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8 Things To Know About A Brisket’s Done Temp

Brisket Done Temp

Brisket can be considered done when it is temping out at around 200°F in internal temperature. At 200°F, the internal fat and connective tissues all begin to render down and make the brisket very juicy and moist. 

Not only do you want to pull a brisket off the smoker at this temperature, you also want to make sure that it is probing tender all throughout the meat itself. 

That means grabbing a toothpick or some kind of probing device and sticking it all around the thickest parts of the brisket to make sure there is no resistance. That is how you can know for certain whether or not a brisket is done.


What temp to pull brisket and put in cooler

If you were thinking about pulling a brisket off the smoker and placing it inside of an ice chest or warming cooler, feel free to do so once the internal temperature reaches 200°F. 

As a matter of fact, once you reach the optimal temperature at which a brisket is fully done cooking, resting it is the second most important aspect of any cook for brisket. 

Placing a brisket inside of a warming oven or ice chest will help preserve the integrity of the meat itself while allowing the internal temperature a steady decline.

 The main important aspect of this, is that as the internal temperature starts to decrease, it increases the likelihood of a juicy brisket that will not evaporate all of its moisture the second it is sliced.

Once the brisket is actually inside of the ice cooler, you don’t want to pull it out of it until the internal temperature has had a chance to come down to at least 165°F. This can take several hours but is definitely worth your wait.


What temperature should a brisket be when done?

There is a lot of debate among Pitmasters throughout the United States regarding when a brisket is actually done cooking. A brisket should only be pulled out the smoker when two things occur. 

The first thing that needs to happen for a brisket to be done, is for the internal temperature to be at least 200°F. That is the scientific point at which the collagen inside of the barbecue will render down and actually make it worth eating. The second thing that needs to happen, is that once the internal temperature reaches 200°F, you need to ensure that the fat contents have actually rendered down. 

That means grabbing some kind of probe such as your meat thermometer or a toothpick to ensure for a fact that the brisket has become very tender and juicy inside.

A key trick of the protest for your brisket is to make sure that there is absolutely zero resistance whatsoever when sliding it in the meet. If there is resistance, then that means the collagen inside of the BBQ has not had a chance to fully runner down and should not be pulled off the smoker. Don’t get too impatient with this step in the process because this is the most crucial step in the entire cook. 

This is actually where a lot of people fail and consider brisket to be a very finicky piece of meat. It’s really just a matter of waiting and making a calculated guess as to win a brisket is done.


Is brisket done at 205?

There is also a lot of contention between Pitmasters throughout the US regarding the exact internal temperature for a particular brisket. In other words, a lot of people seem to say that anywhere from 200°F to 205°F and brisket can therefore be considered done.

 That is not always the case, because every brisket is different, every brisket has a different grade as well as weight. All of these different things go into to the overall length and longevity of the cook and especially the internal temperature at which all of the marbling will fully runner down throughout the meat. 

Not only that, but you should also look to just using the probe test once it reaches the famed 200°F in internal temperature, because that is really when a Brisket will begin its process of rendering down. It can certainly take up to about 205°F to fully render down, but you should always start to employ the probe test at 200°F.


Can I pull brisket at 190?

You should never pull a brisket off the smoker or oven at 190°F because a Brisket does not start to actually render down its collagen until about 200°F. 

If you notice your brisket probing tender at around 190°F, you should consider re-calibrating your thermometer because it is most likely off and temperature reading.


How do you tell if a brisket is done?

The best tried and true way I’ve actually knowing brisket is done, is to employ the probe test. That means taking a toothpick or your thermometer in and out of the meat and monitoring for any resistance as you put it inside of the barbecue. 

If there is no resistance than a brisket can be considered done. If there is resistance, then don’t pull the brisket on the smoker and continue cooking until you have no resistance.


Can you overcook brisket?

Brisket can definitely be overcooked. This occurs when you happen to cook the internal temperature way past 205°F. The golden point that you want the temperature readings to be at for a brisket or anywhere between 200°F and 205°F. Anything past that point, and you will severely overcook your brisket and dry out any leftover marbling inside of it.


Final thoughts

If you’re wondering when you should be pulling your brisket just use the old adage of pulling it at around 200°F and probing the meat and checking for zero resistance as you do so. That is really all it takes to get an excellent brisket that taste amazing and will certainly get your name out there as a well acclaimed pitmaster.