Brisket Stall at 190, 180, 175, 170, 155, 145, 140 & 125 - BBQ Host (2022)

Can a brisket stall twice? And if it does, what steps should you take? Is it better just to let the smoker do its work, or should you interfere?

These are questions that have plagued every BBQ amateur. We’re here to talk you through the potential brisket stall at 190, the potential brisket stall at 125, and everything in between.

Brisket Stalls at An Unexpected Temperature

Unexpected stalls can occur for several reasons. They could be the result of inaccurate temperature readouts, insufficient heat, or the quality of the meat itself. Basting or spritzing the brisket can cause it to stall a second time, as the moisture has a cooling effect.

About the Brisket Stall

“The stall” occurs when the temperature of a large cut of meat–brisket, in this case–grinds to a halt. It usually takes place at around 150 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, but it’s possible for the meat to stall multiple times. That’s what we’re here to explore.

Pitmasters have spent a long time debating the underlying cause of the stall. At one point, people assumed that it came about as the collagen in the meat turned into gelatin. Collagen breaks down at around 160 degrees, which is the usual temperature at which the stall occurs. However, there’s not enough collagen in the brisket for this to be the cause.

Another stall-related myth involves protein denaturing. This process occurs when the long chain molecules in the brisket begin to break down. Again, it happens at around the same time as the stall, but it still isn’t the root cause.

Neither is the fat rendering. Fat doesn’t evaporate the way moisture does. Instead, it melts. This wouldn’t slow down the cooking process, but it could lead to flare-ups if the smoker’s temperature was set too high.

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The true culprit behind the stall is a phenomenon known as evaporative cooling. It’s the same thing that happens to our bodies when we sweat due to heat or exertion. As the brisket cooks, its natural moisture is expelled onto the surface, which causes it to cool slightly as a result.

When the heat from the smoker is no longer high enough to combat the cooling effect, the brisket will go into a stall. This can happen at several points during the smoke, but the one at the 150-degree mark is the most common.

Eventually, all that excess moisture will be used up, and the meat will continue to cook. But in the meantime, you could be waiting around for several hours while the needle on the thermometer refuses to budge.

Can a Brisket Stall Twice?

Yes, a brisket can go into the stall more than once during cooking. It seems to happen more often when the cooking environment changes drastically during the smoke. Specifically, it might stall twice if the temperature inside the smoker has dropped too low, or if the brisket is exposed to excess moisture.

Handling Multiple Stalls

Now that you know what causes the stall, let’s talk about how to deal with it. What helps things along at 125 degrees won’t necessarily be the answer when the meat has reached 190 degrees. In this section, we’ll provide tips on handling the stall at various stages in the cooking process.

Brisket Stall at 125

Brisket Stall at 190, 180, 175, 170, 155, 145, 140 & 125 - BBQ Host (1)

The stall is most common in the 150 to 170 degree range. If it happens at 125 degrees, there’s a good chance your smoker temperature is too low.

If you’ve set the smoker to 225 degrees, consider raising the temp to 250 or 275. This is a bit higher than we like to go, but your goal is to pull the brisket out of the stall as soon as you can. If it stays at 125 for too long, it could become a breeding ground for bacteria, and your barbecue could be ruined.

Keep a close eye on the brisket temp. If it doesn’t start to rise within the hour, pull the meat from the smoker and wrap it in a double layer of foil. Put it in a 300-degree oven until the internal temperature reaches at least 140 degrees. At this point, you can either return it to the smoker or keep cooking it in the oven until it’s finished.

Brisket Stall at 140

When the thermometer holds steady at 140, it could be that you just hit the stall a bit early. However, there are two other possible culprits, and both of them are more likely.

First of all, your thermometer might not be as accurate as you’d like. Try calibrating it to ensure that it’s giving you the correct readout. For this, you’ll need either a small adjustable wrench or a good set of pliers.

Fill a small pot with water and bring it to a boil. While the water is heating, fill a glass with ice water and set it aside. When the water is boiling, set the thermometer probe in the boiling water and make sure it reads 212 degrees Fahrenheit. If it doesn’t, you can adjust it using the nut on the rear of the thermometer, behind the face.

