how long to cook beef brisket in oven per pound

How Long To Cook Beef Brisket In The Oven Per Pound: A Complete Guide

Cooking beef brisket in the oven yields incredibly tender, flavorful results when done properly. As a tough cut of meat, brisket requires the low and slow cooking method to become tender enough to slice across the grain. When it comes to oven-cooked brisket, cooking time can vary greatly depending on the size of your brisket, oven temperature, and your desired level of doneness. This complete guide provides tips, guidelines, and recipes to help you learn exactly how long to cook beef brisket in the oven per pound.

Choosing the Right Brisket

When selecting a brisket for cooking in the oven, opt for a well-marbled choice or prime-graded brisket between 8 to 12 pounds Look for a thick, untrimmed brisket with ample fat marbling throughout as this fat renders during cooking to keep the brisket moist and tender The fat cap or deckle on top should be at least 1/4 inch thick. A quality brisket like this, when cooked properly, will result in the quintessential oven-baked brisket that’s beautifully moist and fork tender.

Preparing the Brisket

Before cooking your brisket, you’ll want to trim off any dried or excess hard fat. Leave about 1/4 inch of fat over the top of the brisket to baste it while cooking. Generously coat both sides of the brisket with a spice rub. A basic brisket rub consists of kosher salt, cracked black pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and brown sugar. Allow the brisket to sit for 30 minutes to an hour at room temperature after applying the rub to let the flavors penetrate the meat.

Oven Temperature for Brisket

The ideal oven temperature range for cooking brisket is 225°F to 250°F. This low and slow cooking method gives the collagen in the brisket time to break down into gelatin, resulting in succulent, fall-apart tender meat. Cook times will vary based on oven temperature. At 250°F, brisket may cook a little faster than at 225°F. Just keep in mind that higher temperatures may result in a drier end product.

How Long to Cook Brisket Per Pound

On average, brisket takes about 1 to 1 1/2 hours per pound to cook in the oven at 225°F to 250°F until it’s fall-apart tender. So if you have a 10 lb brisket, you’re looking at a cook time around 10 to 15 hours.

Here are some general time estimates based on brisket size:

  • 3 lb brisket: 3 to 4.5 hours
  • 5 lb brisket: 5 to 7.5 hours
  • 8 lb brisket: 8 to 12 hours
  • 12 lb brisket: 12 to 18 hours

However, keep in mind cook times vary based on the specific cut, thickness, and shape of each brisket. The only way to accurately determine when your brisket is cooked through is to use a meat thermometer.

Ideal Internal Temp for Brisket

The perfect internal temperature for brisket is 203°F to 208°F when measured in the thickest part of the flat. At this temp, the collagen has melted into the meat, making it succulent and tender. If your brisket thermometer readings have plateaued around 203°F for at least one hour, it’s safe to remove it from the oven.

Oven Cooking Process

Here is a summary of the complete oven cooking process for brisket:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 225°F to 250°F.

  2. Prepare your brisket by trimming excess fat and applying a spice rub. Allow it to sit at room temperature for 30 mins to an hour.

  3. Place the seasoned brisket fat side up in a roasting pan. Avoid overcrowding the pan.

  4. Cook the brisket for roughly 1 to 1 1/2 hours per pound, until it reaches an internal temperature of 203°F.

  5. About halfway through the estimated cook time, wrap the brisket tightly in foil to power through the stall phase.

  6. Once the brisket hits 203°F, remove it from the oven. Let it rest wrapped in foil for 1 hour before slicing against the grain.

  7. Serve the brisket warm with your favorite barbecue sides and sauces. Enjoy!

For a more tender brisket, cook it closer to 1 1/2 hours per pound. Be sure to always use an instant-read thermometer for the most accurate doneness reading. Letting the brisket rest is also crucial, as it allows the juices to redistribute into the meat.

