When to Wrap Brisket

Wrapping brisket is a practice that appeared thanks to barbecue experts, in their search to perfect the cooking and final result.

Wrapping the brisket is commonly known as ‘The Texas Crutch’, and offers an extra delicious outcome to cooking brisket on a barbecue. 

Although wrapping the brisket is not a necessary step when cooking it, it is highly recommended as it provides not only a faster cooking time but juicier meat at the end result. Basically, wrapping the brisket is a huge plus to getting that perfect result.

With wrapping the brisket, it isn’t as easy as just wrapping it from the very beginning and letting it cook. It first needs to cook unwrapped. So...when does the brisket need to be wrapped?

As a general rule, barbecue experts (and barbecue experts really are the authority on this subject), say that you should wrap the brisket when the internal temperature of the meat reaches around 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

So rather than sticking to a certain amount of time, it’s much better to have a meat thermometer on hand and to determine when to wrap the brisket by measuring the temperature.

When to wrap Brisket e1605100367818

When and How to Wrap Brisket

So, you know when to wrap the brisket, when the internal temperature of the meat reaches around 165 degrees Fahrenheit, but how do you do it?

There’s always a way to do things so that the outcome is the best possible, and wrapping the brisket is no different.

In fact, there are different options when it comes to wrapping the brisket, as you can use different things to wrap it in, mainly aluminum foil or butcher paper.

Wrapping Brisket in Aluminum Foil

Wrapping the brisket in aluminum foil is the easiest option, as it doesn’t require much skill at all to wrap it properly.

It’s the recommended option for non-experts or for those that are trying it out for the first time. It’s also the most convenient option, as aluminum foil is something that most people have at home. 

The cooking time will take around eleven hours, and the bark will be very soft and juicy, with a delicious beefy taste. 

Here’s how you wrap it, step by step:

  • Step 1: Aluminum foil is the official option for the original Texas Crutch, and it is also ideal for beginners with less experience! First of all, make sure you have aluminum foil!
  • Step 2: Take the aluminum foil and measure out two arm-length pieces. Place the aluminum foil pieces one on top of the other, and then place the brisket on top of both. It’s important to get that double layer so the brisket is well wrapped. 
  • Step 3: Wrap the aluminum foil around the brisket, making sure it covers all of it. The tighter you wrap the brisket, the faster it will cook! 
  • Step 4: Because wrapped brisket cooks much faster, it is important that you keep measuring the meat temperature, to avoid overcooking or burning the food. It is recommended that you check the temperature at least every 30 minutes. 
  • Step 5: Keep checking the meat temperature until it reaches 203 degrees Fahrenheit. This is when the brisket is fully cooked and ready to enjoy!

Wrapping Brisket in Butcher Paper

This is an option better reserved for experts or those with plenty of experience with wrapping brisket for the barbecue. This is because butcher paper can be a little tricky to use, and it requires some skill to properly wrap the brisket in it.

The reason a lot of experts choose it over aluminum foil is that butcher paper allows for more smoke to penetrate the brisket, giving it that extra barbecue flavor. 

The cooking time will take around eleven hours and a half, and the bark will be juicy with a touch of crispiness. Ad for the taste, it will be a lot smokier and beefy. 

Here’s how you wrap it, step by step:

  • Step 1: Using butcher paper is a lot trickier, so it is an option recommended for experts that have plenty of experience with wrapping brisket for the barbecue. It is unlikely you will have any at home (unless you’re a professional or you barbecue a lot). 
  • Step 2: Measure out two large pieces of butcher paper, and place them side by side, slightly overlapping. Then place the brisket on top, right in the middle where they overlap. 
  • Step 3: Carefully wrap the brisket up in the butcher paper. Experts recommend doing it as if you’re swaddling a baby! Make sure it’s completely covered. 
  • Step 4: Just like with the brisket wrapped in aluminum foil, it is important that you keep checking at least every 30 minutes, to keep track of the meat temperature. Because butcher paper doesn’t wrap as tightly as aluminum foil, the cooking time will be slightly longer. However, it will also be a lot smokier!
  • Step 5: Keep checking the meat temperature until it reaches 203 degrees Fahrenheit. This is when the brisket is fully cooked and ready to enjoy!
When to wrap Brisket2 e1605100761818

Should You Wrap Brisket?

Wrapping your brisket gives you three main benefits:

  • Faster cooking time: When you wrap the brisket, the heat is retained within it and it cooks a lot faster. It’s also insulated from the direct heat of the smoker, meaning the brisket can keep cooking without the surface of the meat becoming dry or burned! 
  • Control over the bark: Depending on how you wrap your brisket, the bark can become softer or crispier. You also have control over it through the exact moment in which you choose to wrap your brisket, as you could do so depending on the state of the bark, to preserve it!
  • Juicier meat: When you wrap the brisket, you’re locking in all of the moisture and juices of the meat, so that they moisten and soak the brisket instead of evaporating away. 

Conclusion

Wrapping your brisket is a practice that was first started by barbecue experts, in order to get an even better-tasting result when cooking brisket over a smoker.

There are many benefits to wrapping your brisket, mainly that the cooking time is faster and that the meat will be a lot juicier when done!

Brisket should be wrapped when the internal temperature of the meat reaches around 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are two main ways of wrapping your brisket, using either aluminum foil (the traditional way, also recommended for beginners as it is easy), or butcher paper (recommended for experts to get a smokier result). 

Once the brisket is wrapped, you should keep checking the temperature of the meat every 30 minutes, until it reaches around 203 degrees Fahrenheit and is ready to be served. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.