When To Wrap Brisket: All The Tips You Must Know

May 02, 2023 10 min read

When To Wrap Brisket

Wrapping meat is a common technique when cooking food on the grill, as it helps the meat become juicy and flavorful without sticking to the grates. Because of this, you might wonder if you should wrap a brisket and when you should wrap it. After all, you have to get it right for an incredible flavor. 

So, if you want more information on when to wrap brisket, you have come to the right place. Here are all the tips that will help you decide when you should wrap the brisket. 

The Purpose Of Wrapping Brisket 

a perfectly smoked brisket

Wrapping the brisket is a popular technique that fulfills two aims:

  • It enhances the flavor of the brisket 
  • It tenderizes the meat so it is easy to chew 

Most people wrap a brisket after it reaches the stall, which is a specific level of done. However, everyone uses different methods to understand when they should wrap the brisket. Ultimately, the aim is to make sure the meat is juicy and tender for the perfect taste. 

When You Should Wrap The Brisket: Factors To Consider 

Now that you understand the purpose, you might wonder when to wrap the brisket. Well, different people have different factors they consider before wrapping the meat. For example, some people rely on the temperature while others on appearance to know when to wrap the brisket. 

Here are all the factors you can consider to decide when you should wrap the brisket: 

Personal Choice 

When you should wrap, the brisket is a personal choice, depending on how you like your meat to be and the amount of patience you have. For example, many people will wrap when the second stall comes or the third. It depends on how much time you have and all the other factors we have listed below. 

However, the most important factor will be the bark. If you want a crunchy and thick bark, then you will have to be patient and wait for the brisket to come out of the stall. You can also just look at the meat and see for yourself when you want to wrap it. 

In the end, it is your personal choice, and you can experiment with the meat to see what provides you with the best flavor. So, make sure you go through a process of trial and error to see what works best for you.

The Temperature Of The Smoker

The temperature of the smoker will also determine when to wrap brisket. That is because if the temperature of the smoker is low, then it will take a longer time to come to the point where you might want to wrap the brisket. On the other hand, if the temperature of the smoker is high, you will want to wrap the brisket sooner. 

A higher temperature means that you have set the smoker temperature at 275F or more. If that is the case with you, then you will have to wrap the brisket sooner. 

Size Of The Brisket 

Yes, the size of the brisket will also give you an idea of how long it will take before you wrap the brisket. A small brisket size will cook faster, which means you will have to wrap it soon. Other than that, small sizes will also start losing moisture soon, and you have to wrap them to ensure that the moisture isn't lost. 

As a general rule of thumb, you can wrap a seven-pound brisket at the mark of three or four hours. However, if the brisket is thirteen pounds or more, then you can wrap it around the mark of six hours. Make sure you weigh the brisket before grilling to decide when you should wrap it. 

By Appearance 

Even by just looking at the bark of the brisket, you can easily tell if you should wrap it. Some people love a deep and dark bark before they decide to wrap it. Remember that this will take some practice because you will not have an eye for it when you first begin cooking brisket. 

If you wrap the brisket too early, then a deep and dark bark will not form properly. A general rule of thumb is to wrap the brisket when the bark has been set perfectly, depending on what you like. Everyone likes a different bark appearance, so this will ultimately be your call. 

Internal Temperature 

The internal temperature of the brisket will also determine whether the bark is set or not. For example, a brisket that weighs more than ten pounds and is cooked between 225 and 250F can take at least four or five hours before the bark is set. This means that the internal temperature of the brisket will be around 150F and above. 

So, you should wrap the brisket only when it reaches an internal temperature of 150F or above. After it passes this temperature mark, you can wrap it anytime you like by also considering the other factors to make an informed decision. 

