When to Pull Brisket (Timing, Temp & Wrapping)

When it comes to cooking brisket, we all want to have that juicy meat and crispy bark.

To achieve this, you need to get the temp right and know when to pull it.

Many people can’t decide on what temp to pull their brisket.

Knowing the answer to this is essential for cooking a brisket successfully.

I have tested many combinations of timings, temps, and wrapping.

I am now ready to share my insider knowledge below.

when to take brisket off smoker
The brisket we smoked last weekend

When to Pull Brisket off The Smoker

The BBQ legend Aaron Franklin has said that 195°F is the temperature at which you should pull brisket.

Whereas professionals in the industry have insisted that 200°F is best.

While some other pros insist that between 180°F and 190°F is best for brisket.

My personal opinion is that; brisket will be perfect if you smoke it until 204°.

As you can see this is a complicated question.

The answer can vary from one pitmaster to another.

Every individual has his style when it comes to brisket. So if you want to know when your smoked brisket is done read on.

The Best Internal Temp for Brisket

The best internal temperature for brisket is between 195°F -204°F

Reaching this internal temperature will have allowed the connective tissue (which is composed of collagen) to break down into gelatin.

This is what gives the meat a juicy and succulent texture.

Texture plays an important role when deciding on how long to cook a brisket.

But if you’re new to the cooking game, it’s always safe to go with the internal temperature as your yardstick.

Choosing the time frame for smoking your brisket based on the internal temperature, will not only give you the best results but will also save you from under or overcooking it.

Now that you’ve decided to smoke your brisket with internal temperature as the standard, the question arises- which temperature is the ideal one for a brisket?

It should be between should be within 180 and 190 degrees F (however this does differ between pitmasters.)

How Long Will Your Brisket Take?

The average packer brisket is 11-18 pounds. It is a large cut of meat, it has two muscles and a fat cap. Meathead Goldwyn suggests smoking brisket at 225°F.

I went with his suggestion and created this calculation for working out how long to cook brisket.

It will take 1 hour and 30 minutes per pound (lb) of brisket at 225°F (or 107°C)

A brisket I smoked last weekend was 9lb. Here is the actual cooking time

9lb brisket x 1.5 hours = 13.5 hours with a cooking temperature of 225 °F

What About Wrapping it?

A popular method technique to help if you experience the stall is the Texas crutch. This method is also highly recommended by Aaron Franklin.

In this method, you need to pull the beef brisket from the heat when it reaches 185 – 195 and wrap it in butcher paper or foil tightly.

what temp to wrap brisket

Steps to Wrapping Your Brisket

Here’s how you can wrap your brisket to achieve the perfect texture

  1. Use good-quality foil or butcher paper to wrap your meat. However, using butcher paper minimizes the risk of overcooking, so it’s a safer option than foil.
  2. Wrap the meat tightly. You don’t want any juices leaking out.
  3. Place the probe inside the meat after wrapping it to keep an eye on the internal temperature.

Should You Be Resting Your Brisket?

Another important part when it comes to smoking a brisket is the rest period

When brisket is cooking, the protein fibers uncoil and then coagulate, recoiling and becoming firm.

As the protein starts to become firm, again it pushes out the moisture.

Once it’s removed from the heat, the protein fibers start to relax and reabsorb some of the moisture that was lost.

So if skip resting you’ll lose all those delicious meat juices when you cut into it

How to Rest Your Brisket?

Once your brisket has been pulled from the smoker, wrap it in butcher’s paper and then in a towel.

Place the brisket in a cooler. You want to bring the internal temperature of the brisket down from 200°F to 140°F over a 4-hour period.

pork butt resting in cooler with the wrap

My Hot Tips for Smoking A PERFECT Brisket

Want some of my own insider tips on smoking brisket?

These are little nuggets of information I have learned over many years of cooking brisket.

  • Put the fattier end towards the fire
    Having the fatter end towards the fire help insulate the meat and prevents it from drying out.
  • Should you use the point or the flat (or the whole brisket)
    I am always for the point. I find it has more marbling in the muscle which means a more flavorful, tender, and juicy brisket.
  • You can use mop sauce
    It has been tested and proven that wet meat can more smoke. You can spritz or mop if you like. We have used beer, water, beef broth, and apple juice in previous cooks.

Slicing Your Brisket (This Can Be Tricky)

Now, this is an art flow and it has taken me years to master.

It deserves its whole own page, so you can read about slicing your brisket perfectly here.

when to take brisket off smoker
Slicing our brisket after letting it rest

You Need to Practice!

No matter what anyone tells you, the most important technique to follow when making a juicy brisket is to PRACTICE.

You can’t cook the best brisket on your first try. It takes time and patience to achieve a delicious brisket.

The best way of becoming successful in your attempts is to take notes on the mistakes try to improve.

It can be really tough to smoke brisket well.

After this, I hope there isn’t any confusion as to what temp to pull brisket.

If you still have some questions just reach out I am always here to help

Happy Smoking


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 nature with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork)

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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2 thoughts on “When to Pull Brisket (Timing, Temp & Wrapping)”

  1. Thanks Charlie. I’m always testing new methods and making notes. Just a month ago, I made an awesome tasting brisket, but then yesterday, I tried a few variations, and it bombed. Dry as a catcher’s mit. You’re right, you have to keep trying it until you find what works for you. I found that, for sure, pulling at 195 and cambro for 2-3 hrs is money brisket. Ditched the foil a long time ago, and only use butcher paper. Much more consistent results.

    1. Hiya Matt!! 1000% testing is the best way to create an epic brisket! What was the variations you tried out the other day?? Also curious do you wrap your brisket in a towel when you use a faux cambro? cheers!!

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