When Should You Wrap a Brisket?

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What is the actual litmus test for becoming a genuine backyard barbecue master? That’s brisket!

No BBQ grill master can claim to be an expert until they have mastered brisket, a basic cut of beef.

Although it is a basic cut of beef, it is also one of the most difficult to master.

With brisket, multiple things could go wrong.

However, when brisket is done correctly, no other cuisine on the earth can compete with its delectable smokey taste.

Despite the fact that there are several recipes and instructionals all claiming to provide the secret to perfecting brisket, one thing is certain.

Most recipes will instruct you to cover your brisket in foil while it cooks.

As you may expect, there must be a rationale for wrapping brisket. Let us look at the history of this strange phenomena.

What Is the Texas Crutch?

Have you ever come across the Texas crutch? Despite being a prevalent word in the BBQ industry for inexperienced cooks, the Texas crutch is still relatively obscure.

Though term seems to have more to do with Texas than brisket, it simply implies wrapping your meat in foil or butcher paper while it cooks.

This method is most widely employed in barbecue contests.

In reality, this word most likely originated in the BBQ community.

Most people think the Texas crutch was a sarcastic remark meant to criticize rivals who required an additional leg or crutch to stand on to get an advantage over their opponents.

Furthermore, the Texas crutch does not stop with brisket.

It works with any meta, whether it’s the 3-2-1 technique for ribs or a pig shoulder.

What Is the Brisket Stall?

It’s impossible to talk about brisket without mentioning the stall.

Preheating the smoker by letting the coals to burn until they can create a suitable quantity of heat and softly colored smoke is ideal for smoking a brisket.

The trimmed, seasoned brisket is then placed in the smoker, followed by additional charcoal and wood chips to maintain a consistent temperature.

Cook the brisket until it reaches a temperature of 195F-203F.

However, when big chunks of beef cook, such as brisket, pig butt, or pork shoulder, the internal temperature of the brisket seems to plateau about 155F-165F.

Unfortunately, the dreaded stall lasts for hours.

Why Should You Wrap Brisket?

Wrapping brisket is useful for three reasons. It helps the brisket cook quicker and preserve greater moisture levels.

Wrapping brisket also helps you to regulate the amount of bark on the brisket.

Cooks Faster

As previously stated, all big portions of meat are inclined to stall.

Your brisket may seem to be going well, but before you realize it, it has reached the stall stage and the temperature has been constant for hours.

This procedure is essentially the outcome of evaporation.

As moisture pockets begin to sweat, water is drawn to the surface of the meat and evaporates, chilling the whole brisket.

Even if the temperature of the smoker may continue to vary, evaporation eventually causes the temperature of the meat to come to a halt.

Unfortunately, this procedure may take up to six hours, which can drive even the most patient grill master nuts.

This is where wrapping brisket comes in.

Brisket is wrapped to prevent it from coming into touch with oxygen, which permits moisture to evaporate.

As a consequence, a coating of brisket liquid accumulates around the meat. Because of the heat dispersion in your smoker, these liquids stay warm.

In general, the less oxygen that moves around the brisket surface, the higher the temperature.

There’s no need to be concerned about the high temperature affecting the brisket.

The foil or butcher paper shields the brisket from direct heat, preventing it from drying out or burning.

Bottom Line
With evaporation thwarted in its footsteps, the stall is practically eliminated. For this reason, it is wrapping brisket that speeds up the cooking process.

Control the Bark

Wrapping brisket provides you greater control over the result of the brisket. The majority of brisket professionals strive for a mahogany-colored crust on the top of the meat.

This rich crust is called the bark.

Brisket is distinguished by its bark. It is both beautiful and tasty. Furthermore, the bark is the consequence of the well-known Milliard reaction.

The Milliard reaction is a chemical reaction that takes place between amino acids.

It reduces sugar and produces the tasty brown crust that many of us associate with cooked food.

The Milliard response occurs in a variety of meals, including seared steaks, brisket, and bread and biscuits.

When the brisket reaches the stall temperature range, some brisket fans wrap it.

Other grill masters, on the other hand, wait until their brisket has developed the color or thickness that they need.

Juicier Brisket

Brisket wraps keep in the delectable brisket’s natural juices.

Once the brisket has reached the temperature you want, cover it in foil and allow it to braise in its own juices.

While some barbecuers feel that wrapping it improves the taste of the smoke, this is a fiction.

The brisket will soak up the smokey flavor until it reaches the stall zone.

Though the Texas crutch technique developed in the BBQ competition scene, it is a classic technique used in tropical climates.

They used leaves to wrap their brisket, but the concept is the same.

When to Wrap Brisket

Knowing when to wrap brisket and deciding to wrap brisket are two distinct things.

There are many factors that influence when a brisket should be wrapped.

When to wrap a brisket depends on its size, smoker temperature, and personal taste.