Reasons You Should Wrap The Brisket 

If you have never cooked brisket on the grill before, you might wonder why you should wrap the brisket in the first place. Well, here are the top reasons you should wrap your brisket when grilling this meat: 

1. It Will Help You Cook The Meat Faster 

The top reason why people wrap brisket is because it helps the meat cook fast. Smoking meat takes a long time, which is why people are always looking for new ways to speed up the process. Wrapping the brisket seals in all the flavors by reducing the circulation of air and exposure to the heat. 

When this happens, the brisket will receive a high temperature for a longer period of time. However, it also means that the meat will not burn, and the moisture will stay in the meat. So, if you want to cook the meat as fast as you possibly can, then you can opt for wrapping it. 

2. The Meat Will Be Flavorful And Juicy 

A juicy piece of meat is one of the most delicious things you can indulge in. Wrapping a brisket will provide you with the juicy flavor you need to enjoy the meat. That is because wrapping the brisket creates an environment that is semi-sealed.

This traps the moisture inside the meat, ensuring that it doesn't lose any of the liquid as it smokes. So, when you take it out of the foil or paper and you have the first bite, you will notice how juicy, tender and flavorful the meat has become because of this technique. 

3. It Will Provide You With Control Over How The Brisket Looks 

If you love making different types of meat, then you probably like having some control over the process, just like most people out there. This is where wrapping the brisket comes in handy. The perfect bark not only enhances the flavor of the meat but also improves the aroma and appearance of the meat. 

When you wrap the brisket, the bark will become much deeper and thicker as it cooks. So, you can wrap the brisket when the stall temperature has been reached or when you have achieved the perfect level of bark. It all depends on how you want to control the process to make the meat look and taste the way you want it to. 

A Step-By-Step Guide To Wrapping The Brisket 

Wrapping brisket is also an art form that you will get the hang of when you begin wrapping it. The key is to follow the right steps so that you can trap the moisture perfectly and create the ideal environment for the brisket to cook. Here are all the steps you must follow to wrap brisket:

Step1: Prepare The Cooking Equipment 

The first thing you must do is prepare the grill or smoker for your brisket. You must preheat it to the right temperature so that when you add the brisket, it cooks perfectly. The temperature you set depends on how you want the meat to turn out. 

Step 2: Wait For The Smoker To Reach The Temperature 

Now that you have put the smoker on preheat, it is time for you to wait for the smoker to reach the perfect internal temperature. Once it reaches this temperature, you can place the brisket inside, with the fat side remaining up. Then, let the meat cook for at least an hour. 

Step 3: Time To Wrap 

Keep a check on the meat, and when it reaches an internal temperature between 150 and 170F, then it is time for you to wrap the meat. You can begin by taking an aluminum foil, laying it down, and then adding a layer of parchment or butcher paper. 

Step 4: Fold The Paper 

Now you can begin folding the paper by starting with the edges so that you can seal the meat tightly. Then, you must fold the ends of the paper and crimp everything up to create a secure wrap for the meat. 

Step 5: Back In The Smoker 

Once you have created a tight seal and wrapped the brisket, it is time for you to place it back inside the smoker. You can keep it inside till it reaches an internal temperature between 194 and 203F. When this happens, it is time to take out your brisket and enjoy a delicious piece of smoked meat. 

What Materials Can You Use To Wrap The Brisket 

There are two options you have at your disposal when it comes to wrapping your brisket: butcher paper or aluminum foil. These are the types of papers that experts use to wrap the meat and ensure it gets that perfect flavor and texture. Here is what you must know about each of these materials to create the perfect sealed environment for the meat:

1. Butcher Paper 

brisket wrapping with a butcher paper

Let's first begin with the butcher paper and understand it in detail to know whether it is the right choice for you. Well, many people use pink butcher paper because it ensures that the meat has some room to breathe. Because of this, the insulation is excellent, and it also helps maintain the crispiness of the bark on the meat. 