Next, set the thermometer in the ice water. Make any necessary adjustments so that it provides a readout of 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This should do the trick. Note that this procedure won’t work with digital thermometers, which should be repaired by a professional.

We should also point out that thermometers often come with an adjustable wrench of their own. The tool might be tucked into the shield that’s used to hold the thermometer, so check there before looking for another wrench.

If the thermometer is perfectly calibrated and still giving a readout of 140 degrees, it could mean that the probe is inserted into an air pocket. You don’t want to poke too many holes in the brisket, but consider moving the probe to another spot to see if the temperature is any higher.

Brisket Stall at 145

Brisket Stall at 190, 180, 175, 170, 155, 145, 140 & 125 - BBQ Host (2)

If the brisket stalls at 145 degrees, it could be caused by a malfunctioning thermometer or inaccurate probe placement (see Brisket Stall at 140, above). However, if it lasts for longer than a few hours, the temperature of the smoker could be running a bit low.

There are several things you can do to heat things up. On a charcoal smoker, you can adjust the dampers to increase the airflow. You might also consider adding more fuel to the fire. For pellet grills, try lowering the P setting. This will feed the pellets into the chamber more quickly, which will make the fire burn hotter.

It’s important to note that there can be marked differences between dome temperature and grate temperature. Air currents inside the smoker can cause variations of up to 70 degrees, which can make it difficult to gauge the cooking time.

Since the brisket is positioned on the cooking grate, it’s a good idea to place a pit probe on the grate as well. This is the temperature you should rely on. If you’re going by the readout on the smoker’s lid, it could mislead you into thinking that the unit is running hotter or cooler than it really is.

Brisket Stall at 155

155 degrees is one of the most common stall-related temperatures. It’s one of those things that you should anticipate and plan for. It could last for just a brief period of time, or it might delay the end result for 5 to 6 hours. Either way, the brisket will continue to cook again as soon as all of the excess moisture in the meat has evaporated.

Should you choose to use the Texas crutch (see Brisket Stall at 170, below), it’s fine to do it at this point. You might also consider using butcher paper instead of foil. This will still help to move things along, but the paper allows moisture to escape, so you’ll be continuing to smoke the meat instead of steaming it.

Brisket Stall at 170

A stall at 170 degrees is not that uncommon. In fact, that’s the temp at which some pitmasters decide to enlist the “Texas crutch,” which means wrapping the brisket in foil to help it cook faster.

When the brisket is wrapped in foil, the moisture won’t evaporate, because it doesn’t have anywhere to go. Instead, it collects inside the wrapper, creating an environment that gently braises the meat. It works if your goal is to cook the brisket faster, but it can also give the meat a softer texture instead of a dark, crispy bark.

If you find yourself dealing with a brisket that’s stuck at 170 degrees, you can either use the Texas crutch or wait it out. We would recommend the latter, as the meat won’t be exposed to the smoke when it’s in the foil, so the results won’t be quite as authentic.

Brisket Stall at 175

When brisket makes it past the 160-degree mark only to stall at 175 degrees, it may be because the smoker temperature was high enough to fight off the evaporative cooling effects earlier. This can happen if you’ve set the smoker to 300 degrees or higher, something we don’t recommend when it comes to brisket.

On the other hand, if this is the second stall you’re experiencing, it might have come about as a result of basting or spritzing the meat. That’s one of the most common causes of a second stall, since the added moisture cools the exterior of the brisket.

Fortunately, these second stalls tend to be shorter than their earlier counterparts. Our advice would be to relax and wait it out. Alternatively, you can use the oven method we’ve described in Brisket Stall at 180, below.

Brisket Stall at 180

This is another late-stall situation that may even occur after you’ve made it through the initial stall. It’s not that unusual, but it can be annoying, especially since you’re already so close to the finish line.

If you’re really in a hurry to get that brisket on the table, you can remove it from the smoker and finish it in a 300 degree oven. Wrapping it in foil will help to speed the process. It should reach the target temperature within 90 minutes.

