When To Pull Brisket (Timing, Temp & Wrapping)

Are you unsure when the correct time to pull a brisket is? Maybe you are unsure what the best temperature is for pulling a brisket?

Or are you completely lost and unsure where to start? Whatever your reason might be, we are here with the answer for you!

When To Pull Brisket (Timing, Temp & Wrapping)

We all love a brisket that has crispy bark and juicy meat packed full of flavor. But achieving this often comes down to when you pull the brisket. And knowing when that correct time seems to be a secret few are willing to share! 

You search and search, but you can’t find that one answer that you need. And without it, your brisket is never quite how you want, and you consider never cooking it again. 

Well, no more! Today, we are here with the answers that you need. Keep reading to find out when you should pull the brisket and everything else you need to know about this tasty dish! 

When To Pull Brisket From Smoker

So when should we pull a brisket that’s been on the smoker? Well, there is some debate here. Some people say 195 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature to pull the brisket.

Others insist that you should push up to 200 degrees before pulling the brisket. Then some people say anywhere between 180 and 190 degrees is the best temperature for a brisket to be pulled. 

The range of temperatures doesn’t help us decide when we should pull our brisket, but it does show us that there is some leeway here.

It’s worth remembering that we all have different tastes and enjoy food cooked slightly differently. It’s important that you consider this and how you like your brisket before deciding when to pull it. 

And to help you do that, we have plenty more about this subject coming up! 

Best Internal Temperature For Brisket 

The temperatures that we listed earlier were for the smoker, and you should see this on your smoker’s temperature display.

But, we can also use the internal temperature of the brisket to decide when it should be pulled. Again, there is no one definitive temperature.

Instead, we have a range of 195 degrees to 204 degrees which are considered the ideal internal temperature to pull a brisket. 

At this internal temperature, the collagen in the connective tissue will have broken down into gelatin, giving the brisket meat its juicy flavor and texture.

We all know how important texture is when it comes to cooking, and it plays a vital role in deciding how long your brisket should be cooked for.

We recommend using the internal temperature as a way to determine this and have a tasty brisket to enjoy! 

You can use the internal temperature of your brisket to decide how long it should be cooked for. This will tell you when you can pull your brisket and ensures that your brisket will be cooked.

You don’t need to worry about under or overcooking it too! Remember, you want to allow 1 hour to 1 and a half hours per pound of brisket when determining how long to cook it for. 

You can use this timeframe as a guide and combine it with the internal temperature of the brisket to help you decide at what temperature and when you should pull it! So what is the best temperature for the brisket?

We would keep it between 180 and 190 degrees to ensure that it is juicy and still thoroughly cooked. You can go higher if you wish, the choice is yours, but if you are new to the game, we would try our suggestion and see how you get on.

How Long Does A Brisket Take To Cook?

We touched on this briefly earlier, but let’s look at how long it takes to cook a brisket in more detail now.

On average, a whole packer brisket weighs between 11 and 18 pounds, with two muscles and a fat cap. Ideally, you will want to cook this at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Using the calculation we mentioned above of allowing roughly 1 hour and a half for every pound of brisket, it would take between 10 to 15 hours for your brisket to cook.

This time will of course vary depending on the size of your brisket, so be sure to work out the weight of it before you start cooking. 

Should I Wrap My Brisket?

Should I Wrap My Brisket

Many people will tell you to wrap your brisket in aluminum foil while you cook it. This can help to speed the cooking process up if the internal temperature of your brisket stops rising, but it can cause the brisket to go soggy. 

Luckily for you, we have found a way to prevent this soggy texture. Keep reading to find out how to do this. 

How To Wrap A Brisket 

To wrap your brisket and not need to compromise on texture, you can follow our steps below. 

  1. Take high-quality foil and use it to wrap your meat. You can use butcher paper if you have it, which can help reduce the risk of overcooking your brisket. 
  2. Wrap the brisket tightly to stop any leaks. You can use a double layer of foil if you wish to ensure the juices stay in the brisket. 
  3. Insert the temperature probe into the meat to watch the internal temperature. You should notice it rise pretty quickly after wrapping it. 

Should I Rest My Brisket?

Another question you are bound to have is about resting your brisket. Again, there is a lot of debate about this! While your brisket cooks, protein fibers uncoil and coagulate, before recoiling and firming. 

When they become firm, the moisture is pushed out. Once the brisket is removed from the heat, these fibers relax and reabsorb some of the moisture that was lost earlier.

If you choose to skip the resting period, then you can lose those tasty juices when you cut into your brisket. For us, that’s something we aren’t prepared to do!

It’s best to let the brisket rest briefly before serving to get the most flavor from your brisket. Again, the choice is yours, but if you want to enjoy a juicy brisket, it’s best to leave it rest. 

Tips For Smoking The Best Brisket 

Before you leave us today, take a look at some of our tips for smoking the best-ever brisket. After reading these you will never want to go back to your original method! 

Put The Fattier End Near The Fire

By placing the fattier end of the brisket closer to the fire, you can insulate the meat. This helps it from drying out and allows you to enjoy a juicy brisket. 

Opt For The Point 

When you have the choice between the point, the flat, or the whole brisket, we recommend opting for the point. This has more marbling in the muscle, giving you a tender and juicy brisket that is packed full of flavor! 

Make The Most Of Your Mop Sauce 

Adding liquid to your meat can help it smoke better and deliver more flavor. So why not add some water, beef broth, beer, or apple juice and spritz or mop it on top? You won’t regret it! 

Spend Some Time Practicing 

When it comes to creating the best brisket, practice makes perfect. So spend some time practicing and honing your skill.

This way you can smoke the perfect brisket time after time. Don’t expect the first brisket you smoke to be perfect, it takes time and practice to get the timings right for you and your preferences. 

Enjoy the process and see what delicious briskets you can cook! 

Final Thoughts 

And there you have it when you should pull a brisket. You will want to find the right time for you and your tastes.

Be sure to check the temperature of the smoker and the brisket itself to determine when it is time to pull your brisket. Remember to allow the brisket to rest before serving so that you can enjoy a juicy and delicious brisket. 

John Rinder
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