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How long to smoke brisket wrapped? (Explained)

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How long to smoke brisket wrapped

If you’re wondering how long to smoke your brisket while it is wrapped in either butcher paper or foil, then you have come to the right place.

As you begin to wrap your brisket, you are protecting it from flatlining for several hours in terms of the internal temperature.

This is known as the stall portion of the cook. 

You basically only want to wrap your brisket in either of those two methods for only about 2 to 3 hours, or however long the stall takes to conclude.

Let’s take a quick overview of wrapping a brisket in foil and how long you should be doing so for.

How long to smoke brisket wrapped in foil

Since we’re interested in discovering how long you should be wrapping a brisket in foil for, then you should take quick note of the internal temperature of your brisket. 

If it is not at 150°F yet, do not wrap your brisket.

You only want to wrap your brisket once the internal temperature reaches around 150°F, since that is the point at which the internal temperature will begin to flatline for several hours up until 175°F.

Once the internal temperature hits 150, wrap your brisket nice and tightly in your preferred brand of aluminum foil, and make sure to measure the internal temperature as it starts to rise up until 175°F over the next couple of hours. 

After it hits the end of the stall portion of the cook, you’re more than likely going to want to unwrap your brisket to provide a better formation of your seasoning and crust.

Not only that, but as you begin to wrap your brisket in foil, you basically are creating an environment where there is no smoke flavor being applied whatsoever.

It’s honestly just like doing a brisket inside of an oven even though it happens to be on your smoker.

That’s why you need to consider unwrapping your brisket once it reaches the end of the stall portion of the cook. 

Let’s take a look at a different wrapping mechanism, butcher paper.

How long to smoke brisket before wrapping in butcher paper

If you are planning to use butcher paper as opposed to foil in terms of wrapping a brisket, then keep reading.

The principles are generally the same between the two methods of wrapping a brisket.

You will basically want to wrap the brisket at the same internal temperature of 150°F that you would if you were to use foil.

The main purpose of wrapping a brisket, no matter what type of wrapping you have, is simply to push it past the stall portion of the cook.

The only difference though, between butcher paper and foil, is that butcher paper allows for a lot more smoke accumulation throughout the entire rapping process than foil does.

It also may take slightly longer to push it past the stall than foil would, but you are getting the benefit of still maintaining an excellent crust and seasoning profile for your brisket.

Should brisket be wrapped when smoked?

The reasons why you would consider wrapping a brisket at all, is really just to push the internal temperature from 150°F quickly to 175°F.

This temperature ranges the stall portion of the cook, and can take several hours if you don’t wrap your brisket or increase the ambient temperatures at which you are smoking your barbecue at.

If you don’t want to increase the firebox and ambient temperatures, then wrapping a brisket is a great alternative to rapidly increase the internal temperature.

The only timeframe though that you should be wrapping a brisket that is strictly during the stall portion of the cook, you really don’t want to wrap your brisket past 175°F, since you will be destroying any further smoke accumulation or seasoning from hardening onto the crust.

What happens if I wrap my brisket too early?

If you happen to wrap a brisket too early, in other words before 150°F, then you may be hindering the smoke accumulation for your brisket.

It basically may not have a good smoke ring or a smoke flavor.

Let’s say you suspect that you have wrapped your brisket too early, just make sure to unwrap the brisket once it reaches about 175°F to ensure further smoke flavor being imparted onto the meat.

When you should wrap your brisket 

You should always think about wrapping a brisket once it reaches a brisket stall, around 150°F to 175°F.

This is pretty important, because it directly impacts the overall outcome of how great your brisket tastes and how quickly it can come out.

Not only that, but if you’re interested in learning how long it will take to wrap brisket while you smoke it, then know that it should take around an hour or two to push it past the entirety of a stall portion of the cook.

The brisket stall

If you all are interested, the stall is basically when the internal temperature flat lines for several hours if the brisket is not wrapped, making it almost seem like the meat is not cooking at all.

It’s just a weird phenomenon that happens for every large cut of meat like a brisket, and can be remediated quickly by just simply wrapping it or increasing the ambient temperature that you are smoking the it at.

Final thoughts

You should only really be wrapping your brisket for about an hour or 2, or however long it takes to push the brisket past 175°F.

That temperature range of 150°F to 175°F is known as the stall, and can take several hours to push through if you do not wrap your brisket.

In totality, any brisket will generally take about 1 pound per hour or 2 pounds per hour to fully cooked through and render down all of the collagen and connective tissues inside.

But specifically for wrapping, you only want to wrap it during the stall portion of the cook.