When to wrap a brisket?

Do you want to maximize the flavor of your smoked brisket? If so, knowing how and when to wrap a brisket is an essential part of the process. Wrapping your brisket correctly not only helps retain its moisture but can also help infuse it with delicious flavors as it cooks. We’ll explain exactly when and how to wrap a brisket for maximum mouthwatering results every time!

In this blog post, we are going to answer one simple question: When should you wrap a brisket? Keep reading as we explore everything from proper cooking heat levels, how long to cook the meat, what kind of wrapping materials work best—all with the aim of helping you craft delicious grilled dishes every time!

Why do You want to Wrap Briskets?

when do you wrap a brisket

-Protect the Brisket’s Flavor and Color.

When cooking a brisket, you can expect the rub to settle in and give it an inviting reddish-mahogany hue. If left unwrapped during smoking, the color will continue deepening until reaching a unique meteorite look – but 160F internal temperature should be enough for getting that perfect finish before then!

Depending on your smoker’s heat level and how large of a cut of meat is being cooked, plan at least 5-6 hours while keeping temperatures around 250F; so get ready to savor those smoky aromas wafting through the air!

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Wrapping briskets during the cooking process is essential to preserving their delectable and balanced flavor. Without it, over-infusion of smoky notes can lead to an unappealing bitterness that might ruin even a carefully cooked meal. A simple trick – wrapping at 160F – has proved invaluable for those who want nothing more than succulent smoked meat!

-Speeds the Brisket Through the Stall.

When it comes to cooking a brisket, low & slow or hot & fast can make all the difference. Wrapping your cut of meat helps retain heat and speeds up the overall process – leaving you with more time do something else during its rest period before serving!

-Makes Resting the Brisket Easier.

Myron Mixon, barbecue master and winner of a multitude of cooking competitions, knows the secret to creating delicious briskets.

In his article about much-lauded technique – aptly titled Myron Mixon Brisket Recipe with 5 Extra Steps – he brings attention to an often overlooked factor in getting that melt-in your mouth flavor: allowing for rest time after taking it off the heat before serving.

Surprisingly enough, this step is more influential than even using prime ingredients like wood or rubs!

Cooking a brisket in record time is easy with the help of wrapping! This will give you extra minutes to let your delicious creation rest. To ensure maximum flavor and tenderness, it’s best to place the wrapped-up brisket in an insulated cooler filled with towels – perfect for protecting this flavorful meal while its juices marinate.

-Control The Bark.

To achieve that classic tangy, smoky flavor of an authentic barbecue brisket, wrapping is the way to go! Wrapping gives you better control over bark development – letting your craft that perfect mahogany hue.

Whether it’s during or after a stall temperature is reached – the choice ultimately falls upon personal preference and experimentation. Get ready for some serious pitmaster flavors with each bite!

What is the Texas Crutch?

The Texas Crutch is a technique used to speed up the cooking process of smoked meats, particularly brisket. It involves wrapping the meat in aluminum foil or butcher paper and adding a liquid such as beer, juice or broth – resulting in juicy, tender bites on the inside with a perfect barky finish on the outside.

Pitmasters have been using the Texas Crutch technique for years to give their briskets a competitive edge. Utilizing tinfoil or butcher paper during the cooking process, this method has become an essential part of barbecue competition culture over time – likely stemming from its humorous namesake as ‘the crutch’ for teams needing that extra boost in flavor and tenderness!

The Texas Crutch is an incredibly versatile cooking technique! Adapted as the 3-2-1 method, it’s a popular way to prepare ribs. The process involves three hours of smoking without foil and then 2 hours wrapped in foil before unwrapping for one final hour at elevated heat – delivering juicy, succulent results.

In short, the Texas Crutch helps keep the meat moist, tender, and flavorful during longer cooking times.

How does wrapping barbecue work?

Basting in beautifully golden barbecue sauce has been the traditional cooking method for generations. So why keep up with this modern-day ritual?

when to wrap brisket

According to Meathead Goldwyn, an expert on all things BBQ and a bestselling author of the New York Times, we wrap our meat in deliciousness for two very simple yet effective reasons:

  • To create a tenderer and more juicy end product
  • To speed up the cooking process and bust through the stall

As you cook your brisket at low temperatures, the internal temp initially rises quickly as moisture inside begins to slowly make its way outwardly and evaporate.

