How to wrap a brisket in butcher paper

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Last Updated on: 20th October 2022, 12:25 am

Smoking a brisket is a long process, which can take several hours or even days to smoke properly.

The most stressful phase of smoking a brisket is when the brisket enters the stall and the temperature of the brisket stops increasing .

Butcher paper can help you beat the stall by wrapping the brisket and reducing the heat loss. It is really effective against stall .

To wrap the brisket in a butcher paper, you should take a sheet of paper, place the brisket inside it, tuck the corners of the butcher paper below the brisket, remove air, and finally place it into the smoker.

But most of the newbies get confused about how to wrap a brisket in a butcher paper.

We are going to explain it in detail in this article.

Wrapping brisket in a butcher paper

Wrapping brisket in butcher paper is as easy as it sounds. There are no complexities involved in this process, and you can do this if you have a prior experience of wrapping with foil.
Even if you don’t have prior experience, you can wrap your brisket by following the step-by-step guide given below.

  • First of all , you will have to take the sheets of butcher paper to be used for wrapping the brisket.
    You can buy these sheets from local bbq stores or online through Amazon. Make sure that these sheets do not contain wax and are food grade.
  • These sheets are usually not much wider, so they cannot contain a brisket within a single sheet.
    So you will have to place two butcher paper sheets parallel to each other in way that they should be overlapping each other.
  • After that, you should consider placing brisket in the center of these sheets. You should make sure that the brisket chunk is placed in the center so that both of the sheets can be wrapped around a single chunk to allow effective wrapping.
  • After placing the brisket in the center of the butcher paper, you should consider wrapping the brisket in the paper.
    Place the brisket at the end of the paper sheets and roll the brisket chunk over to wrap the brisket in the butcher paper.
  • After rolling the brisket chunk in the butcher paper once, you should consider removing any air present in the paper.
    After that you should consider grabbing the corners of the butcher paper and tucking them below the brisket chunk.
  • After tucking the corners , you should consider pulling the brisket chunk back a bit to wrap it tightly and remove any air present within it.
    The air present within the butcher paper can affect the appearance of the brisket when moisture increases.
  • After wrapping the brisket tightly , you should consider rolling the brisket over the butcher paper throughout the length of sheet.
    The sheet length should be long enough so that the brisket can be rolled at least 2-4 times.
  • Until this point, you should have wrapped your brisket inside the butcher paper. Now you can move forward by placing it into the smoker if you are planning for further smoking or sealing it with tape if you are planning to send it to someone else.

While placing it inside the smoker, you should avoid placing it in direct heat.
Butcher paper is made up of natural pulp of woods and can catch fire upon fire contact, which might affect the appearance and flavor of the brisket chunk.

When to wrap brisket in butcher paper

Now that we have discussed how to wrap a brisket, ,let’s dig deeper into its finer details.

The next most common question we get about wrapping a brisket is what is the right time to wrap your cut of brisket in butcher paper.

There is no black and white answer to this, but to sum it up, you are good to wrap your brisket when your meat hits the stall.

Usually, stall have different times and it can occur even twice in the same smoking process, which makes the right time a little bit complicated.

As a general rule of thumb, you are good to wrap your brisket inside a butcher paper after the brisket has been exposed to smoke for around 3-7 hours.

These time can vary depending on the size and texture of brisket being smoked.

If you want to be really accurate about wrapping your brisket, then you should consider using the internal temperature of the brisket as a gauge instead of the time of smoking.

By determining the internal temperature, you can decide when to wrap your brisket.

Is wrapping the brisket too early beneficial

You should be really careful about wrapping your brisket because it can make or break the flavor of your brisket.

Before you decide whether or not to wrap your brisket, you should carefully look at its internal temperature and how it looks.

Wrapping your brisket early or late can demage the flavor of the brisket equally. If you wrap your brisket before it has entered the stall, then it will not have a good flavor.

It usually results in an uncooked brisket with a less smokey flavor.

If the brisket is wrapped earlier, then the brisket will have less time to absorb enough smoke to enhance it’s flavor.

In addition, due to less contact with the smoke, the brisket will have no or a thin bark . So you should carefully examine the appearance of the brisket before wrapping it.

Is wrapping brisket too late beneficial?

Now that we have discussed the consequences of wrapping a brisket too early, you might be thinking that it’s better to wrap a brisket late then.

It’s not the case. Wrapping brisket too late is equally dangerous to the flavor of the brisket as is the wrapping too early.

If you wrap the brisket too late , then there is a higher chance that the brisket will be over-smoked.

The over-smoking of meat affects the flavor of brisket and gives it a bitter flavor. It can result in the darkening of the bark.

In addition to affecting the flavor of meat, over smoking can also result in the development of charr on the bark of a brisket.

