Meat Smoking Times & Temperatures Guide

Posted on: June 17th, 2013 by Bradley Smoker

Here at Bradley, we get asked all the time how long to cook different cuts of meat. One thing that’s important to consider when food smoking is that smoking time isn’t as important as food temperature.

Doneness is influenced by cooking temp, meat thickness, meat type and other variables that make it impossible to pinpoint exactly how long a 5 lb brisket or 12 lb whole bird will take to reach a desired internal temperature. Well, maybe in a perfect world.

We made the following guide to give you a general idea of about how long your meat will take to cook and what the final internal temp should be. Remember that the smoking time is only an estimation. It will vary.

We strongly recommend that you follow a recipe to avoid undersmoking or oversmoking and that you use a good quality digital probe meat thermometer to monitor internal meat temperature.


The finished temperatures provided represent safe internal meat temperatures. You may wish to cook certain meats a little longer, such as pork butt or beef brisket, to increase the temp of the meat if the recipe calls for it (for good brisket, you should shoot for 185°F [85°C]).

Also, for certain meats such as chicken thighs and turkey legs, it’s wise to check the internal temp in more than one spot to make sure the meat is fully cooked throughout.

*Tender is a word used to describe doneness of ribs. It can be easily measured by grasping each end of the rack and pulling in opposite directions. If the meat is “tender” then it will tear apart easily.

Bradley Smoker is a global food smoking company that specializes in food smoking products, bisquettes and recipes! The above images are not our own.