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11 Tips To Handle A Brisket Stalling For The Second Time!

Can a brisket stall twice

If you are wondering whether or not a brisket can stall twice, then you have come to the right place! On average, most briskets will typically only stall one time throughout the entire cook, at around 175°F. 

It is not too common to see briskets that tend to stall more than once. However, some people have reported that their briskets can stall at varying temperature ranges at about 190° all the way up to about 200°F. 

This brings to light some questions in terms of all the different factors that can be at play, such as consistency of temperatures, overall marbling, the grade of brisket, as well as the average weight for each brisket.

Let’s take a quick note, and examine the typical temperature that you can expect a brisket to stall at.


What temperatures does a brisket stall at

More often than not, you’ll see any type of brisket stall between 150°F and 175°F. It’s basically when the temperature starts to flatline at about 150°F and slowly but surely increases to about 175°F over a couple hours. 

During this time frame, it will almost seem like the temperature will not rise at all and in fact decreases substantially. For those with less experience, it may seem like the brisket is going in the opposite direction, while in reality it is actually cooking all the way through.

As noted above, there have been reports of some briskets encountering a second stall directly after 175°F. More notably, the second stalls have been said to happen at around 180°F, 190°F, and even all the way up to about 200°F.

These are some of the most commonly referenced temperatures that you can expect any type of flatlining of internal temperature. Just know that whenever it does happen, there are methods available to you in order to increase the internal temperature to a point that you are happy with.


Stalling at 160

Having a brisket stall at about 160°F is perhaps the most common temperature that many seem to report having a briskets flat line at. For whatever reason, most briskets will start excreting a lot of the moisture at around this temperature, which has the effect of cooling off the thermometer probe and making it seem like it is not increasing in internal temperature. 

This cannot be farther from the truth, and as you start to cook and smoke a brisket each hour, you should absolutely know that you are still cooking it since they are on the smoker.

Let’s now briefly touch on the second stall temperature that many seem to be reporting.


Stalling at 190

If you happen to be noticing a consistent level of internal temperature flat lining at around 190°F, you may be entering a second stall for your brisket. This is really not that common, and you should really check to see whether or not it is truly a stall to begin with. 

What you want to do is first of all make sure your thermometer probe is accurate before you ever start your brisket cook, that should give you the greatest inclination as to how accurate your temperature readings actually are. More importantly, by having a temperature probe that is very accurate, you are able to discern whether or not you are going through a stall or not.

If you noticed this phenomenon still occuring, then you have the same principles available to you as a stall at about 160° or so. That’s basically to either begin wrapping the brisket in foil or a butcher paper, or increasing the ambient temperatures at which you are smoking it at.

Be very cautious however, since you are basically almost done cooking the brisket. Most briskets are done at around 200°F, so only a 10° variance is not that much when you think about it. 

With that being said, if you are interested in increasing the ambient temperature, make sure to take close account of the internal temperature as it may start to rise very quickly on you.


Why does a brisket stall twice

Briskets can stall twice for a myriad of reasons. The different grades of brisket that you can select from can certainly play a part in whether or not your brisket can or will stall a second time, along with its overall weight.

Having briskets with higher marbling content in more premium types of grades can certainly help expedite brisket cooks overall. If you happen to have a lesser quality grade that is high in connective tissue content such as select or choice, then you may encounter a second stall simply due to the fact that there may be tons of rendering that needs to be completed.

Intuitively, as you have a select or choice grade brisket, as you go up in weight, the requirements for rendering down connective tissues goes way up and can certainly prolong your brisket cook as well.


How do you get past a second brisket stall

Getting past a second brisket stall is super simple and is done the same way that you would handle the normal stall at around 160°F. All you have to do is wrap it in either butcher paper or foil and crank the heat up quite a bit to get the thing going quicker.

Let’s take a look at when you can start to expect a second stall for your brisket.


When can you expect a second stall for a brisket?

As mentioned previously, having a second brisket stall can be the result of having a certain type of grade and having a brisket that is large in weight.

These factors can certainly play a part into the different portions of time at which your brisket can start to flatline in internal temperature, and need to be identified as soon as they happen for an expedited and timely cook.


How do you get past the stall on a brisket?

In general for any type of stall at whatever temperature range, just take the notion of cranking up the temperature as well as wrapping the brisket properly, as a very good guideline to follow in terms of handling a stall of internal temperature.

The end goal of getting past any type of stall, regardless of the temperature or stage in the cook you’re at, is simply to increase the internal temperature at an effective rate. 

That is why many people, myself included, will advocate for simply wrapping the brisket or cranking the temperatures up way past than what they currently are.


How long can brisket stall last?

Typically, briskets will go through any type of stall for a period of about 2 to 3 hours. This is really more tailored towards briskets that don’t have any special attention to them however. In other words, if you don’t wrap your brisket or try to crank the temperatures up quite a bit, then you could be looking at the upper end of that 3 hour range. 

As you start to implement some of the very helpful techniques I layout for you, then you will start to see the average length of time for any particular stall to decrease substantially. That’s really what makes these techniques so effective.


Does the stall always happen on a brisket?

Also depending on the grade and overall size of your brisket, you can notice that sometimes you may not even really encounter one at all. Sometimes you just get lucky with the brisket that doesn’t need that much rendering down as other types of brisket do. 

Furthermore, you may be cooking at a certain temperature that renders the connective tissues at a certain rate that does not equate to having it brisket stall at all. 

There’s so many different factors that can determine how a brisket cooks and how you can implement certain methods on how you modify the way in which it cooks, but a lot of it is frankly conjecture.


Final Thoughts

If you are wondering whether or not a brisket can stall twice throughout the lifespan of the cook, it certainly is possible. There are a myriad of reasons for why a brisket may stall a second time, such as the grade, the overall marbling, the weight of the brisket and the average temperature at which you are smoking the brisket at. 

The stalls can be in varying temperature ranges as well. 

Anything between 150°F all the way up to about 190°F is common for a brisket to begin stalling once or even twice.