How, Why and When To Wrap a Brisket Best Ways

Brisket is a popular and delicious dish that is often served at family gatherings. There are many ways to cook brisket, but one of the most popular methods is to slow roast it for hours in the oven. One question we get asked all the time is when to wrap a brisket?

It can be wrapped anytime during cooking as long as it’s covered with foil or unlined with aluminum or tin foil. The best way to wrap a brisket is with aluminum foil.  This ensures that the meat stays moist and tender, as it cooks in its own juices.

However, you should still baste your meat every hour or so with some sauce or other liquid to keep it flavorful. You can also use butcher paper instead of aluminum foil if you prefer–it has similar benefits for keeping the barbecue moist and delicious!

We hope this blog post answered your questions about wrapping and knowing when your brisket has finished cooking!

Why do you need to wrap the brisket?

Wrapping the brisket while smoking it is a good idea and very helpful. The brisket needs to be wrapped in order to allow for even cooking and also to lock in the moisture inside of the meat. It would be very difficult to wrap the meat with out having an airtight wrapper so that when you are done, all the juices have mixed together evenly throughout the meat .

When Do You Wrap A Brisket?

Wrap the brisket when it has been cooking for about 3 to 4 hours. This helps keep the meat from becoming overly tough and allows you to keep a close eye on it as it cooks. Thing of this step more or less as ‘sealing’ the brisket, sort of like slow braising at that point.  It’s not necessary but does help ensure tender, juicy brisket!

When to wrap a brisket in foil?

Aluminum foil is used during the last few hours of cooking because the long exposure to smoke can make your barbecue too bitter if you cook straight through without foiling.  Some people also say it helps them achieve the perfect color on their brisket.  I don’t do this step with all my smoked meats, but I will sometimes wrap my ribs in foil if they are almost done to help speed up cooking time.  The same can be said for beef ribs and prime rib.

Before the brisket is done. That way, once it is ready it can be pulled apart easily after giving it a nice rest for 10-15 minutes. This recipe should take you about 6 hours depending on your pit and if this is your first time smoking brisket then I suggest checking its internal temperature between 5-6 hours of cooking time .

This process works well for any type of BBQ meat but make sure to use an oven thermometer when working with pork ribs since they are quite easy to overcook without knowing! When cooking larger chunks of meat like this just remember that the cook time will increase exponentially so keep an eye on things throughout this process by checking often. Also, don’t panic if your fire goes out on you either because just like the BBQ Gods , Mother Nature is not always kind enough to give us a nice day.

When to wrap brisket in butcher paper?

We are looking for an internal temperature of around 200 degrees Fahrenheit, give or take depending on your pit, how much fat is left in the brisket, etc. If you do overcook it then don’t fret because there are plenty of delicious recipes for BBQ beef hash which can be made out of brisket flats or point halves .

With this process comes a lot more leeway since you will only need to wrap at around 160 degrees Fahrenheit but I recommend wrapping when its closer to 175-180F if possible. It also helps to let the smoke continue rolling over the meat while it slowly cooks through so that you get some bark mixed into everything. This is not necessary though and I have cooked several pounds of flat iron steaks using this process with very good results so just try it out if you are unsure.

A much faster method can be done using an oven bag or butcher paper by adding 50% more before sealing it shut. Place this in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven for around 4 hours or just until the internal temperature reaches 180F. This method will get your brisket done in about half the time but it will not be quite as juicy, tender, or moist.

Why is it better to use butcher paper over aluminum foil?

It’s simpler and easier to work with.

Wrapping in foil compacts the meat, squeezing out juices.

Aluminum foil can react to meat juices resulting in metallic taste.

Butcher Paper allows the smoke flavor to penetrate throughout the entire brisket while also allowing you to easily wrap, close, and set your brisket on top of just about anything without worrying about getting burnt or ruining your food!

Wrapping any meat has many advantages including faster cooking time , reduced moisture loss , less chance of overcooking if not opened often enough , no mess when placing down which also helps speed up process since there is less clean up afterwards . Not only does using Butcher paper allow for faster cooking times which in turn causes less moisture loss it also allows us to wrap the meat in a double layer which results in even more juices seeping into both muscles .

The down side is that you need butcher paper, but I would argue that there are benefits of using the paper much like when smoking. Wrapping in foil compacts the meat, squeezing out juices. Aluminum foil can react to meat juices resulting in metallic taste. Butcher Paper allows the smoke flavor to penetrate throughout the entire brisket while also allowing you to easily wrap, close, and set your brisket on top of just about anything without worrying about getting burnt or ruining your food!

