Smoked Brisket Internal Temp (210°F or 225°F)

Smoked Brisket Internal Temp (210°F or 225°F)

We all want to know the perfect internal temperature for our brisket. For that, you’re in luck! We’ve compiled a guide to help you cook it to perfection.

Brisket is the toughest part of a cow and the toughest to cook as well. Naturally, there are varying recipes and opinions on topics like does brisket cook at 180 F or 225 F?

What is the internal temp for brisket? And is the low and slow brisket temp the right recipe or high and fast?

brisket internal temp

A perfectly cooked smoked brisket can create a highly flavorful feast and the key to this is keeping an eye out for the brisket internal temp for smoker. This article will serve as your guide to best smoked brisket internal temp.

Smoked Brisket Internal Temp 210

Smoking brisket is the best way to cook it into a juicy piece of meat. A smoked brisket cooking temperature of 225 F is the correct temperature, but brisket smoking times may vary depending on the size of the meat.

The optimum brisket internal temp that you need to reach is between 195 F to 210 F. Resting brisket is the recipe to success for sure. Remember, brisket takes a long time to cook, hence, patience is the key to this recipe’s success.

Smoking Brisket Internal Temperature: 225 or 250 F

The optimum brisket internal temp when done lies anywhere between 195 F to 210 F. Meat continues to cook even after taking out of the smoker, hence, the key is to take it out at a minimum internal temp for brisket of 190 F and let it rest.

Some people believe that the ideal temperature for brisket is 180°F, whereas others suggest that the conversion of collagen to gelatin happens from around 212 degrees.

There is no set temperature that’s considered “correct” for cooking brisket. It often depends on the type of meat, how long it’s been aged for, and the desired outcome (e.g., tender, moist or dry).

Start pulling the meat when it reaches an internal temp of 200 F. There are various tips for making the best smoked brisket without drying it out.

Tips for Preparing and Smoking Briskets:

Tip 1: Brisket Size and Cooking Time:

Do keep in mind that brisket is an all-day cooking experience no matter which method you use for cooking. A larger piece of brisket will take more time to cook and so on. It is best to start with the larger piece of brisket, as it contains the perfect ratio of muscle and fats.

Tip 2: Dry the Brisket:

Wash the brisket meat, pat it dry with a towel, and put it in the fridge to make sure it is dried out in preparation for the cooking process.

Tip 3: Trim the Brisket:

Brisket is trimmed for creating a smooth and uniform cooking surface. Trim it when it is cold for an even cutting.

The fat side is placed down and the hard fat on top is trimmed to expose the hard muscle underneath which needs the most cooking exposure. Turn the meat around and flatten the surface by trimming off any big chunks of fat on the meat.

Tip 4: Season it generously:

Season the brisket while its cold, dry and even with the hard muscle exposed. It should be seasoned 24 hours before the cooking process starts to make sure the flavor reaches the insides of the meat. You can use any brisket rub, but the classic salt and pepper rub work great as well. Use oil to bind the seasoning all over the meat. Cover it and place it in the fridge for 24 hours. A pro tip is to take it out 1 – 2 hours before cooking so it can come down to room temperature for even cooking.

Tip 5: Fat side up vs down:

After researching the opinions of many professionals, it is a general consensus that brisket should be placed in the smoker fat side down if the heat source is at a downside or placed the fat side up if the heat source is coming from above.

This allows for more direct heat on the fat, which allows it to melt and renders the meat tender and juicier.

Tip 6: Rest your Brisket:

As stated earlier, smoked brisket continues cooking even after you remove it from the smoker. Hence, it is ideal to remove it when the smoked brisket internal temp is at 190 F. To prevent it from drying out, cover the brisket with foil and let it rest till the internal temp of brisket reaches 200 F and is ready to be sliced.

Tip 7: Slicing the Brisket:

In order to make the brisket meat less hard to bite into, it is important that you slice the brisket against the grain.

Make note of the direction of the muscle fibers and cut in opposite directions to make it easier to eat.

Brisket is done at what temp?

