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Brisket Temp Dropped After Unwrapping? (Here’s Why)

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When smoking, most meats, particularly brisket, are usually wrapped. It’s been dubbed the “Texas crutch” over the years.

When you wrap a brisket, the rendered juices get bonded with the meat, keeping them warm and reducing evaporative cooling. However, severe pooling of these fluids can sometimes induce temperature fluctuations.

This article explains why temperature drops may occur after wrapping and unwrapping your brisket.

Temperature Dropping After Unwrapping

Okay, this may seem a little obvious. Of course, unwrapping brisket causes temperature dips, but we’re talking about significant temperature changes.

After being unwrapped, some briskets appear to dip 15 to 20 degrees! However, this could be related to how the meat is cooked and where you are probing it.

When you cook brisket over high heat, it produces a lot more steam within the wrapper. This trapped steam can give a thermometer deceptive reading, making the temperature appear higher than it is.

To achieve reliable temperature readings, ensure sure the probe penetrates to the centre and is entirely buried into the meat.

Is This Normal?

When smoking foods at high temperatures, this can be normal. As previously noted, greater smoke temperatures generate more steam surrounding the meat, which can deceive a thermometer.

If you pull your brisket and discover that it is not yet at your goal temperature, you can either return it to the smoker or finish it in the crockpot.

Can Brisket Temperature Drop After Wrapping?

Yes, brisket can slightly experience a temperature dip after wrapping it, but for a few reasons. 

The brisket is often wrapped before going into a temperature stall. Meat that is wrapped before stalling can most likely dip in heat.

The stall is typically maintained between 150 and 175 degrees(f). At this point, the fatty tissues start to dissolve and render to the meat’s surface.

The moment to wrap the brisket is when the internal temperature starts to slow or halt. Regarding the ideal time to wrap a brisket, there will be much debate. Nevertheless, the majority of people concur that you should either wait till it slows down or increases to a temperature of or 150 to 160 degrees(F).

You have to remove it from the smoker to wrap it, which is another factor that might cause it to fall. Any meat will lose some of its temperature when it is away from the heat source.

Additionally, you lose around 10 degrees of ambient heat every second when you open the smoker’s cover.

Therefore, it’s imperative to quickly remove and wrap the brisket. 

Make Sure You’re Using Enough Heat

You wouldn’t believe how many issues happen as a result of minor mistakes like this. Make that the smoker has been completely warmed and is set to the appropriate temperature before you even think about placing a brisket on it.

Brisket should be smoked at a temperature of between 225 and 250 degrees(F). Without enough heat, the brisket would struggle to pass through the stall and even experience a drop in internal temperature.

Rendering Too Much Fat

Too much fat on brisket may cause a temporary dip in temperature. The more fatty tissues there are, the more liquid will be produced when they start to render.

These additional juices will collect within the wrapping, potentially enhancing the evaporative cooling’s effects instead of mitigating them. 

Is This Normal?

Even though it shouldn’t, this is a rather typical problem. When smoked, brisket releases a lot of moisture, which slows down the cooking process.

When extra juices accumulate on the surface and evaporate, the meat stalls and becomes cooler. The temperature may fall instead of just stalling if there is an overflow of moisture rising and evaporating.

The good news is that your brisket will eventually correct itself, so you haven’t damaged it. Once all the extra fluids have sweated out and dissipated, the temperature will ultimately balance out.

Final Thoughts

Smoking meats necessitates a lot of trial and error.

A multitude of reasons might cause temperature fluctuations after wrapping or after unwrapping. The good news is that there is a lot you can do to help it get back on track.

Just remember to keep an eye on the temperature. Make sure it is set high enough and that it keeps a consistent temperature.

Also, when temping a wrapped brisket, make sure the probe is deeply embedded in the flesh. The build-up of steam inside the wrap might cause temperatures to appear much higher than they are.

Finally, make sure the brisket is not overly fatty. This can result in significant pooling of rendered drippings, leading to temperature drops.