The brisket is a slice of famously challenging meat to prepare. Being able to master a superb brisket requires planning, patience, and time. Going into it blindly will result in you getting a piece of beef jerky and wasting your time and energy.
In this article, we are going to talk about the “Why?”, “When?”, “How?” and “What?” questions in wrapping your brisket.
In the previous article, we discussed how to get the perfect brisket. Here, we will provide you with a guide on wrapping the brisket as part of the process of achieving the perfect brisket.
Most pitmasters prefer wrapping their brisket to achieve the perfect flavor and juiciness of the brisket, but some also want to put it on naked and let it play with the fire.
Why do you need to wrap your brisket?
Faster cooking time.
Any substantial beef cut will reach the stall temperature. In this scenario, the brisket, your huge chunk of meat, might be on schedule to complete when you anticipate it should.
However, once your grill reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it stops cooking. Evaporation is to blame for this. As the meat starts to sweat, water starts to accumulate on the surface of the meat.
The meat slices then begin to cool as it begins to evaporate. The stall can start once your internal temperature reaches a certain point, and it can remain that way for up to 5 hours.
Wrapping the brisket helps to keep out air that could cause moisture to evaporate. As hot air circulates inside your smoker, a film of the brisket’s juices will build on the surface of the meat and keep it warm.
The wrapping acts as an insulator shielding the meat from intense heat and smoke.
Wrapping the brisket also helps you to achieve its juiciest state. The meat will be able to become softer since liquids from the brisket can’t escape.
You don’t risk overcooking your brisket because the cut has absorbed all the smoke before the stall.
Control the bark.
You can manage the bark and appearance of your brisket if you wrap it.
The typical pitmaster will strive for mahogany bark in color because it looks wonderful and tastes delicious.
Once more, everything here is up to personal preference. While some pitmasters wrap the brisket as soon as the stall reaches the proper temperature, others wait until the bark has reached the desired thickness and color.
When do you need to wrap a brisket?
Wrapping brisket commonly referred to as the Texas Crutch, is best to provide extra taste and preserve moisture. Another thing to consider is when exactly the meat needs to be wrapped.
Those who employ the Texas Crutch often do so to beat the stall, and this is an annoying but well-known phenomenon that occurs when the brisket’s temperature stays the same for hours.
Is it necessary to wrap the brisket before cooking or after it has finished smoking?
Surprisingly, neither before smoking nor after cooking does it require wrapping. Instead, it would be best to cook it while keeping it covered.
Barbecue experts typically advise wrapping the brisket when the interior temperature is between 165 and 170F.
But it’s preferable to keep a meat thermometer with you rather than waiting and playing the guessing game. The thickest area of the brisket is where you should place the thermometer probe.
It will show the figure as soon as the internal temperature reaches the desired range. The brisket can then be removed from the smoker and wrapped.
How to wrap a brisket. What should I use to wrap my brisket?
There are some broad suggestions to keep in mind, but how you wrap the brisket depends on what you are wrapping it with.
The brisket will cook more quickly if you wrap it more tightly. When scheduling the time for your cooking, keep this in mind.
To seal in the meat’s fluids, wrapping it should create a tight seal around it.
Always leave a little space towards the top so the liquids won’t leak out, but the air can still flow through and out; this ensures that the meat evenly cooks while maintaining a lovely crispy bark.
A temperature probe’s hole in the wrap should be sufficient to let air circulate through the meat.
When it comes to what you should use to wrap your brisket, there are several options. Let’s examine the arguably most popular techniques.
In a true Texas Crutch, aluminum foil is an impenetrable barrier and effectively prevents evaporation cooling from occurring. Depending on what’s added to the wrap, you’re essentially gently braising the meat. A common issue with aluminum foil-wrapped meats is that the trapped moisture produces soft, mushy bark.
The benefit of foil wrapping is that it captures the fat and the juices of the meat so they can be reabsorbed once the meat is taken off the smoker to rest, creating the braising effect.
Butcher paper works similarly to aluminum foil in that it is used to wrap the meat to prevent evaporative cooling. The difference between butcher paper and foil is that butcher paper is a porous substance that absorbs fat and water rapidly. Because butcher paper absorbs moisture, the bark doesn’t disintegrate as quickly.
Butcher paper can be more absorbent but traps less water in the form of steam, keeping the brisket moist without making the bark soggy. You can leave the brisket unwrapped if you desire a particularly crispy, crunchy bark, but be careful it doesn’t dry out.
Another type of material that is used to wrap brisket is parchment paper. You can use this instead of butcher paper or aluminum foil to protect the brisket.
The paper is a composite made of cellulose that has been given non-stick qualities. It is the most delicate and thin of all the numerous ways to wrap a brisket. In addition to being breathable, parchment paper can endure high heat. Additionally, it enables you to cook your brisket more quickly while maintaining its moisture and tenderness. It also permits little evaporation, producing a crispy bark.
The drawback of parchment paper is how readily it cracks. However, if you buy from a reliable company that stands by the heat resistance of its papers, it won’t be a problem.
Parchment paper can handle up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit without breaking. However, be careful how you handle the paper.
Since pitmasters utilize the Texas Crutch method, it won’t harm to give it a shot, even if most people prefer to leave their meat unwrapped and let the grill do its thing.
We recommend the concept if you wish to try wrapping your brisket. Yes, it might take a bit more work, but the result will be a delicious brisket.
Try using aluminum foil if this is your first time wrapping the brisket. The brisket will wrap up easily, but your bark may become moist. As a result, after unwrapping the meat, you can continue to cook it for a few minutes. This is my personal favorite. Just like any cooking process, a lot of it relies on your personal preference. You’re the one who will eat the barbecue, so you know how you best like your meat.
And if you find this article helpful or have any suggestions or questions, feel free to contact us.