How Long To Cook Brisket Per Pound

how long to cook brisket per pound

Brisket is a popular cut of meat known for its rich flavor and tenderness when cooked correctly. One of the most important factors in achieving the perfect brisket is understanding the cooking time per pound. In this article, we will discuss the optimal cooking times for brisket at various temperatures, as well as alternative methods such as oven, wrapping, crock pot, gas grill, and air fryer cooking. 

We will also provide a smoking time chart and tips for determining when your brisket is cooked to perfection, as well as mistakes to avoid for the best results.

More Cooking Time Information:

Cooking Time for Brisket per Pound

The cooking time for brisket per pound can vary depending on the desired temperature. 

For example, at 250°F, a brisket will take approximately 1 hour per pound to cook. At 225°F, the cooking time increases to 1.5 hours per pound. At 325°F, the cooking time decreases to 45 minutes per pound, and at 350°F, it decreases further to 40 minutes per pound. 

It’s important to note that these are approximate times and may vary depending on the size and thickness of the brisket.

how long to cook brisket per pound
how long to cook brisket per pound

How To Calculate Brisket Cooking Time Per Pound

To calculate the cooking time for your brisket, you need to know the weight of the brisket and the desired cooking temperature. Once you have this information, you can use the cooking time per pound guidelines provided above to determine the total cooking time.

For example, if you have a 4-pound brisket that you want to cook at 225°F, the total cooking time would be 4 x 1.5 hours = 6 hours. It’s always a good idea to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the brisket has reached the desired internal temperature for the best results.

1. At 225°F: 1.5 hours per pound

  • 4-pound brisket = 6 hours
  • 6-pound brisket = 9 hours

2. At 250°F: 1 hour per pound

  • 4-pound brisket = 4 hours
  • 6-pound brisket = 6 hours

3. At 300 °F: 50 minutes per pound

  • 4-pound brisket = 3 hours
  • 6-pound brisket = 4.5 hours

4. At 325°F: 45 minutes per pound

  • 4-pound brisket = 3 hours
  • 6-pound brisket = 4.5 hours

5. At 350 °F: 40 minutes per pound

  • 4-pound brisket = 2.5 hours
  • 6-pound brisket = 3.5 hours
how long to cook brisket per pound
how long to cook brisket per pound

Alternative Cooking Methods

While the traditional method of cooking brisket is in the oven or on a smoker, there are several alternative methods that can also produce delicious results. These methods include cooking brisket in a crock pot, on a gas grill, or in an air fryer. 

Each method has its own set of pros and cons, and the cooking time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the brisket.

1. Crockpot

Cooking brisket in a crock pot is a convenient and low-maintenance option. The slow cooking process allows the meat to become tender and infused with flavor, but it can take several hours, up to 8 to 12 hours, to cook a brisket in a crock pot.

Cooking Time brisket in a crock pot:

  • 2-pound brisket: 4-6 hours
  • 4-pound brisket: 8-12 hours
  • 6-pound brisket: 12-18 hours

2. Gas grill

Cooking brisket on a gas grill allows for a smoky flavor and a crispy crust, but it can be difficult to maintain a consistent temperature. The cooking time will depend on the temperature of the grill and the size of the brisket, but it typically takes around 6 to 8 hours.

Cooking Time brisket on a gas grill:

  • 2-pound brisket: 3-4 hours
  • 4-pound brisket: 6-8 hours
  • 6-pound brisket: 9-12 hours

3. Air fryer 

Cooking brisket in an air fryer is a quick and easy option that can produce a crispy crust and tender meat. The cooking time is shorter, typically around 2 to 3 hours, but the brisket must be cooked in smaller portions, as it may not fit in the air fryer.

Cooking Time brisket in an air fryer:
  • 2-pound brisket: 1.5-2 hours
  • 4-pound brisket: 3-4 hours
  • 6-pound brisket: 4.5-6 hours

4. Cooking Time brisket after wrapping

  • 2-pound brisket: 1-2 hours
  • 4-pound brisket: 2-4 hours
  • 6-pound brisket: 3-6 hours

Smoking Time Chart for Different Temperatures

Smoking brisket can be a bit tricky, as the cooking time and temperature can vary depending on the size of the brisket, the type of smoker used, and even the weather conditions. 

