Brisket Temperature Guide: When to Pull It Out of the Smoker?

We dive into brisket smoking temperatures and explain how to determine the exact moment when you should pull a brisket out of the smoker.
Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
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Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
Expert Consultant
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: August 15, 2023
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Briskets are tender, tasty, and a favorite for most people. You can hardly resist the juicy delicacy especially when it is prepared the right way. How do you know you are doing the right thing? If you are making your first brisket, one of the things you may want to know is what temp to pull brisket. Every step counts in the preparation process; especially your smoker’s temperature.

Making a brisket can be a challenge because this part of the meat is usually the toughest. This part of the cow meat comes with two overlapping muscles separated by a layer of fat. You will need to let it cook long and slow for it to be well done. It is one of Texas’s famous barbecue recipes and this guide will show you how you can make a perfect brisket.

Brisket Temperature Guide

Brisket Temperature Guide: When to Pull It Out of the Smoker?The temperature of your cooking will determine if your brisket will come out right. You will need a thermometer probe that can help you monitor the temperature of the meat while it is in the smoker. According to most reviews, the wireless digital thermometer provides accurate temperature readings, thanks to its remote control feature. It comes with two probes and is a preferred choice for smoking meat.

Best Internal Temperature for a Brisket and How to Measure It

Keep your smokers temperature at 225°F with indirect heat before placing your brisket. You will need your smoker heated up to 90 minutes for each pound of meat.

There is usually a debate on which side the brisket should be lying when placed in the smoker. The best position will be to keep it lying flat side up or down. This way, it will protect the meat from the high heat at the bottom of the smoker. The fat will be completely rendered before it gets to the leaner part of the meat, so your brisket will not be overdone.

How Long Will It Take to Smoke a Brisket?

Like we mentioned earlier, the temperature of your smoker should be at 225°F. At this temperature, your brisket will be at a 250°F for it to cook properly. You will need your temperature probe to keep checking at least 4 hours into your cooking. This way, you don’t need to keep opening the lid and letting all the hot air out. You won’t need to keep checking your meat if you have a digital thermometer. According to most reviews online, the  Bluetooth thermometer Weber iGrill 2 with its four probes is recommended because it has an app that allows you to monitor your cooking from any part of your home.

Your brisket will take a long time to cook and it won’t help if you keep releasing the smoke and losing heat. You can set your timer to notify you when the brisket is ready. It could take up to 15 hours to fully smoke your brisket depending on the size of the cut of your meat.

So, When Should You Pull It Out?

You should begin smoking your brisket very early so that it’s ready at least two or three hours before you are set to eat. Smoked brisket can take up to 5 hours to cool down. However, the longer you allow it to rest, the more the juices will evenly spread around the meat. You should, however, not allow the cooking temperature to drop below 150°F. When your brisket is ready, you should allow it to rest and cool down before you take it out of the smoker.

What Is Brisket Stall and What You Should Do About It?

The stall happens when the smoking temperature is around 160°F to 165°F and it looks like the temperature isn’t going to rise. This stall can take hours and if you are cooking a brisket for the first time, there’s no need to panic. It is normal for a brisket stall to happen and you shouldn’t try increasing the temperature of your smoker. When there is a stall, the meat will be sweating and will lose heat because of evaporation. When this happens, your wrap can help the meat retain its moisture but other than that, there is nothing you can do but be patient. Larger cuts of meat will stall and it cooks nicely as it remains in the smoker.Brisket Temperature Guide: When to Pull It Out of the Smoker?

Wrap It, and How to Do It Right

Most BBQ chefs will tell you to wrap your brisket when it gets to a temperature of 165°F to 170°F. When your brisket is at this temperature, you should check the meat at least every 40 minutes. When you notice the color of the meat has changed to a dark mahogany bark, you can pull it off the smoker. Then you wrap the brisket up in butcher paper.

The reason the brisket is wrapped is so that it can cook faster, for the juice to spread around it, and also to be able to control the bark of the meat.

After wrapping the brisket with foil or butcher paper, you can place it in a cooler for about one or two hours. This will give time for the juices to redistribute around the slices of meat.

After the waiting time, you can return the meat to the smoker. You will need to check the temperature every hour using your probe until the brisket reaches a temperature of 200°F.Brisket Temperature Guide: When to Pull It Out of the Smoker?

Don’t Wrap It

You don’t need to wrap your brisket especially if you are not in a hurry to finish making it. If you want your brisket to get all the smoky flavor and have a crunchy bark, you can cook it without using a wrap. The brisket will absorb more smoke causing the bark to look darker on the outside of the meat. Also, the unwrapped brisket will stall for a long time because the evaporation will make the meat sweat as it cools. If you want your meat to be crispy, you can leave it unwrapped. When it’s finished smoking, you can wrap the brisket. The wrapped brisket comes out tender and juicy while the unwrapped brisket is more crispy.

What Is the Texas Crutch Way of Smoking a Brisket?

The Texas Crunch is simply the smoking technique that involves wrapping your briskets in foil paper. Some BBQ experts opt for butcher’s paper but it is still the same process. The wrap, as we mentioned earlier, makes the juices penetrate the slices of meat properly for a better taste. Some recipe masters also recommend trimming the fats on the meat while making Texas smoked brisket.Brisket Temperature Guide: When to Pull It Out of the Smoker?

After your brisket is cooked, you can unwrap it, and then wrap makes it easy to separate the point and flat. You will need a knife to slice against the grain of the meat. Based on the opinion of most users online, the solidly built Wusthof 14″ brisket sliver knife can cut through the briskets nicely.

Most BBQ experts recommend it because its extra-long blade can cut through large brisket easily in one slice.

When you cut through the brisket, you will see a grain running in a direction on the flat while the point of the meat has a grain running in an opposite direction. After cutting the point and flat, you can serve the brisket.

Tips and Tricks

Briskets are delicious but not always very easy to make. If you need help knowing when your brisket is done, here are some tips that will help you.

  1. Use at least one thermometer

You should have the right measuring tools for your brisket. These will go a long way to help you with your cooking. When making briskets, you will need an instant-read thermometer. Looking at the average number of users online, the wireless MEATER+ Extended Range Meat Thermometer is one of the best wireless meat thermometers used to get instant temperature readings for cooking briskets. Most users recommend it because it allows you to monitor your bristles from up to 165ft using its app. Many other digital thermometers will work for your brisket. Another best wireless meat thermometer that has caught the attention of most bbq experts is the Weber iGrill 2 which comes with a solid technology that allows users to monitor their food from a far distance.

  1. Poke briskets

You need to poke the meat with a knife to test the brisket. The probe test allows you to know when your meat is ready. Poking should be done towards the final hours of your smoking to avoid disturbing the cooking time.

  1. Rest the brisket

When you are through with smoking, you need to allow it to rest for a couple of hours. You can allow your brisket to rest for 5 hours in the oven before taking it off the smoker.

Final Thoughts

It can take a long time for your brisket to be ready, but it is worth the wait. It could take several trials before you finally master cooking briskets. If you are ready to try it out remember that you will need your thermometer to know what temp to pull brisket.  out, and also your foil, so your meat comes out tasty. You should ensure you also get the right heating temperature and make sure you allow the Brisket to rest before finally taking it out. There are video tutorials online that can show how you can easily make this delicious Brisket recipe. We hope this article has helped you with everything you need to know about making your brisket.

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