How Long To Smoke Brisket Per Pound – Tips & Guide
Brisket is a popular cut of meat that is often smoked and can be tough to cook properly. In this post, we will discuss how long to smoke brisket per pound and provide some tips for ensuring your brisket turns out perfectly every time.
How Long To Smoke Brisket Per Pound
Smoking brisket is a long process, but the end result is well worth the effort. A good smoked brisket has a crispy and flavorful crust, known as bark, on the outside.
Underneath that outer layer is a tender and moist interior, with just the right amount of smokiness. The key to smoking a brisket is taking your time and following these directions closely.
The general rule of thumb when smoking meat is around 1 hour per pound at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for the cooking time. But this varies depending on the cut of meat and the size.
For example, if you have a large beef brisket around 12lbs you’ll want to plan on about 16 hours in the smoker with additional time for prep and rest. But if you have a small 3lb flat cut brisket then it will only take 6-8 hours to smoke.
You can get away with cooking at higher temperatures, but be aware that this will reduce the amount of time until your brisket is done by 30-40 minutes per pound. I prefer to keep it at 225F because it gives me more control over how fast or slow I want my brisket to cook.
How To Smoke Brisket Per Pound
Brisket is best cooked slowly over indirect heat at a low temperature. This allows the meat to slowly cook and absorb smoky flavor from the wood chips or chunks placed on top of the coals.
Smoking a brisket can be intimidating, but the truth is, it isn’t as hard as you think. The key is to keep it simple and follow a few basic rules.
Here’s how to smoke a brisket per pound.
- To cook a whole packer brisket, start by trimming it and removing the silver skin from the fat cap. You can leave some fat on it if you like, but trim away any hard bits or pockets of fat.
- Then coat with a dry rub before smoking it for about 4 hours at 225 degrees F.
- Afterward, wrap it in aluminum foil and continue cooking for 2 hours more until it reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees F.
- Remove from the smoker, unwrap and let rest for 30 minutes before slicing against the grain and serving with your favorite sides (or just eat it plain!).
Tips On Smoking Brisket
- Select quality meat. Buy a whole packer brisket, which is a USDA grade choice, or prime brisket with the fat cap intact. The fat cap will help keep the meat moist while it smokes and add flavor.
- Preparation. Dry the surface of the brisket with paper towels and trim off any excess fat if necessary. Sprinkle your favorite rub all over the brisket, using about ¼ cup total. Let it rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour or up to overnight to allow the spices to soak in and tenderize the meat.
- Use a Brine. Brining is essentially soaking a piece of meat in a solution of salt and water for several hours to infuse it with moisture, but you can also experiment by adding sugar, herbs, spices, fruit juice, or beer for different flavors.
- Use a Wood that Complements Brisket. Wood choices are one of the best parts about smoking because there are so many options that can change the flavor profile of your meat from sweet to savory, depending on what you choose.
FAQs Related To How Long To Smoke Brisket Per Pound
What Should I Serve With Brisket?
Brisket is one of those dishes that can be served with a wide variety of sides. It’s best to choose sides that complement and balance the rich flavor of brisket, rather than overpower it.
Serve your brisket with these classic accompaniments:
- Potato Salad – Brisket pairs surprisingly well with creamy potato salad. The starchiness of the potatoes provides a great contrast to the rich beef, while the vinegar in the dressing cleanses your palate after each bite.
- Macaroni Salad – If you want something lighter, try this cool side dish of macaroni noodles, mayonnaise, and pickles. The creaminess and tanginess of the mayo will complement the meat, while the acidity from the pickle relish cuts through some of that richness.
- Collard Greens – Collard greens are an excellent accompaniment for beef because they’re so flavorful on their own that they don’t need much else to make them taste great! Just add some salt and pepper before cooking them up in a bit of olive oil or bacon fat until tender but not mushy (about 10 minutes).
Does Brisket Get More Tender The Longer You Cook It?
Brisket is an incredibly tough cut of meat, but it can be well worth the effort. The more tender cuts of meat require gentle heat and quick cooking, but brisket isn’t as sensitive to heat.
It’s best when cooked low and slow for at least several hours, but if you want your brisket to be really tender, you should cook it for even longer than that.
The longer you cook the brisket, the more tender it will get. The only downside is that the longer you cook it, the drier it will become (because collagen breaks down into gelatin).
If you’re not careful about keeping its surface moist during cooking, the outside could end up quite dry even if the inside remains juicy and delicious.
Should You Flip A Brisket When Smoking?
The short answer is yes. You should flip your brisket when smoking. But the real question is, why?
The main reason you should flip a brisket when smoking is to get that nice crust on all sides of the brisket. The heat will travel through the meat as it cooks, but you need to move it around so it can get to all sides of the meat. If you don’t flip your brisket when smoking, then you’ll just have a few spots with some color and others which are still all-white meat.
If you’re using an electric smoker, then flipping isn’t really necessary because the heat doesn’t travel through the meat as well as it does with a gas grill or charcoal grill. However, if you want to add some color to some spots of your brisket (like around the edges), then you may want to turn it once or twice during cooking time.
Thanks for reading our guide on how long to smoke brisket per pound. We hope it was helpful! If you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.