How Much Wood To Smoke A Brisket? The Ultimate Guide

Smoking a brisket sounds like a wonderful idea that promises a tender, juicy, flavorful, and mouth-watering outcome every BBQ enthusiast likes.

But you’d be able to achieve all of these results if everything in the cooking session goes perfectly well. No doubt, there are several key factors to look after when smoking a brisket, but one of the most important ones is to use the right amount of wood.

Therefore, many people ask how much wood is to smoke a brisket. If you are also here with a similar question, this is a must-read guide for you. So, let’s begin.

How Much Wood To Smoke A Brisket?

On average, a 10 to 12 hours long brisket-smoking session requires around 4 to 6 wood chunks, but I can’t say that these figures are set in stone.

The reason is that there are numerous factors that can affect the exact amount of wood required to smoke a brisket or any other larger and thicker meat cut. So, let’s move forward and have a detailed look at some of these crucial aspects.

Factors Affecting Wood Consumption

Below, I have highlighted all the major factors determining wood consumption in a brisket smoking session.

Brisket Size and Weight

Larger and thicker briskets require more smoking time to get smoked to perfection, and also, they will need more wood logs to ensure deep penetration of the smoke inside the meat.

On the other hand, smaller briskets will be ready in a relatively shorter time and will need fewer wood chunks to achieve a decent smoky flavor.

Type Of Wood You Use

When considering how much wood to smoke a brisket, it’s essential to know that different types of wood have different burn rates. For example, hardwoods like oak or hickory tend to burn slower, and you’ll use fewer chunks of these woods for longer.

On the other hand, softwoods like pine or cedar can burn faster, and you might need to add more wood logs frequently until the smoking session ends.

Smoking Temperature

It is one of the most important factors to consider whenever you are trying to solve the mystery of how much wood is required to smoke a brisket. Apart from that, it also determines the duration of the smoking process.

For example, smoking your brisket at 225 degrees Fahrenheit would require more time than smoking at 200 °F and less time than smoking at 250 °F. In short, cooking temperature directly impacts the smoking duration.

Now, you can understand that if you need to smoke your brisket for too long, you’ll need more wood chunks; if you smoke for a shorter period, you’ll burn less wood.

Personal Preferences

You will also have to see your cooking preferences when you are sorting out how much wood you will require to smoke a brisket.

For example, if you want intense smoke flavor, you may need to add some extra wood logs, but if you prefer a balanced smoky taste, you can reduce the amount of wood used in the smoking session.

Tips To Follow When Using Wood To Smoke A Brisket

There are a few valuable pro tips that that I recommend following when using wood logs for a brisket smoking session.

Start Smoking With A Stable Amount: At the beginning of the smoking procedure, there is no need to add all the wood logs required at once. You can initiate with a couple of logs, and if you are not satisfied with the amount of smoke, you can add wood further.

The reason is that if you start with a large number of wood logs right from the beginning, there is a risk of overpowering the brisket with an excessive smoky flavor, which you may not like.

Use High-Quality Wood: Ensure that you’re burning high-quality wood in your smoking session, as it infuses a delightful smoky flavor into your meat.

In this situation, I recommend using hickory, oak, cherry, pecan, and mesquite to achieve desired results.

Woods Mixup: You can experiment with the combination of different wood flavors to ensure unique flavor profiles. I suggest combining a blend of hickory or oak with apple or cherry wood.

Use Wood Chunks, Not Chips: Offset and charcoal smokers are best for smoking brisket, and I recommend using wood chunks in these smokers, not chunks.

But if you are using gas or electric smokers, you can use wood chips there, and they often come with a chips tray located right above the fuel source.


The rough estimate says that a brisket smoking session requires 4 to 6 wood logs, but it isn’t fixed as there are some essential aspects to consider, such as smoking temperature, quality of wood, personal preferences, and the size and thickness of the brisket.

So, you must look after these factors closely to achieve desired smoking results and infuse your brisket with the required amount of smoky flavor.

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