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Brisket temperature dropped during the stall? Here’s Why

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A temperature stall while smoking brisket can be a frustrating, but often unavoidable, experience. Stalls are common in meats with significant concentrations of fatty and connective components, such as brisket, due to the rendering and breakdown of these tissues.

Stalls are frequently caused by rendering fluids rising to the surface of the brisket, where they cool and evaporate, chilling the meat. However, when these rising liquids are abundant enough, they can actually cause the temperature to plummet rather of merely halting.

However, smoking untrimmed brisket, the weather outside the smoker, the amount of moisture inside the smoker, and the overall smoke heat employed to smoke the brisket are all other elements that can cause temperature drops.

In this post, we will go over all of the reasons why your brisket may lose temperature, as well as a couple of ways to aid and avoid this from happening.

Understanding Temperature Stalling

A temperature “stall” happens when cooking high fat content foods at low temperatures for extended periods of time.

It is caused by a process known as “evaporative cooling.” This is when all of the surplus juices from the meat begin to rise to the surface of the brisket and evaporate, cooling the meat as an unfortunate result. 

Because the smoker cannot keep up with the rate at which the juices cool the meat, the internal temperature stalls, or “plateaus.” This normally occurs when the meat reaches 150 to 175 degrees(F), and it will continue until all of the additional juices have evaporated, at which time it will begin to rise again.

However, under some conditions, the stall may have a more detrimental impact, causing the brisket to cool during this temperature plateau. The impacts of the plateau will be more severe the more fat there is on the brisket, which in some cases will cause it to briefly cool down.

Other Reasons Your Briskets Temperature May Be Dropping

Using Inadequate Heat

Temperature drops are one of the big risks of using too low of a heat to smoke brisket. If the temperature in your smoker falls below 225 degrees(F), you risk drying out the brisket and ruining all your hard work. 

A sudden temperature drop can also cause the fat in the brisket to render too quickly, making the brisket tough and unpleasant to eat. Temperature drops can also cause the meat to absorb more smoke than you intended, giving the brisket a bitter flavor. 

To avoid all these risks, it’s important to use a steady, consistent heat when smoking brisket. By monitoring the temperature carefully and adjusting as needed, you can ensure that your brisket turns out juicy, tender, and flavorful.

Using Untrimmed Brisket

When it comes to smoking brisket, the key is to render out as much of the fat as possible. If there’s too much fat on the brisket, it can cause the temperature to drop when you’re smoking it, which can lead to an uneven cook. 

To help prevent temperature dips, you need to first trim away any large pieces of fat. The fat cap is typically trimmed down to ¼ inch. 

Then, set the brisket fat-side up on your smoker and smoke it at 225 degrees(F) until the internal temperature of the brisket reaches 165 degrees(F). 

At this point, the fat should be rendered out and you can go ahead and finish cooking the brisket until it reaches its desired doneness. Just be sure to keep an eye on the temperature and add more charcoal as needed to maintain a consistent cook. 

Applying Too Much Baste

When it comes to cooking a brisket, there’s a delicate balance that must be struck. 

On the one hand, you need to make sure that the meat is properly seasoned and juicy. On the other hand, you don’t want to overdo it with the basting, or you’ll risk causing the internal temperature of the meat to drop. 

This can lead to a dry, overcooked brisket. So how do you know when you’ve basted too much? A good rule of thumb is to baste every 2 hours. Any more than that, and you run the risk of introducing too much moisture into the smoker, causing the temperature to fall. 

Smoking In Cold or Rainy Weather

How well your smoker works might be greatly influenced by the weather.

For instance, in colder climates, you may need to increase smoke heat to make up for the loss from the frigid air around the smoker.

Rainy weather has the same effect. The temperature within the smoker decreases as precipitation accumulates on top of it, cools, and evaporates.

Unexpected stalling and even abrupt decreases in internal temperature can result from the unexpected inflexibility in temperature.

Can You Pull Brisket At 190 Degrees(F)?

If you’re planning on serving up some barbecue this weekend, you might be wondering if you can pull brisket at 190 degrees. The answer is yes! 

While the ideal internal temperature for pulled brisket is between 200 and 205 degrees, pulling the meat at 190 degrees will still result in tender, juicy meat that’s full of flavor. 

Just be sure to give the brisket plenty of time to rest before you start shredding it – otherwise, all those delicious juices will end up on your cutting board instead of in your sandwich! 

Final Thoughts

Remember that the weather conditions can affect your smoker temperature as well as the amount of fat on the brisket. Make sure to keep an eye on your smoker thermometer and adjust the heat accordingly. And don’t forget to enjoy that delicious smoked meat!