There are new BBQ cooks that won’t use butcher paper because they think that this method of wrapping is an alternative or substandard way to slow smoke meats. That’s not true at all! There’s nothing wrong with using butchers paper especially on briskets, hams, and pork shoulders where you want the flavors from the rubs and spices to penetrate deep inside. It’s a lot simpler and easier to work with than foil, it doesn’t stick, and you don’t have to mess around trying to find the right sized sheet.

Butcher Paper allows the smoke flavor to penetrate throughout the entire brisket while allowing for even cooking and also locking in moisture 185 .

When do you unwrap a brisket?

You should remove your aluminum foil when your meat thermometer reads 185 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. This’ll ensure that the meat is cooked properly throughout without being overly dry or falling apart.

Unwrap the brisket when it’s finished cooking so you can get some of that wonderful bark back on there!  You want to remove the aluminum foil while the meat is still hot so you can get the crust back on, and it’s less likely to fall apart when you’re trying to do this.  I’d say once the brisket has been in foil for about 3 hours (and reaches at least 185 degrees) you should be able to unwrap it and get some of that good bark back on there!

When to wrap meats after smoking?

It is important to let meat rest before cutting into it because this way everything cooks evenly throughout. Visually, people want their meat to look pink on the inside so it’s good practice to take pictures of what you cook up while letting everyone throughly enjoy themselves first . After all, if they are still hungry then they can always eat seconds! Plus there usually is plenty of extra food so no one should have any issues here.

This also helps things stay hot while waiting to be cut since it holds in a fair amount of heat for re-heating purposes. This gives you plenty of time to finish cleaning up your cooking area plus everything will still be moist and juicy on account of resting properly .

I recommend wrapping meat during the first half of the cook because it helps keep everything tender and delicious throughout the process. It also locks in all those hard earned juices so that we can enjoy them after cutting into our finished product!

Pros and cons of wrapping brisket

Advantage of Wrapping brisket:

Wrapping meat is a great way to get a lot more bark formed throughout the smoking process. However, this will not help with tenderness or moisture of course but it WILL make everything more delicious by distributing those flavorful juices evenly across the entire cut .

Whether you are cooking in an oven bag or butcher paper you can expect things to be done in roughly 1/3 of the time if you wrap your brisket up when it hits 160F inside assuming your pit is stable and running at around 250 degrees Fahrenheit. This should give us just about enough time for both resting and finishing up whatever else needs to be attended too! Make sure that whatever method you use that it is air tight so that no smoke escapes while also making sure nothing gets dirty or stained .

Disadvanced of wrapping brisket:

Wrapping meat while it is on the smoker can be very dangerous because you are exposing everything to high heat for an extended period of time. Be sure that your fire has died down considerably before grabbing anything out of the pit so you don’t get burned or drop something .

Allowing things to rest properly without any additional heat will mean less moisture loss but this does not stop the cooking process completely so expect it to go much faster than before .

If wrapping brisket then please note that once your meat hits the 160F mark then there is not much that will change until it’s finished! You might want to consider wrapping early if you are in a rush but keep in mind that every time we open up cooker all of those gains will be lost to some extent!

Wrapping tips for the best results

If you are in a real hurry then why not double wrap your brisket so that once it hits 160F inside both of our interior meats will be finished sooner.

Another advantage of using butcher paper is that the juices are trapped inside preventing any flavors from being lost to surrounding coals, smoke, or other aromas . This also gives us the luxury of setting the meat on top of anything without making a mess which can help speed up things even faster!

Conclusion: Wrapping brisket is an excellent method for speeding up cooking time while also preserving moisture by trapping all those tasty juices inside ! Just make sure you don’t open the pit until it’s ready to come out and enjoy!

Wrap it up with these easy steps!

– Once your meat reaches 160F promptly remove from the grill and double wrap in butcher paper or foil

– Allow to rest for roughly 1 hour wrapped

– Unwrap and finish cooking until finished through by following your normal method


Can you wrap a brisket too early?

A: Yes, if the temps are lower than 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

When you wrap the meat too soon, there is no space for the moisture to evaporate into; which can make your bark soggy and your beef will be less flavorful. If I were you, I would wait 30 minutes before placing my brisket in the smoker or oven.

Q: When should you wrap your brisket?

– After 4-5 hours of cooking

– When it’s reached a certain internal temperature (160-170 degrees)

– Before you put it in the smoker

Q: What is the best thing to do with a brisket?

A: – For the larger brisket, Wrap it in foil and cook for 8 hours at 275 degrees Fahrenheit

– OR Wrap it in foil, then wrap it again in butcher paper and cook for 4 hours at 275 degrees Fahrenheit

Q: What temperature should I wrap my brisket in foil?

