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Brisket: To Wrap or Not to Wrap

Hi All,

When I smoke a brisket on my offset smoker, I have been wrapping with foil after 8-10 hours,  I am attempting my second brisket on my BGE today, and was wondering how many of you wrap during the cook versus waiting to wrap for the resting period.  If you do wrap, how long into the cook would you suggest I wait?

I'm tempted to not wrap until the resting period this time, but I don't want to risk a dry piece of meat.
Transplanted from Austin, Texas to Medina, Ohio


  • tnbarbqtnbarbq Posts: 248
    Same situation for me. I'm leaning towards not wrapping. I've noticed meats don't dry out as much compared to my old COS.
    Mid TN. Hangin' in the 'Boro. MIM Judge
  • JRWhiteeJRWhitee Posts: 4,492
    edited May 2013
    I have never wrapped a brisket but you have to pull it as soon as its fork tender or it could be on the dry side if it cooks too long.

    Large BGE 2006, Mini Max 2014, 36" Blackstone, Anova Sous Vide
    Green Man Group 
    Johns Creek, Georgia
  • SpaightlabsSpaightlabs Posts: 1,880
    Don't ned to wrap it while cooking and it will still come out juicy. I'd start checking for done at around 190...
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 11,102
    I'm no expert, but unwrapped bark is waaay better. Wrap when the stall starts if you are pressed for time.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • BotchBotch Posts: 6,325
    edited May 2013
    I normally don't wrap my briskets, but I tried it this time.  Usually my briskets go throughout the night before finishing, but my Maverick started beeping at 2 am, she was at 200!   :-O  (Egg was still at 220).  I was mostly asleep and just shut the Egg down, leaving the brisket in it.
    Early this morning I wrapped it in foil and popped it into the oven to reheat; if anything it was a bit drier than usual, but that was probably from sitting inside the Egg as it cooled (it was still moist, just not as moist).
    I'll probably forego any foiling in the future, unless as CaliKing mentions, I'm pressed for time at the stall.    
    EDIT:  Oh yeah, the bark wasn't quite as good as non-foiled, but it was much easier to slice.  Sixes, I guess...
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • andy_cenTXandy_cenTX Posts: 15
    I picked up some butcher paper and have tried wrapping at 170-ish and results have been good for me. I think the benefit of the paper vs foil is that you get some smoke penetration and the meat doesn't get steamed as much. FWIW.....I'm no brisket expert.
    Round Rock, TX
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    The last two briskets i did not wrap, and they sliced fine and were not dry at the first meal, but the makeovers were very dry.  I am going back to wrapping them to save the juice and moisture in the meat.
  • BigGreenBBQBigGreenBBQ Posts: 109
    I have done both and find when you wrap it the bark loses its crunch and can become soggy.  I do think wrapping keeps the brisket nice and moist but not sure it makes enough of a difference.  You can also unwrap it the last 15 min or so to crust it back up...
  • TEggSunTEggSun Posts: 244
    Thanks, everyone.  I'm going naked with this one and we'll see how it turns out.  I put some beef broth, beer and apple cider vinegar in the drip pan.  I will post some pics of the final product tomorrow.
    Transplanted from Austin, Texas to Medina, Ohio

  • rsmith193rsmith193 Posts: 219
    For home cooking no wrap, but for competition wrap. I' e been using aluminum foil, but doing a test cook using butcher paper. I've seen some good bark with that.
  • BigGreenBBQBigGreenBBQ Posts: 109
    rsmith193 said:
    For home cooking no wrap, but for competition wrap. I' e been using aluminum foil, but doing a test cook using butcher paper. I've seen some good bark with that.
    That's a great idea -- I'm trying it next time!
  • trip150trip150 Posts: 37
    +1 for wrap with butcher paper (i get white food grade, helps the meteorite stand out too). Foil steams the meat too much and damages the bark. Big believer of the Franklin method, only way to do it IMO.
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 9,064
    I've used the same exact paper that Franklin uses and didn't care for the results from wrapping. The texture was off.

    I'll try it again though just so I know it wasn't a fluke.
    Just a hack that makes some $hitty BBQ....
  • TEggSunTEggSun Posts: 244
    I'm going all in with a naked smoke.  8 hours down, perhaps 5 more to go.
    Transplanted from Austin, Texas to Medina, Ohio

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