture, juicy and soft outcome, or a little less tender meat.
In this article, I will help you to know when to pull brisket off a smoker, along with the ideal smoking temperature, estimated cooking duration, and the importance of resting thick cuts of meat. So, stay with me to achieve the smoking results you love.
The best time to pull your beef brisket off the smoker is when the meat’s internal temperature reaches 195 °F to 205 °F (maximum). At this temperature range, it will be evenly cooked, tender, and moist without drying out.
When to pull brisket off Smoker – A Complete Overview
You will come across different opinions and suggestions when the debate is about the right time to remove the brisket from the smoker. The reason is that it depends on personal preferences and desired doneness levels.
For example, smoked brisket is safe to eat when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 °F. Still, there may not be as much tenderness and juiciness inside as you desire because the connective tissue inside the meat requires more cooking time.
On the other hand, those who prefer less tenderness and a drier texture stop smoking their brisket when its internal temperature is above 180 °F and below 190 °F.
A huge amount of BBQ enthusiasts (including me) are in favor of removing it from the smoker when it scales between 195 °F to 205 °F.
The explanation for this is, at this point, the connective tissue breaks down completely to make your brisket moist and evenly tender.
Lastly, if you prefer an outcome with a crispy texture, crispy bark, and less tenderness inside, 210 °F is the best internal temperature for the brisket.
But there are chances of your meat becoming dry when you wait for too long. To summarize, some people remove their brisket from the smoker earlier while others do not, depending on personal preferences.
At What Temperature To Cook A Brisket?
You can cook brisket at 175 °F all the way to 275 °F, and the outcome and smoking duration would be different every time, which is why people come into the support of different temps.
If we talk about the ideal temperature, I advise you to cook your brisket at 225 or 250 degrees Fahrenheit because they are low and slow temperatures and are perfect for smoking.
It offers an authentic and delicious taste from your meat with optimal tenderness without making it dry. Also, it may take a little longer for a perfect smoked brisket, but the results would be satisfying.
If you want to further slow down the smoking temperature to 200 °F or 175 °F, the smoking duration will be a huge difference, but you may get a highly tender and juicy outcome.
On the other hand, cooking brisket at a higher temperature, like 275 °F, ensures a crusty texture and nice crispy bark.
So, the final decision about the cooking temperature comes down to what you prefer the most, crispiness or tenderness.
How Long Does Brisket Take To Come Off Smoker?
There are a few factors that set the smoking duration for a perfect brisket. So first, we will have a quick go-through of what factors set the cooking time, and then we will discover how long it will take to come out of the smoker.
First and foremost, the cooking temperature plays the most vital role in determining the exact cooking duration for a tender brisket.
For example, suppose you smoke brisket at a lower temperature, like 250 degrees Fahrenheit. In that case, it will require more time than when you smoke it at a slightly higher temperature of 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
To cut it short, the higher the temperature, the less time it takes to cook meat, and the slower the temperature, the more cooking time it requires.
Secondly, the weight of your brisket also determines whether it requires a shorter cooking session or a longer one.
For example, if you have a 14 lb whole brisket, you will need to spend more time smoking it to perfection than smoking a brisket with a weight of 10 lb or less.
The Type Of Smoker You Use
There are different types of smokers available, and each one operates differently. It means the smoking time of the same brisket at the same heat settings might be different, depending on the type of smoker or grill you use.
Not necessarily, but there are chances that a charcoal or offset smoker can prolong the brisket smoking session a bit. The reason is that it requires manual steps like igniting the charcoal and regulating the heat, which can be tricky.
Now, let me help you understand what time it is going to take to remove the brisket from the smoker.
Suppose you are smoking a brisket at 225 degrees Fahrenheit that weighs 10 lb, and you keep the temperature consistent; you can expect 15 to 20 hours for the brisket to be ready and come out of the smoker.
Here’s another example. If your brisket weighs 12 pounds and you cook it at 275 °F, it can take 6 to 9 hours.
Is It Possible To Cook Brisket At 300 °F?