Briskets that are smaller in size will cook quicker than bigger briskets. This implies that a smaller brisket will lose moisture more quickly than a bigger one.

One of the reasons for wrapping brisket is to preserve its moisture content.

As a result, wrap a little brisket sooner than you would a bigger beef.

A 67-pound brisket, for example, should be wrapped about the 3-4 hour mark. A 1213-pound brisket, on the other hand, should be wrapped after 5-6 hours.


Temperature is crucial for smoking brisket, as it is with other dishes.

The temperature of the smoker influences when it is best to wrap the brisket.

It may take longer to reach the stall point if your brisket is cooked at a lower temperature.

However, if you smoke your brisket at a higher temperature, you will need to wrap it sooner.


When it comes to wrapping brisket, this is the most significant component.

As we all know, smoking brisket takes a lot of patience.

Most BBQ lovers recommend covering the brisket after it has reached an internal temperature of 165F-170F, which is generally after the stall.

If you desire a thick ring of bark, wait until the brisket has reached an internal temperature of 170F before wrapping it.

Wrapping it before the stall will almost certainly yield in brisket with insufficient bark.

It is all up to you. Wrap the brisket after it has developed a thick park if you desire a brightly colored crispy crust.

If, on the other hand, you are impatient, you may wrap it as soon as it stalls.

Bottom Line
It is best to experiment to find out the level of bark you desire and the perfect time to wrap brisket. Ultimately the best time to wrap brisket depends on the color.

What to Wrap Brisket With?

There’s no use in wrapping brisket if you don’t have something to wrap it in.

You may cover the brisket in foil or butcher paper, depending on your choice.


The Texas crutch is famous for wrapping meat in aluminum foil.

This approach calls for two arm-length lengths of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Place the foil sheets on top of one another, then place the meat on top of the foil. Wrap the brisket as tightly as you can.

The foil approach is the simplest, particularly for newcomers. Aluminum foil is designed to securely wrap food.

As a result, wrapping brisket is quite simple for newcomers.

In addition, most individuals already have foil on hand. Because foil provides an airtight seal, it speeds up the cooking process.

Pay strict attention to the timer and take temperature readings every 30 minutes.

The downside of this procedure is that the bark will be exposed to moisture, which will soften it.

Butcher Paper

Brisket wrapped in butcher paper is the favorite technique among BBQ professionals. It not only speeds up the cooking process.

It does, however, enable smoke to infiltrate the butcher paper, while foil paper does not allow smoke to reach the meat.

Furthermore, butcher paper absorbs the hot oil and forms a ring of moisture, which promotes heat and helps the brisket to continue cooking.

Furthermore, your brisket will remain dryer than if it were covered in foil.

However, there are a few drawbacks to this strategy. Butcher paper was designed to prevent meat from entering the stall stage.

Nonetheless, the foil approach provides additional certainties.

Furthermore, butcher paper, like foil, creates an airtight seal.

As a result, this procedure may take a little longer than using aluminum foil.


While most people like to cover their brisket, others prefer to leave it unwrapped.

If you choose to leave your brisket uncooked, there is nothing wrong with it.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind. Cooking time for a bare brisket is longer than for a covered brisket.

You also run the danger of overcooking your brisket.

Bottom Line
No one likes dry overcooked brisket. However, once you master the art of smoking brisket, you can still create a naked brisket that is flavorful and delicious.

How To Wrap A Brisket  

Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals of brisket wrapping, it’s critical that you understand how to wrap brisket correctly.

Begin by wrapping your brisket in butcher or foil paper.

Arrange your brisket on the paper so that the presentation side is facing you.

Bring the bottom edge of the paper over the brisket and pull it tight to make an airtight seal.

Fold the butcher paper over the flat side of the brisket to form a triangle. Check that the butcher paper is smooth yet flat.

Arrange the brisket in such a manner that it is now facing away from you.

Fold the sheet under the triangle edge and keep it in place, then make another fold to mirror the triangular form you previously produced.

Keep the brisket flat against the sheet, then wrap it up toward the end of the paper like a burrito.

Finally, tuck the sides in and tighten the paper to form an airtight seal.

The finished product of wrapping a brisket should look like a long rectangle.

Roll the meta forward and over with the remaining sheet, making that the presentation side is facing up. You now have the ideal wrapped brisket.

Disadvantages of Wrapping Brisket

Unfortunately, there are several disadvantages to wrapping brisket.

The main disadvantage of this procedure is that it restricts the smokey taste. When compared to its naked cousins, it will taste less smoky.

Additionally, there is the danger of texture loss and the brisket drying out.

Decreased Smoky Flavor

Wrapping brisket creates a barrier between the smoke and the meat, which is not desired.As a result, less smoke means less taste.

This, however, is not cause for concern. During the early stages of the smoking process, the brisket will be allowed to acquire smoky flavor.

