Are you considering using a smoker to cook up a delicious brisket for your next gathering? If so, one of the most important steps in creating an amazing end result is ensuring that your meat is wrapped at the proper temperature. It’s essential to wrap the brisket when it reaches an ideal temperature to ensure both taste and properly cooked texture. Use this guide to learn what temperature to wrap brisket at.
Why Do You Want To Wrap A Brisket?
Wrapping the brisket provides several benefits in the cooking process. Firstly, it prevents “the stall,” which occurs when evaporation from the brisket’s surface slows down the cooking. Wrapping also allows for better control of the final appearance of the bark and helps retain moisture that would otherwise escape during cooking.
What Happens If You Don’t Wrap Brisket?
When you choose not to wrap your brisket, it allows for more smoke absorption and a thicker, drier bark on the meat’s exterior. However, this can lead to the dreaded stall, where natural evaporation causes a cooling sweat to form on the meat. The duration of this stall can vary from a few minutes to a few hours. If you find that your bark is becoming too crispy, you can always wrap it at that point and continue smoking. Wrapping the brisket ensures a faster cooking time and results in a tender, juicy beef with every bite.
What Happens If You Wrap A Brisket Too Early?
If you wrap a brisket too early, you’ll miss out on the development of a flavorful, smoky bark. The result will be a soft, lightly-colored exterior that lacks the full brisket experience. To ensure the desired bark, wait for the stall and for the bark to reach your desired appearance.
What Temperature To Wrap Brisket?
The recommended internal temperature for wrapping brisket is typically between 165-170 degrees Fahrenheit, according to most barbecue experts.
What Do You Wrap Brisket In?
When it comes to wrapping brisket, there are two popular options: foil and butcher paper. Each method has its advantages and considerations.
Wrapping brisket in foil
Aluminum foil is the go-to choice, especially for beginners. It’s easy to work with, as it tightly wraps the brisket without requiring much practice. Plus, it’s readily available at home or in stores. Foil creates a tight seal that speeds up the cooking process. However, keep in mind that the bark may become slightly moist and soft during the final stage of cooking. Remember to monitor the brisket’s temperature at least every 30 minutes when using foil.
Wrapping brisket in butcher paper
Butcher paper is favored by top Texas barbecue joints. While it also accelerates cooking time, it allows some smoke to penetrate, enhancing flavor. Professional cooks often prefer this method, but it does require practice to master. If you choose to wrap with butcher paper, Traeger pink butcher paper is an excellent option. Specialty butcher shops may also carry it. The paper soaks up grease, helping conduct heat and retain moisture while maintaining a drier bark. However, note that cooking with butcher paper may not guarantee avoiding the stall, and the cooking time may be slightly longer compared to foil.
Do You Add Liquid When Wrapping Brisket?
When wrapping brisket, it is recommended to refrain from adding any liquid. Typically, 3-4 ounces of liquid are used, resulting in 6-10 ounces in the foil. After achieving the desired color, the brisket should be placed in a pan (on a rack) and covered with foil, without the addition of any liquid.
How To Wrap A Brisket?
After knowing what temperature to wrap brisket and what materials are needed, follow the steps below for successful wrapping.
- Prepare the brisket: Before wrapping, make sure your brisket is trimmed and seasoned to your liking.
- Monitor temperature: Keep an eye on the internal temperature of the meat, and when it reaches around 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s time to wrap.
- Use foil or butcher paper: Choose between foil or butcher paper according to your preference and availability.
- Wrap tightly: Wrap the brisket tightly to ensure a good seal and prevent any moisture from escaping.
- Continue cooking: Place the wrapped brisket back on the smoker and continue cooking until it reaches an internal temperature of 202 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rest: Once done, remove it from the heat and let it rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
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How Long Do You Smoke Brisket After Wrapping?
After wrapping, continue cooking with the lid closed on the smoker at a steady temperature of 225 degrees F. The brisket should reach an internal temperature of 202 degrees F in the thickest part of the meat, which can take anywhere from 5 to 8 hours. Allow it to rest, then slice and serve.
Are There Downsides To Wrapping Brisket?
There are several downsides to wrapping a brisket. One is that the wrapped brisket may have a slightly less smoky taste compared to leaving it unwrapped. Additionally, wrapping can potentially cause a loss of texture to the bark and increase the risk of overcooking.
- Slight loss of smoke flavor: When you wrap the brisket, a barrier is created between the wood smoke and the meat, resulting in less smoke flavor being imparted.
- Loss of texture to bark: Wrapping the brisket tightly in moisture speeds up cooking but softens the firm bark on the exterior of the meat.
- Risk of overcooking: Once wrapped, the internal temperature of the brisket rises at an unpredictable rate, making it important to rely on temperature rather than timing.
Bobby Kelly is a bartender at Molly Magees, an Irish pub in Mountain View. He’s been working there for two years and has developed a following among the regulars. Bobby is known for his friendly demeanor and great drink specials. He loves interacting with customers and making them feel welcome. When he’s not at work, Bobby enjoys spending time with his friends and family.
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