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10 Pro Tips For Pulling Your Brisket At The Right Temps!

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What temp to pull brisket

Knowing when temperature to pull a brisket off the smoker is very important. Once the internal temperature reaches about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, you need to grab a tooth pick or other probing device and begin inserting all throughout the meat to ensure the collagen and connective tissue has completely rendered down.

If there is no resistance, then you know it has all rendered down, and you can effectively pull it off the smoker.

So, it’s not really just about one particular temperature, but rather, a combination of a specific temperature range and actual feel of the brisket itself.

How long will brisket stay warm in cooler?

Brisket can stay warm for quite a while inside of a cooler, and is one of the most important aspects of any brisket cook.

Specifically, brisket can stay warm inside of any cooler for up to 6-12 hours.

This obviously depends on how well you insulate the meat, since that will help it rest for substantially longer periods of time compared to just placing a brisket inside of the cooler without anything wrapping it.

Should I put my brisket in a cooler

You should always consider placing a brisket inside of a cooler at the end of cooking it. This ensures that the internal temperatures all have plenty of time to come down to around 165 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a safe slicing temperature.

If you don’t put the brisket inside of a cooler, and promptly slice into the meat as soon as you take it out of the cooker, then you will most certainly have a dry brisket.

This is even if you happen to pull the brisket off at the right temp of 200 degrees. 

A lot of people don’t really know that, but, now you do!

What temp to pull brisket and put in cooler

To put the two together, pull a brisket off the smoker or cooker at a temperature range of 200 degrees Fahrenheit AND when it probes tender with zero resistance.

Then, place it directly into a cooler thereafter. These couple steps are crucial to your success of any brisket, and can definitely either make or break your cook!

What is the best temp to pull a brisket

There are some Pitmasters out there with the understanding that it’s actually a range of temperatures that you should be pulling a brisket at.

The most common temperatures I see get thrown around are anywhere from 200 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. This is technically true, but as you can see, since there is a slight variation in the temperatures, it can be hard to determine how this applies to your particular brisket. 

That is why temperature is only about half of what you need to know when pulling a brisket. You need to understand the probe test.

This ensures for a fact, disregarding any temperature reading, that your brisket is actually down and can be pulled.

Basically, just use temperature readings as merely a guideline, rather than scientific fact.

The ‘science’ you should be following as it applies to your brisket, should be how well it is probing and when there is ZERO resistance, that is how you can tell that the collagen has rendered down.

What temp to pull brisket point

Temperature readings for a brisket point can be substantially different than that of a flat part of a brisket. One of the reasons is simply due to the higher fat content, which can potentially make it easier to render down than the flat, which is higher in connective tissue.

If you’re just smoking a brisket point that has been separated from the packer as a whole, use the same guidelines of pulling when the temperature readings are at the famed 200 degrees Fahrenheit and when it is probe tender!

What temp to pull brisket and rest

When you’re ready to pull your brisket off and begin letting it rest, just pull it off at 200 degrees Fahrenheit and when you can place a tooth pick or thermometer inside of it with little to no resistance. You want it to feel a little bit like warm butter, that is how you know it is done.

Then, go ahead an either let it rest on the counter to expunge any residual carry over heat that could potentially overcook it in the cooler, and place it in the cooler.

How to keep brisket warm in cooler

Once you have ensured that the internal temperature of 200 degrees and the probe test have been accomplished, you are ready to rest the brisket inside of a cooler. 

To do so, just place it directly inside and on top of some kind of towel.

If you’re in the market of keeping it warm for substantially longer periods of time, you can get multiple towels and just wrap the brisket inside of them. Then place it back in the cooler.

 That is how you can always ensure that it will stay nice and warm for about 3 to 6 hours.

How long is too long to rest a brisket

Once the brisket has been kept warm inside a cooler, you need to know when you expect to pull it out. On average, any brisket can be kept warm for about 6 to 12 hours.

Anything past 12 hours, and you should seriously consider just placing it in the fridge for further resting and cooling.

This also brings to light, planning ahead of time.

You should at least have some idea as to why, how, and who you’re smoking your brisket for.

If it’s just for you, then there’s really no reason to be resting a brisket any longer than 12 hours. If you are, just place it inside of a fridge.

Final Thoughts

Knowing when to pull a brisket off the smoker is very important, and can make or break your cook.

Once the internal temperature reaches about 200 degrees Fahrenheit AND it probes tender, go ahead and pull it off the smoker. Once this has occurred, you can place it inside of a storage container such as an ice cooler to let it rest appropriately.