However, there comes a point in time when this process will reach an equilibrium–known as “the stall” -at which point temperature increase ceases until sufficient levels of escaped moisture are achieved.

Crafting the perfect BBQ can be a daunting endeavor, but don’t fear – when you inevitably hit a stalemate with your meat’s temperature and timing there are still options! By wrapping it in foil or butcher paper, you’re essentially braising to help boost that internal temp. Don’t give up on achieving tenderness; wrap it for moist goodness every time.

When to wrap a brisket?

There’s much disagreement among barbecue connoisseurs regarding the optimal time to wrap brisket. For me, it’s essential that two conditions have been met: a dark bark has formed and/or when internal temperature reaches 165°F or stalls (whichever comes first).

A reliable leave-in probe thermometer can provide assistance in determining this – if you don’t have one yet, there are plenty of helpful guides available online. The total cook time varies based on temp level and other contributing factors but can take up to four hours or so overall.

When Should You Wrap a Brisket? Most barbecue experts recommend wrapping brisket when it reaches an internal temperature of 165-170 degrees Fahrenheit.

When wrapping a brisket, there are 3 things you should consider:

-The Brisket Size:

Cooking a bigger brisket can take more time than its smaller counterparts due to the moisture-retaining properties of larger cuts. To ensure your meat remains moist, you should wrap an 8-pound brisket after 3 – 4 hours and one that’s 12 pounds closer to 6 hours in order not to compromise on flavor.

-Your Smoker Temperature:

When deciding on the temperature of your smoker, take care to consider how hot you like it. Too high heat can lead to excessive smoke production which may reduce flavor and texture potential of the food item.

On that note, however, if you’re looking for speedier cooking times then opting for increased temperatures could be beneficial as brisket cooked at higher internal temps gets wrapped up significantly quicker!

-Your Personal Preference:

If you’re looking for the most mouthwatering brisket, patience is key. Most experts recommend wrapping your meat once it has reached an internal temperature of 165-170 F in order to achieve juicy and tender results.

However, if time is a constraint here there are some techniques that could be explored – such as having the wrap on sooner (around 145 – 155F). While this may speed up the process somewhat, keep in mind it likely won’t yield optimal flavourful outcomes!

Discover your distinct barbecue style by experimenting with different techniques when wrapping brisket. Experiment to find the combination of taste and crunchiness that appeals most to you!

What Are the Risks of Wrapping a Brisket?

Barbecuing a brisket can be tricky but wrapping it brings its own unique set of challenges. From the risk of losing out on smoky flavor to over or under cooking, careful consideration needs to be taken when deciding whether this technique is right for your barbecue journey.

when to wrap a brisket

-Loss of Smoke Flavor:

Barbecue masters know that smoking a large cut of meat over 12-15 hours can yield delicious results. But when it comes to pellet grills, their lack of smokiness is an all too common complaint.

To overcome this obstacle while still protecting the brisket from taking on too much smoke, try utilizing the Texas Crutch method and adding in a smoke tube or cooking your beef brisket in

Smoke Mode for at least two hours – though you may need to extend cook time overall!

By wrapping the brisket, you’re essentially trapping in moisture meaning that smoke flavor might not be able to penetrate as much as it would when there’s no foil or paper.

-Loss of Bark Texture:

The bark of brisket is coveted by many barbecue aficionados. If you wrap your brisket too soon, the moisture will soften and cause it to fall apart or worse – become soggy.

Wrap your meat while sealing in the rich flavors and juices, or maximize its moistness with an added apple juice or beef broth marinade.

All that hard work you put into smoking your meat for the first 5-6 hours may be undone if extra moisture steams and strips off much of its surface bark. Act quickly to avoid losing all those delicious flavors!

You can guarantee a succulent, tender brisket for your next meal by opting for two simple techniques. Firstly, ensure the meat is tightly wrapped so steam won’t form at the top and ruin it. Secondly, place fat side down on the smoker to prevent liquid from seeping in and compromising its flavourful texture.

If you wait until an internal temperature of 165°F has been achieved before wrapping, then this should help maintain its crispy texture and make for a delectable final product!

