How Long to Smoke Brisket at 225 – Ideal Time Explained

You must be wondering how long does it take to smoke a brisket at 225 degrees?  It seems as though people have been debating this issue for decades now.

The fact is that there is nothing like an ideal cooking time that exists in the world of brisket smoking, but only the time range. And somewhere within this time range, your brisket will be cooked. 

Then, what is that range, i.e, how long to smoke brisket at 225?

The short answer is: at 225 degrees Fahrenheit, your brisket will take 1.5 to 2 hours per pound, depending on your smoker and brisket type, and the stall stage can start after 6 hours of the cooking process.

That is a pretty satisfying answer! But there are a lot more things to dig into to help you smoke your “specific brisket” in your only smoker, perfectly, without under or overcooking it.

Yes, predicting smoking time for the 250 degrees Fahrenheit range is more detailed and complicated.

Through our pitmaster’s years-long experience of smoking a brisket, we have got you guidelines that will help you smoke your brisket slowly at 225 degrees to get those exact juicy bites without ruining your $$- $$$ beef brisket.

So, we will discuss the smoking time for brisket at 225 degrees and a game-changer recipe to prepare a mouthwatering smoke brisket.

How Long Should you Smoke Brisket at 225 – Time Explained in Details

Many factors will help you to understand how long smoking a beef  brisket at 225 should take — according to pitmasters, 225 degrees is the best temperature for smoking and slow cooking the briskets. 

First of all, you need to know that there is no defined time that brisket can take on given cooking temperature, except for an idea on how to predict your brisket’s progress and chalk out your plans — yet, the brisket will cook relatively fast at 275 degrees and more slowly at 225 degrees. 

Below we’ve listed a few factors that affect the required temperature and time range for a brisket.

Different smokers require different temperatures. 

Usually, people aren’t using the same type of smoker for cooking their meat.

For instance, as Aaron Franklin does, very few people cook on a thousand-gallon pit. He smokes meat in such a gigantic smoker at higher temperature of 275-285 and gets different results if you try to cook at those temperatures on your Weber Kettle. So the point is to figure out the right temperature for your smoker, and you are going to have much better results.

You might think, “why?” 

Franklin can cook at such a high temperature because his smoker has so much convection that is constantly cooling the brisket, and as a matter of fact, if he tried to cook it at 225, it would take him 27-28 hours.

If you have a pellet grill with heat deflector plates or a charcoal smoker and you cook at 275F, you’re probably going to burn your brisket. So, a temperature of 225 degrees is only a smart approach on a pellet grill or charcoal grill with close heating sources and less convection.  

So basic guidelines would be:

  • For a small offset, 250 degrees is good.
  • For a big offset, 275 degrees is good.
  • When smoking a brisket in a ceramic cooker like a Big Green Egg, we recommend 225 degrees.
  • We would also recommend 225 – 250 degrees Fahrenheit for pellet grills or on a Weber kettle 225.

And, finally, if you’re determined to smoke the brisket at 225 degrees, trust me, you can still do it without caring about the smoker type by being careful about your brisket cooking stages.

The weight of your brisket determines the doneness time range.  

Generally, a full packer brisket cooks at a rate of 1-1/2 to 2 hours per pound at 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

The rate may change depending on the type of meat (marbling) and the efficiency of the smoker, so it’s critical to keep a constant eye on the probe thermometer. You may assume the brisket to cook at a rate of roughly 1-1/2 to 2 hours per pound on 225 degrees.

Similarly, you can check your brisket based on the anticipated time.

Generally speaking, a brisket will require the following time to cook a brisket keeping 1 ½ to 2 hours time in view should be:  

  • 10 pounds of brisket can take up to 15 to 20 hours 
  • 12 pounds of brisket can take up to 18 to 24 hours 
  • 14 pounds of brisket can take up to 21 to 28 hours 
  • 16 pounds of brisket can take up to 24 to 32 hours
  • 18 pounds of brisket can take up to 33 to 36 hours
  • 20 pounds of brisket can take up to 37 to 40 hours
  • 22 pounds of brisket can take up to 41 to 44 hours 

Besides this, we advise keeping a reliable instant-read thermometer at your barbeque station. Some briskets may achieve the ideal temperature more quickly, while others may need more cooking time.

