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Brisket 225F or 250F

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    Brisket 225F or 250F

    I was looking at Aaron Franklin's videos and he cooks his briskets at 250F while Meathead suggest 225F.

    I have done 225F but on a pellet smoker that I really did not trust the temperature. I seem to have one now that can hold temp pretty well and had a few questions.

    1. Will the bark form better at 250 vs 225
    2. How many hours should I plan for at 225 Franklin suggests about 1.5 hrs per lb. at 250. I know its not done until its done but this timing is for planning purposes its not a biblical writ.
    3. Is the 225F brisket more moist than the 250F or does it not seem to matter.

    Last edited by MauleGuy; July 9, 2021, 08:48 PM.

    I have done briskets from 225 to 300 and I would be hard pressed to trll the difference kn anything below 275. 300 was slightly drier in the flat


      I have smoked many briskets at 225 and 250. I do not notice a difference in moisture or bark. Those variables are mainly due to other factors like rubs. I recommend dry brining overnight and moving the brisket straight to the smoker from the fridge to the ensure the most bark and smoke formation.

      Time wise, if you do not separate the point and flat - 1 to 1.5 hours a pound is within a reasonable range. You’d also need to allow 2 hours at least for resting.

      I would recommend though you smoke at 275. All of the benefits of smoking at lower temps and cooks a lot faster!


      • RonB
        RonB commented
        Editing a comment
        + 1 Why spend more time cookin' than necessary.

      There is no appreciable difference cooking between 225 and 250; I usually set my Weber around 240ish because then if it spikes or dips 20 degrees I'm in my comfort zone without having to go fiddle with the intakes and damper.


        Here’s a few thoughts on the topic

        1. Your oven, when set to 250F, will range from 230 to 270, roughly. THat’s how the PID that controls it works.
        2. So, when you set your oven to 250, you aren’t really cooking at 250, you are cooking at an average of 250
        3. Most of us keep our BBQ at a steadier temp than our oven. Think about that for a minute.

        Now, let’s be honest, do you really think that the typical Pitmaster keeps his pit at a specific temp? Do you think that Aaron Franklin or Terry Black or any of the others are keeping their pits at exactly 250F? I don’t.

        Here’s the real trick. Do what you do consistently, the same way, every time. I run my WSM with specific charcoal set ups and specific vent settings, each time. And that gives me good outcomes.

        Smoking is about loving your BBQ and loving your meat and cooking it to give your friends and family some great food. :-)

        Also, check out my brisket method :-) https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...brisket-method


        • BarbecueBob
          BarbecueBob commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you ecowper. I will be cooking my very first brisket this weekend despite having grilled for many years.

          My son is allergic to beef and I have been sticking to pork butts so far for my long cooks. With all y’all’s write ups of briskets and juicy pictures I finally pulled the trigger on brisket. To keep the son happy, I am making him pork butt the day before and then brisket after. Can’t wait 🤤

        • ecowper
          ecowper commented
          Editing a comment
          BarbecueBob if you need input while cooking that brisket, create a post in beef discussion. A bunch of folks will be happy to jump in and help.

          Also .... allergic to beef? I can't imagine anything worse! I feel for your son.

        • gboss
          gboss commented
          Editing a comment
          This is great information! I'll just nitpick a tiny bit because most ovens are definitely not PID controlled. They are all pretty much a "bang bang" controller. If they were PID, they'd be able to keep the Process Variable much closer to the Setpoint. The "bang bang" control is what gives the fairly large temperature range. Cheers and happy smoking!

        What's been said above are variations on accurate points. I'll add another approach. For the sake of discussion let's say there are 25 important steps in making a good brisket outcome. Cooking temp is only one of those 25, and probably not the most important of them. And each of those 25 have variations in execution or interpretation, compounding the process understanding. That's why cooking, of any kind, is a mix of prescription (recipe, operation directions, equipment, etc) and art....................art is earned not prescribed.


        • CaptainMike
          CaptainMike commented
          Editing a comment

        • Troutman
          Troutman commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks professor !!!

          Now put down that bottle of whiskey before you hurt yourself !!!

        • Uncle Bob
          Uncle Bob commented
          Editing a comment
          Troutman, it's strictly for medicinal purposes.......really.

        I can’t add much to what’s been said, other than I’ve cooked a ton of briskets on all kinds of cookers typically at 250F. The best ones I’ve cooked, lately, have been on my PBC which runs at 275-300F.
        Last edited by au4stree; July 10, 2021, 07:38 AM.


          One additional point not mentioned thus far: No need to spritz your meat during cooking. As Meathead points out, this cools the meat, adds little flavor, and extends cooking times.


            I cook between 220 and 280, wherever the cooker I’m using that day happens to settle in at. I’m no pitmaster and there’s certainly room for improvement but it’s much less stressful to keep it within a range as long as you’re not scorching sugar or drying out the meat.


              I cook at 300F with the fat cap down to use as a bit of a heat shield. If I’m on my kamado I’ll go until its probe tender some where between 195 and 203 internal. If I’m using something with more airflow I’ll wrap it at 180 internal to keep it from drying the flat. I’ve used pink butcher paper and foil, the foil is a whole lot less messy. I do use a temp controller, a good one is worth the investment. If that’s TMI sorry.


                My stickburner likes to run ~250°F, so that’s where I cook everything. It’ll finish a full packer in less than 10 hours, and it’s moist with a beautiful bark.


                  Franklin runs stick burners that cook good between 250-275. With a pellet grill you’re going to get better smoke at 200-225. So, I’d run lower at least for the first 3-4 hours on brisket, then bump up to 250-275 so you’re not cooking forever. When I smoke things on my WSCG, I just run the whole cook at 250-275. Cooker sweet spot for good smoke is more important than the temp when talking 275 and below.


                    I typically run in the 240-290 range. Over time my experience has been that cuts of meat like brisket are pretty forgiving when it comes to temperature fluctuation and they cook pretty consistently within the low/slow range.


                      Hotter and faster imo.


                      • mrteddyprincess
                        mrteddyprincess commented
                        Editing a comment
                        To loosely quote Myron Mixon, "I ain't got no nineteen hours to cook no damn piece of meat."

                      • smokin fool
                        smokin fool commented
                        Editing a comment
                        To loosely quote my wife: "Dinner better be on time!"
                        I smoke em hot n fast for self preservation....

                      Ok, sounds like 225 or 250 is the choice for pellet grills. I can do 225F until I wrap it in pink butcher paper then go 250F or so.

                      Anyone have a WAG on time per lb for each of those tmps. I heard Franklin say 1.5 hrs at his 250F which translates into 21 hrs on a 14 lb packer. Sound right to everyone?


                      • Mudkat
                        Mudkat commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Sounds long to me if you power through the stall after good bark formation and wrap it. Maybe You could plan 18 hours and faux cambro for a few hours if it comes in at 16 hours. I’ve never had a 21 hour cook. But I’m no Aaron Franklin. Once the bark is formed you could speed it up with higher temps if needed,
                        Last edited by Mudkat; July 11, 2021, 04:15 PM.


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