How Long to Cook Brisket After Wrapping

Want to serve a pitmaster-worthy brisket? You need to know precisely when it stalls so you can wrap it. Once it is wrapped, the timing is more about the meat’s internal temperature than the cooking timing.

I find that brisket usually stalls at 150°F-60°F., so you need to get from this temperature to your finishing temperature.

Most BBQ experts agree that the ideal temperature at which you pull brisket is 200°F – 205°F. So, when you wrap it, you need to insert a thermometer and monitor it. It usually takes 2-5 hours to reach the finishing temperature, but many factors can influence this.

How Long to Smoke a Brisket After Wrapping It?

After wrapping your brisket, smoke it until the internal temperature reaches 200°F-205°F. This can take 2-4 hours, but it can vary and depend on the temperature of your smoker and the size of your cut.

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

The Best Internal Temperature for Wrapped Brisket

Understanding the best internal temperature for brisket is one of the keys to cooking a flavorsome, tender, and smoky brisket. Being accurate with your internal temperature guarantees the perfect texture and flavor.

I like to aim for 200°F-205°F. At this point, the connective tissue has all broken down, but the meat is still moist. If you cook it more than this it can become dry.

You need a meat thermometer to monitor the temperature. You will notice that the meat will carryover cook, this is when the temperature continues to rise after you remove it. But if you stick with the range of 200°F-205°F, the meat is overcooked during the carryover cooking.

Why Wrap Brisket During Smoking?

Wrapping is an essential part of smoking a brisket. It keeps the meat moist and tender and helps it pass the stall.

Smoking low and slow helps develop a crust on the brisket, which we all know as the bark. Wrapping the brisket can help stop it drying out, but it can affect the bark. You want to ensure you allow it to develop before wrapping it.

Wrapping also helps lock in the moisture and keep the juices basting the meat as it cooks. This prevents moisture from evaporating and helps break down the connective tissue in the brisket.

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

This usually happens at around 140°F 150°F as the brisket contracts with the heat, pushing moisture to the surface. This moisture evaporation cools the meat and ambient temperature. So, wrapping will allow the brisket to continue cooking and rising to my target temperature of 200°F -205°F.

Should You Use Butchers Paper or Foil

When you pick between foil and butchers paper for wrapping brisket, you need to understand how the material will affect the moisture and bark of the brisket.

Foil is impermeable, which means it traps more heat, leading to softer bark. Smoke cannot penetrate the foil, so the meat will not be as smoky.

Butcher’s paper has more preamble, so this will allow more smoke to enter, giving you a deeper flavor. It also helps to maintain a lower level of moisture, which means your bark will be crisper.

Does Wrapping Affect The Bark?

Yes, wrapping the brisket will soften the bark. The bark is a hardened crust outside the brisket, creating a different texture and flavor profile.

It is from the milliard reaction, a chemical reaction 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 throughout. 

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

How Long to Rest Brisket After Cooking

You need to allow the brisket to rest after cooking to lock in the juices and ensure its tender. The resting time allows the juices to redistribute within the brisket and prevent them from running out when you cut into it.

I rest my brisket in a cooler wrapped in towels until it reaches 140°F. This ensures the meat is tender, juicy, and has a perfect pink ring.

Smoke On!

Charlie

Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

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 recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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