Some other factors like the type of meat, meat marbling, and animal feeding play a crucial role in calculating the time it will take to cook a brisket.

Is Choosing the low and slow cooking at 225 Degrees Safe?

You might wonder, “why is the ideal temperature for smoking beef brisket 225° (110 °C) if it takes that long?” Everything starts with the kind of meat you are preparing.

The lower chest region of the cow is the source of the basic piece of meat known as brisket. It is a section of muscle that has both superficial and deep pectorals and holds most of the animal’s weight. A piece of brisket will therefore have a considerable amount of connective tissue.

It takes significant time and relatively low temperatures to melt down connective tissues somewhat. With enough time, collagen can transform into gelatin, which produces a tender and delicious brisket.

Remember that any fats in your brisket will have plenty of time to dissolve and enter the muscle tissues. Your meat will have a succulent and exquisite texture as a result.

Finding the “ideal range” temperature while smoking is therefore no different. Your brisket will still smoke and cook at a higher temperature. Yet, the fat and collagen won’t have enough time to perform their job, leaving the brisket somewhat dry.

How Can you Determine That Your Smoked Brisket is Done?

You can check whether your brisket is done or not by considering two factors.

The first is the temperature. When your brisket is done, its internal temperature must probably be between 195-205 degrees.

Second, butter-like consistency. It is more important than the temperature because we are looking for a feel. So, it should feel like softened butter when you put the probe in.

Furthermore, you do not need to unwrap it to poke the probe. You can poke through the paper. The tiny little hole won’t make much difference in terms of how well the paper holds in the moisture and speeds up the cook.

You can also determine the doneness of your brisket by inserting a bamboo skewer into it. It will give you the exact idea of the brisket’s texture. In this case, a toothpick will not work because it is too much thinner.

Moreover, you can check your brisket by lifting it after you have unwrapped it in your three fingers, excluding your thumb and little finger. If the brisket is done, it’ll feel like jelly, tender and juicy.

By following this step-by-step guideline, you can make the ultimate brisket of all times.

225 Degrees Fahrenheit Smoked Brisket Recipe

Step 1: Select the brisket 

First of all, let’s talk about what kind of meat you should use. Usually, meat is categorized by using a conventional method to ensure that customers are aware of the quality of meat they are purchasing. You can determine the level of beef by the animal’s age and the percentage of marbling.

Commonly, the levels are select, choice, and prime, going from lowest to highest. Therefore prime can give you the chance to make a tremendously good brisket.

There are a bunch of other lower categories available in the grocery stores. However, these three are the ones that are most frequently used ,and you can find them at wholesale stores like Costco as well.

The average weight of brisket that you should get is almost15 pounds. But anything between 12 and 20 pounds is pretty normal.

However, 15 pounds seems just about right because after trimming, you’ll have thick brisket that can withstand the slow smoking and ultimately gets you moist and tender brisket. Alternatively, if you get a small brisket, it can dry out, and a large-sized brisket can be more challenging to handle for a novice.

Step 2: Trim the brisket 

You have to trim hard fat from your brisket. No matter how long you simmer the large chunks of fat, they will never render down and become anything other than a mouthful of fat. Similarly, by keeping that fat on your brisket, you will increase the time it takes to cook, and you’ll have to cut it afterward. 

Step 3: Season the brisket

After trimming the brisket, you have to season it. You can season a brisket in 3 ways: using rubs, injections, and marinating. 

Many individuals season their brisket with only salt and pepper in equal ratios — it’s the best way. You can also use beef tallow injections to infuse flavor and juiciness into a hard and dry cut of meat more effectively. 

