Brisket - Wrap or no wrap

Discussion in 'Beef' started by exzacht, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. I'm thinking I want to do a brisket this weekend, nothing crazy. Do you have to wrap at a certain temp? I usually dont wrap when i smoke in general.

    Any pointers? Temp, duration, etc.
  2. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic

    It's all about personal preference.

    I've wrapped in foil, not wrapped at all and now I use butcher paper. I usually wrap at about the half way point, or a little after. For me, that's about 6 hours on an 11-12 hour smoke for a brisket that started out in the 12-13lb range. The internal temp is usually around the 170 mark when I wrap. The brisket will cook fastest when wrapped in foil, and slowest when not wrapped at all. Not wrapped had the thickest and most pronounced bark, foil wrapped has the softest bark. Butcher paper is in between.

    You really have to try it each way and find out which way you like it best.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★


  4. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    I usually wrap in butcher paper at around 165 or when I have desired bark.

    JC did a good job of explaining it. Thumbs Up
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
  5. Thanks JC, that's a huge help.

    Now what is the typical cook time? Similar to pork shoulder? 1.5-2hrs per pound?
  6. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic

    Cook times depend alot on your actual cooker and the temps and how much airflow you have. 

    On my offset, I can cook a 12.5lb brisket that I have trimmed down to 11ish lbs in about 10-10 1/2 hours if I have a good breeze outside. That's under 1 hour per pound. I also cook at higher tempt than most, I'm usually in the 275 range. 

    If it's 20 degrees out and no wind, it might take take an hour and a half per pound. Or if I was cooking on a vertical smoker like a Webber that has a little less airflow and at a lower temp it might take 1 1/2 hours per pound. I've never cooked on an electric smoker, so I will defer to the guy that have more experience with those. 

    I don't think you will be longer than 1 1/2 hours per pound though, and probably closer to 1 and hour and 15 minutes per pound, though. 
  7. parrot-head

    parrot-head Meat Mopper

    Does wrapping do anything to a brisket as far as keeping the internal juicier?
  8. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic

    I think it helps to retain some moisture. Foil will retain the most moisture, as the water from the meat can not escape. Paper retains a little less. But you can get a moist and juicy brisket by not wrapping also, just have to keep your temps lower and be more careful that it doesn't get too hot.

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