Oven Brisket Recipes

Here are 3 delicious oven-baked brisket recipes to try:

Classic Oven Brisket


  • 1 8-10 lb beef brisket
  • 3 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 cup beef broth or beer


  1. Mix together all spices to create brisket rub. Coat brisket on all sides with rub. Refrigerate 30 mins – 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 250°F. Place brisket fat side up in a roasting pan. Pour beef broth or beer into bottom of pan.
  3. Cook 8-10 hours until internal temp reaches 203°F.
  4. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let rest for 1 hour before slicing.

Onion-Smothered Oven Brisket


  • 1 10-12 lb brisket
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 3 yellow onions, sliced
  • 1⁄2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup beef broth


  1. Season brisket with salt and pepper. Place onion slices in bottom of roasting pan and top with brisket.

  2. Whisk together balsamic, brown sugar and beef broth. Pour over brisket.

  3. Cook at 250°F for 12-15 hours until 203°F internal temp.

  4. Tent with foil and let rest 1 hour before slicing.

Sweet and Spicy Oven Brisket


  • 1 6-8 lb brisket
  • 1⁄4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup cola


  1. Combine dry rub ingredients and coat brisket on all sides.

  2. Place brisket fat side up in roasting pan. Pour cola into bottom of pan.

  3. Cook at 225°F for 8-12 hours until internal temp reaches 203°F.

  4. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let rest 1 hour.

  5. Slice across the grain and serve. Enjoy!


How long does it take to cook a 3 lb brisket?

A 3 lb brisket will take approximately 3 to 4.5 hours to cook in the oven at 225°F – 250°F. Use a meat thermometer to confirm it reaches 203°F internally when done.

Should I wrap brisket in foil while cooking?

Wrapping brisket in foil or “the Texas crutch” during the cooking process helps retain moisture, speeds up cook time, and powers through the stall phase. Wrap brisket once it reaches 160°F internal temp until 203°F for best results.

What oven temp is best for brisket?

An oven temperature between 225°F to 250°F is ideal for cooking brisket low and slow. Higher temperatures can cause brisket to dry out. Lower temperatures will require longer cook times.

What happens if I undercook brisket?

Undercooked brisket that hasn’t reached an internal temp of at least 195°F will be tough, chewy, and dry. Use a meat thermometer to avoid undercooking.

What if my brisket is overcooked?

An overcooked brisket cooked beyond 208°F will be dried out and tough. Though not ideal, wrapping leftover overcooked brisket in foil and reheating with moisture can help.

How do I know when brisket is done?

A brisket is finished cooking when it reaches an internal temperature of 203°F-208°F. The meat should be very tender and a fork or probe should slide in smoothly.

Should I let brisket rest before serving?

Letting brisket rest for at least 30-60 mins after cooking allows juices to redistribute so the meat stays moist and tender when you slice it.

How Long to Cook Brisket in Oven?


How long do you cook brisket per pound in the oven?

Place in the oven and bake for about an hour and 15 minutes per pound, until the brisket reaches 170-180° (I used one of our 4 1/2 lb. flat briskets that took about 4 hrs., 15 min. Update: after cooking one of our 7 lb. briskets, it will take over 5 hrs. to get to 185 degrees).

How long does it take to cook a 5 lb brisket at 225 degrees oven?

The general rule is that you need to cook your brisket for 1 hour for every pound of meat, although with this recipe I always give it an extra 30 minutes to an hour after adding the barbecue sauce so that the sauce can heat up and combine with some of the juices coming off the meat.

How long to cook 5 lb brisket at 300 degrees?

Cook low and slow with the brisket covered @ 300 degrees F for approx. 3-4 hours until meat temperature reaches 190- 200 degrees F.

How long to cook brisket at 250 in the oven?

A smaller brisket like a 3-pound brisket, for instance, will take between 3 and 4 hours at 250 degrees F. Simply take the temperature of the brisket after 2 hours of baking, then every 30 to 45 minutes, more frequently as it gets higher in temperature.

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