How Long to Smoke a Brisket at 225 - A Matter of Time

July 8, 2022

You should let the briskets cook for between 1.5 and 2 hours per pound at this temperature.

Although my family taught me how to smoke briskets at an early age, it took a great deal of tinkering on my part before I was happy with the results. And, one of my trials involved getting the temperature and the cooking time just right.

In this post, I will show you how long to smoke a brisket at 225 degrees Fahrenheit as well as delve into other factors and elements you need to know about. Let's begin!

A Note About Cooking Time

I want to start off by saying that you shouldn't rely on cook time alone. This is because there are a lot of different variables that can impact how long it will take to smoke brisket fully.

Therefore, when smoking brisket you should only use the time frame as a guide. To truly know when a beef brisket is done, consider the internal temperature instead.

A smoked brisket is considered done when it reaches an internal temp of 190 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you can take it off the smoker when it registers at around 180 degrees. Due to carryover cooking, the brisket will continue to cook, going up by as much as 10 degrees.

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Using a Meat Thermometer

As you must pay attention to the internal temperature of the beef, it is imperative that you have a temperature probe or a meat thermometer with you.

Some smokers are already equipped with such a tool, while others are not. These thermometers aren't particularly expensive but they are an invaluable part of the smoking process and if you want to smoke a brisket properly, I strongly recommend that you get one.

The instant read digital versions are especially easy to use and read.

Sliced meat on brown chopping board

How Long Will It Take to Smoke Brisket at 225°F?

It is a little difficult to answer this question as beef brisket can vary in size quite a bit. When whole, it can weigh between 12 and 18lbs. As such, the rate at which briskets cook can be quite different.

You are better of determining how long it will take to cook a single pound of brisket. Then, based on how much the brisket weighs, you can calculate the cook time.

Typically, it can between 1.5 and 2 hours per pound of brisket.

Based on this calculation, we can now answer the following questions:

  • How long do you smoke a 4 lb brisket at 225?
    • It can take between 6 and 8 hours to smoke a 4lb brisket.
  • How long does it take to smoke a 11lb brisket at 225?
    • It can take between 16.5 and 22 hours to smoke a 11 lb brisket.
  • How long does a 13 pound brisket take to smoke at 225?
    • It can take between 19.5 hours and 26 hours to smoke a 13 lb brisket.
  • How long does it take to smoke a 19 lb brisket at 225?
    • It can take between 28.5 and 38 hours to cook a 19lb brisket.

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The Benefits of Smoking Beef Brisket at 225°F

Taking a look at the above cooking times can make you think twice about smoking a brisket at such a low temperature. However, there is a benefit to this cooking temperature.

Brisket is made up of connective tissue and lots of sinewy muscle. Essentially, it is a tough piece of meat. Now, when you cook any meat at a higher temperature, the tissues will contract, often releasing liquid. When this happens, the meat becomes even tougher.

With a low and slow cooking process such as smoking at 225 degrees, the fibers will relax instead. And, when it cooks for long enough, the gelatin in the brisket melts, add flavor and moisture to the meat.

Maintaining the Smoker Temperature

It isn't just about knowing how long to smoke the cut and at what temperature. You must also be cognizant of maintaining the temperature inside the smoking temperature.

The easiest way to do this is to invest in a thermometer for this chamber. Now, some models are already equipped with a hood thermometer, but I would still be a bit skeptical of these. In my experience, they tend to be off by several degrees. As such, I would recommend getting another thermometer just to make certain that both temps add up.

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Can You Overcook Brisket at 225 Degrees?

Yes, you can absolutely overcook or over smoke a brisket at this temperature point. This can happen anytime you overshoot the ideal internal temp for brisket.

The main difference, though, is that it is a lot more difficult to overcook a brisket, however. As it takes longer to smoke brisket at this smoker temperature, you have a lot more wiggle room.

The Brisket Stall

Of course, I can't take about time and temperature without also mentioning the dreaded stall. This typically takes place when the meat hits the 165 degree mark. The meat then ceases to cook for several hours.

As you can imagine, this is something that you want to overcome at all costs. Thus, you can use a technique that is known as the Texas Crutch.

This is where you wrap the brisket in aluminum foil or pink butcher paper when it begins to stall. The heat is trapped around the wrapped brisket forcing the smoking temperature higher and allowing the meat to push past the stall.

Before wrapping the meat, some people will spritz the brisket with beef broth, apple cider vinegar, or a similar solution from a spray bottle to keep the brisket moist.

I should let you know that the Texas Crutch isn't the perfect solution. On the one hand, it does speed up the process and is also great at keeping the flesh moist. Nevertheless, the wrapping traps moisture as well as heat. This can compromise the bark, resulting in a less crispy version. Thus, you will decide which features are most important when preparing this dish.

Resting the Brisket

When beef is exposed to heat for extended periods of time, the fibers contract pushing out the natural juices. Once the meat is taken off the smoker and allowed to rest, however, these juices are reabsorbed.

Last, but certainly not least, you need to let the brisket rest. Personally, I believe that the resting period should be an hour - although more if you can manage it. It is the only way to be certain that all those juices have been reabsorbed.

In case your guests have already arrived or you are ready to eat, you can simply take the cut off the smoker and place it on a cutting board. If it will be a while before you will be eating, then you can create a faux Cambro.

Here, you first pour hot water into an ice chest and close the lid, letting the water sit for half an hour. Then, pour the water out, line with towels, and place the brisket in and close until needed.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Minutes Per Pound for Brisket at 225?

It can take between 90 and 120 minutes for brisket to cook at this temp.

Is It Better to Smoke a Brisket at 225 or 250?

There isn't too much of a difference between these temperatures so you can smoke the meat at either and still enjoy the same results.

How Long Does It Take a Brisket to get to 165 at 225?

It can take between 1.5 and 2 hours until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

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Final Thoughts

This is all you need to know about temperature and time when preparing brisket! Armed with this knowledge, you are sure to be able to turn out a delicious cut of meat each and every time.

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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