-Risk of Over/Under Cooking:

Seeing if your brisket is cooked to perfection can be quite a challenge – the delicate combination of foil wrapping and thermometer readings requires finesse! Breaking through that seal with the probe thermometer while still monitoring an accurate internal temperature may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.

For the perfect brisket, closely monitor your internal temperature – aim for 203°F. If not monitored correctly you could risk either a dry or undercooked dish!

Avoiding burnt hands while taking temperature measurements can be achievable with investing in strategically-paired gloves.

For an optimal result, pair up a set of cotton and nitrile gloves – first slip on the cotton glove to protect your skin, then slide on the protective layer of nitrile for maximum safety when handling hot objects such as opened foil containers.

Options for wrapping your brisket

When it comes to wrapping your brisket, the possibilities and options for deliciousness are virtually limitless! Let’s explore some of the most popular methods sure to tantalize your taste buds.


For experienced BBQ connoisseurs, the risk of going “naked” with brisket can be extraordinary.

Without using a wrapping material to hold in moisture throughout cooking, you increase your chances for an incredibly crunchy bark and extra smokey flavour – if done right!

That being said, without practice it may also mean longer cook times or potential dryness before reaching perfection.

-Aluminum Foil:

Enhance the flavor and texture of your next brisket cook with a technique popularized by those in-the-know at BBQ Pitmasters.

Wrapping your meat in aluminum foil is an effective way to expedite cooking time, but be warned that it could potentially detract from the crisp bark you sought for outside.

An alternate twist on this method uses tin foil as a ‘boat’ where some liquid would also be added for extra moisture during preparation—as seen illustrated in our hot and fast beef brisket recipe!

-Butcher paper:

Texas-style BBQ has become a staple of many delicious cuisines thanks to Aaron Franklin’s use of pink butcher paper.

Unlike aluminum foil, the porous material is perfect for trapping in smoke while also maintaining enough flexibility to ensure an extra crunchy bark on your cut of meat.

Don’t worry if you can’t find it immediately at local stores – ordering off Amazon or heading down to Office Depot should do just fine!

Aluminum vs butcher paper vs unwrapped

Our test cook puts three different types of brisket to the ultimate challenge. With one cooked plain, another wrapped in tinfoil and a third encased with butcher paper, all set atop a Yoder Wichita offset smoker at 225°F – it’s time for an interesting comparison! Tune into the video below to find out which method reigns supreme.

-The prep:

Our expert butchers have taken great care in trimming our premium briskets, though you might need to fine tune the fat cap or apply your own favorite seasonings. Our chef suggests a classic blend of salt, pepper and cayenne for added depth – try it out with one of our special rub recipes!

-The cook:

Chef employed the precise temperature of 225°F with a Yoder Wichita offset smoker to craft these mouth-watering briskets. After several hours, two were carefully wrapped – one in butcher paper and another in tinfoil – before returning them onto the cooker along with an unwrapped third; ensuring that each was finished with perfection!

  • Butcher Paper: After a full 10 hours of slow cooking, the brisket emerged as perfectly juicy and tender. While it was cooked to perfection, its lack of dark or crunchy bark meant that all its flavors weren’t fully unlocked.
  • Tinfoil: The tinfoil-wrapped brisket was the clear winner, cooking in a mere 9 hours to reveal an intensely dark bark and unparalleled tenderness. Its smoke ring also made it stand out from the rest!
  • Naked: At first glance, it was evident that the naked brisket had a significantly darker bark than its counterparts. After 11 hours of smoke and heat exposure, this particular cut developed an unmistakable intense smoky flavor and irresistible crunchy crust – making it a hit with all those who tried it!

Struggling to choose between aluminum foil and butcher paper? Our handy comparison will help you distinguish when each product is the best option. Make sure your home kitchen projects are primed for success!

How to Wrap Brisket (4 Easy Methods)

when do you wrap a brisket

-How to Wrap Brisket in Butcher Paper?

Once you have your brisket ready to go, it’s time to get wrapping!

Start by folding a large piece of butcher paper in half. Place the brisket on one side and fold up the other side so that it is completely covered. Secure the edges with tape or butcher twine.

Turn over and repeat this process until you have a tight, sealed package. If using butcher twine, be sure to tie an extra knot at each end for added security.

