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9 Reason’s Why Your Brisket Internal Temp Is Going Down

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When it comes to smoking delectable meats, there is nothing more annoying than a brisket that refuses to rise in internal temperature, or “stall.”

However, as experienced smokers are aware, a temperature stall, or “plateau,” is to be expected. But what happens if the internal temperature begins to dip and decrease? 

Unfortunately, your brisket may be declining in temperature for a multitude of causes outside of the stall, including unfavorable weather conditions, smoking untrimmed brisket, or using inadequate or malfunctioning equipment.

In this article, we will discuss all of the possible causes of your brisket’s internal temperature falling, as well as what you can do to help avoid and repair the dilemma.

Why Your Brisket May Drop in Temperature

The Stall

When cooking meats with a high fat content at low temperatures for extended periods of time, a temperature “stall” occurs.

It is induced by a process known as “evaporative cooling.” This is when all of the excess juices from the meat begin to rise to the surface of the brisket and evaporate, cooling the meat as a consequence.

The smoker cannot keep up with the rate at which the juices cool the meat, causing its internal temperature to stall, or “plateau”. This usually happens when the meat hits 150- to 175-degrees(F), and it will continue until all of the extra juices have fully evaporated, at which point it will begin to rise again.

In certain circumstances, though, the stall might have a more severe effect on the brisket, causing it to cool during this temperature plateau. The higher the fat content, the more severe the plateau’s effects will be, which in certain situations will lead it too momentarily cool down.

Not Enough Heat

Despite how obvious this may seem, you’d be shocked how many problems beginner smokers can cause with simple errors like this. 

For the greatest results, the ambient smoke heat should be set between 225- and 250 degrees(F), but no lower than 200 degrees(F). Before putting the brisket on the smoker, ensure sure the cover is tightly closed and sufficiently pre-heated. 

If your smoker isn’t hot enough, it will have a much more difficult time getting past the stall, which may increase the intensity of its effects and cool the meat during it

Untrimmed Brisket

Brisket’s delicious, mouth-watering marbling is just what you’re looking for. It all melts and renders into the meat, resulting in the luscious and melty texture of pulled pork.

However, leaving too much fat cap on a brisket might work against you.

Remember that the more fat on a brisket, the more liquid it will create, intensifying the stall. This is why trimming at least half of the fat cap before smoking the brisket is a smart idea.

You’ll get the natural basting from the fat while keeping extra juices from reducing the interior temperature.

Use A Reliable Meat Thermometer

Without an accurate meat thermometer, navigating a stall or temperature dip can be quite challenging.

Accurate temperature readings are required to establish when the stall occurs, whether the temperature is falling, and when it begins to rise again. If it provides untrustworthy readings, it may falsely indicate you that the temperature has dropped when, in fact, it has just stagnated.

Before beginning the smoke, test your meat probe and all other equipment. Check that the probe is free of any gunk or char from prior smokes, as this can affect the accuracy of its readings.

Unfavorable Weather

When smoking brisket, keep the weather in mind at all times.

The smoker’s ambient heat is affected by cold weather, so the heat should be adjusted based on the temperature outside the smoker. 

The colder the weather, the more you’ll need to crank up the smoke heat. It’s the contrary in hotter weather, where the higher the temperature outside, the more you’ll need to reduce the smoke heat.


Remember what we said earlier: the more liquid there is within the smoker, the more likely the brisket will lose internal heat.

While basting a brisket can offer a pleasant and unique flavor profile, too much basting might cause the smoker to stall out or cool down.

To avoid this, always monitor its temperature while applying the baste or spritz.

“How Can I Bring the Temperature Back if it Drops?”

When meat is affected by a stall or a temperature dip, the best remedy is to let it be and let it correct itself naturally. If time is of the essence, though, you have a few options.

You can partially avoid the effects of evaporative cooling by utilizing wraps. It refers to the process of wrapping the brisket in tin foil or butcher paper.

A wrapped brisket limits ventilation around the meat, causing the juices to chill. This is known as the “Texas Crutch,” and it is the most widely employed way for dealing with this problem.

If you’ve done everything else and the temperature still won’t increase, you can finish the brisket in the oven or crock pot.

Although this isn’t ideal, it can help the brisket cook faster if you’re in a hurry. It may not be as tasty as brisket that has been thoroughly cooked in a smoker, but it can still produce nice results.

Final Thoughts 

As you can see, there are numerous options available to you if you encounter this problem. Just keep the following in mind:

• Too much fat on a brisket will cause increased evaporative cooling, so trim at least half of the fat cap before smoking

• Too much fat on a brisket will cause increased evaporative cooling, so trim at least half of the fat cap before smoking 

• Weather influences the ambient smoke temperature, so adjust the heat as needed

• Applying too much baste on a brisket can contribute too much moisture in the smoker

This problem can and will happen to anyone, so don’t be disheartened and use these strategies. Happy smoking!