What temperature does the brisket stall at?

Last Updated on: 20th October 2022, 04:34 pm

Smoking is a prolonged process which can take several hours to complete.

The smoking process involves several phases through which the brisket is smoked, and the most important of them is stall.

It can make or break the flavor of your brisket.

Stall is a really complicated process that can last for 5-7 hours.

It is really important to be aware of the stall temperature and time to take the necessary precautions for smoking meat effectively. here is a more detailed guide on brisket stall.

So it’s a common question as to what temperature brisket stalls at.

We are going to discuss it in detail.

As per ideal smoking guidelines, brisket can stall at a temperature of 150°F–170°F.

But sometimes brisket can stall several times in a single smoking process because of improper handling.

But if the brisket is smoked effectively,then it will only stall once .

A brisket stall is basically a plateau stage when smoking a brisket.

During this stage, the internal temperature of the brisket stops increasing .

Due to this plateau, the smoking process is prolonged, which is thus named the “stall phase of smoking”

What temperature does the brisket stall or “twice” stall?

Smoking brisket is the game of pros. If you are just starting your smoking career, then consider smoking lean meat or poultry first.

Smoking brisket can be really daunting and tedious because it requires a lot of effort.

The most important phase of smoking brisket is the smoking phase.

Stalls are most common between 150°F and 170°F.

During stall, the smoker temperature increases, but the internal temperature of the brisket stops increasing.

According to the FDA, the brisket needs to have an internal temperature of 190–200°F to be considered cooked.

But because stalling occurs at 160°F, you need to pass through this stage to make sure your brisket is done and safe for eating.

There are several theories about why brisket stalls.

In the early days, the brisket stall was considered to occur for several reasons, and the collagen breakdown was the most prominent of them.

In addition, fat rendering was also considered to stall brisket.

But after testing for several years, pitmasters reached the conclusion that the stall occurs due to evaporative cooling.

Evaporative cooling occurs when the moisture in the brisket evaporates, cooling the brisket surface.

It usually occurs near the water’s boiling point.

When the brisket has been smoked for some time,the internal temperature of the brisket increases and moisture starts evaporating.

The evaporation of moisture cools the surface of the brisket.

This cooling results in hindering the increase in internal temperature of the brisket.

The brisket stall remains there until most of the brisket moisture is removed .

So it is generally advised to avoid spritzing the brisket prior to stalling.

Every brisket usually stalls at around 160°F.

But if, due to inexperience, the brisket is spritzed extensively, then you might end up having several brisket stalls in the same smoking process.

Let’s discuss some of the rare brisket stall temperatures and their solutions.

Brisket stalls at 125°F

Smoking brisket is a really tedious task that involves various minutiae that need to be kept under control to get the most flavor out of the brisket.

Your brisket may occasionally stall at 125 °F, which can be extremely frustrating.

Usually, stalling at 125°F is due to the inexperience of the pitmaster.

The most common reason for the stall at 125°F is smoking at too low a temperature.

Although smoking is a low and slow process, you still need to keep the temperature high enough for cooking.

If your brisket is at a stall at 125°F, then the most common solution to this is to just crank up more charcoal to increase your temperature.

When the smoker temperature increases, there is a higher chance that the brisket will come out of the stall.

Brisket stalls at 140°F

Another rare temperature for brisket to stall is 140°F.

It is related to user error, just like the stall mentioned above.

It is one of the rarest temperatures for brisket to hit a stall, but sometimes you can face this due to inexperience.

The most common reason for the brisket stalling at 140°F is an inaccurate thermometer.

Most smokers have faulty built-in thermometers, which may give an inaccurate reading even if your brisket is not at stall temperature.

To check it out, you should consider checking if the thermometer is working correctly.

If your thermometer is inaccurate, then consider calibrating it.

If you still keep getting inaccurate readings, then upgrading your thermometer is the only solution.

Another reason for the brisket stalling at 140°F is the inaccurate insertion of the temperature probe.

Temperature robe should be inserted correctly for the effective measurement of temperature while smoking brisket. here is a detailed guide on where to probe brisket while smoking

If your temperature probe is inserted into an air pocket, then you might get an inaccurate reading.

You should consider inserting the probe at different spots to check if the temperature is increasing or if the brisket is at a stall.

Brisket stalls at 150-160°F

It is the most common temperature for a brisket to stall.

If your brisket is in the stall at this temperature, then you don’t need to panic.

It is completely normal for the brisket’s internal temperature to get stuck .

To get through this phase, you can either increase the smoker temperature or wrap the brisket to avoid heat loss.

There is no right or wrong way to beat the stall , as long as you are satisfied with the end result.

Brisket stalls at 180°F

After you have passed through the brisket stall at 160°F , sometimes your brisket can again stall at 180°F.

It can be really frustrating to see your brisket again in the stall phase after passing through it just a few hours prior.

Overspraying your brisket with various liquids is the most common cause of brisket stalling at 180 °F.

Although spritzing can help brisket retain its tenderness, if overdone it can push your brisket back into the stall.

If you are facing stall at this temperature, then the most common solution is to just stop spritzing and increase the temperature of the smoker a little bit.

Alternatively, you can put it into an oven and finish it there to avoid further complications.

What to do when your brisket reaches the stall temperature ?

When your brisket is at a stall, and specifically when it’s at a rare temperature, then most beginners might start beating them up for this .

But that’s not going to help. You need to take a step back and rethink your process.

The first solution is to simply not interfere with the smoking process at all.

You can’t control the internal temperature of the brisket.

But you can control the amount of fuel you are adding and the temperature of the smoker.

So if you are in a hurry, then crank out more charcoal and power through the stall.

It is also a good way to get a better bark. You can spritz a little bit if the brisket starts to dry up .

your brisket should have a good bark before wrapping it. Bark development depends on various factors but temp is the most important factor of them. as per general rule, 225 degrees is the best temperature for bark development. here is a complete guide on best temperature for bark development on brisket.

But don’t spritz too much because it can result in hindering the increase in temperature.

The second solution is to wrap your brisket in butcher paper.

It will reduce the heat loss and the temperature of the brisket will increase.

Some people argue for using aluminum foil,but it can affect the bark of the brisket due to it not being porous.


Brisket stall usually occurs at around 150–160°F, but it can occur at different temperatures due to improper handling.

If you are facing the brisket stall, then don’t panic and just focus on things that you can control.

Jakob miller