With succulent, slow-smoked beef brisket, you can bring the best of Texas to your own backyard. Simple advice and some time are all that are necessary. We’ll teach you the basics — let’s get started.
Before starting, make sure you have everything on this list. We recommend Kingsford® Original Charcoal Briquets. Additionally, use a digital meat thermometer; it’s the best tool for properly cooking brisket.
What’s The Best Brisket Internal Temperature?
There is no set amount of time to cook when anyone discusses grilling or smoking food. Sure, we’d like to know roughly when the food will be ready. However, when meat reaches the proper internal temperature, we know it has finished cooking. The proper brisket temp isn’t exact, however.
According to general agreement, brisket should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 190°F and a maximum internal temperature of 210°F. At Angry BBQ, we’ve found that briskets are typically ready to be removed from the smoker when they reach a temperature between 202° and 205°F. The brisket is properly prepared as demonstrated in the video below. It will jiggle like jello.
This temperature range has proven to be effective for us because it has heated the brisket sufficiently to break down the connective tissue without actually putting us in danger of overcooking the meat. The end result is a tender brisket that can be easily pulled apart into slices without being too well-done.
However, we have a range even with our ideal brisket internal temperature. So how do we determine precisely when to remove the brisket?
Is The Internal Temp Of Brisket The Best Way To Know When It’s Done?
What is the best way to determine the range of temperatures at which brisket is done? When the internal temperature of the brisket reaches the range of 192°-208°F, that’s when you can begin evaluating the tenderness of the brisket. How tender the meat is the real indicator of when the brisket is done. The brisket is cooked when a temperature probe inserted into the thickest part of the meat meets resistance resembling that of warm butter.
Using an instant-read thermometer like the ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE or the ChefsTemp FinalTouch X10 is the simplest way to determine the tenderness without messing up your temperature monitoring setup. The thickest, flattest, and pointiest portions of the brisket are where you insert the probe thermometer. Your brisket is cooked if the probe slides in like softened butter. Allow the brisket to smoke for a little bit longer if you’re encountering resistance and it’s still between 190° and 195°F internally.
If you’re unsure of the distinctions between the brisket’s components, we’ll go over that information a little bit more below.
You must still be aware of the brisket’s internal temperature throughout the entire time it is on the smoker if you’re attempting to cook it within the range that begins at 190°F for the probe test. I love the ThermoWorks Smoke X4 because it allows me to monitor temperatures without using a phone app while I’m not near the smoker.
Why Do We Cook Brisket to a Higher Temp Range?
Understanding the components of a brisket is necessary to comprehend why we smoke it low and slow, to a minimum temperature of 190°F. The connective tissue within the brisket has already been mentioned as the cause. But what exactly do we mean by connective tissue and how does it impact the doneness of your brisket?
What Is A Brisket And Why Is It So Tough?
A prime cut of beef from the cow’s chest is the brisket. The cow’s chest performs a lot of work during its lifetime, assisting the nearly 1,400-pound average animal in moving its front legs. Due to the volume of work and movement, muscles that perform a lot of work have a lot of connective tissue.
The brisket is a substantial meat cut, weighing between 10 and 15 pounds as a whole packer brisket. The flat and the point cuts of the brisket can be distinguished from one another. The flat is a lean cut of meat with a thick layer of fat sitting on top because it has little interior marbling. The brisket point has more interior fat. Additionally, the internal muscle fiber grains in the two parts of the brisket are parallel to one another.
Some people separate the full packer brisket for ease of cooking and serving due to the different make-up of the marbling and the fact that the grains run in different directions. Check out our brisket breakdown here for a more in-depth look. This is a good idea because the flat will always finish ahead of the point because it is leaner. Recently, Michael began separating the flat from the point because he is getting better results.
Why Should We Smoke Brisket To Break Down Connective Tissue?
If cooked too hot and too quickly, connective tissue, which is primarily composed of collagen, will not break down properly. The collagen will tighten up, making the meat tough. You want to smoke a brisket low and slow so that it has enough time and heat to break down and render, producing tender meat.
Also, smoke makes meat taste better. So, if you’re reading this site, you probably don’t need me to tell you to smoke more meat.
Until the brisket reaches an internal temperature of 200°F, everything inside that makes it a tough piece of meat won’t completely break down. The internal temperature of the brisket will continue to rise even after you remove it from the smoker, by about 5 to 10°F, so why is 190°F acceptable? in order for the brisket to fully render even after being removed from the smoker due to thermal carryover.
We smoke it low and for a long time because we need to break down all of this internal tissue and the internal fat.
What Happens If We Undercook Brisket?
The brisket will be chewy and difficult to eat if we only smoke it until it is technically safe to eat according to USDA standards. There will still be all the tough internal tissue and fat. The brisket won’t be tender, even though the smoky flavor will still be present.
What Happens If We Overcook Brisket?
Going too far in the opposite direction with the internal temperature of the brisket can also cause issues. If you overcook your brisket, you might end up with potentially tough meat, but in a different way Any type of meat that is overcooked will become dry, and brisket is no exception. Brisket that has been exposed to excessive heat for an extended period of time will dry out and become tough to eat.
Why Does My Brisket Internal Temp Stop Rising?
