How Long to Smoke Brisket at 250 – Perfect Beginners’ Recipe

Are you trying to figure out “how long should you smoke brisket at 250°F?” The simple answer is 1-1 ½ hours per lb? 

How clear does it sound? Yet, the truth is, between this 60-90 minute per lb time range, the magic of a perfectly smoked brisket can happen. 

It’s why determining “how long you should smoke a brisket at 250 degrees” can be challenging when planning your barbecue session. Many factors affect your brisket’s ultimate results. 

You can make the most gorgeous brisket of all time by understanding its smoking temperature. And this article discusses it all!

How long should you Smoke a Brisket at 250? Detailed Guidelines 

You can determine brisket smoking time at 250 degrees Fahrenheit by considering some factors. 

Smoking time is only for estimation.

Before getting into details, you first should understand that the required cooking time is not a magical number. Likewise, the ideal temperature can also vary according to the cooking device: between 200-400 degrees either for fast or slow cooking, and brisket toughness; leanness, and fat ratio.

Heat supply affects the time required to smoke a brisket.

Heat consistency is one of the most crucial elements. You need to smoke brisket at a constant temperature. Otherwise, you could ruin the meat. 

Remember, for slow smoking, the two most typical and ideal temperature ranges to suit any type of smoker are 225 and 250 degrees.

Below are a few other variables that affect a brisket’s ideal temperature and cooking period.

1- Your brisket’s weight will define when it is fully cooked.

Before you begin cooking, you must calculate the exact weight of your brisket after trimming it. The size of the meat will determine the expected cooking time, so using this number as a starting point can be helpful.

2- Brisket smoking times based on weight

Plan to roast brisket for an hour per pound of meat at 250 ℉. Nevertheless, The internal temperature determines the actual cook time. So, the ideal brisket internal temperature in the thickest part ranges between 195 and 203 °F.

This one-by-one ratio of cook time for brisket is valid for all temperature-controlled cooking techniques, including smoking and baking. Thankfully, 1:1 simplifies the math, but let’s quickly clarify with a per-pound brisket.

Temperature varies depending on the smoker.

Most of the time, people don’t use the same kind of a smoker that you watched someone else using in a video. For example, Aaron Franklin is one of the very few people who can cook in a 1,000-gallon pit. 

He will smoke at 275-285F in his large smoker, which also has heat loss owing to convection and large space inside the device. 

In contrast, your results will be completely different when you attempt to smoke at those temperatures on your Weber Kettle; the result will be a burnt piece of meat. Therefore, the key is determining the suitable temperature for your smoker to achieve better results.

So basic guidelines would be:

  • If you are cooking on a small offset smoker, 225-250 degrees is good.
  • Similarly, if you are using a big offset smoker, 275 degrees is good.
  • Likewise, in the case of pellet grills and Weber Kettle or Kamado Joe, I would also suggest a 220 to 250-degree Frenheit temperature range for slow cooking. 

And, if put precisely, 250 degrees is an ideal temperature to smoke a brisket for any type of smoker.

How can you check your Brisket’s Doneness?

Consider performing these tests to see whether your brisket is cooked thoroughly.

Internal Temperature Test

Away from any bones or fat, insert the instant-read- thermometer into the thicker area of the smoked brisket. After cooking, the brisket’s internal temperature should range from 195 to 203 degrees Fahrenheit. Your choice of Brisket cut will determine the temperature. 

Bamboo skewer test

This test is recommended by the competition brisket experts. You can insert a bamboo skewer into your brisket and see how smoothly it slides into it. If you feel it going into the brisket as if it were butter rested at room temperature,  the brisket is ready for resting.

Probe test

You can use the probe test, which combines the two procedures mentioned above by inserting a probe and feeling the tenderness. You’re okay to go if you insert the probe thermometer, and it passes through like softened butter. 

Mr. Franklin makes decisions primarily based on how something feels “floppy and squishy.” He claimed that while thermometers “are fantastic to give you a vague idea,” feel and intuition are always crucial.

Visual cues

The color and fluids of the brisket can be evaluated as with any other cut of meat to determine doneness. The brisket is often considered fully cooked when the liquid is clearly visible and the flesh is no longer pink.

Jiggle test

Another pitmaster suggests holding the beef by one side and shaking it. Brisket that has been appropriately cooked will shake like beef Jell-O.

Smoking Brisket at 225 vs 250, What is the Difference?

There are two schools of thought concerning smoking brisket: smoke at a low temperature for a long time, turn up the heat, and complete the cooking process more rapidly.

