Smoking Times and Temperatures Chart

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My smoking times and temperatures chart for smoking meat is at the bottom of this page.

When it comes to smoking meat, the time is not nearly as important as the temperature. Temperature should always be used to determine when the meat is done cooking rather than the time.

I have many people who email me and ask me how long to smoke ribs or how many hours per pound to smoke brisket and while this can be used to estimate your finish time, it needs to be only that.

I highly recommend a digital probe meat thermometer to monitor the temperature of the meat while it smokes. These thermometers have a probe that stays in the meat while it smokes. The probe is attached to a thin braided metal wire that runs through the door or an opening to the unit outside of the smoker.

The Taylor units that I use allow me to set a time as well as a temperature. An alarm goes off if either of these are reached.

Below I have put together a list of times and temperatures for smoking meats. Is it only an estimate but should allow you to figure up a ballpark time as to when the meat will be done smoking.

Type of Meat Smoking Temp Time to Complete Finished Temp
Brisket (Sliced) 225°F 1.5 hrs/pound 190°
Brisket (Pulled) 225°F 1.5 hrs/pound 200°
Beef Ribs 225°F 3-4 hrs 175°
Pork Butt (Sliced) 225°F 1.5 hrs/pound 180°
Pork Butt (Pulled) 225°F 1.5 hrs/pound 205°
Whole Chicken 250°F 4 hrs 165°
Chicken Thighs 250°F 1.5 hrs 165°
Chicken Quarters 250°F 3 hrs 165°
Whole Turkey 12# 240°F 6.5 hrs 165°
Turkey Leg 250°F 4 hrs 165°
Turkey Wings 225°F 2.5 hrs 165°
Turkey Breast – bone in 240°F 4-6 hrs 165°
Boudin 230°F 2.5 hrs 160°
Breakfast Sausage 230°F 3 hrs 160°
Fatties 225°F 3 hrs 165°
Meat Loaf 250 -300°F 3 hrs 160°
Meatballs (2 inch) 225°F 1 hr 160°
Spare Ribs 225-240°F 6-7 hrs Tender*
Baby Back Ribs 225-240°F 5-6 hrs Tender*
Salmon 140-160°F 5-7 hrs 145°
Smoked Corn 225°F 1.5 – 2 hrs N/A
Smoked Potatoes 225°F 2 – 2.5 hrs N/A

Note: Be sure to use temperature to tell you when the meat is done.. time is just an estimate and is NOT an indicator of doneness.

*cooking to "Tender" just means the meat is not done until it gets tender. This is used mainly in smoking/cooking ribs. To test for tenderness, grasp two of the bones and pull them in opposite directions. If the meat tears easily then the meat is considered "Tender" and is ready to eat.

If you want to check ribs for temperature, place the probe between the bones making sure to not touch the bone. You are looking for 180-190 when the ribs are done and tender.

Free Smoking Meat Newsletter

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About Jeff Phillips

Long time Industrial Engineer turned self-proclaimed fire poker, pitmaster and smoke whisperer and loving every minute of it!


  1. Great website !!! Im new to smoking, and your web site is very helpfull.

  2. steve hix says:

    Thanks very helpful new to smoking just got a propane smoker courios about boneless skinless chicken breast any help would b great thanks again

  3. paulgawricki says:

    what kind of wood to use to smoke for pulleg pork

    • I use whatever wood I have available and in the mood for but I really like pecan. I have used Mesquite, HIckory, Pecan, and even fruit woods and it all seems to work really well with pulled pork. You can always mix a fruit wood with another type of wood to come up with combinations such as pecan/cherry or Hickory/Apple. Do this at a 50:50 ratio.

  4. Chris Cain says:

    Anyone ever smoke a hole sheep I need to know what temp! Anyone?

  5. jeff,

    love the newsletter! i was wondering if by now since u hav smokd more & more meat, u mite hav a much broader smoke table than what i hav.the ine i hav hav is ur page which i use regularly when i smoke,havn't gone wrong yet usin it. hav u ever smokd a expensive side of beef, porterhouse, filet to c how it wood turn out? thnks for the news letter!


  6. Lorie S says:

    I was wondering if you had the template you described in your book "Smoking Meat" available anywhere for purchase or download?  

  7. I see all differnt reciepes for smoking sausage, how do you do it?

  8. how to smoke sausage

  9. how long would it take to smoke a 16 pound turkey and would it turn out good being thats its not twelve pounds

    • Keith, try not to exceed 12 to 13 pounds on a turkey to be smoked. Bacteria is the reason. A 16 pounder might not get you sick, but you just don't know. It's too iffy because it takes too long to get up to a safe temperature. Better to smoke two 10 pounders and have some leftovers!

  10. If the outside temp is 20F how long for a 12 lb turkey in an electric brinkman smoker please?

  11. When cold-smoking (cheese etc. ) is there a minumum temp, or can it be done at ambient temperature ???

  12. I feel somewhat silly asking this, but there's a debate going on in my house.  If I cut a 10 pound pork butt into two 5 pound pieces and smoke both of them at the same time, should I expect them to take approximately 7 1/2 hours to cook or 15?  Or something between the two times?  (i understand the point about cooking to temperature, not to time, just want to know how much time to allow…)  Thank you.

    • This is a valid question and the answer is that it depends entirely on the thickness of the meat. The amount of time that it takes to cook is based largely on the amount of time required for the heat to overcome the cold of the meat and reach the center where it can raise the temperature of the meat to it’s done temperature (in this case: 205 degrees F.)

      Cutting the meat in halff will decrease the thickness of the meat to some extent (depending on which direction you cut it) and I would expect it to get done quite a bit faster than if it is left whole.

      Without getting much more scientific than I already have, I would venture to say 8-10 hours would be a good estimate.

  13. how can i keep the skinfrom shrinking on whole chicken? somoke at recomended temp and skin shrinks and exposes meat. thanks

  14. michael jones says:

    Smoking a pork loin ribs 7lbs worth… pretty fat meat i didnt see a temp listed or time.. this is my first go @ smoking meats w my new smoker… HELP

  15. I’ve always found that the 3-2-1 method and the 2-2-1 method for spare ribs and baby backs, respectively, gets them in the ballpark of being done. X hours of just straight smoking, 2 hours wrapped tightly in foil, and 1 hour straight smoking again.

    And pulled brisket is sacrilege.

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