How Long to Smoke a Corned Beef Brisket

Smoking a corned beef brisket is a delicious way to prepare this classic Irish dish. With the right technique, you can achieve a tender and flavorful smoked corned beef brisket perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or anytime. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how long to smoke a corned beef brisket.

Selecting the Right Brisket

When selecting a corned beef brisket, look for a 3-5 lb brisket flat or point cut. The flat cut is leaner while the point cut has more fat marbling which makes it more moist and flavorful. Both work well for smoking. Try to find a brisket with a 1⁄4-1⁄2 inch fat cap, as the fat helps keep the brisket moist during smoking.

Prepping the Brisket

Before smoking, the corned beef brisket needs to be rinsed thoroughly under cold water to remove excess salt from the brine. After rinsing, soak the brisket in water for at least 2 hours and up to overnight in the refrigerator. This helps desalinate the meat.

After soaking, pat the brisket dry with paper towels. Trim off any hardened pieces of fat, but leave the majority of the fat cap intact.

Applying a Dry Rub

For flavor, coat the brisket liberally with a dry rub before smoking. Make your own rub with spices like black pepper, mustard powder, ginger, and crushed bay leaves. The rub helps form a flavorful bark on the outside of the smoked brisket.

Low and Slow Smoking Time

The most important factor in getting a tender smoked brisket is maintaining a low temperature (225-250°F) and smoking the meat low and slow. This allows the tough connective tissues in the brisket to break down over time.

For a 3-5 lb corned beef brisket, the approximate smoking time is:

  • 3 lb brisket: 4-5 hours
  • 4 lb brisket: 5-6 hours
  • 5 lb brisket: 6-8 hours

The total smoking time depends on a few factors:

  • Size of the brisket – Larger briskets take longer. Plan for 1-2 hours per pound.
  • Smoker temperature – Lower heat = longer cook time. Cook times will be shorter at 250°F vs. 225°F.
  • Outside temperature – If smoking when it’s cold out, it may take longer.
  • Opening the smoker – Limit opening the smoker to prevent heat loss.

Monitoring Temperature

Use a digital meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the thickest part of the brisket. After 3-4 hours, the brisket should reach 140-160°F.

At this point, tightly wrap the brisket in foil or butcher paper with some beef broth or beer. Return it to the smoker until 205°F for slicing or 203°F for shredding.

Resting the Brisket

Once the brisket reaches the target internal temperature, let it rest wrapped for at least 30 minutes up to 1 hour before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute through the meat.

Slice the brisket against the grain into 1⁄4 inch thick slices. Be sure to save any juices from the foil to serve with the smoked corned beef.

Serving Smoked Corned Beef Brisket

Smoked corned beef brisket makes for amazing sandwiches. Serve stacked high on rye bread with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing.

It also pairs well with roasted vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and cabbage wedges. Mustard, horseradish sauce, and pickles also make great condiments.

For an appetizer, slice the brisket thin and serve on toasted baguette rounds with a horseradish cream sauce.

Leftover Smoked Corned Beef

Refrigerate leftover brisket for up to 5 days. Sliced corned beef also freezes well for 2-3 months. Try these creative ways to use up leftovers:

  • Corned beef hash – Dice and pan fry with potatoes and onions
  • Tacos – Serve sliced or shredded corned beef in tortillas
  • Nachos – Pile smoked brisket over tortilla chips with cheese
  • Omelets or breakfast sandwiches
  • Corned beef pizza
  • Chili – Use chopped brisket in hearty beef chili

Tips for the Best Smoked Corned Beef Brisket

  • Choose a well-marbled brisket for best results.
  • Allow 1-2 hours per pound cooking time at 225-250°F.
  • Use a meat thermometer and don’t rely solely on time.
  • Keep the smoker temperature steady and consistent.
  • Limit opening the smoker during cooking.
  • Wrap at 160°F and continue cooking until 200-205°F.
  • Let the brisket rest properly before slicing for maximum juiciness.

With the right preparation and smoking technique, you can achieve incredibly moist, smoky, and delicious homemade smoked corned beef brisket. Experiment with different rubs, wood smoke flavors, and serving ideas. Enjoy!

Frequency of Entities:

temperature: 17
brisket: 16
smoke: 10
corned beef: 9
meat: 5

How 2 Smoke Corned Beef Brisket Like a Professional (Flavor Overload)


Can you smoke a store bought corned beef brisket?

How to Prepare Pre-Cured Corned Beef for Smoking. The pre-cured corned beef you buy at the store is extremely salty. If you plan to smoke it, you should first soak it in water for at least two hours and up to eight hours. This process will help draw out some of the salt.

What temperature does corned beef fall apart?

Bring to full pressure and cook 15 additional minutes then release pressure and remove the lid. The corned beef and vegetables should all be fork tender . Internal temperature should be at least 160°F for food safety; for optimal tenderness, cook to an internal temperature of 190°F.

How long do you smoke a 3 pound beef brisket?

A: You can usually figure about 1.5 hours per pound at 225 degrees for brisket, pork shoulder and other larger pieces of meat. Several things can affect this time such as actual meat thickness, wind, temperature and how often you open the door of the smoker.

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