When To Wrap Brisket And How To Do It Right - Smokey Grill BBQ (2024)

Brisket is a tough cut of meat that many people have trouble cooking correctly. It can be a challenge to learn how long to cook brisket and what temperature it should be cooked at, but this blog post will teach you the tricks to cooking the perfect brisket every time!

Not only will we show you how to cook the best tasting brisket ever, but also how to wrap it so it lasts for days in your fridge or freezer. You’ll never need another meal again!

Table of Contents

When To Wrap Brisket And How To Do It Properly

The best preparation is taking patience and time. Choosing how often to grill brisket is subject to your preference for cooking and smoking temperature. The benefit of wrapping is to preserve all the meat’s juices and provide tender beef brisket.

You have to consider using a nontoxic material or using the wrapped so that toxic chemicals can never be carried into the meat. There are two general schools of thought when it comes to wrapping brisket.

The first is the “Texas Crutch” method, which involves wrapping the brisket in foil or butcher paper about halfway through the cooking process. This helps to speed up the cooking time by trapping in all the moisture, leading to a more tender and juicy final product.

The second method is to simply let the brisket cook slowly and evenly over the entire cooking time, without wrapping it. This method takes longer, but many believe that it leads to a more flavorful brisket.

So, which method should you use? It honestly depends on your personal preference.

When Should You Wrap A Brisket?

The perfect time for wrapping your turkey in aluminum foil or butcher paper is about 160-170F. Also called the Texas Crutch method. The wrapping of brisket takes place during its cooking process rather than before.

What should I do if you want a dry technique for keeping the meat moist and providing that characteristic flavor we all love from the top of the brisket is a great step towards.

Learn when wrapping brisket at the right time and how you should wrap it for best results and why you actually have to do it. We’ll also guide you on the Texas crutch technique.

Benefits of Wrapping Brisket

When To Wrap Brisket And How To Do It Right - Smokey Grill BBQ (1)At some point in cooking brisket it will slow down. It’s more commonly called a stall. By wrapping a brisket in aluminum foil or butcher paper you prevent its deposition and evaporate. How can a stall run properly requires understanding when a meat wrapping must be done.

The advantages of wrapping meat include: the meat juices now circulate through the wrapping, continuously encircling the meat surface. The meat is cooked with its own juices but cannot cool down due to the hot air that continues circulating into the smoker. The internal temperature of the meat continues to rise rather than sitting on the shelf.

What Is The Difference Between Wrapping The Point And Flat?

When To Wrap Brisket And How To Do It Right - Smokey Grill BBQ (2)

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If you are smoking the entire packer brisket you may wonder if you should separate the flat from the flat end for wrapping. Even when smoking the point and flat separately it doesn’t distinguish between when you must wrap the brisket.

The range between 120 degrees and 195 degrees is preferable to both, but if you plan to use burnt ends you could need to remove the point from the wrapper sooner. For making this delicacy, wait until the flat end of the brisket is at 195 degrees before splitting the point from the flat and shaving up the meat into cubes. – Let it rest 30 min in foil before cutting.

Why Wrapping Brisket Helps It Cook Faster

All large cuts of meat are covered by the stall. When the meat has cooled to about 140 degrees Fahrenheit it seems to stop cooking. Stalls can last up to six hours. By wrapping brisket you eliminate air in which moisture and air vaporize. When the vapor has stopped the heat on your smokebox forces them into battle.

The less air in the meat the bigger it gets. Because the wrap is sealed with an air-dry cloth to insulate the brisket, you can increase the temp for your grill. The steak’s temperatures come up again, something you want because beef brisket is tangier.

Wrapped Or Unwrapped Brisket?

When not covered brisket may experience painful stalling and rot because of natural evaporation. Unwrapped brisket will be smokier, creating a thicker, harder bark on its exterior. With a cooked brisket you have peace of mind knowing you’ll have a quicker cooking time and tender, juicy beef in each bite.

If you notice your bark is getting too crispy or hot or dry wrap it and finish smoking the bark at the end of this smoking process it won’t take any time to finish smoking and has a tender bite within a few.

What Is The Brisket Stall?

The stall happens if the brisket is cured of heat after an hour. It is most common around the 150-degree mark but it can occur elsewhere throughout the smoke. The stall occurs because of an atmospheric cooling effect.

