How Long to Smoke Brisket After Wrapping (Super Simple Method)

Want to serve a pitmaster-worthy brisket but need some industry secrets?

An expertly smoked brisket is bound to wow the guests at any cookout!

But brisket is notoriously tough to master!

Plus knowing when to wrap your brisket can be tough!

But I have mastered the art and am ready to share my secrets with you!

Below you’ll learn EXACT when to wrap your brisket!

How Long to Smoke a Brisket After Wrapping It?

After wrapping the brisket you want to smoke it to an internal temperature reaches 204°F.

Once the brisket reaches 204°F pull it from the smoker, wrap it in a towel and place it in a cooler to rest.

 

 Why Do We Wrap the Brisket?

The longer cooking process (upwards of 10 hours) is the reason.

We need to add another layer of control within this long amount of time to mitigate anything going wrong. 

What Exactly Is a Brisket?

 Brisket is a larger cut of meat, usually from the chest area of beef or a pork butt. 

Brisket requires a more thought-out low and slow cooking method.

This is due to the higher level of collagen, connective tissue and intramuscular fat that needs to be broken down.

But, remember – “fat equals flavor” and “good things come to those who wait”.

The durability or creativity enables the chef to add a variety of seasonings, aromatics, and textures to the muscle fibers within a brisket when cooking. 

This means that you can add loads of flavors with technique to provide the ultimate tasty treat. 

What Do We Mean by Wrapping?

Wrapping or covering the piece of meat will stop it from stalling.

It also helps retain extra moisture and protect it from the heat source.

I like to use pink butcher paper but if you only have foil that can work as well.

Protecting the Meat 

Wrapping protects the meat from direct heat or heat spots within your pellet grill, smoker, or charcoal grill. 

It is natural for the temperature to fluctuate in a pellet smoker or grill.

As much as we try to control this with the smoker temperature or a probe thermometer.

The wrapping technique to reduce the chance of moisture loss or burning during the smoking process.

Preventing a Stall

The dreaded stall is when the internal temperature of your meat will plateau or even fall.

This usually happens at around 140°F.

A stalemate was created from water evaporation coming from the meat. 

Beef brisket is typically large and so is the water content!

An unwrapped brisket will output a larger quantity of water into the air than if it was wrapped in aluminum foil.

The wrap acts as a barrier from the hot water from evaporating in the cooking chamber.

Preserving the Bark

The bark is a hardened crust that forms on the outside of the brisket which creates a different texture and flavor profile.

It is from the milliard reaction, a chemical reaction that occurs between sugars and fat in a protein when heated.

Another protective factor, wrapping the brisket when the bark has formed acts to preserve, stop burning, or loss of moisture in the crust. 

If the bark gets too hard you will lose meat and end up with a higher surface temperature when you want it to be the same all the way through. 

Note: We have a whole article on achieving the perfect brisket bark here!

Locking In Moisture 

A juicy brisket with bark and loose meat is the perfect way to end a Sunday. 

Wrapping the brisket locks in the meat juices and helps create more indirect heat. 

The natural juices stay in the protein when you cook while wrapped.

The juicier meat the better!

Why Are We Smoking a Brisket?

So why are we smoking?

The low and slow method with indirect heat is the best way to achieve a pitmaster-worthy brisket

Smoking not only does this but also adds a smoky flavor to the cooked meat.

In my personal preference and from experience, you’re going to do a brisket? Do it properly!

Smoking is the ultimate way to produce a tasty brisket after those hours of cooking.

What Temperature Do We Smoke Brisket?

So what temperature do we typically smoke a brisket?

The best temperature for the entire process is around 230F. 

How Long Do We Smoke a Brisket?

The ideal time to smoke a brisket would be for 60 minutes per pound.

This means the average cooking time to get a moist brisket with decent bark is 10 hours.

The Best Time to Wrap Brisket When Smoking?

The best time to wrap brisket is if it stalls. Brisket usually stall at around 140°F.

I have always used the texas crutch method when smoking my brisket. 

In this method, I typically like to cover my brisket when the meat reaches an internal temperature of 150F and when my bark has had around 5 hours or half the cooking process to form. 

I hope you understand the rationale for wrapping your brisket

Be sure to monitor the internal heat accurately with a temperature probe and visually inspect it. 

Happy eating!

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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