Next, place the wrapped brisket into a roasting pan or disposable foil tray. Pour in enough beef broth or apple juice to come halfway up the sides of the package. Cover tightly with aluminum foil or additional butcher paper and place in preheated oven.

When the brisket is done cooking, carefully open the package, being careful to not burn yourself with any hot steam that may escape. Allow the brisket to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

This method of wrapping brisket in butcher paper is an effective way to protect and cook your meat. Allowing the juices and flavours to stay sealed within will ensure a juicy, tender brisket every time.

How To Wrap Brisket in Parchment Paper?

To wrap brisket in parchment paper, start by adding the brisket to a baking sheet and seasoning it with your desired herbs and spices.

Then, fold a large sheet of parchment paper in half and place the brisket in the center of the parchment sheet. Fold the edges over to create a sealed pocket around the brisket.

Finally, transfer the baking sheet to an oven preheated to 325°F and bake for 1-2 hours until cooked through. Remove from oven, let cool slightly before slicing or serving. Enjoy!

Parchment paper is an excellent way to bake food while keeping it moist and tender inside. By sealing it up in parchment paper, you can lock all of those delicious juices into your meat so that it stays juicy and flavorful.

Plus, parchment paper is a great option for those who are looking for a healthier way to cook their brisket since it eliminates the need for added fats or oils. With just a few simple steps, you can have a delicious and healthy meal that your family will love!

Bonus tip: To make sure that the edges of your parchment paper stay sealed while baking, use some kitchen twine to tie them together. This will help keep all of the juices and flavors inside while baking!

-How To Wrap Brisket in Aluminum Foil

Wrapping your brisket in aluminum foil is an effective way to expedite cooking times and produce a juicy, tender brisket that can be enjoyed.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Start by trimming the fat cap on your chosen cut of brisket to around 1/8 inch thickness.

2. Apply your favorite BBQ rub to the brisket and massage it into the meat using your hands.

3. Place the brisket onto a sheet of aluminum foil, then wrap it tightly around the meat.

4. Place it in a preheated smoker or grill with indirect heat and cook for 6-7 hours at 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Remove the brisket from the grill and let it rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.

-How To Wrap Brisket in Foil and a Towel?

Once the brisket is wrapped in foil, you should place a kitchen towel over the foil. This will help keep the heat trapped inside and ensure that your brisket cooks evenly.

It’s important to make sure that the towel is completely covering the top and sides of the foil-wrapped brisket. Make sure there are no gaps or holes in the coverage.

After you’ve ensured that everything is fully covered, you can put it into a preheated oven set to 300°F (150°C).

Let your wrapped brisket cook for approximately four hours or until an instant-read thermometer reads 160–165°F (71–74 °C) when inserted into its thickest part. If you’re cooking a larger brisket, you may need to let it cook for a few hours longer.

Once done, remove the foil and towel carefully and enjoy your delicious smoked brisket! For extra flavor, you can also add some liquid smoke or other seasonings to the foil packet before wrapping.

This will give your brisket an extra kick of smoky flavor. Be sure to use caution when handling hot liquids since they can cause steam burns if not handled properly.

How Wrapping in Butcher Paper Improves Resting Brisket

Don’t let your brisket’s flavor be a casualty of heat loss! The space between the foil and meat can expose succulent dishes to an unfortunate outcome if not properly addressed.

As alluring as it may seem, wrapping in aluminum foil will lock in moisture but won’t preserve its potent taste – or that signature crisp bark.

With savvy techniques like venting, you can ensure juiciness without detracting from those delicious layers of aroma and texture we so cherish about our favorite meals.

when to wrap brisket

-The Butcher Paper Difference:

For the ultimate brisket feast, a cool rest with butcher paper is key. Unlike traditional cooking where high heat takes center stage, this “reverse-stall” encourages surface cooling; helping the meat absorb more of its own juices for an extraordinarily succulent flavor! By allowing temperatures to drop by 10 degrees or more during the resting period you can experience tender texture and unparalleled bark crispiness like never before.

-Environmental Reasons for Using Butcher Paper:

Aluminum foil is a common product with hazardous environmental effects. Unfortunately, after it’s mined and refined, the end result often ends up in landfills; according to EPA estimates from 2018, over 2 million tons of aluminum ended up there that year alone!

