Brisket is a tough cut of meat, but it’s also one that can be cooked to perfection if you know what you are doing.
The first step in smoking brisket is choosing the right temperature for your smoker. The ideal temperature range for smoking brisket is 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
This will allow the smoke flavor to penetrate the meat without burning it. If you have a gas grill, this should be easy enough to achieve.
The next step is to choose an appropriate wood or charcoal for smoking. When cooking with charcoal, make sure to use high-quality briquettes. The best way to do this would be to buy them from a local supplier.
When using a wood fire, try to find hardwood like oak or hickory. These woods impart more flavor to the meat than softwoods such as pine or fir.
The main thing to remember when cooking beef brisket is to have patience. While it may take a while, your patience will be rewarded with a delicious and juicy brisket at the end.
What Is Beef Brisket?
Before we go into the steps for cooking beef brisket to perfection, let’s discuss what this cut of meat actually is. Beef brisket is a cut of meat from the lower breast of a cow.
This area is subject to a lot of exercise from the cow, so it can be quite a tough cut of meat. This is why cooking it low and slow is the best way forward with this meat, enabling it to soften.
How Long To Smoke Brisket At 225
If you are cooking your beef brisket at 225 degrees Fahrenheit, you can expect it to take around 1 and a half to two hours to cook per round.
However, the time it’ll take may be subject to the quality of the smoker, and the cut of meat you are using. Therefore, it is important to keep checking the thermometer regularly.
Why Cook It Low And Slow?
Brisket is a tough piece of meat, so slow and low is the only way to go when smoking it. This means that you should start out by preheating your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once you have reached this temperature, add some chunks of wood to the coals. Then, place the brisket into the smoker.
Once the brisket has been placed in the smoker, it’ll begin to cook low and slow, just like you want it to. Hitting the right temperature is crucial.
If the temperature is too high, you won’t get the ‘melt in your mouth’, juicy texture that brisket is known for.
However, if the temperature is too low, then it may linger for too long at a temperature that promotes bacterial growth.
How Long Will It Take?
As mentioned above, at this temperature, your brisket is likely to take around 2 hours, or slightly less, per pound.
Therefore, if your brisket is 12 pounds in weight, you can expect a cooking time of around 18 hours.
However, as mentioned earlier, even if your brisket is the same weight as mentioned above, it may take a longer time, or less time, to reach the desired temperature.
There are many factors that weigh into this, such as the cut of meat, or the type of smoker you are using.
This is why it is very important to use an instant-read thermometer when cooking your brisket, and keep a close eye on it, as some briskets could be done sooner or later than others.
Your Smoker Matters
As we’ve mentioned, the quality of your smoker is a big factor when it comes to cooking time.
If your smoker isn’t working to its full capacity, it may constantly dip below 225 degrees, resulting in your brisket taking even longer to cook.
On the other hand, it may keep increasing every so often, which will leave you with a brisket that is dry.
Fortunately, there are things you can do in order for your smoker to maintain a stable temperature. You should ensure that it is placed in a shaded area, away from direct sunlight or wind.
You could also get a cover for it. As it is preheating or even cooking your brisket, keep checking the temperature and make any adjustments needed if you see the temperature dropping or increasing.
If the temperature still does not stabilize after these adjustments, then you may need a new smoker.
Desired Temperature Of Beef Brisket
Ensuring your smoker is at a good temperature is one step to achieving the best brisket, but making sure the brisket itself has reached the desired temperature is crucial.
As you would insert your thermometer into the thickest part of a chicken to check the temperature, the same applies to beef brisket. The meat will be considered done when the thermometer reads 195 degrees.
You’ll notice the meat is wonderfully tender at this point, making carving a literal dream. However, the brisket will have to go through a few stages before it reaches this temperature.
The Brisket Stall
The brisket stall is feared by many novices, but is an essential step in achieving the juiciest and most tender of briskets.
The stall refers to a certain part of the temperature process. Once the temperature of the meat reaches around 150 to 160 degrees, the thermometer will get stuck in place for a little while.
Now, it’s important not to panic, this step is completely normal! What is happening is that the moisture from the brisket is moving to the surface before evaporating, which will cool the meat slightly. This is called evaporative cooling.
Therefore, the stall will happen when the meat is cooling itself off faster than the smoker is working. The temperature will then stagnate for a bit until this moisture is used up.
Once all the moisture has evaporated away, the temperature will begin to climb again. The best thing to do at this point is to have patience and let the meat do what it needs to.
How Long Will The Stall Last?
There are many factors that contribute to how long the stall will last. In some cases, the stall can last up to 7 hours. However, once the stall is over, the temperature can rise very quickly.
How long your stall will last depends on a number of factors, such as the size of your meat. The larger the cut, the more moisture will need to evaporate, meaning your stall will last longer.
Your smoker may also determine how long your stall will last. Some have a fan to encourage more airflow, leading to less of a stall.
After the stall, you will want to allow the brisket to rest. This step in preparing beef brisket is of the utmost importance.
Allowing it to rest will ensure the moisture and juices stay inside the meat, giving you the juiciest cut of meat imaginable.
This means letting the meat sit for about 30 minutes before slicing. It is recommended that you wrap it up in some foil to let it rest.
During this time, the heat will continue to cook the meat, but the juices will settle back down into the meat.
Once the brisket has rested, slice it thinly across the grain. If you’re using a slicer, make sure the blade is sharp enough to cut through the tough fibers. Otherwise, use a knife or cleaver.
How Much Time Does Beef Brisket Need To Cook?
As mentioned earlier, there are different types of cuts of beef brisket. The two main ones are flat and point.
Flat brisket is usually sliced thin and served with barbecue sauce. Point brisket is typically thicker and cooked slower.
It’s important to note that cooking times vary depending on the type of brisket you choose. For example, if you buy a flat cut, you should expect to spend between 1-1.5 hours per pound.
On the other hand, a pointcut can take anywhere from 2-3 hours per pound. You should always check the package instructions to see what kind of cut you bought, so you know exactly how much time to cook it.
Beef Brisket Recipes
If you’re looking for some fun beef brisket recipes, then get some inspiration from a few here!
The tenderness of beef brisket makes it a wonderful addition to stews. This recipe involves marinating your beef with wine, sage, garlic, and rosemary, and combining it with mushrooms, carrots, and onions to make a delicious, hearty casserole, perfect for the cold, winter months.
This brisket noodle soup has a delicious smoky flavor in each slurp. It’s mixed with egg noodles, lima beans, okra, and corn, along with some chicken broth.
This is another option that is perfect for a cold winter’s night.
This recipe involves smoking your brisket using applewood chips, giving it a seriously smoky flavor and aroma.
The tender brisket is then spread onto some soft, warm buns, spread with mayonnaise, and topped with some pickled vegetables and cilantro.
You can easily customize this recipe to your liking, including any toppings or spreads of your choice!
Creating a marinade for your brisket is always a good idea. This recipe involves making a sauce with tomato paste, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, and soy sauce.
The onions are also cooked with brisket, caramelizing them and giving them a delicious flavor.
Once the brisket is cooked, more of the sauce is spooned over the top, giving it a sweet glaze that’ll have you coming back for more each time!
To conclude, smoking your brisket at 225 degrees Fahrenheit will give you a wonderfully tender and juicy result.
However, as mentioned in this article, how long your brisket will take to cook at this temperature depends on the meat itself, and your smoker.
It is important to remember to let the stalling process do what it is meant to do, and have patience. You must also not forget about the resting period, in order to let those juices distribute.
Once you’ve smoked your brisket, grab one of the recipes above, and treat your guests to a delicious and mouth-watering meal!
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