Brisket Temperature Debate

The minimum internal temperature of brisket is 195 F which is safe for eating. Other than that, there is much debate on what is the correct brisket internal temp at which it is done completely. Some cooks swear by reaching an internal temp of 210 F, whereas others state to pull it out when it reaches 195 F. The best method of knowing when brisket is done is to check for its doneness through thermometer, probes and the poke test.

Tips for How to Know when Brisket is Done

  1. Using an instant probe thermometer is a surefire way of knowing the internal done temp of brisket. Insert the probe in the meatiest part and wait for the internal temp of smoked brisket to reach 195 F which is when it is safe to consume.
  2. The poke test is another way of being sure of when the brisket is done. Use a toothpick to probe the meat at various points and if it is being inserted easily, then the meat is tender and internally done.
  3. You can also do the feel method, wherein, insert a fork in the middle of the brisket, twist it and if it twists easily, then the meat is done.
  4. Lastly, you can also cut a thin slice of brisket and hold it vertically in your hands. If the meat pulls apart easily, than its ready for eating.

Avoid Overcooking Briskets:

Meat keeps cooking even after being removed from the smoker. Hence, it is important to remove it beforehand when it is about 10 degrees less than your required internal temp of brisket. There are varying views of when brisket is done, but for an idea if you are aiming for 200 F internal temperature of brisket then remove it when it reaches 190 F.

Avoid bitter Brisket

When burning the wood chips and preparing the smoker, make sure that the wood chips are not damp and allow enough air inside to help in quicker burning of wood and reaching higher temperatures. Experts say that thick and white smoke means that the meat will taste bitter and the smoke should be thin to avoid that mistake.

Guide to Smoked Brisket Temperature and Time Chart:

               Let’s talk about the smoked brisket cooking temperature and time based on its size. Here is a handy chart that you can follow for perfect brisket every time.

SizeSmoker TemperatureSmoking TimeInternal Done Temp
5 – 10 lbs.225 F5-7 Hours200 F
12 – 18 lbs.225 F10-12 Hours200 F
Brisket internal temp smoker

Low and Slow vs High and Fast Brisket:

               As a rule of thumb, brisket meat is cooked for 1 hour for each pound of brisket meat. You can go the low and slow route, which is safer for more tender meat, whereas many professionals also follow the high and fast methods for brisket cooking.

Low and Slow Smoked Brisket:

  • For this method, usually a pellet grill/smoker is used.
  • Bring it up to 250 F before placing the brisket.
  • Remember to keep it humid inside the smoker or grill by adding a pan of water.
  • When the smoke is blue-grey and the desired brisket cooking temp is reached, then place the prepared brisket meat inside the smoker.
  • For the first 3 hours, do not open the smoker to check on the meat, rather let it cook and turn into BBQ.
  • The next 3 to 4 hours are the stall period in the low and slow methods. The brisket cooking temp stops and you have to wait till the meat becomes a dark reddish brown on the outside.
  • Keep checking the brisket’s internal temp and when it reaches the desired temperature for smoked brisket, it’s time to pull it out, wrap it up and let it rest. The low and slow brisket temp is around 200 F.

Hot and Fast Smoked Brisket:

  • Now, if you are a smoker pro, this method is for you! In this way, brisket is cooked at half the time. The smoker temperature in this method is 300 F.
  • You prepare the brisket as mentioned earlier and place it in your high heat smoker.
  • It will cook for 2 to 2.5 hours while you make sure to spray it with broth or water sparingly to keep it keep adding moisture to the brisket.
  • When it reaches the delicious reddish-brown color, it’s time to wrap it up in foil.
  • Now place it back into the grill and after 2 hours start checking for internal temp for brisket. Then take it out, rest it and pull as always.

Final Thought: Smoked Brisket Internal Temp

The ultimate goal for smoked brisket is for it to be juicy and tender when you pull it. Follow the guide to smoked brisket internal temp and you will make sure to have a delicious meal ready for your family and friends.

To accurately check the internal temperature of your brisket, invest in a digital meat thermometer. A lot of wifi electric smoker models come with a built-in meat probe that makes it super-easy to check the food’s temperature without opening the smoker or having to constantly watch it.

4 Best Wifi Electric Smokers 

Smoked Chicken Temp and Time