Brisket will generally be more tender and juicy when smoked at a low temperature (about 225 degrees).

However, a brisket will be simpler to slice and more evenly cooked when grilled at a high temperature (250 degrees).

Which option is more appropriate?

I choose 250°F, as other pitmasters also do.

Ultimately, whether you smoke brisket at 250 degrees or 225 degrees is a matter of preference.

You can definitely go for it if you have the patience and time to slow cook a brisket for a longer duration at a low temperature.

However, smoking a brisket at a high temperature is the method to choose if you’re constrained by time or simply want a more straightforward cooking experience.

The two temperatures are equal in value. You’ll produce an excellent final result either way.

Is 250 Degrees the Best Temperature to Smoke a Brisket?  

When producing smoked brisket, some pitmasters usually recommend aiming for a temperature of 250 degrees. The meat will cook quickly at this temperature compared to 225 degrees, yet it will still have time to develop a soft texture.

Additionally, you can render fat at a temperature of 250 degrees. Once the fat top has melted, a luscious layer of seasoned fat will cover the brisket’s surface. The fat indeed renders at lower temperatures, but the texture is different.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Smoking Brisket at 250

You will experience various advantages and disadvantages depending on the temperature you select to smoke your brisket. The following are a few essential benefits and drawbacks.

Advantages of Cooking Brisket At 250° 

  • More rapid smoking
  • Accurately renders all the fat and connective tissue.

Disadvantages Of Cooking Brisket At 250°

  • It uses extra fuel to cook effectively. 
  • It’s challenging to maintain a fire that consistently holds to 250 degrees.

Smoking Beef Brisket at 250 Degrees — Perfect Beginners’ Recipe

I completely comprehend how frightening it is to smoke a massive, costly brisket for the first time. That’s why I’ve got you an excellent recipe to assist you in slow smoking your packer brisket at 250F. Here is how you can smoke your brisket at

1- Select your brisket

First and foremost, let’s discuss the type of brisket you should pick. Meat is typically classified using a traditional technique to ensure that consumers are informed about the beef grade they buy. You can consider the amount of marbling and the animal’s age to assess the meat’s degree.

The levels are often categorized as Select, Choice, and Prime, from lowest to highest. Get a whole-packer brisket, either Prime or Choice grade; these grades have more marbling to help you get juicy brisket. 

The weight of the brisket should be around 12-20 pounds; a smaller or larger brisket can be challenging to smoke.

2- Trim the brisket 

Keep your brisket in the refrigerator until you’re ready to begin trimming. Briskets that are cold are much simpler to handle. You must cut the thick fat from your brisket as it will not render down no matter how long you cook it. 

The enormous chunks of fat would never melt off by becoming anything other than a chunk of fat, no regardless of how long you smoke them. If you leave the fat on your brisket, it will take longer to cook, and you will need to chop it later.

3- Season the brisket

Brisket can be seasoned in a variety of ways, including rubs, injections, and marinating. 

However, Texas-style brisket is seasoned with just salt and black pepper. My only alteration (and this is purely personal preference; remove if you’re a purist) is garlic powder. It doesn’t change the flavor or remove the incredible smoked taste from meat, but it offers that little added layer of deliciousness. For good results, Use enough rubs, have a nice even coat, wrap it up, and place it in the refrigerator for three to four hours.

4- Smoke the brisket 

It’s time to throw your seasoned brisket in the smoker. You have a range of choices here, such as using an offset smoker or a pellet grill.

In your smoker, choose high-quality hardwood. I usually go for oak as the primary wood, with a blend of cherry. Whatever style of smoker you use, the goal here is constant heating and a continuous flow of clean smoke.

Now, Set the smoker at a temperature of 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

This temperature will thoroughly smoke your brisket instead of overcooking it or enabling it to lose too much moisture in a reasonable amount of time.

Allow enough time for the brisket to rest once it gets out of the smoker.

5- Wrap the brisket 

Certain kinds of beef, such as brisket, can achieve internal temperatures that cause them to “stall.” The stall is a stage in the brisket smoking process that results from a process known as evaporative cooling.

In the case of brisket, when the beef “sweats,” moisture evaporates, causing the meat to chill. This concept is identical to human physiology in that we sweat to cool our bodies.

While the temperature of the meat rises, so does the evaporation rate until the cooling action effectively even out the heat input. The beef brisket will then remain at the stall stage, and its internal temperature won’t rise until all moisture on the top has evaporated. 