The only difference between this and aluminum foil is that butcher paper lets some of the moisture out, and the smoke to come inside. However, it can save you hours of cooking time. The flavor will be smokier, but the bark of the meat will be less deep and crispy. 

wrapped brisket resting in a smoker

In the end, it depends on what you want your meat to taste and look like. If you are okay with some of the moisture being lost, then you can opt for butcher paper. However, if you want the outside to be crispy and the inside to be succulent, then aluminum foil might be a better choice for you. 

2. Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil is perhaps one of the most popular choices, and this is what most people cook their brisket in. The aluminum is a great conductor of heat and traps most of the heat inside the foil. Because of this, the temperature inside the foil rises significantly. 

When this happens, the cooking time is reduced, and it helps the meat easily get through the stall. But, on the other hand, it also traps all the moisture, ensuring none of it is lost. So, you will end up with brisket that has a crispy outside and juicy meat inside. 

The only downside to using aluminum foil is that it doesn't let the smoke inside, which means if you love the smoky flavor, then you might not achieve this with the aluminum foil. However, if you don't want an intense smoky flavor on your meat, then aluminum foil will be the perfect choice for what you need. 

What Are The Cons Of Wrapping Briskets?

Now that you know all the good things about wrapping and how you can do it, you might wonder if there are any cons to using this method. Well, everything includes good and bad, and so does wrapping brisket. Here are some possible cons of wrapping the brisket:

The Brisket Might Overcook

Once you wrap the brisket and put it inside the smoker, you will have to keep an eye on the internal temperature because it will begin rising fast. The rise of the temperature is also dependent on various factors, which is why this step is important. Make sure you have a thermometer at all times to keep a check on the temperature.

Many people opt for the recipe and its timing without actually using the thermometer and keeping a check themselves. Because of this, the meat can easily overcook, and it will defeat the purpose of having a juicy brisket. So, make sure you keep checking the temperature to guarantee that the brisket doesn’t overcook.

You Might Lose The Crispy Bark Texture 

A crispy bark texture is one of the best things about a brisket because it pairs well with the juicy meat. However, when you wrap the brisket, the edges become exposed to moisture, which can lead the bark to become soft. This is why it is important to wrap and seal the brisket properly. 

Besides that, if you want the perfect crispy bark, then you should cook the brisket at around 225F once you take it from the wrap to ensure the crispiness of the bark. This will be a process of trial and error at first, but soon you will get the hang of creating the perfect brisket. 

The Smoky Flavor Will Not Be Intense

The smoky flavor is a personal preference because some people love an intense smoky flavor while others don't. When you wrap the brisket, there is a barrier between the smoke and the meat. Because of this, you will notice that the meat's smoky flavor has been lost once you eat it. 

This doesn't have to be a con or a downside to making the brisket unless you absolutely need the smoky flavor to be present. Many people don't even notice the loss of the smoky flavor when they wrap the brisket. Besides that, wrapping the brisket keeps it moist, which enhances the flavor of the meat, and the loss of smoky flavor is a small thing to give up for this texture and taste. 

Final Thoughts 

That was everything you needed to know about when to wrap brisket. Now that you have all the information, you can decide how you want to wrap the brisket and what kind of texture and appearance you would love to have. Once you get this right, you will have the ideal brisket at your disposal. 

So, be sure to follow these guidelines and create the juiciest piece of meat today. Once you do, your friends and family will fall in love with the taste of the brisket. After all, there is nothing like having a juicy piece of meat with incredible flavor.

Also in Cooking

The Art of Perfectly Grilling a London Broil: Unlocking BBQ's Best Kept Secret
The Art of Perfectly Grilling a London Broil: Unlocking BBQ's Best Kept Secret

January 23, 2024 3 min read

Read More
Sizzling Secrets: Perfect Hot Dogs Without the Grill
Sizzling Secrets: Perfect Hot Dogs Without the Grill

January 23, 2024 2 min read

Read More
Grilling to Perfection: Master the Art of Bratwurst Preparation
Grilling to Perfection: Master the Art of Bratwurst Preparation

January 22, 2024 3 min read

Read More
RuffRuff App RuffRuff App by Tsun