When to Wrap Brisket (+ Exactly How to Do It!)

Are you wondering when you need to wrap your brisket? This method is often used by experts in the competition barbecue circuit.It can help you save time, get past the stall, and ensure your brisket stays juicy.

See below why wrapping your brisket is so important, plus EXACTLY how and when to wrap it.

Why do you wrap brisket?

Wrapping your briskets helps you get past the stall, ensures a faster cooking time, and keeps the meat tender and moist.

It seems that most pitmasters and home cooks wrap instinctively and don’t understand the pros and cons of it. As I mentioned, it can help you get past the stall and keep the meat moist; however, it can ruin the bark.

You don’t want to wrap your brisket too early or smoke it for too long or it will turn the bark into a mushy mess.

First, I’ll show you what happens to your meat during the brisket stall, and then I’ll show you clever ways to know exactly when to wrap your brisket to ensure you still get that delicious bark.

What Is the Brisket Stall and How Can It Be Avoided?

This stall refers to when the internal temperature of your meat just suddenly stops rising around 145°F or 166 ℉ After a couple of hours of cooking, you might notice that a moisture layer begins forming on the meat’s surface. Moisture is being forced to the surface of the meat, and the moisture lowers the meat’s temperature and the smoker.

As such, many have devised a method to prevent this. This method is referred to as the ‘Texas Crutch Method,’ it involves wrapping meats as soon as the stall starts.

What is the Texas Crutch?

The Texas Crutch method involves wrapping the brisket in foil or butcher’s paper. This method is excellent because it locks in all of the meat’s natural juices and prevents condensation from affecting the smoker’s ambient temperature.

When Should You Wrap Your Brisket

Your brisket should meet two simple requirements before you wrap it;

  1. The bark has formed. You should watch the bark formation on your brisket. Once the meat develops a darker bark, you can cover it up.
  2. When the temperature has reached 165°F, you should only wrap your brisket once the stall period has begun. As mentioned before, this should be around the 145°F to 165°F mark.

What Do You Use to Wrap Your Brisket?

There are three options when it comes to wrapping your brisket.

Butchers Paper

Butcher’s paper took off when Aaron Franklin was seen using it. It is known to be associated with certain types of Texas BBQ. Butcher’s paper is more porous than aluminum foil, letting more smoke in.

Aluminum Foil

The guys on the BBQ Pitmasters TV show popularized the use of aluminum foil. It speeds up the cooking process. However, I have found that aluminum foil does make the bark go mushy.

You can try the aluminum boat, where you create a tray out of foil and sit your brisket on it. You can also add some liquid to the tray for more moisture.

Naked

You don’t have to wrap your brisket. You can leave it unwrapped, but it will take longer to cook and run the risk of drying out. This method will give you a crunchy bark and a more smoky flavor. You may need to increase the smoker’s temperature to counteract the temperature loss.

How Do You Wrap the Brisket?

When wrapping your meat in foil or butcher’s paper, you should pull out two long pieces of foil or two pieces of paper.

Each piece should be an arm’s length long. Place one piece on top of the other to form a cross. Then, place the half-cooked brisket onto the foil and wrap it up as tightly as possible.

You can use this same method when it comes to wrapping your brisket in butcher paper too.

Should You Be Adding Liquids?

It’s not a requirement to add in any liquids before you wrap up your little beef brisket parcel. However, it will make your meat super tasty, juicy, and tender!

If you’re looking for some liquids you can use, here’s a list:

  • apple juice
  • water
  • beer
  • beef stock or beef broth
  • apple cider vinegar
  • vinegar

There are certain benefits to wrapping your brisket as well as to leaving it bare. However, if you’re looking to cook your brisket in the shortest amount of time possible, then you definitely should wrap your meat.

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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