Eventually, the surplus moisture in the meat will evaporate and temperatures will begin ascending. In the meantime, wait time can be frustrating for many chefs to use Texas Crutch to overcome the stall, most common in brisket cooking circles around 160 degrees around the smoker’s smoker. The hardest part is estimating the time to smoke one brisket.

It may take up to 5 to 7 hours depending on your meat size and quality. After smoking your brisket inside you will notice the internal temperature rise gradually. Using a thermometer you can monitor such changes without the need to seal the lid with your smoker.

Many factors apply it’s one main reason smoking is considered either art or science. The most important thing is to estimate how long and how good it takes to smoke meat.

How Long Does Brisket Stall Last?

A brisket stall’s life is invariably short and it’s difficult to guess. I have small brisket stands that last for one to three hours before the temperature begins to rise again. Have a beer, monitor your fire, enjoy the smell of the best wood for smoking, and dream of the evening meal.

If you decide to wait you are going to have to be patient for several hours. The key is to make sure you have a good amount of coals left in your firebox. We like to keep at least half a chimney of coals on each side going during the entirety of the cook.

You can also spray or mop your brisket with some apple juice, beef broth, or any other liquid you want to add flavor.

Once the stall hits, wrap your brisket in foil and place it back on the smoker. This will help speed up the cooking time as well as help keep the bark from getting too hard.

How Do I Wrap Brisket In Butcher Paper?

When To Wrap Brisket And How To Do It Right - Smokey Grill BBQ (3)

Butcher paper on brisket helps reduce smoke and retains the right moisture. It is treated so that if the butcher paper becomes wet it will not fall apart. This is called “sizing”. This means you won’t have to worry about the butcher paper disintegrating in the smoke process.

When To Wrap Brisket And How To Do It Right - Smokey Grill BBQ (4)

We highly recommend trying Traeger’s Pink BBQ Butcher Paper. To wrap the brisket in pink butcher paper, start by folding the butcher paper in half. Place the brisket on one side of the fold. Then, fold the butcher paper over the brisket, making sure to cover it completely.

Use butcher’s twine to tie the butcher paper around the brisket, making sure it is snug.

How Do I Wrap Brisket In Parchment Paper?

Parchment paper is a cellulose product that is treated with silicone giving it nonstick properties. It helps speed up the cooking process without compromising moisture. They are also allowed a bit of evaporating that gives them a slick bark.

Most brands are resistant to temperatures up to 350 degrees. This shouldn’t matter if you’re smoking a brisket. Sometimes this could also ignite when smoking too much hot smoke but it will still handle very high temperatures. It has one major drawback: It tears easily.

How Do I Wrap Brisket In Aluminum Foil?

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It’s probably the easiest brisket wrapping technique you’re ever going to discover. The malleable nature of foil makes wrapping brisket easier for first-timers like us. When using foil for brisket packaging start with two pieces of thick aluminum foil.

The foil can create an excellent seal around beef. So your briskets will start cooking much quicker than you would with leftovers. Just keep an eye out. If you do prefer a crisper bark you can remove some foil at the last minute of cooking time.

Texas Crutch

When To Wrap Brisket And How To Do It Right - Smokey Grill BBQ (6)When it comes to briskets it means pulling them from their smoker and wrapping them around their mouth in several layers of foil. So, you put it back into the smoker so that it gets the desired temperature. The Texas Crutch eliminated the evaporation cooling as the meat is completely enclosed in foil and no moisture is exposed to the air.

It also increases the temperature of your meat, thus creating an even more dense shelf. This method was originally used in the professional BBQ circuit and was initially used by professional BBQers.

Butcher Paper Wrapping

Butcher paper is typically wrapped in colored butcher paper. It is made of 99 percent sterile food-grade virgin pulp. This includes a wide range of functions and services similar to that of a foil wrap. But you shouldn’t forget the smell of the woody leaves.

That helps the meat breathe. It provides no advantages as opposed to foil wrapping. Wrapping your brisket in butcher paper locks in the moisture and heat helping the brisket enter the stall without drying out.

Comparative with the wrapped brisket the bark is slightly less moist, deeper, and crisper. It may have a stronger, smokier taste. But this won’t have bark as good as not being wrapped and the texture is much. Most people have recommended wrapping techniques.

