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Unread 04-04-2011, 06:20 PM   #1
Anchors Smokeshop
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Default Brisket - To Wrap or Not To Wrap

I'm sure this has been debated many times on this forum, but I want to hear from all of you whether you wrap your brisket in foil or not.
Also, why do/don't you wrap and what are the advantages/disadvantages of the "Texas Crutch"?
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Unread 04-04-2011, 06:47 PM   #2
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Tough briskets, dead horses....I'll weigh in.

My best briskets haven't been wrapped in foil until they came off the cooker, and even that'll mess up what little bark it has after smoking on my wsm with water in the pan. I use to think that foil would keep 'em moist, but I think it speeds up the cook more than anything...and I think if it's a decent piece of meat to start with, it's hard to beat cooking 250-275, and a good long rest in the foil.

Anyhow, one of my best ones yet (13 lb. choice from Sam's) cooked all friday night on the wsm over a couple big pork butts with water in the pan. It and the pork butts were all done at the 12 hr. mark, earlier than expected so they rested all day in a hot cooler. Well, the bark was pretty mushy so I put it in the oven for a bit before slicing and everybody said it was really good. To ME though, it was a LOT better for supper last night, as usual.

I think as long as you don't overcook and give it a good rest (Dr. BBQ recommends 2 hr. at least) you don't need any foil while it's cooking. However, foiling sure makes the brisket cook more predictably, especially if cooking at higher temps.
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Unread 04-04-2011, 07:06 PM   #3
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I've never foiled anything so I have no reference for you, other than I don't get complaints!
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Unread 04-04-2011, 07:15 PM   #4
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As long as the brisket (or any smoking meat for that matter) is fresh I won't wrap. I've found when meat starts getting close to it's expiration date it takes longer to smoke, and usually results in tough, jerky-like skin. As long as I can get it off the smoker within 14 hours or so, I leave it unwrapped, anything past that and I'm wrapping to speed the cook up
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Unread 04-04-2011, 07:17 PM   #5
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I personally like to foil mine. I don't do it because I think it is going to make them more moist. I simply like that it gives me a very rich au jus that I can dip the slices in, or pour over them. I foil after the brisket has broken through the plateau, and started to rise in temp again. By this time you have a nice bark. I also add a few oz of beef broth. Way I figure it... your bark is going to get soft during the long rest in foil anyway...so why worry about foiling a bit early to get that au jus.

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Unread 04-04-2011, 07:17 PM   #6
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Try wrapping in red butchers paper to finish.
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Unread 04-04-2011, 07:27 PM   #7
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I always wrap when the internal temp hits 165. I cook wrapped until done, about 195 degrees. It then rests in the cooler for a couple of hours and then goes back on for 30 minutes to firm up a little.
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Unread 04-04-2011, 07:56 PM   #8
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Wow guys! NICE looking brisket!
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Unread 04-04-2011, 08:16 PM   #9
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Once mine have a hearty bark (at about the 12 hour mark), I wrap to keep it moist.
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Unread 04-04-2011, 08:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeyw View Post
I always wrap when the internal temp hits 165. I cook wrapped until done, about 195 degrees. It then rests in the cooler for a couple of hours and then goes back on for 30 minutes to firm up a little.
You'll never fit that into a 9x9 box

I normally do not wrap, but, I can see wrapping if you want a moister bark, or a certain color, or want to add flavor once the meat is cooked and do not want to keep opening the cooker.
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Unread 04-04-2011, 10:42 PM   #11
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I have always wrapped until my last brisket cook. On my last cook I decided not to wrap. It came out just as moist and not steamed. The bark was awesome and not mushy. This is now my preferred method. I will only wrap if I need a lot of briskets done for a party or something.
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Unread 04-04-2011, 10:48 PM   #12
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No foil until it's done, then wrapped just for the rest.

One of the Brethren cooked next to me at my only comp last year. Gave him a slice of my turn in brisket. Said it was really good, and wanted to get me drunk to spill my secrets. Problem is, there aren't any secrets. Trim, rub, cook, rest, slice.

It's a brisket, not a Saturn V rocket.
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Unread 04-04-2011, 10:59 PM   #13
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When I did beef brisket in the oven at restaurants that I worked at I always foiled at around 165º internal temp and added some beef broth then finished at around 195º followed with a rest.

After I built a UDS I cooked my first brisket and foiled just like I did at the restaurants. My next brisket I did not foil and it was way better than any foiled brisket I'd done in the past. It was just as moist but with a very flavorful crispy bark so I've cooked all of my briskets ever since with out using foil and never had a problem.

It was the same with pork and beef ribs I tried foiling but just prefer the flavor of the bark straight up no foil.
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Unread 04-06-2011, 03:10 PM   #14
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Foil it after the first 2 hours
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Unread 04-06-2011, 03:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbormaster View Post
One of the Brethren cooked next to me at my only comp last year. Gave him a slice of my turn in brisket. Said it was really good, and wanted to get me drunk to spill my secrets. Problem is, there aren't any secrets. Trim, rub, cook, rest, slice.

It's a brisket, not a Saturn V rocket.

That's some funny sh*t.......
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