A: For best results, briskets should be wrapped in foil when they reach an internal temperature of 170°F. This will typically keep the meat below 200°F for at least 4 hours. If you are cooking a large brisket over 8 lbs, you may need to increase the final internal temperature to 195-200°F – this is not critical as long as the meat has reached an internal temperature of 170°F before being removed from the heat source.

Wrapping too early (in our opinion) can lead to mushy bark and sometimes excessive moisture loss.

Q: What happens if you wrap brisket too late?

If you wrap your briskets too late after they are finished cooking, all of the juices will escape during the process of wrapping.

If you are wrapping many briskets for a catering event or another type of occasion where individually wrapped portions aren’t necessary, consider laying each brisket directly on its own section of aluminum foil before covering with another layer of foil. Cooking time doesn’t increase significantly when using this method.

Q: Can I wrap my brisket at 170?

Yes, the internal temperature of smoke-cooked meat can reach that high. Smoke will not stall your cooked meat until it reaches a higher level; in fact you’ll want to monitor closely for doneness using an accurate thermometer (and unwrap as needed).

What if I’m worried about drying out the exterior while giving more time inside before finishing with foil assist – how does this work exactly? When working over direct heat there are two things happening: Moisture evaporates off faster than fatty acids turnoteroligomers insulate against radiant energy so they stay close together under normal conditions

Q: Can I wrap brisket before 160?

Brisket is traditionally cooked at 220-225 degrees Fahrenheit, as the fat and connective tissue break down during this time. In the event that your smoker is running hotter than 225, you may have to pull it off before its finished cooking.

When wrapped at 160°, it will stay nice and tender for about 2 hours depending on the temperature of your smoker. If your smoker runs cooler than 165° but closer to 150°, it’s best to wait until about 175° to wrap so you don’t run into any problems with toughness or dryness. The same goes for smoking longer…if you smoke from 1 AM – 7 AM, then by all means cover that brisk?

Q: Do you wrap brisket when resting after cooking?

In a word, “No.”

Wrapping when resting can make a brisket trap steam that causes the temperature to rise too high. Since warm air holds less moisture than cool air, a wrapped brisket will become dry as it cools down, leaving you with a tough piece of meat instead of a tender finished product . And then there’s the rub – after being refrigerated overnight in its own juices , unwrapped brisket after smoking tastes better than ever!

Q: Should I wrap my brisket in foil?

Whether you’re smoking your brisket or oven-cooking it, the answer is yes if want to do right because wrapping meat in foil before placing on smoker or oven will not only increase flavor but also tenderness of what’s being cooked!

It’s that easy – just place first into cooker then cover with aluminum foil. Place lid back onto machine and let work its magic about 4 hours while keeping at medium heat (about 200 F).

After these few minutes have passed remove any excess fat from top by carefully wiping away juices using paper towels so they can evaporate off without burning anything too much beneath them; don’t forget this step otherwise things could burn quickly!). Once done cooking

Q: How long do you smoke a brisket before you wrap it in foil?

For me, the length of time varies depending on how big my smoker is. If I’m using an 8-pounder for example then typically 4 hours will be enough to cook through all three layers and achieve perfection around 195 degrees Fahrenheit with some mops still pink at their core.

But as always each package’s size needs special attention so check back later if your unsure! After those four initial hours have passed take care not only about keeping up proper levels by adding wood chips often (especially near end) but also making sure there are no flare ups from this point forward due those new found efforts just mentioned plus.


Wrapping a brisket is one of the most important steps in cooking it. You may be curious when to wrap your meat and if you should do so at all.

We recommend wrapping around 150-175 degrees fahrenheit, which will seal in flavor and make for a delicious meal with less shrinkage. Wrapping the meat will help it cook faster and more evenly throughout, which helps reduce dryness of the end product.

If you’ve been wondering when to wrap a brisket, we hope this blog post answered your questions. We also recommend checking out our guide on how many hours per pound to smoke brisket for some tips and tricks that can make all the difference in whether or not your brisket is juicy and flavorful!

References [other sources or related reading]:

Meathead, “Meat Science.” Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling . Adams Media, 1 Jan. 2012. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. .

4 Kugler, Daniel M., and Nils Jørgen Birkeland. “Cooking time at 65 degrees C as influenced by smoking wood type and concentration, pork fat level and wind speed.” Meat Science 50.4 (2000): 391-400.

“How to Make Butcher Paper for Barbecue – Bbq Grill Recipes & Food Ideas: How To’s, Foods, Beef, Pork . N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept 2016.

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