The stage occurs at 165-175 degrees. Yet, as a rule of thumb, your brisket should form a dark mahogany bark, and it should render that it doesn’t bounce back by pushing the skin.

Here is a tip: scratch the brisket with a metal spatula side; it should sound crispy. 

However, by wrapping the brisket in butcher paper, you can speed up the smoking process and get past that stall stage.

If you’ve never prepared a brisket, you might wonder, “How would I decide when to wrap it?” Check for the following components.

a) Evaporation 

You must keep an eye out for evaporation. According to traditional knowledge, you should start by taking a brisket. Proceed to cook it until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Then wrap it

b) Color 

Look for the color. When you look at brisket, you can tell it has a lot of smoke flavor since it has a beautiful dark brown color. The taste is going to be exceptional.

c) Bark 

If you wrap your brisket a bit early, a lot of water vapor will get trapped in the wrap, which can soften the bark. So, look for a slight crunchiness on the surface of the brisket.

d) Fat render  

Furthermore, you should look for a fat render. It’s the most crucial factor. When you touch the fat layer on top and notice a sort of translucent yellow color, the fat layer should be capable of giving way. That indicates that it won’t be chewy and gives the impression that the entire brisket is moist.

e) Temperature 

Finally, you ought to check the temperature. It is defined as the brisket’s internal temperature at the stall, which should be 165-175 degrees. 

f) Rest the brisket 

Once you’ve determined the doneness of smoked beef brisket, remove it from the smoker and allow it to rest so that it may cool to almost 180 degrees.

  • You must remove the packaging and rewrap the brisket at that time before putting it in a cooler.
  • For best results, leave the brisket in a warm oven or in a cooler for a considerable amount of time. The night would be ideal for letting the brisket rest to produce a fantastic brisket, as it’ll allow rest of 8 to 12 hours, but if you can’t, give it at least 2 hours. Fat cap
  • Keep in mind that the brisket’s internal temperature must not fall below 140 degrees when it’s resting. An instant-read thermometer would help you keep a close watch on it.
  • Also, don’t place it straight from the smoker into a chiller; it may become overdone or mushy because of carry-over cooking. And I’m sure you won’t want it to happen. You are now prepared to slice your brisket after it has had enough time to rest.

7- Slice the brisket

For optimal tenderness, cut your cooked brisket against the grain. 

Two muscles are overlapped, and the grain runs in two separate directions. Before serving, you can separate the point and flat portions and slice each one separately against the grain. However, this can occasionally result in slices with no bark on them. 

The brisket is traditionally divided by the middle, as near to where the point meets the flat as possible. 

The point side of the brisket is then turned 90 degrees, and the flat is finished by cutting in the other direction. If your meat is soft enough, it won’t matter if some pieces have imperfect grain.

To smoke your brisket perfectly, check out these pitmasters’ shared brisket smoking tips.


How long does a 6-pound brisket take to cook at 250 degrees?

As mentioned above, cooking brisket at 250 °F, one pound of meat, will take one hour. Therefore, a 6-pound brisket should be able to achieve the desired internal temperature of 195 to 203 degrees in 6 hours. Yet if your brisket is tough, or you’re smoking in a large-size smoker with more convection, the time can exceed as much as 9 hours.

Keeping the low time range in view, you must check your brisket for doneness after 6 hours.

How long does an 8-pound brisket take to cook at 250 degrees?

The weight of your brisket, the cooking time, the temperature of the smoker, and other factors that are beyond our control (such as room humidity) will all affect how long this brisket takes to cook. However, you can smoke an 8-pound brisket for 8 to 9 hours. Plan and do the doneness test after about 8 hours and give it more time if needed.

How long does a 10-pound brisket take to cook at 250 degrees?

You’ll have a delicious, tender 10 lb brisket that melts in your mouth in 10 hours (depending on the 1-hour per pound ratio). So, you can read the brisket’s internal temperature after 10 hours of smoking and do a skewer test to evaluate the doneness.

How long does a 14-16 pound brisket take to cook at 250 degrees?

If you’re moving along reasonably, allow 14 to 16 hours to cook a 14-pound brisket at 250F. It’s done when it achieves 195°F to 203°F internal temperature in the thickest part and passes all doneness tests. Or extend the time if the brisket hasn’t been cooked yet.

Final Thoughts on How Long to Smoke Brisket at 250

Smoking the ideal brisket may seem like a challenging task. However, by following our guidelines and figuring out how long to smoke a brisket at 250, your taste buds, friends, and loved ones will be grateful to you.

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