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

Confused with the common tip to ‘wrap your briskets’.

This is a method that’s often used by experts in the competition barbecue circuit.

It can help to save you extra time during a smoking session and it’s super simple to do.

See below why its so important to wrap your brisket!

Plus EXACTLY how to do it and when during your smoke session!

What Is the Point of Wrapping Briskets?

In short, wrapping your briskets helps you get past the stall and ensures a faster cooking time.

It doesn’t matter if you’re cooking brisket for a small party or dinner at home, nobody really likes to stand around waiting for meat to cook.

While everybody loves a juicy beef brisket, it doesn’t make sense to stand around waiting for longer than needed.

Especially since wrapping the brisket in tinfoil can drastically reduce the overall stall time.

What Is the Brisket Stall and How to Avoid It?

When you’re smoking a whole brisket, you will have to deal with something call the ‘brisket stall’. 

This stall refers to when the internal temperature of your meat just suddenly stops rising.

And the frustrating thing is that no matter how much your increase the overall smoker temperature of your grill, nothing seems to work.

Many BBQ experts have theorized that this dreaded stall is caused by evaporation or moisture loss.

After a couple of hours into your cook, you might notice that a layer of moisture will begin to form on the meat’s surface.

As this evaporation of moisture occurs, a lot of that heat will also escape will the condensation.

As such, many have come up with a method to combat against this from happening.

This method is referred to as the ‘Texas Crutch Method’.

And it involves wrapping your meats as soon as the stall starts.

As soon as the internal meat temperature gets to about 156 ℉ or 166 ℉, you’ll notice that it just stays there. And it won’t rise anymore.

The Different Methods — Texas Crutch and What It Is

The Texas Crutch method specifically involves wrapping the brisket in foil or butcher’s papers.

This method is excellent because locks in all of the meat’s natural juices.

Leaving the unwrapped brisket to cook in the smoker for an entire cook can leave the brisket a bit dry.

It also makes it a little more difficult to clean your pellet smoker after the cook.

When Should You Wrap Your Meats for the Perfect Brisket?

There are two simple requirements your brisket should meet before you wrap it up.

First of all, 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.

Though we would just recommend covering the meat in heavy-duty aluminum foil or butcher’s paper as soon as the meat probe thermometer reads 145℉.

If you’re also looking to have a nice crunchy bark on your brisket, then you should also keep an eye on the bark formation.

Once the meat’s developed a darker bark then you can cover it up.

Don’t worry about being left with soft bark.

All you need to do is;

Unwrap the brisket towards the end of the cook and some of the moisture on the surface will cook off.

That way, you’ll be left with a crusty bark that everyone will just love!

What Do You Use to Wrap Your Brisket?

You don’t actually have to limit yourself to using aluminum foil to wrap your meat.

You can actually also wrap the brisket in butcher paper too.

There are perks and disadvantages that come with using either material.

So, we would actually suggest that you try out both to find out which one suits your needs best.

For example, the foil does a great job of trapping in lots of heat.

However, since foil isn’t exactly a breathable material, it does trap in a lot of that moisture.

Plus, it blocks out a lot of the smoke. So, your meats may be lacking a little when it comes to having that smokey flavor.

On the other hand, the butcher paper will let more of that additional smoke through.

However, it’s not as great when it comes to trapping in heat.

So, you’ll still have to deal with some pretty long cooking times.

How Do You Wrap the Brisket?

When it comes to 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 so that it looks like a cross.

Then place the half-cooked brisket onto the foil and begin wrapping it up as tightly as you can.

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

Should You Be Adding Liquids When You Wrap Your Beef Brisket?

It’s certainly 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 that come with wrapping your brisket as well as leaving it bare.

However, if you’re looking to cook up brisket in the shortest amount of time possible, then you definitely should wrap your meat.

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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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