Yes, it is possible to cook your brisket at 300 °F or even 350 °F, and also, the cooking duration would be way too short. As I mentioned above, if you cook at higher heat settings, you finish cooking relatively quickly.
But it is essential to keep in mind that you can face the consequences like dry, less moist and tender, and overcooked meat when cooking at such a higher temperature. Also, you may not get satisfying output from the smoky flavor.
So, it is better to analyze the outcome when choosing a temperature to cook brisket.
What If Brisket Stall Occurs When Cooking It?
When smoking brisket, one common issue that you might also face is brisket stall. It refers to a duration during the smoking process when the internal temperature of the meat can get stuck or start to drop down.
The stall usually appears when the meat’s temperature is between 155 °F to 165 °F, and it can last for several hours. However, you can still resolve this error by implementing a few simple steps. Here’s what you need to do.
- Wrapping the brisket: As soon as the stall occurs, get a piece of aluminum foil or butcher paper (per the length of your brisket) and tightly wrap it inside. While wrapping, you can also add some apple cider vinegar, apple juice, or beef broth.
- Place it back in the smoker: Keep a consistent temperature inside your electric pellet smoker (225 °F or 250 °F, whatever you were smoking) and place your wrapped brisket back inside the smoker.
- Monitor meat’s temperature while smoking: When you have placed the brisket back in the smoker, insert a thermometer probe in its thickest part and let it smoke. After one or two hours, the stall should disappear, and the meat’s internal temperature should rise.
The wrapping process helps create a steam and warm environment around the meat, which then helps raise the meat’s temperature.
Lastly, you can finish the smoking session while your brisket is still wrapped inside the foil or butcher paper.
Brisket Smoked Properly – What Afterwards?
The next step right after the smoking process is to rest your smoked brisket in a proper way. Resting the cooked meat is crucial as it allows the juices to redistribute evenly throughout the meat.
After smoking, the juices accumulate in the center of the meat, and if you cut it immediately, the moisture and juices will be all over your cutting board, and you can also lose the smoky flavor.
To conclude, you can’t overlook the step of resting your smoked brisket or any other meat if you want desired results.
Resting The Smoked Brisket – Step-By-Step Instructions
To rest your meat, follow the steps I have mentioned below.
- Remove the brisket from the smoker: Carefully pull it from the smoker using tongs once it has reached the ideal temperature.
- Wrap the brisket: Place it on a sheet of aluminum foil that can easily accommodate it, and then tightly wrap the meat inside the foil.
- Find a warm resting spot: Choose a warm place for the wrapped brisket to rest. You can either make a faux cambro or use a cooler to let the brisket rest.
- Let it rest for the required time: A properly smoked brisket needs at least an hour to rest, but you can rest it further if you use a cooler technique. The exact resting period will mainly depend on the weight.
Brisket’s Internal Temp & Outcomes You Get
|190 °F||Near to perfection|
|190 to 205 °F||Perfectly moist, tender, and juicy|
|205 to 210 °F||Relatively less tender|
|Above 210 °F||Dry or overcooked|
Wrapping It Up
The exact time to remove the brisket from the smoker may depend on personal taste and preferences, but I suggest you do that when its internal temperature is between 195 °F to 205 °F.
I have also shed light on some other essential factors about brisket smoking, so go through my guide thoroughly to achieve perfect and desired results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I take my brisket off at 190?
Yes, you can stop the cooking process and take your brisket off the smoker when it touches an internal temp of 190 °F. At this point, you will still get nicely tender and delicious meat to eat.
Is brisket overcooked at 210?
No, if the brisket’s internal temperature is 210 °F, it isn’t overcooked. But above this temperature range, the chances of overcooking will be increased.
What temp is brisket most tender?
The best internal temp for brisket is around 190 °F if you are looking for maximum tenderness in it.
What temp to pull brisket and put in the cooler?
When your brisket measures around 200 °F from its thickest part, you can wrap it inside butcher paper or aluminum foil and put it in the cooler for resting.
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.