Brisket stalled at 145 for 12 hours

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Original poster
Apr 15, 2018
I am a bit new to smoking, have done a few smokes and still struggling with timing.

Started a 4 lb brisket last night around 11:PM, was cold out of the fridge and I dry brined it for 30 min, applied some molasses and rub and popped in my GMG daniel boone at 150 for about a 30-60 min before turning the temp to 225 (no injection or other fancy shamcy stuff). Smoker tube was in from the start. I had the brisket on a rack set above one of those disposable aluminum pans from the dollar store, had a small water pan off to the side that I kept topped up with hot water.

Checked around 2 AM with my thermapen, temp was mid 140's. In the morning I was reading and decided to switch to keeping the water pan under the brisket, easy, just added hot water to the aluminum pan that was catching drippings. Continued smoking until around noon the next day, about the 13 hour mark when I caved in an crutched it with some foil and a little apple juice. Just popped it in the oven after 90 min more to save on pellets while it gets up, sitting 167F.

So what am I doing wrong here, if anything? A stall at 145F doesn't seem unheard of, but it is quite low, and it seemed to hold for 12 hours according to my thermapen. Too much humidity in the smoker? is the GMG temp control not all its cracked up to be? is having the water pan under the brisket causing too much evaporation off the meat?

I appreciate any constructive criticism:)


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
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Jun 22, 2009
Central Florida (Sebring)
Did you monitor the smoker temp with another therm?
It sounds to me like your smoker temp was not as high as you thought.


Master of the Pit
May 30, 2015
upstate ny
I don't use a water pan in my GMG DB. Briskets turn out great.

Agree with Al. Think your set temp isn't the same as your grate temp. I know mines off by 20* . Its no big deal to me. I adjust accordingly.


Legendary Pitmaster
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SMF Premier Member
Sep 7, 2013
Roseville, CA, a suburb of Sacramento
Yep, your temp grate has to be low. A 145F stall isn't unheard of. A 12 hour stall on a big brisket (17-18 lbs) at a 225F chamber temp would cause me enough concern that I'd start looking for possible problems. A 12 hour stall on a 4 lb brisket, probably a flat, something ain't right.

Go by any grocery store and pick up one of the $5 oven shelf therms shown below. Test the grate temps in your smoker in various places. Do it with water in water pan and dry. Water is a HUGE heat sink that can drastically impact chamber temps and keep them lower than you intended, especially if the water isn't simmering.

It's all part of the learning process. We've all been there.



SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
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Sep 12, 2009
Macungie, PA
I agree with the above comments.
I would check the Therm you're using for Smoker Temp, for accuracy.
I would also make sure I keep the Smoker Therm probe about 3" from the Meat in the Smoker, and not some other area or level of the smoker. 3" is close enough to measure the heat around the meat, yet not close enough for cold meat to effect the reading.



Apr 16, 2018
I agree above as well. I am personally not a "that low" kind of guy either. I like mine at 265 F, I get the stall at about 160 and it can take two hours or more. I typically let the stall go for about an hour or so and then wrap it. A 145 stall sounds like a temp issue to me.


Original poster
Thread starter
Apr 15, 2018
Thanks for all the replies, sounds like a pretty straight forward fix with a secondary therm for the chamber temp and I'll be set. Thanks much!

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