It’s quite common to observe that your brisket’s internal temperature will plateau, or stop rising, between 150 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s known as the stall, and if you aren’t prepared for it and this is your first time smoking a brisket, it can be incredibly nerve-wracking.
The picture below shows a brisket cook I did. The brisket’s temperature increase flattens out at about 160°. At 172° I wrapped the brisket, and at 180° it began to cook more quickly internally once more. This stall lasted from 160°-180°.
The stall occurs when the heat from the smoker is surpassed by the moisture evaporating from the surface of the meat. It is similar to how humans cool off by perspiring. This will stop the internal temperature of the brisket from rising, thus the name.
This can be avoided by tightly wrapping your brisket in either food-grade pink butcher paper or the more widely available aluminum foil.
How Do I Wrap Brisket?
One of the best ways to prevent the stall and guarantee you have a moist and tender brisket after removing it from the smoker and letting it rest is to wrap the brisket. It’s up to you how you embrace what’s jokingly referred to as the “Texas Crutch.” Some people wrap in aluminum foil, some in butcher paper. This method stops the evaporation that causes the stall because no matter how you wrap, you’re guaranteed to keep at least some of the juices trapped inside the wrap. Some individuals will include apple juice or other liquids to add additional moisture and make the meat more tender.
To learn when and how to wrap a brisket, read our complete guide.
As soon as enough moisture has evaporated, you can also let your smoker and brisket ride the stall out. But this does extend the amount of time it takes to prepare your brisket.
Why Do Different Pitmasters Recommend Different Temperatures?
The question of why there are so many different answers to the question of what temperature brisket should be done at remains after we have discussed why we cook to a certain internal temperature for brisket and some of the problems that result from failing to do so.
The biggest reason is that each brisket is different. Each brisket has a different amount of marbling. Some briskets are thicker than others. Each serving of brisket should be moist and tender so that everyone can enjoy it. As a result, your brisket’s final temperature may vary slightly from another’s by a few degrees (or even more).
There are those who will push the brisket to the upper ends of that temperature range because nobody wants to undercook a brisket. Others prefer to remove their brisket as soon as possible because they don’t want it to possibly dry out.
You can remove your brisket from the smoker as long as the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 190°F and it is probe tender.
Just keep in mind that after you pull the brisket, its internal temperature will continue to rise, so take caution. You can avoid overcooking your brisket and still ensure that the connective tissue has rendered by pulling it at the 202°–205°F mark. Hey, 202°-205°F should be effective for everyone if Aaron Franklin finds it effective.
The thought of smoking a brisket in your backyard can be intimidating. No one wants to ruin it because it’s an icon in the barbecue community. You therefore want to know what internal brisket temperature to aim for. You should be able to obtain the desired level of tenderness and juiciness if you aim for 190°F and then concentrate on determining how probe-tender the brisket is.
Check out our Texas-style brisket preparation if you’re interested in learning how to make one. It will provide you with advice, a recipe, and all the ingredients you require to make a traditional salt-and-pepper brisket. It will also provide you with options to adjust your brisket for various palates.
Check out our list of the top wireless meat thermometers if you’re unsure how to keep an eye on those internal temperatures. These will prevent your brisket from being undercooked or overcooked.
Question: Why Is My Brisket Tough At 200 Degrees?
Although 200°F seems like a good internal temperature for brisket to be done at, there is a chance that it isn’t. Although we advise pulling brisket between 202° and 205°F, the true test of a brisket’s readiness is how tender it is. There is a lot of connective tissue to disintegrate, and the fat needs to be rendered properly. Just be patient and use an instant-read meat thermometer to check the tenderness of your brisket.
Question: Is 180 A Good Smoking Temperature?
Answer: We want a good smoky flavor in our brisket. Therefore, the rationale behind smoking at 180°F is that the combination of a lower temperature and a longer cooking time will result in the imparting of even more smoke. We discover, however, that 225° is a fantastic low-and-slow temperature that gives us great smoke flavor, aids in breaking down that difficult connective tissue, and renders fat. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with smoking at 180°F and there are certainly those who advise beginning your brisket smoking session at that temperature, we believe the lower temperature is unnecessary.
What TEMPERATURE is Smoked BRISKET Done?
Is brisket done at 180?
When the internal temperature of the brisket reaches 180° to 185° F or when a fork can be inserted and removed with ease, the meat is considered to be done. The brisket should be taken out and left to rest for about 10 minutes.
What temperature is a beef brisket done?
The brisket should be properly smoked when it reaches an internal temperature of 195°F. Depending on the method of smoking, the time can vary. This can take 1 to 1 ½ hours per pound.
Should brisket be 190 or 200?
According to general agreement, brisket should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 190°F and a maximum internal temperature of 210°F. At Angry BBQ, we’ve found that briskets are typically ready to be removed from the smoker when they reach a temperature between 202° and 205°F. The brisket is properly prepared as demonstrated in the video below.
Is brisket ready at 200?
When the brisket reaches 195–200°F, it is finished and is finished only. The “safe-to-eat” temperature for large cuts like brisket differs from the finish temperature. Early on in the game, it is safe to eat, but if you don’t wait until the temperature reaches 195–200°F, it will be as tough as shoe leather.