What Temp Does Brisket Stall At (How to Beat It +Wrapping Your Brisket)

Are you experiencing the brisket stall? and how do you fix it? Brisket can be hard to smoke but if you know what temperature it stalls at you wont be panicking!

I can see it now, you have the smoker going, your brisket is in, the guests start arriving You check your internal thermometers, and they aren’t rising.

So below you find out exactly what temp it can stall at, why it happens and how to combat it like a pro pitmaster!

This is me wrapping my brisket after it stalled

So What Are the Temperatures a Brisket Can Stall At?

155°F – 160°F is likely the internal temperature when your brisket will stall. However please bear in mind that no one size fits all and a variety of factors are in effect.

A stall can happen anywhere from 125°F to 190°F degree range but don’t let these varied stall temperatures dismay you.

-You should always be measuring the brisket’s internal temperature accurately and in real-time.

-Do this with a digital thermometer or meat probe that came with your smoker. You should always probe the brisket in the thickest part which is usually the point.


What Is a Brisket Stall & Why Does It Happen?

A stall is when the brisket’s internal temperature stop rising at a consistent rate. It happens because as the meat cook and muscles contract, the moisture is pushed to the surface of the meat.

The moisture evaporates and cools the surface temperature of the meat as well as the temperature in the smoker. This is known as evaporative cooling. This will cause the stall as your smoker will not be able to emit enough heat.

A stall can last for up to 5 hours, however they are some ways to get around this, I will outline them below.


What Do I Do if My Brisket Stalls?

If your brisket has stalled here are a few techniques to get your brisket cooked to perfection.

Wrap the Brisket in Foil or Butcher Paper Half Way Into the Cooking Process

Wrap your brisket once it begins to stall Wrapping will help lock in the heat, while also stopping excess moisture from evaporating into your cooking chamber. It also helps retain the moisture back into the proteins which means juicier meat!

Aaron Franklin, a Texas BBQ pro recommends using pink butcher paper. Then return the brisket to the smoker. Once it hits 204°F the brisket is done, pull the brisket and allow it to rest in a cooler. for at least 2 hours.


Finish The Cook in The Oven

Most ovens can reach a higher temperature than a smoker. If you see your brisket is stalling you can put your oven on 350°F and finish your brisket in it. It will cut down on the cooking time but you may not be left with a really tender piece of meat.

Turn up the Heat!

Low and slow isn’t always best, especially if you want to shorten the period of time your brisket stalls.Turn up the cooking temperature between 300°F – 350°F, this will speed up evaporation. But keep an eye on the bark formation, you want crispy bark, not burnt!

Maintain a Moist Cooking Environment

High humidity in your smoker will counteract evaporation from the meat. Add a heat-proof pan filled with water beneath your brisket. Or open her up and give your cooking chamber and spritz the brisket every 45 minutes after an initial 60-90 minutes. This additional moisture might just give it that extra bit of wiggle room.


Tips for Avoiding a Stall

Trim excess from the fat cap.

Make sure your grill probes are calibrated.

Use a good rub and use a binder for brisket before applying the rub.

Maintain a constant temperature by ensuring you have enough fuel.

Do not cook brisket in temperatures below 0.

Use a water pan in your smoker to reduce the extra moisture from evaporated cooling.

Wrap the meat in foil or butcher paper before an internal temp of 155°F.

Do not put the meat on direct heat.

Closely monitor the internal temperature of the brisket with a meat thermometer.


Brisket Stalling at 190°F?

Yes, a brisket can stall at around the 190°F temperature range. You’re right though, it is high.

If your brisket stalls at this temperature don’t worry at all. This is because it is very close to the ideal temperature for brisket before eating. You don’t need to worry about wrapping it, just increase the temperature slightly.

Smoke On!


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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