Most BBQ experts use this incredible technique to prepare soft and moist brisket. For this purpose, you can mix your favorite brisket rub into the beef tallow and inject every inch along the grain into the brisket.

Step 4:  Smoke the brisket 

Now it’s time to place your seasoned brisket in a smoker. Here you have a lot of options. You can use a pellet grill or an offset smoker.

Generally speaking, offset smokers, and pellet smokers can produce the same quantity of smoke and a similar amount of flavor. 

Now you’ve chosen to cook your brisket at an extremely low temperature. So set the smoker at  225 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

This heat will sufficiently cook your brisket without overcooking it or causing it to drop too much moisture in an acceptable period. You should check your brisket for a stall after 6 hours. 

At this stage, the brisket’s internal temperature will be above 160 F. It’ll have a mahogany color and nonresisting bark: if you press it, the surface won’t bounce back. Likewise, if you scratch the brisket with a knife, it’ll sound crispy.

You should observe a fat render. The fat layer on top should be of translucent yellow color. 

At this stage, you have to wrap your brisket in butcher paper greased with beef tallow.   And put it in the smoker for cooking until it passes the brisket doneness tests. When the brisket is fully done, the internal temperature in the thickest part can range from 195-210 degrees.   

Beware of Temperature differences in flat and point areas

Brisket’s flat is a lean part, while the point area has more fat. It’s why your BBQ thermometer should record low temperature in the flat and higher in the point area. The reason is, that fats in the point area will cook fast and raise the temperature. 

So, you should keep flat towards the fire source to maintain the temperature in both areas. Yet, it also depends on your smoker; some smokers, like an offset wood-fired smoker or a small charcoal smoker like Big Green Egg, do not require you to do that.

Step 5: Rest the brisket 

After the brisket has been smoked and it’s done fully, you need to rest it at room temperature for 30 minutes to stop carryover cooking, first — it’ll prevent your brisket from overcooking. 

Then put the brisket in the cooler with a probe thermometer set inside and let it rest until the brisket’s internal temperature holds above 140 degrees — if the temperature drops, the brisket can be unsafe to eat because of bacteria’s growth.

How long should a brisket rest?

At least 2 hours and more can be the best e.g. 14 hours.

Step 6:  Check the brisket for doneness

After making sure that your brisket is done by considering the brisket doneness factors mentioned above, you need to pull the brisket out of the smoker and let it rest at room temperature to cool almost about 180 degrees.

At that point, you have to unwrap it and wrap it up in a new butcher paper to place it into a cooler.

You have to leave the brisket in the cooler or a warm oven for a long time for better results. Overnight would be perfect. If your goal is to make a phenomenal brisket, then you have to let it rest for like 8-12 hours but if you cannot do that, at least rest it for 2 hours.

Remember, you must ensure that the brisket’s internal temperature does not go below 140 degrees. You can keep a check on it by using a probe thermometer. 

Make sure you do not put brisket directly from the smoker into a cooler, or else it will get overcooked or mushy. You do not want that.

After resting your brisket sufficiently now, you are ready to slice it

Step 7: Slice the brisket

Now, look at your brisket carefully, and you will see a flat spot on one end where you cut off your first piece earlier so that if you’re unfamiliar with the brisket, you know where to start slicing.

Now you have to separate the point and the flat. While cutting the point, you have to turn it to 90 degrees and slice that size.

The slices of point will be a little thicker, and the slices of the flat will be a little thinner.  

Final Thoughts

Smoking a brisket at low temperatures like 225 degrees can take 1.5-2 hours per pound. However, there are many factors that you can evaluate to determine an estimated time to pull off your brisket.

Follow these guidelines for slow-cooked brisket, and if you need to make adjustments, do it by all means. Cooking brisket is a complicated job that you can master by following the right recipe, and experts share brisket smoking tips.

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