Brisket temp

by Jeffrey
(Schererville, IN)

I cooked a choice whole packer brisket at 250 degrees on a Masterbuilt electric smoker.

I put it in at noon on Monday, wrapped it in foil at 150 degrees at about 9:00 pm, and put it in the oven at 250.

At 1:00 am, the temp was 190, so I turned the oven to 200. When I woke up at 7:30, the temp dropped to 175. The flat part seems dry and tough.
Why, and what do I do about it?

Thank you,

Comments for Brisket temp

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 06, 2023

by: Joseph

Hi Jeff,

Sorry to hear that your brisket didn't turn out as well as you'd liked. Please don't feel bad; we've all cooked a bad brisket before; it's part of becoming a pitmaster.

The first thing that stuck out about your question was that the temperature fell to 175°F in a 200°F oven. This could mean a couple of things.

1. The first reading at 190°F was inaccurate, so if you took a measurement later at a different location, you would get a different reading. Take multiple measurements in different parts of the brisket to get an accurate reading.

2. The oven shut off, or the oven thermostat is faulty. If you put a 190°F brisket in a 200°F oven, the temp will not fall below the original temperature - 190°F. It would eventually rise to 200°F.

Now to the cooking procedure -

You can cook brisket at 250°F, but cooking it at 275°F will cook it faster, promote better bark formation and produce a tastier, more tender beef brisket.

I prefer to wrap my briskets at around 160°F-170°F. It's not really about the temperature, though; it's about the stall.

The stall is when the brisket stops rising in temperature; it's just stuck at the same temperature for a while. This is because of the moisture sitting on top of the brisket. It's like sweat on an athlete. The sweat cools the athlete, and the moisture cools your brisket. Your brisket will not rise in temperature until the moisture is gone; that's when you wrap your brisket. (Do not pour this moisture off, let it evaporate naturally.)

Once you pass the stall and your brisket is wrapped, cook to an internal temperature of 203°F. Remember, take multiple readings to get an accurate temperature.

After cooking, rest the brisket, slice, and enjoy!

For the full details, check out my page about How to Barbecue a Brisket

It'll show you how to make a delicious beef brisket you'll be proud of.

Happy cooking!

Let us know how your next brisket turns out. If you need anything else, let me know.


Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Barbecue Q&A.

Write your comments about this page in the box below.