Bare Brisket

Some people prefer to go wrap less with their brisket and cook it in low and slow the way Nature wanted. Not packing allows for direct heated enveloping of meat. Alternatively, it may allow moisture to escape.

This helps create a thick and crisp bark some consider a sign of a perfectly flavored brisket. An unsealed brisket takes more time to cook. This extra time may render your smoked meat drier and tougher.

If smoke is not enough, you might try cooking the brisket naked. If you put some fat marbling and fat to the top of your brisket, things may turn out okay.

Use A Higher Temperature

Many of the pros now smoke top-tier meat from a high heat rather than traditional slow-and-low temperatures. There may be completely no brisket stall or dry bark. It also causes an extremely shallow and crusty bark.

This also cuts the time to make smoked brisket which will allow your food to be prepared faster. The primary problem at the point of increasing the heat is overcooking. Some people complain the addition of humidity in smokers will increase your cooking time too.

But your meat will dry much faster you’ll need to monitor for temperature. If you are reheating your brisket, try one of our favorite methods.

Increase The Humidity

Added humidity boosts the stall’s temperature further and shortens its time. Increased humidity also enhances the flavor of your BBQ because it gives your brisket more smoke. Changing the humidity in your smoker is an option as it eliminates your smoked brisket stall but reduces its cooking duration.

Your brisket may still spend several hours in a stall but you’ll lose a lot of heat in the atmosphere if you regularly open the smoker to wipe it to maintain the surface of your skin soft.

When To Wrap Brisket FAQ:

At What Temp Do I Wrap A Brisket?

The brisket should be brought to about 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit before wrapping. The first decision that needs to be made is what type of meat. If first cutting, you can wrap a brisket right away.

If there’s a flap end, then it will need to be secured with aluminum foil or butcher twine and wrapped later after the main body has been cooked to an internal temperature of 195 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 4 hours.

Do Experts Wrap The Brisket?

Texas Monthly Magazine interviewed numerous states leaders in this field. They had a lot of positive comments and why they’re recommending wrapping your brisket in their books. At the Franklin Barbecue barbecue, briskets are wrapped as they are carried out hours beforehand they are served.

Louie Mueller’s Barbecue has operated since 1949 and has been run by two-generation owners. Owner Wayne Mueller said the wrapping is a necessity and if any of the items are skipped it may cause the brisket to start drying out.

Do You Add Liquid To A Brisket?

Water, apple juice or cider beer beef broth, and vinegar are among the many options available. A spritz bottle is a useful tool for sprinkling moisture over meat. Alternately you can put about 5-10 drops of liquid in the wrapper before adding the brisket.

This technique works best when you use heavy-duty aluminum foil to wrap your brisket since it holds more humidity. Don’t over-cook meat with water or other water and not too much alcohol or liquid.

Are There Any Downsides To Wrapping Brisket?

Wrapping doesn’t take as much time as basting, it can provide a nice shield from the heat if cooking BBQ, and it leaves the meat’s flavor intact. Tying brisket means that you won’t be able to tell when it’s done because you’ve sealed in all of crass and fat.

Wrapping allows for moisture and flavor to escape while cooking, but this doesn’t happen if you use aluminum foil like this recipe. Aluminum foil may not be as appealing aesthetically, but using the two together will give you a better taste and appearance!

Should I Wrap My Brisket Before Or After A Stall?

Some pitmasters prefer not to wrap the brisket entirely. At this point, it probably has enough smoke flavor in it to taste much better. We strongly recommend that you do it as soon as you meet the normal maximum temperature.

If you prefer a thick mahogany bark, you should delay wrapping the brisket until it has reached a 140° Temp internal temperature. This will likely happen after our stall, so you could be on your guard for long waits. If the wrapper is in a stallholder it must proceed much quicker. One caveat: If you like mahogany bark, you should.

Importance of Brisket Size

When eating brisket it would also cook quicker than larger ones with a shorter size. You’ll want to wrap your brisket a little earlier on your meal so that you will not lose its shape. Consider wrapping a 7-pound brisket between the three and four-hour mark.

A bigger brisket of say 13 pounds, you would wait for more than six hours before you break off the pink butcher paper or foil. The briskets start to lose some moisture sooner than bigger. You will also want to consider how much brisket per person you need.

Can You wrap A Brisket Too Early?