Charring is the formation of a black mass on the surface of the brisket, which is hazardous to one’s health.

Finally , wrapping the brisket too late can result in the drying out of the brisket.

The brisket requires several hours to be smoked properly, and if it is not wrapped properly, then it can lead to the excess evaporation of its internal moisture and the drying out of brisket.

Factors affecting the time for wrapping brisket

It is really difficult to answer when to wrap your brisket in a butcher paper without taking in account the several factors of your smoking process.

The major constituent of smoking time are explained below.

Brisket size

The size of brisket that you are smoking is the main determinant of the time when you will have to wrap your brisket.

The larger the brisket, the more time it will take to absorb the smoke properly and enter the stall .

If you are smoking a brisket of smaller size or a small cut of brisket, then it will likely take it less time to increase its internal temperature and absorb more smoke than larger brisket.

Briskets weighing 7 pounds or less can typically be wrapped after 3-4 hours of smoking.

If the brisket is larger, then it will have a larger area to be smoked and hence will require more time before being wrapped.

It is usually the brisket that is more than 10 pounds in size that takes 5-7 hours to smoke properly.

Smoker’s temperature

The second thing that affects the wrapping time is the temperature of the smoker . If the temperature of the smoker is higher, then it will take less time for the brisket to reach the stall .

After reaching the stall, ,you can move forward to wrapping your brisket to increase its internal temperature.

If the temperature of the smoker is lower (which it usually is to allow proper cooking of brisket), then you will need time to wrap the brisket because the brisket will take longer time to reach the stall.

So you should not just depend on the passage of time to decide whether or not to wrap.


The third factor that can affect the wrapping time of brisket is the bark of the brisket. You should keep in mind that , no one wants to taste a chunk of meat with a delicious flavor but a poor appearance.

In addition, the bark also gives an overview of the amount of smoke the brisket has absorbed.

You should consider examining the appearance of the brisket carefully before making a decision about wrapping.

If the brisket has a good bark, then you should consider wrapping it to avoid darkening, while if it has a thin bark, ,then it will require a bit more time before getting wrapped in butcher paper.

Internal moisture

The final factor that determines the time to wrap the brisket is the internal moisture of brisket. If the brisket is delicate or has started to dry out early, then you should consider wrapping it to avoid drying out .

what temp to wrap brisket in butcher paper

Brisket is usually wrapped inside the butcher’s paper when it enters the stall. Usually you can wrap your brisket when teg temperature has reached 150-160°F .

you can also wrap it after 160°F depending on different factors, like if the bark has developed or not.

If you are unaware of the term “stall”, then it is the phase of smoking when the internal temperature of the brisket stops increasing.

It usually occurs around 160°F but can occur at even lower or higher temperature depending on the brisket texture.

The reason behind this is that, when the brisket reaches 160°F, the moisture present within the brisket starts evaporating and the surface of brisket becomes cool.

Due to which, the internal temperature stops increasing. Butcher paper helps to retain heat and the best stall.

There are two approaches to wrapping your brisket, depending on its temperature. First is to wrap it around 150°F when it’s entering the stall.

It helps us increase the internal temperature quickly without facing stall and smoke brisket in less time.

The second approach is to wrap the brisket during or after the stall at the temperature of around 165-170°F .

It provides the brisket enough time to absorb smoke and develop a good bark while wrapping during stall to avoid drying out of the brisket.

Why wrap brisket in butcher paper?

Wrapping brisket in a butcher paper is a personal choice. There is no limitation that you have to wrap your brisket with butcher paper or to wrap it at all. you can aslo wrap it with aluminium foil or parchment paper.

But by wrapping it with a butcher paper, you can protect it from drying out and over-smoking.

  • First of all, wrapping a brisket protects it from drying out during the smoking process.
    The butcher paper traps the moisture of the brisket being evaporated and deposits it back onto the brisket. This helps the brisket retain its tenderness.
  • Secondly, butcher paper protects meat from over-smoking. When the bark has developed, the smoke stops penetrating into the meat and starts depositing on the surface of meat.
    It can lead to over-smoking and a bitterness of taste. By wrapping it in butcher paper, the smoke doesn’t come in direct contact with brisket and the chances of over-smoking are decreased.
  • Finally, the butcher paper helps us beat the stall. When the brisket enters the stall, its internal temperature stops increasing, due to the which  the process is prolonged. Butcher paper helps us beat the stall by reducing heat loss.

Final Verdict

Wrapping a brisket in a butcher paper is a personal choice, but butcher paper helps us smoke brisket both effectively and efficiently.

When the brisket enters the stall, or around 160 °F, it should be wrapped in butcher paper.

Jakob miller
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