To help you achieve the perfect brisket, we have created a smoking time chart that provides a rough guide on smoking time at different temperatures.

  • 225 degrees: 1-2 hours per pound
  • 250 degrees: 45-60 minutes per pound
  • 275 degrees: 30-45 minutes per pound

Brisket Cooking Time Based On Doneness

Cooking time based on “doneness” refers to the internal temperature of the meat, which will determine how well cooked it is. There are several different levels of doneness for brisket, each with its own recommended internal temperature.

  • Rare: 130-135°F
  • Medium Rare: 135-140°F
  • Medium: 140-150°F
  • Medium Well: 150-155°F
  • Well Done: 160°F and above

It’s important to note that the USDA recommends that brisket should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 145°F, with a 3-minute rest time before slicing to ensure food safety.

how long to cook brisket per pound
how long to cook brisket per pound

How to Know When Brisket is Done

  1. Meat thermometer: The internal temperature of the brisket should reach a minimum of 145°F to be considered safe for consumption, with a 3-minute rest time before slicing.
  2. Poke test: Gently press the brisket with your finger. If the meat feels very soft and has no resistance, it’s likely done. If it still feels firm, it needs more cooking.
  3. Bend test: Gently pick up the brisket with tongs and see if it starts to bend or breaks apart easily. A well-done brisket will bend easily, while a less-done brisket will be firmer and more difficult to bend.
  4. Observing the color of the meat: A well-done brisket will have a dark brown color, while a less-done brisket will be pink or red.

Cover Vs. Uncovered Cooking Time And The Resulting Texture

1. Cover 

Cooking brisket uncovered allows the heat to circulate freely around the meat, leading to a crisp crust and a smoky flavor. However, cooking brisket uncovered also causes the meat to dry out more quickly, so it’s important to keep an eye on the internal temperature and to baste the meat occasionally with its own juices or a flavorful liquid.

2. Uncovered 

Cooking brisket covered creates a more moist environment for the meat, which can lead to a more tender texture. It also helps to keep the meat from drying out and allows the meat to cook more evenly. 

However, cooking brisket covered also means that the meat will not develop a crust and may not have as much smoky flavor.

Cooking time for brisket covered will be 10-15% longer than uncovered because the covered method trap heat and moisture.

Mistakes to Avoid When Cooking Brisket 

Cooking brisket can be a bit tricky, and there are several common mistakes that can be made that can affect the final outcome. 

Here is a list of mistakes to avoid when cooking brisket:

  • Not trimming the fat properly: Trimming too much fat can dry out the brisket, while not trimming enough can make it too greasy.
  • Cooking at too high of a temperature: Cooking at high temperatures can cause the brisket to dry out and become tough.
  • Not allowing the brisket to reach room temperature before cooking: Cooking a cold brisket can cause uneven cooking and can result in a less tender texture.
  • Not using enough seasoning: A well-seasoned brisket will have more flavor and will be more enjoyable to eat.
  • Not using a meat thermometer: A thermometer is the most accurate way to determine when a brisket is done and to ensure that it’s cooked to your desired level of doneness.
  • Overcooking or undercooking: Overcooking can cause the brisket to become dry and tough, while undercooking can cause the brisket to be underdone and unsafe to eat.
  • Not resting the brisket: Resting the brisket for at least 15 minutes before slicing allows the juices to redistribute and can make the brisket more tender and flavorful.
  • By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your brisket turns out perfectly cooked and flavorful every time.

    More Cooking Time Information:

    Here’s a simple recipe that summarizes all of the information provided:


    Hi, I'm Emily , a food writer who loves everything about cooking. At Delish Sides, my goal is to share interesting and helpful information about food. I'm also an SEO expert, so I know how to make sure this useful information reaches you. Come join me on this food journey. With my knowledge and your love of food, we're going to have a tasty time together!

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