Rest Brisket Wrapped Or Unwrapped: Decide What's Best!

July 16, 2023 4 min read

Rest Brisket Wrapped Or Unwrapped: Decide What's Best!

Resting the brisket is common practice before cooking it. It's important to reabsorb juices, redistribute juices, maintain moisture, and continue cooking.

Most people are unsure whether they need to rest it wrap or unwrapped. Knowing it is highly important for the perfect cooking of brisket. 

So,rest brisket wrapped or unwrapped?

Rest the brisket unwrapped for best results. This allows for circulating air and prevents the meat from becoming overcooked and dry. Cooking the brisket unwrapped creates a smoky, charred outside, but there's a risk of it drying out. The brisket can be wrapped in butcher paper or aluminum foil if you prefer to retain moisture. Butcher paper tends to result in a moister brisket compared to foil.

Obviously, this isn't all there is to know. Let’s go ahead with a comprehensive guide.

Should You Actually Wrap Or Unwrap Brisket When Resting?

Rest the brisket unwrapped for best results. This allows for circulating air and prevents the meat from becoming overcooked and dry. However, whether to wrap or unwrap brisket when resting depends on whether it was wrapped during cooking and personal preference.

Wrapped: If you wrapped your brisket during cooking, you don't need to unwrap it before the resting period. Just pull it off the pit and let it rest in whatever you chose to wrap it in.

Rest Brisket Wrapped

Source: BBQ Host

Keeping the brisket wrapped also aids in what's called carryover cooking, which helps to continue breaking down the connective tissues and collagen in the meat.

Unwrapped:For best results, rest the brisket unwrapped as it needs circulating air for this step.


Source: The Grilling Master

Additionally, keeping a brisket wrapped will trap heat in with the meat, which will keep cooking the meat and may result in an overcooked, dry brisket.

Wrapped in foil and towel: Wrap the brisket in foil and a towel and place it in a dry insulated cooler or Cambro for up to 4 hours to ensure it stays moist and tender.

Wrapped in aluminum foil: Wrap the brisket several times in aluminum foil to ensure it stays insulated. This method helps to maintain a crunchier bark, but the meat may not remain warm for quite as long.

Unwrap after cooking:Once the brisket is taken off the heat, take the wrapping off and place the brisket on a cutting board. If there are any juices in the foil, make sure to save them. Or, unfold the wrapping but still let the meat sit there while it rests.

How Long Do You Let A Wrapped Brisket Rest?

A wrapped brisket should rest for at least one hour but not more than two hours. This allows the meat to settle and become more tender. Resting for too long can make the brisket cold and reheating it can dry it out. The resting time depends on personal preference and the size of the brisket. If the brisket is tightly wrapped, it can stay hot for up to four hours, but this is recommended for larger, whole briskets.

You should knowsmoking brisket at different temperatures. 

What Should I Rest My Brisket In?

Rest your brisket in a cooler. A cooler keeps it warm for longer, maintaining its temperature. It's perfect for preserving the heat until you're ready to serve. If you're eating it soon, a room temperature setting, like a cutting board, works too.

Also, knowall dimensions of a brisket to do better.

Factors to Consider When Resting a Brisket

When resting a brisket, consider these factors:

  • Resting time:Rest for 1-2 hours, or up to 4 hours for larger briskets.
  • Wrapping: If wrapped during cooking, keep it wrapped while resting. If not, rest it unwrapped.
  • Temperature:Maintain an optimal rest temperature above 140°F to prevent dryness.
  • Resting environment: Use a cooler or container to keep the temperature stable.
  • Size and smoking temperature:These factors affect tenderness and flavor.
  • Carry-over cooking: Account for the continued cooking that happens while resting.

By considering these factors, you can achieve a tender and flavorful smoked brisket.

How to Rest a Brisket?

Resting a brisket is crucial for tender and juicy meat. Follow these steps:

  1. Take the brisket off the heat source.
  2. Remove any foil or butcher paper.
  3. Place the brisket in an aluminum pan or dish.
  4. Let it rest for at least one hour, preferably two, before slicing.
  5. If you wrapped the brisket, no need to unwrap it before resting. Keep it wrapped to aid in carryover cooking.
  6. If you didn't wrap the brisket, rest it unwrapped for air circulation and to prevent overcooking.
  7. Use an insulated cooler or container with a lid for optimal rest temperature.
  8. Maintain a stable temperature throughout the resting time.
  9. The ideal rest time is one hour, but two hours won't harm the texture. Avoid resting for less than one hour.

In addition to this, knowwhen to pull out the brisket.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What Happens If You Don't Rest A Brisket?

If you don't rest a brisket, the meat will become less moist. When you remove the brisket from the heat source and immediately slice it, the moisture in the meat won't have time to thicken. As a result, the juices will flow out of the brisket and spread across your cutting board instead of staying within the meat. Resting allows the meat to retain its juices, keeping it moist and flavorful.

How Do You Keep A Brisket Juicy?

To keep a brisket juicy, preheat the oven to 250°F and season the brisket with salt, pepper, and spices. Place the brisket in a roasting pan, cover it tightly with foil, and cook it low and slow for about 1 hour per pound. Baste the brisket with its juices every hour and use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. Remove the brisket at 195°F, let it rest for 30 minutes, and slice it against the grain for maximum tenderness.

Does Brisket Cook Faster After Wrapping?

Yes, wrapping a brisket speeds up cooking. It works by averting "the stall," which occurs when evaporation from the brisket's surface pauses the cooking progress. When you wrap the brisket, it creates a barrier that traps moisture and heat, enabling the brisket to cook faster.


Well, hopefully, it’s clear to you now whether therest brisket wrapped or unwrapped. Remember after all the discussion it ultimately depends on your personal preference. If you actually want juicy well-cooked brisket, resting it unwrapped can be a great option. 

Thank you!

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