The decomposition process for this material can take up to 400 years! In contrast, our butcher paper is made entirely out of renewable Southern Pine and has been FDA-approved – all without risking any additional harm on the environment.

Other Cuts that Benefit from Wrapping

If you’re aiming to create a tender, juicy masterpiece of low and slow cooking with big cuts like pork butt or ham, then wrapping is an essential step in the process. Wrapping helps maintain the bark that gives meats their smokey flavoring while pushing them through any potential barriers for mouth-watering results at 205 degrees Fahrenheit.

What the experts do

If you’re in the market for wisdom on cooking brisket, take a cue from Texas’ top chefs! According to Daniel Vaughn of Texas Monthly Magazine, wrapping is one way that experts suggest preparing this beloved cuisine. Discover why chefs recommend it and make your next cook-up an even bigger success!


Tim Byres, pitmaster at this establishment takes a unique approach to cooking briskets.

His large smoker can hold them at 175°F until they’re ready for service – first-served lunch orders are unwrapped while those intended later in the afternoon get an additional protection step: wrapping with butcher paper.

This not only prevents drying out during prolonged storage but also allows moisture to escape and preserve that all important “bark”.

2-Snow’s BBQ

Winner of two prestigious ‘cue awards in Texas, the pitmasters at this establishment have mastered a unique method for cooking their world-famous briskets.

Rather than tightly wrapping them up before even going into the smoker, owner Kerry Bexley waits until much later to foil and slow cook these delicious delights – giving locals and tourists alike more reasons to come back again and again!

3-Pecan Lodge

This Dallas landmark serves exquisitely cooked briskets, with a unique approach.

The meats are tenderly wrapped in tinfoil and removed from the smokers hours before serving; kept hot using an electric warmer whilst fresh batches of succulent ‘que sizzle slowly to perfection over smoldering coals beneath them.

4-Franklin Barbecue

Franklin Barbecue is one of the most well-known BBQ joints in all of Texas, recently held as #1 until Snow’s took its place at the top.

Aaron Franklin, owner and pitmaster extraordinaire, wraps his briskets partway through cooking to ensure they stay moist– a trick he learned from trial and error with butcher paper being cheaper than foil but still providing an ideal level of oxygen for slow roasting!

5-Louie Mueller Barbecue

For over 70 years, Louie Mueller Barbecue has been smokin’ up delicious briskets with a family recipe that spans three generations.

Today’s pitmaster Wayne Mueller insists on the vital wrapping step for their signature cuts- halting 95% of the cooking process in plastic wrap before sealing them carefully in butcher paper and transferring to Cambro warmers for storage until they reach your plate!

Resting Brisket

Brisket is a prized cut of meat, and there is much to be said for the simple step of letting it rest after cooking.

By allowing ample time for its internal temperature to lower, you will ensure that moisture remains in place while slicing – even without wrapping during or immediately following the cook.

For maximum tenderness and flavor take this crucially important break so your next meal with brisket can really shine!

Meathead Goldwyn has pioneered an innovative method of storing meat, dubbed the “faux Cambro”. This revolutionary food-service product gives caterers and restaurants the ability to keep their dishes hot for extended periods after preparation.

With a little bit of preparation, you can easily turn a simple cooler into your own Cambro-style contraption. Preheat the interior for 30 minutes with some hot tap water before introducing your wrapped meat and topping it off with dry towels – all to help keep succulent cuts warm up to 3 hours! Try Meathead’s method today!

Wrapped vs unwrapped?

When it comes to wrapping your brisket, don’t be afraid to experiment! You can try traditional methods like foil and butcher paper — or you could even branch out by trying an unwrapped version.

when do you wrap a brisket

If you want the full experience, why not cook three different types side-by-side? That way, you’ll get a clear view of what works best for both taste and texture. Give yourself some freedom; in barbecue cooking as with life – there’s no one right answer here.

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When to wrap a brisket? The answer is – it depends. Some pitmasters swear by wrapping, whilst others prefer to forgo the step altogether. The best thing to do is find a method that works for you and your style of BBQ cooking, whether that means foil or butcher paper, wrapped or unwrapped, hot towels or coolers.

Ultimately, with a little practice and patience, anyone can create delicious smoked meats – so go out into the backyard, light up your smoker, and get cookin’!

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