Brisket Stall at 190

At 190 degrees, the brisket is just about ready. While we prefer to wait until it hits at least 195 before pulling it off the smoker, you can certainly do so a few degrees sooner.

If your brisket isn’t budging past 190, try using the probe test to find out if it’s ready to be taken off the heat. You don’t actually need a thermometer to do this, but if you’re already testing the temperature, you must already have one on hand.

Slide the probe (or fork or toothpick) into the thickest portion of the brisket flat. If it slides in easily with no resistance, then you can remove it from the heat and begin the resting period. Remember that the meat will continue to cook as it rests, so your final temp will be slightly higher than 190.

On the other hand, if you have to struggle to insert the probe, then you’ll need to leave the brisket where it is for a while longer. A stall at 190 degrees could last for 3 or more hours, which can be frustrating. If you’re willing to wait it out, however, the results will be worth it. Undercooked brisket will be far more disappointing than the lost time.

Is there anything you can do to avoid the 190-degree stall? Unfortunately, we don’t have any clear answers. It seems to be more common with inferior cuts of meat, so we recommend purchasing the highest-quality brisket you can find. Other than that, we would suggest keeping the smoker temperature as stable as possible throughout the smoke.

The Bottom Line

Although we associate the stall with the middle section of the smoke, it can actually happen later on. Sometimes, you’ll have to deal with two stalls for the same brisket. No matter when it happens, all is not lost. You can always find a way to navigate the obstacles and wind up with delicious and tender brisket.

Best of luck, and happy grilling!


Why is my brisket stalling at 190? ›

At 190 degrees, the brisket is just about ready. While we prefer to wait until it hits at least 195 before pulling it off the smoker, you can certainly do so a few degrees sooner. If your brisket isn't budging past 190, try using the probe test to find out if it's ready to be taken off the heat.

Why is my brisket stuck at 170 degrees? ›

It's common for a brisket to make the final jump from around 170 – 203°F in an hour or two. Moisture evaporating from the meat will then stall its temperature out, with the stall moving from the outer surface to the center.

Is 190 too low for brisket? ›

You might get tough brisket if you use the Salt Lick range of 165-175 degrees. BOTTOM LINE: Cook it to 190 degrees.

What is the normal stall temp for brisket? ›

Here are a few tips and a process for smoking award-winning brisket at home on your Oklahoma Joe's® Smokers. The stall is when a large cut of meat like a pork butt or beef brisket is cooking, and the internal temperature of the meat just seems to “stall” or plateau around 155-165°F for hours.

Can I wrap my brisket at 155? ›

The best time to wrap brisket is when it reaches the 150- to 160-degree threshold. At this point, the meat should be entering “the stall,” which means the cooking process will slow down for a while. Wrapping the meat will help to speed things along.

What to do if brisket is cooking too fast? ›

When your beef brisket is cooking too fast, try turning down the temperature on the smoker. 225 degrees Fahrenheit is a good number to aim for. If the meat has already cooked through, remove it from the smoker and hold it in the oven until you're ready to serve it.

Is 180 too low for brisket? ›

This low and slow pellet grilling method suits brisket perfectly. Smoke the brisket right at your grill's smoke level – our personal preference is 180 degrees. Smoke at 180 degrees until the brisket reaches an internal temperature of 170 via digital thermometer.

Can a brisket stall at 145? ›

The brisket stall usually begins when the temperature of your meat reads 145 degrees F and lasts until the brisket pushes past 175 degrees F. It can take anywhere from 2-5 hours to push through this phase (yes, that long, and yes, that much variation).

Can I smoke a brisket at 190? ›

Theorectically you'll never get the meat higher than 190° which, unless it's a Waygu, will likely still be a little tough.

Can I pull my brisket at 195? ›

A good rule of thumb is to bring the meat up to an internal temperature of 185°F to 195°F to attain this conversation of tough meat to melt in your mouth deliciousness. The ideal peak internal temperature of brisket should be 205°F-210°F since beyond that it will begin to dry out.

