Placeholder How to Get Past the Stall When Smoking Brisket – Hot Things - Barbecues, Heaters, Outdoor Kitchens

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, by Steven Gray, 3 min reading time

Smoking a brisket is a journey that can be both rewarding and intimidating, especially when facing the notorious "stall." Fear not, as we share expert tips and a comprehensive process to help you smoke an award-winning brisket at home using your Oklahoma Joe's® Smoker.

Understanding the Stall

The brisket stall occurs when the internal temperature of significant cuts, like pork butt or beef brisket, plateaus around 68-73°C for hours. Scientifically, evaporation cooling is considered a primary cause of the stall.

Tips for Navigating the Stall

1. Let It Unfold Naturally

Allowing the stall to unfold naturally is a viable option if time isn't a constraint. Some pitmasters believe the stall enhances the final result.

2. Go Hot and Fast

Challenge the traditional "low and slow" approach. Many competition teams cook at 143-176°C, reducing evaporation time and, consequently, the duration of the stall.

3. Separate the Brisket

Consider dividing the brisket into the point and flat. This enhances the crust on the point for burnt ends and speeds up the cooking process.

4. Maintain Moisture

High humidity minimises evaporation. Use a water pan and spritz your brisket regularly to create a moist environment and help overcome the stall.

5. Wrap the Brisket

Wrapping the brisket in foil interrupts the evaporation process, providing a strategy to push through the stall.

The Debate on Wrapping

The choice to wrap (foil or butcher paper) or not is a hot topic among pitmasters. While some are against wrapping, others, including renowned brisket masters like Aaron Franklin and BBQ Pitmaster Judge Moe Cason, incorporate wrapping into their process. World Champion Chris Lilly notes that both methods can yield superb brisket, emphasising the importance of finding what works best for you.

Effect of wrapping your brisket in aluminium foil

This classic method of wrapping brisket, ribs, or any smoked meat offers dual advantages. Firstly, it enhances heat retention and simplifies the cooking process. Secondly, the foil effectively captures and retains heat within the meat, expediting the overall cooking time. The use of foil is also practical, given that most people have a roll of aluminium foil tucked away in their kitchen. However, the airtight seal achievable with foil comes with potential downsides, such as a softer exterior texture and a reduced crispy bark.

Effect of wrapping your brisket in butchers paper

Many people opt for wrapping their briskets in butcher paper, a technique widely favoured in Texas-style barbecue. Butcher paper, being more porous than foil, permits additional smoke infusion, intensifying the flavour and enabling moisture to escape, thereby preserving a crunchier bark. However, the drawback is that butcher paper doesn't expedite the cooking process as effectively, and it may be relatively more expensive or less commonly found in households.

Oklahoma Joe's® Bandera Technique

On an Oklahoma Joe's® Bandera, consider the following:

  • Ideally, trim, inject, and season the brisket 12 hours before smoking, keeping it refrigerated.

This combination of tips, techniques, and insights, tailored for your Oklahoma Joe's Smoker, ensures you'll navigate the brisket stall successfully and elevate your BBQ game. Remember, the journey is as important as the destination, and with these strategies, you're on your way to becoming a brisket master. Happy smoking!

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