Tackling the Sizzling Dilemma: What Temp To Pull Brisket?

July 15, 2023 5 min read

Tackling the Sizzling Dilemma: What Temp To Pull Brisket?

While cooking a brisket, you do not want it to be over or undercooked. That’s why pulling the brisket at the perfect temperature is crucial.

So,what temp to pull brisket?

The ideal internal temperature for a properly cooked brisket is typically between 195°F and 205°F (90°C and 96°C). Aaron Franklin suggests pulling it at 195°F, as the temperature can continue to rise after removing it from the smoker. Some professionals prefer pulling at around 200°F for consistent tenderness. Others recommend lower temperatures like 180°F to 190°F for a firmer texture. 

In the next sections, we will talk more about pulling briskets and what to do after.

What Temp To Pull Brisket? 

The ideal internal temperature for a properly cooked brisket ranges between 195°F and 205°F (90°C and 96°C). This is theideal temp to pull brisket flat out of the smoker.

Within this temperature range, the collagen in the meat has melted, resulting in a tender and juicy brisket.

Aaron Franklin, a renowned barbecue expert, and pitmaster, has suggested pulling brisket at 195°F. 

This temperature is considered by some to be an indication that the meat has reached a desirable tenderness. This is because temp can continue to rise by up to 10° after you pull it from the smoker. 

This is why you may notice the brisket temp rising after wrapping.

On the other hand, other professionals in the industry might recommend pulling brisket at around 200°F (93°C). The belief is that this slightly higher temperature ensures a more consistent level of tenderness and juiciness.

There are also those who suggest pulling brisket at temperatures as low as 180°F to 190°F (82°C to 88°C). This lower temperature range can result in a firmer texture, which some people prefer.

internal temp to pull brisket

Source: Angry BBQ

How To Test The Internal Temperature Of Brisket 

To test the internal temperature of a brisket, follow these steps:

  • Ensure you have a quality meat thermometer that provides accurate readings.
  • Insert the thermometer probe into the thickest part of the brisket, avoiding contact with bones.
  • Aim to position the probe towards the center of the brisket for the most accurate reading.
  • Allow a few seconds for the thermometer to stabilize and display the temperature reading.
  • To ensure even cooking, check the temperature at multiple spots throughout the brisket.
  • Take note of the internal temperature reading for reference and to track the brisket's progress.

6 Factors That Can Affect The Cooking Time And Temperature Of Brisket 

Several factors can influence the cooking time and temperature required for brisket. Here are some of the key factors:

Size and Thickness

The size and thickness of a brisket directly influence the cooking time and temperature needed to achieve a tender and flavorful result. Briskets with more mass take longer to break down the tough collagen into gelatin. 

Lower temperatures are typically employed for longer periods of time to ensure even cooking and prevent the outer layers from drying out. This slow and gentle cooking approach allows the heat to penetrate the meat gradually. 

As a result, a succulent and tender brisket is cooked throughout. 

Fat Content

Briskets with a higher amount of fat marbling are considered more forgiving during the cooking process.

what temp to pull brisket and wrap

Source: Traeger Grills

The fat acts as a natural moisture and flavor enhancer, keeping the meat juicy and tender. This allows for longer cooking times at lower temperatures, as the fat helps prevent the brisket from drying out. 

The melting fat also bastes the meat, contributing to a richer flavor and more succulent texture. But, the key is to strike a balance, as an excessively fattened brisket may need trimming and adjustment in cooking techniques.

That’s why it’s also important to know if you should cook your meat fat side up or fat side down.

Cooking Method

The method you use to cook brisket —smoking, grilling, or roasting—will affect the temperature and time required. 

So,what temperature is brisket done in a smoker? 

Smoking involves slow cooking at lower temperatures over a longer period, usually between 225°F and 250°F. 

Grilling involves higher direct heat, requiring shorter cooking times at temperatures around 350°F to 400°F. Oven roasting falls in between, usually at temperatures around 275°F to 325°F. 

Each method has its own nuances and necessitates adjustments in temperature and cooking time to achieve optimal tenderness and flavor. You should know all the differences in cooking methods or you may cook your brisket too fast

Ambient Conditions

In cold or windy weather, the external environment can cause heat to dissipate more quickly, affecting the cooking time and temperature. 

To compensate for this heat loss, slightly higher cooking temperatures or longer cooking times may be necessary. The colder the environment, the more heat will be required. 

Similarly, windy conditions can accelerate heat dissipation, requiring adjustments to maintain a consistent cooking temperature. 

Humidity Levels

In high-humidity environments, moisture cannot easily evaporate from the surface of the meat. This leads to a higher surface temperature and potentially faster cooking. 

Conversely, in low-humidity environments, moisture evaporates more readily. This cools the surface of the meat and potentially slows down the cooking process. 

To control humidity levels inside the cooker, you can use a water pan, which provides a steady level of moisture in the air and helps maintain consistent humidity.


At higher altitudes, lower air pressure leads to lower boiling points for water. This means moisture evaporates from the meat's surface at lower temperatures, cooling it faster. The cooking time may need to be extended to retain moisture. 

Furthermore, lower oxygen levels at higher altitudes require careful attention to maintain a healthy fire.

What To Do After Pulling The Brisket? 

After pulling the brisket from the smoker, it is important to let it rest before slicing and serving. Here are the general steps to follow:

  • Wrap the brisket tightly in butcher's paper or foil to retain its moisture and juices.
  • Place the wrapped brisket in a cooler or a warm insulated container and let it rest for at least one hour. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and enhance its tenderness and flavor.
  • You can also add towels or blankets to further insulate and keep the heat locked in.
  • When you're ready to serve, remove the brisket from the cooler and unwrap it. Slice the brisket against the grain to ensure tenderness. Serve it with your preferred sides and enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Can I pull brisket at 140? 

No, pulling brisket at 140°F is not recommended. It's best to avoid pulling the brisket at temperatures lower than the safe internal temperature range of 145°F. Temperatures below 145°F can leave the meat in the danger zone for bacterial growth. 

Is 3 hours too long to rest a brisket? 

Yes, resting a brisket for three hours is generally longer than recommended. Ideally, brisket should rest for at least one hour but no more than two hours. Allowing the brisket to rest for too long at room temperature can lead to it getting cold. 

What if my brisket is done too early? 

If your brisket is done too early, you can use the rest and reheat technique. Let the brisket rest until its internal temperature is between 145°F and 150°F. To keep it safe, avoid letting the temperature fall any lower. Once rested, you can wrap the brisket tightly in foil and place it in a preheated cooler or an oven set at a low temperature (around 200°F). 


Determining what temp to pull brisketis a crucial factor in achieving tender and flavorful results. If you monitor the internal temperature and aim for tenderness, you can ensure a mouthwatering barbecue brisket.

Also in Cooking

What to Smoke on Traeger: Top Recipes and Tips
What to Smoke on Traeger: Top Recipes and Tips

June 20, 2024 2 min read

Read More
How to Cook Perfect Traeger Pork Spare Ribs
How to Cook Perfect Traeger Pork Spare Ribs

June 20, 2024 1 min read

Read More
Delicious Smoked Chex Mix Recipe for Your Next Gathering
Delicious Smoked Chex Mix Recipe for Your Next Gathering

June 20, 2024 3 min read

Read More
RuffRuff App RuffRuff App by Tsun