At what temperature does a brisket stall?. As your smoking temperature decreases, your brisket experiences the effects of evaporative cooling at a lower temp and can balance the forces longer.. Generally, after a few hours of smoking your meat has absorbed all the flavor from the smoke that it’s going to.. Some pitmasters wrap their meat after two or three hours of smoking.. The combination of very low airflow and high humidity means that these smokers rarely suffer from an extended brisket stall, but they don’t produce a deep bark either.. My last brisket finished smoking in less than 10 hours, so increasing the heat to overcome the brisket stall shaved at least 4 hours off the process.. How to Tell When Smoked Brisket is Done?. The best smoked brisket is usually cooked to 203°F.

Briskets typically cook for 10-12 hours, with the ambient temperature of the smoker at 225°F.. About two hours in however, the internal temperature of your food completely stops rising.. Brisket stall is one of those things that incites a lot of speculation and theories.. Depending on which pit-master you ask, you might hear one of a few different theories floating out there about what causes brisket stall.. With a few of the most common theories debunked, it’s time to take a look at the real reason for the occurrence of brisket stall.. The “sweat” cools the brisket and keeps the temperature down for a period of time (typically around 4 hours), and after the moisture is gone, the temperature of your brisket will rise more.. The heat that does get absorbed by the brisket warms the food, melts fat, and evaporates the moisture inside of the cut of beef.. The Texas Crutch is a method in which you wrap brisket with foil as it has reached its stall.. Once it’s reached a temperature of 150-170°F wrap it in aluminum foil.. Brisket stall isn’t inherently bad – some pit masters would even say that it helps the final result of your brisket.. Four hours of no temperature rise is a really long time, and you begin to question if you’ve done things the right way.. 7 hours is, of course, the maximum time, and oftentimes you will find that the stall will not last as long as this.. Of course, as long as you act fast you can stop the stall by employing techniques such as humidity and lower temperatures.. As you will know from the other sections of this article, brisket can be in a stall period for up to 7 hours.

They call me at all hours.”. In his test (see the graph above), you can see that the stall starts after about two to three hours of cooking when the internal temp of the meat hits about 150°F.. The fat did not have a stall at all.. The water stalled at about 115°F.. It stalled at 140°F.. When we put a water pan in the cooker, the moisture evaporates from the surface and raises the humidity in the cooker, slowing the evaporation from the meat and slowing the cooking.

Brisket that’s received this label has been graded as an Upper Choice cut by the USDA.. A CAB brisket, meanwhile, will have a fat content that’s nearly as high as a Prime cut.. If you can only find a CAB brisket that’s too small to fit your needs, try choosing a second brisket to complement it.. Another Choice cut would be preferable, but you can also choose a Select brisket (see below for tips).. As an alternative, you can try smoking the CAB brisket alongside a different cut of meat altogether.. Although we recommend buying Choice brisket whenever possible, Select cuts can also turn out well, especially if you wrap the meat partway through the smoke to preserve moisture.. Because we recommend choosing Choice cuts for the smoker whenever possible, we think CAB brisket is a discerning choice.

