Brisket novice needing tips

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Original poster
Feb 8, 2017
Hi all, I'm pretty new to BBQ and am trying my hand at a brisket pretty soon, I have experience with pulled pork and pork ribs and I've gotten them to where I'd like them to be.  However I have absolutely no experience with brisket, I've watched videos and have been reading other posts on brisket and have made some notes.  What I'm looking for are any tips but specifically tips on good bark formation.  Any advice is welcomed


 -Notorious PIG
If you want good bark, then don't wrap the brisket.

Wrapping it will limit the amount of bark & also will soften what bark you do have.

Should I run the temp at 275 the whole cook? I'm worried that might be too high and dry out the meat.  Or should I run it lower and then toward the end of the cook ramp it up?
you can cook 275 or higher and NOT dry out the meat. i have cooked 325-350 for a whole cook and had a moist juicy brisket before. the thing is you will have dry brisket if you don't render all the fat down. so cook it till its done (195-210 degrees IT) basically until you can put in a toothpick like warm butter. if you under cook you will have dryer brisket. its feel thing...once you get some briskets under your belt you will get the hang of it.

Hope this helps,

phatbac (Aaron)
Last edited:
Whole cook, and cook to internal temp, not time.  1-1.5 hours/lb. is a decent generality, but cooking to internal temp of the meat is specific.  Each piece of meat will cook differently, so don't let that throw you:  some internal temps will stall at a certain degree for hours, others won't stall at all--it's going to get done when it wants to be done.  Like Aaron said, you should be able to insert a probe in several different areas and it will slide in and out with minimal resistance whatsoever.  Check more so in the flat:  the point is more fatty and will provide less resistance than the flat.  Good luck.
I did my first one a couple of weeks ago and LOVED it.  I watched a youtube video on how a guy does it and modified it a little.  Here's how I did it:

Rubbed it with John Henry Brisket Rub

4 hours at 275 spritzing with beef broth and putting butter on it every 1/2 hour.

Wrapped it in foil and lowered temp to 225  Took another 6 hours...

My wife loved it.  I loved it.  The kids loved it.

I had a buddy of mine try it and he loved it.  He did tell me to try it without wrapping it, he prefers it that way.  So Saturday night, planning on throwing a smaller brisket (13.5 lbs) on the Traeger and having it for Sunday dinner.  No wrapping, using the same rub so I have a good comparison to wrapping vs non wrapping.  Also, no butter or beef broth spritzing.
Ok, it took 19 hours and I wasn't too impressed. Turned up too dry. I'll be wrapping it next time. It was still good, but I prefer less hard bark and more moist meat. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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