It is not recommended to wrap the brisket earlier than the time specified in the recipe. This will result in an overcooked brisket, which may have a dry texture that becomes tougher over time. If you are worried about the brisket being too “dry” by following your recipe, then simply cover it with foil for its entire cook time.

Yet it is equally important to remove all traces of fat when folding the foil over your dish; otherwise, moisture will make contact with sharp edges and grease spots on your dish (or pot) and can cause some very undesirable results like browning or melting.

Final Words

When you wrap brisket, the key is to have just enough foil so that it does not touch any of the meat. This allows for all sides of the meat to cook evenly and prevents burning from occurring on top of the foil. You also want to make sure you’re wrapping your brisket tight enough so as not to allow smoke or steam escape which will dry out your brisket over time.

In addition, always use clean hands when handling raw meat as this minimizes cross-contamination risks in preparation for cooking.

When To Wrap Brisket And How To Do It Right - Smokey Grill BBQ (2024)


When To Wrap Brisket And How To Do It Right - Smokey Grill BBQ? ›

Most pitmasters instinctively wrap their briskets (as well as pork butts and ribs) in either aluminum foil or butcher paper at some point during a cook. Usually, the wrap occurs once the internal temperature of the brisket hits 165°F. Some pitmasters will wrap based on just the appearance of the bark.

How long to smoke a brisket at 225 before wrapping? ›

Close the lid on the smoker and, maintaining 225 degrees F, continue cooking until the internal temperature of the brisket reaches 202 degrees F in the thickest part of the meat (takes anywhere from 5 to 8 hours).

Do you wrap brisket before smoking? ›

Wrapping a brisket helps seal in the moisture and juices for the duration of the cooking process, which prevents your meat from drying out in the smoker. It also cuts down on cooking time, meaning you'll have a perfectly smoked brisket on the table faster.

What temperature do you smoke a brisket after wrapping it? ›

Once you have wrapped the brisket, you'll return it to the smoker. Many people will raise the smoker's temperature to about 275 degrees and hold it there for the duration of the smoke.

When smoking a brisket when do you wrap it in foil? ›

Make sure you wait until the internal temp of your meat reaches 165 degrees F before wrapping your meat. This allows the meat to be in the stall for a bit of time allowing the smoke more time to create a nice, dark bark on the outside of the meat. Use high quality Reynolds Wrap® foil.

How many hours do you smoke a brisket before wrapping it? ›

Wrapping Brisket Based on Time

Using specific timed increments rarely makes sense when smoking meat. However, typically after 5-6 hours of smoking brisket, the meat has taken on enough wood smoke flavor. At this point the bark has likely developed and your internal temperature has likely reached 165-170F.

Do you flip a brisket when you wrap it? ›

Flip and rotate your brisket at least once during the smoking to even out the exposure to heat. Keep the heat in the smoker low (under 250 F). Cover the brisket with foil and let it rest for at least 30 minutes before carving. Practice, experiment, and learn.

What if I wrap my brisket too early? ›

Wrapping the brisket too tightly may cause it to become too moist, resulting in an undercooked center. Also, wrapping the brisket before it reaches the desired internal temperature can lead to overcooking or drying out of the meat.

Do you add liquid when wrapping a brisket? ›

Foil boat brisket wrap

Place the brisket in the center of the foil, then fold the edges of the foil up and around the brisket to create a boat or tray. Next, season the brisket as desired and add any additional ingredients or liquids to the foil boat.

Is it better to smoke brisket at 225 or 250? ›

Brisket is supposed to be cooked slowly at a low temperature to get the perfect texture. As for beginners, 225 is the safer temperature choice as it reduces your risk to overcook or burn your briskets. However, if you don't want to spend a lot of time, you can opt-out to 250.

Can you overcook brisket at 225? ›

It is absolutely possible to overcook brisket at 225 degrees. It may take a long time for a brisket to get to the point that it is overcooked but it will certainly get to a point where it is dried out and not desirable to eat.

How long to smoke 15 lb brisket at 225? ›

How Long Do You Smoke a 15 Pound Brisket? You smoke a 15 pound brisket for 15-20 hours at 225 degrees. We will wrap the brisket in pink butcher paper when the internal temperature of the meat hits about 170 degrees, and then remove the brisket from its final cook when the internal temperature reaches 195 degrees.


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