Eén van die spieren wordt min of meer vierkant gesneden en wordt de Flat genoemd, het deel dat daar op ligt is een beetje driehoekig van vorm en wordt de Point genoemd.. Het is een stuk werkvlees en behalve het vet dat er op zit is het niet gemarmerd, wordt een brisket niet goed bereid dan is de kans groot dat hij heel erg droog is of heel erg taai en in het ergste geval beide.. Maar ik heb ook fantastische brisket gegeten, de beste in Texas rond Austin, een stad waar een paar van de beste BBQ tenten van de VS zitten.. De Salt Lick voert al jaren de lijsten aan van beste barbecue in de VS en dat was ook de plek waar ik de allerlekkerste at.. Nu is brisket onderdeel van de wedstrijd waar ik in april met de Sea Side Smokers aan mee doe, dus moest ik niet alleen een lekker stukje vlees produceren maar het zou ook nog eens wedstrijdniveau moeten zijn.. Ook heb ik een methode gebruikt die de Texas Crutch wordt genoemd, dit houdt in dat je bij een bepaalde temperatuur je vlees in folie inpakt en teruglegt in de smoker om door te garen, dit om meer vocht binnen te houden.. Sterker de structuur was precies goed, de plakken braken niet wanneer je ze vasthield en als je aan de uiteinden trok en weer losliet, gaf het mooi mee en veerde terug.. Harde stukken vet kun je helemaal wegsnijden.Injecteer de brisket aan de vleeskant (dus vetzijde naar beneden) met de runderbouillon, prik om de 2,5 cm over het gehele oppervlak van het vlees.Meng de ingrediënten van de slather en smeer een laagje over de gehele brisket.. Leg de brisket in de smoker.Wanneer de kerntemperatuurmeter 71°C is, pak je de brisket in in twee lagen stevig aluminiumfolie en leg je hem weer terug in de smoker.Bij 96°C mag hij uit de smoker en pak je hem in in verse folie, nu mag hij een uurtje rusten.Snij de brisket, haaks op de draad, in plakken ter dikte van een potlood, dunner en ze vallen uit elkaar, dikker en het is niet zo mals meer.

Unfortunately, there's a reason the saying "brisket, don't risk it" exists, and we've all had a less-than-perfect brisket that turned out drier and chewier than we hoped.. If you pick up a Select grade brisket, it won't hold up over the long cooking process and will taste a little dry in the end.. If you buy an untrimmed or " packer " brisket, you'll receive the whole brisket.. The first cut of brisket is called the flat cut , or the leaner portion of the brisket.. Corned beef is made by taking a cut of brisket (usually the flat cut) and soaking it in a heavily salted brine to infuse tenderness into the meat.. Briskets — especially packer briskets that contain the point — contain a heavy fat cap.. That fat breaks down to keep the brisket moist as it cooks, but it's not edible.. All things considered, between the inedible fat and the water loss the brisket experiences as it cooks, a brisket will yield only 65 to 76 percent of its original weight.. According to " Steve Raichlen's Barbecue Bible ," you need low temperatures (215 to 225 degrees Fahrenheit) and long cooking times to melt that collagen, along with the other tough connective tissue in the brisket.. The grill or a smoker is the ideal way to infuse smoky flavor into your brisket, but cooking brisket uncovered is a great way to let all the moisture escape.. For starters, brisket isn't cooked to the same temperatures as other cuts of beef.. Instead, large, tough cuts like brisket, pork shoulder, and pot roast need to be cooked to higher temperatures.. We know, you just spent hours cooking brisket and you don't want to wait any longer.. Brisket is a large cut of meat, so it requires more time to redistribute the juices.. If you did everything right — bought the right brisket, seared it and cooked it at low temperatures for hours, checked the temperature, and let it rest — you could still mess up a perfect brisket when slicing it.

We don't recommend smoking brisket at 160 to 170 degrees on purpose , but if you have a finicky smoker, there are ways to make it work.. Smoked brisket will continue to cook even after it has been removed from the smoker.. Check it every hour until reaches 200 F. Others recommend pulling it off and wrapping it at 160-170 F.. Put brisket in the smoker, fat side up, and smoke for 8-10 hours , or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F. Once brisket reaches 180 degrees F, wrap brisket entirely in aluminum foil and continue smoking for 3 hours or until internal temperature reaches between 190-205 degrees F.. According to USDA, ribs are “done” when they are 145°F internal temp, but they may still be tough.. If you take them up to 190 to 203 °F, the collagens and fats melt at this temp and make the meat more tender and juicy.. According to some pitmasters, you should always aim for a smoker temperature of 250 degrees when making smoked brisket.. Cook the meat quickly and you get tough, dry meat.. The 180 Degree setting is recommended for very low and slow cooking or for HOLDING your finished meat at a food safe temperature.. According to Steve Raichlen's Barbecue Bible, you need low temperatures (215 to 225 degrees Fahrenheit) and long cooking times to melt that collagen, along with the other tough connective tissue in the brisket.

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