The majority of the smoke will be incorporated into the meat during the first step.

Bottom Line
All in all, the advantages of wrapping brisket exceed the loss of smoky flavor.

Texture Loss 

As previously stated, carefully wrapping beef in foil or butcher paper generates a moisture band.

This method is in charge of hastening the cooking process. The crispy bark you worked so hard to make, on the other hand, will be jeopardized.

The bark of the brisket softens as it is wrapped.

To overcome this, most brisket fans recommend letting the beef to come to room temperature before removing the wrap.

Smoke the brisket at 225°F to bring back some of the bark’s crunchy texture.

When you take the brisket from the wrap, it will immediately cool, but this is not a cause for worry.

Even if the internal temperature of your brisket drops below 203 degrees Fahrenheit, the meat will keep its softness.


Wrapping a brisket raises the internal temperature of the meat. It is impossible to predict how rapidly the temperature range will rise.

This varies according on the smoker’s humidity, the precise cut of brisket, the quality of the wrapping, and how tightly it is wrapped.

When it comes to wrapping brisket, the eyes are the finest instrument.

Unfortunately, most inexperienced brisket cooks sacrifice their senses and thermometers in favor of a recipe that might lead you astray at times.

As a consequence, they wind up stewing with rage and a mushy, unappealing brisket.

When it comes to brisket, you should follow your instincts and quit relying on the clock.

In addition, check the brisket at 30-minute intervals with a reliable probe thermometer. Y

The thermometer probe may be used to pierce the brisket’s covering.

Though it is popular to believe that it will impact the cooking time of the brisket, it will not.

When your thermometer registers 190F, start monitoring the brisket’s temperature every 15 minutes until it reaches 203F.

Final Thoughts

The topic of the day is whether brisket should be wrapped or unwrapped. Unfortunately, this discussion will go on long after you have finished reading this essay.

Regardless, whether you wrap your brisket or leave it bare is entirely up to you.

Furthermore, you have the option of wrapping your brisket with anything you choose.

If you want a rich, smoke-infused, crispy bark, leaving your brisket bare may be the best choice.

However, exposing your brisket to the heat will predispose it to the unpleasant stall. Nonetheless, if you appreciate a nice crispy bark, this is all worth it.

If you suspect your brisket is getting too dry on the exterior, you may always cover it in butcher paper or aluminum foil.

This will ensure that your brisket cooks quicker and yields a tender slice of juicy, meaty flavor in every mouthful.

Now go forth and make great delicious brisket.

You might also be interested in the following:

  • When To Wrap Ribs
  • When To Wrap Pork Butt


Can you wrap a brisket too early?

It’s also worth noting that covering the brisket too soon might result in “bark-lock,” a condition in which the bark sticks to the foil and is peeled off when unwrapped. So, before wrapping the brisket, wait until it has attained the proper internal temperature.

How long to smoke a brisket before wrapping?

6 After around 4 hours, start checking the meat’s internal temperature. It’s time to wrap the brisket when it reaches 160-170 degrees and has a deep reddish brown or practically black crust on the outside.

Is it better to wrap a brisket early or late?

Wrapping your brisket either during or shortly after cooking can make this critical final step much simpler. Placing your brisket in a cooler covered in aluminum foil and a couple old towels can keep it warm for hours while also improving the flavor.

Is 150 too early to wrap brisket?

When those two things happen, the internal temperature of the brisket has often reached the stalling point (150-170F). The fat should also have a tiny bounce and feel like you’re pressing into a marshmallow. When all of these elements are considered together, the ideal moment to wrap is determined.

What temp does a brisket stall?

When cooking a big piece of meat, such as a pig butt or beef brisket, the internal temperature of the flesh seems to “stall” or plateau about 155-165°F for hours.

Do you flip a brisket when you wrap it?

Flipping the brisket evens out the meat’s exposure to heat. Because the airflow inside any smoker is uneven, leaving the brisket in one place for the whole time may cause some of it to dry out. Flip and rotate your brisket at least once throughout the cooking process.

What happens if I don’t wrap my brisket?

Brisket suffers from the dreaded stall when natural evaporation causes a cooling sweat to form on the flesh when left uncovered. This pause might continue from a few minutes to many hours. If you see your bark becoming too crispy, you may easily wrap it and continue smoking.

How long to smoke a brisket at 225 before wrapping?

Close the smoker cover and continue cooking until the internal temperature of the brisket reaches 202 degrees F in the thickest portion of the meat (this may take anywhere from 5 to 8 hours). Place the brisket on a large cutting board and let aside for 1 hour before slicing.

Does brisket cook faster after wrapping?

Wrapping a brisket helps to keep the moisture and fluids in the meat throughout the length of the cooking process, preventing it from drying out in the smoker. It also reduces cooking time, so you’ll have a properly smoked brisket on the table sooner.

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