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Brisket Temp Went Down After Wrapping? (Here’s Why)

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Wrapping a brisket (or any thick cut of meat with a lot of fatty and connective tissue) is a tried-and-true way for preventing temperature stalling and dips.

So, why would the temperature of the brisket drop after wrapping? Isn’t it meant to be helpful?

Brisket is highly sensitive, and any alteration or change in its environment might induce temperature drops or stalls. A brisket’s temperature might decline after being wrapped due to a variety of circumstances.

Wrapping the brisket too early, smoking a brisket with too much fat, utilizing insufficient and inconsistent smoke heat, or even the weather outside the smoker influencing the heat within are some of these concerns.

Fortunately, there are a few strategies you can employ to both ease and prevent this from occurring. The following post goes over all of the reasons why your brisket may cool after being wrapped, as well as what you can do to help it.

Why Does Brisket Temperature Drop After Wrapping?

Most of the time, this happens because the brisket is wrapped before the temperature stalls.

Temperature stalls are most common between 150 and 165 degrees(F). It is triggered when the fatty and connective fibers in the meat begin to breakdown, causing excess fluids to rise to the surface.

These extra liquids evaporate and chill the meat as they cool. The smoker is unable to keep up with the rate at which these juices chill the meat, resulting in a temperature stall.

Brisket is wrapped to keep rising and evaporating juices closer to the flesh, keeping it warm and preventing temperature stalling. The ideal moment to wrap a brisket is right when you notice the internal temperature beginning to stabilize.

However, by wrapping a brisket ahead of time before it begins to stall, you can actually cause a temperature drop.

The meat will lose some heat after being wrapped initially, which can be difficult to adjust for if executed right before the temperature plateau takes hold. It won’t have as much of a chance to recover. 

Essentially, if a brisket is wrapped prematurely, it will have a more difficult time rebounding from any temperature stalls or dips.

Another reason the temperature can drop is because you have to remove it from the smoker, away from the heat source, to wrap it.

To keep as much heat in the brisket and smoker as possible, have your foil or butcher paper ready and wrap quickly. When the cover of a smoker is opened, it can lose up to 10 degrees(F) of ambient heat each second.

What Happens If Brisket Is Wrapped Too Early?

No Smokey Flavor

The whole point of smoking brisket is to cook it while blending its flavors with both sweet and savory notes from the wood, pellets, or chips used to make smoke.

If the brisket is wrapped from the beginning, it becomes isolated from the smoke and misses out on all of the smoky qualities.

Texture Loss

The primary idea of wrapping brisket is to keep it firmly sealed in its rendered juices, keeping them warm and limiting the effects of temperature stalls.

As a result, the longer the brisket is exposed to the liquids, the mushier the meat can get.

Creating A Braising Effect

If a wrapped brisket is left to smoke for too long, the warm surrounding liquids may eventually start braising the brisket within the smoker. This can alter the flavor and texture of the brisket, making it more similar to a pot roast.

How Quickly Do Briskets Smoke When Wrapped?

Unfortunately, there is no direct answer to this. It is always determined by the size and marbling of the brisket being smoked.

Brisket takes around 1½ to 2 hours per pound to thoroughly smoke. Wrapping will surely assist speed up this procedure by deflating the effects of temperature stalls. 

Can Brisket Be Pulled At 190?

The ideal internal temperature for pulling brisket is 200 degrees(F), but temperatures ranging from 200 to 205 are acceptable.

However, due to “carry-over cooking,” most pitmasters advocate extracting brisket around 190.

When meat continues to cook slightly after being withdrawn from the heat source, this is referred to as carry-over cooking. It can increase the temperature of brisket by up to 10 degrees(F).

By pulling at 190, you can allow it to naturally climb to your desired temperature while resting.