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How long to smoke a brisket without wrapping? (Explained!)

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How long to smoke a brisket without wrapping

If you want to know how long you should be smoking your brisket without wrapping, you need to know why you would even wrap to begin with or not wrap it brisket to begin with, and how to basically push the brisket past the stall portion of the cook.

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You should be smoking a brisket without wrapping for the entirety of the cook.

That’s assuming that you want an excellent flavor and crispiness of the bark that surrounds your brisket. 

If you want great seasoning that has been crisped up quite a bit, and melts in your mouth, then you certainly should consider this advice. 

In terms of the overall length of time that actually takes, it really just boils down to how much your brisket weighs as well as how hot you are cooking it at.

The average Brisket usually takes around 12 to 15 hours to fully cook through assuming you are cooking an average sized 12 to 15 pound brisket of course.

A lot of people though, aren’t really as focused on getting a great bark that is nice and crispy, rather than just finishing the brisket as quickly as possible.

That is totally fine, and when you put it into that perspective, then you should only really be Leaving your brisket unwrapped up until around 160°F. 

That should take roughly 3 to 4 hours, depending on how much a Brisket weighs overall and how hot you are cooking it at as well.

Let’s take a quick Look to find out why you should smoke a brisket without wrapping to begin with.

Why you should smoke a brisket without wrapping

If you’re wondering whether or not you should even be wrapping your brisket, then keep reading.

You should not be wrapping your brisket if you value having a great bark with plenty of smoke flavor. Those things are the trademark aspects of an unwrapped brisket cook. 

You get intense smoke flavor while also getting quite a bit of that seasoning that you poured all over it at the beginning of the cook.

The results are even better in my opinion, than had you wrapped it. 

When you wrap a brisket, you’re basically destroyed that bark and seasoning, and severely limit the amount of smoke that gets imported onto the meat.

Pushing past the stall when you’re not wrapping the brisket

For pushing the brisket past the stall, all you have to do is measure the internal temperature, as well as increase the ambient temperature that you are smoking it at. 

Traditionally, wrapping briskets have the effect of speeding up the stall portion of the cook by allowing the internal temperature to rapidly increase without having to directly influence the ambient temperature of the smoker. 

When you don’t wrap your brisket, you don’t really have that option, so you are left with just rapidly increasing the ambient temperature that you are smoking a brisket at.

This would obviously have the effective cooking a brisket a lot quicker and thus increasing the internal temperature.

Increasing the temperature

To push the brisket that is unwrapped past the stall, you should crank the heat up to around 275°F to 300°F.

That is known as hot and fast and will certainly push any brisket past that 150 to 160° stall temperature range. 

It should take roughly a couple hours or so, compared to about double that if you had not increased the internal or ambient temperature manually.

Final Thoughts

If you’re wondering how long to smoke a brisket when you’re not wrapping it, just use a simple calculation of around 1 pound per hour or 2 pound per hour depending on how hot you are smoking it at.

That is really the sole determining factor in terms of how quickly your brisket will be done, regardless of whether you wrapped it or not.

This article was written by Robert McCall, the founder of Robert also owns and operates the BBQ dropout YouTube channel where he demonstrates his first-hand experience cooking all kinds of meats and strives to provide helpful, authoritative content for people looking how to barbecue.

He primarily hand writes the bulk of the content but occasionally will leverage AI assisted tools, such as chatGPT, to properly edit and format each blog post on this website. This ensures a pleasurable reading experience for visitors. Read more about our editorial policies here. If there are any improvements that can be made to this article, reach out to us directly at