July 21, 2024
Learn how to wrap a brisket in butcher paper for a delicious smoky flavor. This guide covers everything you need to know, from choosing the right paper to mastering the art of brisket wrapping.


Brisket is a beloved barbecue staple and a cut of meat that requires a fair bit of patience and skill to perfect. One popular technique in the world of barbecue is wrapping brisket in butcher paper. This method not only enhances the flavor but also helps to lock in moisture, ensure even cooking, and retain all that delicious smoke flavor.

If you’re new to the art of brisket wrapping, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know to get it right every time.

The Foolproof Guide to Wrapping Brisket in Butcher Paper

Before we dive into the specifics of wrapping brisket in butcher paper, let’s start with a brief overview of the process.

First, you’ll need to cover your brisket with a dry rub and let it rest for at least an hour or up to overnight in the fridge. Then, you’ll smoke the brisket until the internal temperature reaches around 160 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point, you’ll take your brisket off the smoker and wrap it in butcher paper. Finally, you’ll return the brisket to the smoker until its internal temperature reaches 200-205 degrees Fahrenheit.

The materials you’ll need:

– Unwaxed, uncoated butcher paper
– A meat thermometer
– Kitchen twine (optional)

Step-by-step guide for wrapping brisket in butcher paper:

1. Cut a piece of butcher paper that’s about four times the size of your brisket. Place the brisket in the center of the paper and fold the sides of the paper over the brisket, tucking in the sides as you go to create a tight seal.

2. Fold the bottom of the paper up and over the brisket, tucking it under the brisket to create a tight seal. If you’d like, you can tie the package up with kitchen twine to ensure it stays tightly sealed.

3. Return the brisket to the smoker and cook until the internal temperature reaches 200-205 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mastering the Art of Brisket Wrapping: Tips and Techniques

Although the wrapping process may seem simple enough, there are some tips and techniques that can take your brisket to the next level.

Tips for choosing the right paper:

When it comes to choosing butcher paper, make sure to select unwaxed, uncoated paper. Wax and coatings can melt and stick to your meat, which will impact the flavor and texture. Also, select a paper with a high wet strength to prevent tearing.

The best way to wrap in stages:

While some people prefer to wrap their brisket in one large piece of paper, many experts recommend wrapping in stages. This means wrapping the brisket in smaller pieces of paper as it cooks, giving the meat room to breathe and preventing moisture from building up inside the packaging.

How to avoid tears and leaks:

To avoid tears and leaks in your butcher paper, make sure to wrap your brisket tightly and securely. Additionally, fold the paper carefully and make sure it’s tight around the meat but not so tight that it’s difficult to remove. Finally, avoid applying too much pressure when folding or wrapping the paper, as this can cause it to tear.

The Benefits of Wrapping Brisket in Butcher Paper (And How to Do It)

Now that we’ve covered the basics of wrapping brisket in butcher paper, let’s take a closer look at the benefits of this technique.

Explanation of how it locks in moisture:

Wrapping brisket in butcher paper is a great way to lock in moisture and prevent it from evaporating during the cooking process. This is because butcher paper is porous enough to allow steam to escape, preventing the meat from becoming too moist or soggy.

The benefits of holding the smoke flavor:

Not only does butcher paper help to lock in moisture, but it also helps to hold in that perfect smoky flavor that we all love from our barbecue. This is because the paper allows some smoke to penetrate the meat while preventing too much from being absorbed.

How to ensure your brisket is evenly cooked:

Another great benefit of wrapping brisket in butcher paper is that it helps to ensure even cooking. By wrapping your brisket, you create a consistent heat environment around the meat, which means it cooks more evenly than if it were left to cook without a wrapping.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Wrap Brisket Like a Pro

While we’ve already covered the basic steps for wrapping a brisket in butcher paper, let’s take a closer look at each step.

Detailed instructions for each step:

– Prepare your brisket by applying a dry rub and letting it rest in the fridge.
– Smoke the brisket until it reaches an internal temperature of around 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
– Remove the brisket from the smoker and wrap it in butcher paper, folding it tightly and securing it with kitchen twine if desired.
– Return the brisket to the smoker and continue cooking until it reaches an internal temperature of 200-205 degrees Fahrenheit.

Additional tips for wrapping efficiently:

– Keep your workspace clean and organized to prevent mistakes and contamination.
– Make sure to have an ample amount of butcher paper on hand, as you’ll need extra paper for wrapping in stages.
– Wrap the brisket as tightly as possible without tearing the paper or damaging the meat.

Troubleshooting common problems:

– If your paper tears or leaks, wrap the brisket in a new piece of paper and return it to the smoker.
– If your brisket is dry, it may have been wrapped too tightly or cooked for too long. Try adjusting the amount of wrapping or the cooking time for your next batch.

Secrets to Perfectly Wrapped Brisket: Expert Advice

To get a glimpse of what separates a perfectly wrapped brisket from one that falls short, we talked to some experts in the world of barbecue.

Insight from experts on what makes a perfectly wrapped brisket:

“A perfect wrapped brisket has a good balance of flavor, texture, and juiciness,” says pitmaster John Lewis of Lewis Barbecue in Charleston, South Carolina. “It should be tender, but not too soft, and have a good crust on the outside. The taste should be full-bodied, with a hint of smoke and seasoning.”

Advice for avoiding common mistakes:

“One common mistake that people make when wrapping brisket is using wax paper instead of butcher paper,” says pitmaster Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, Texas. “This can lead to a greasy mess, and your brisket won’t turn out the way you wanted it to. Also, make sure to wrap the brisket tightly but not too tightly, as this can cause the paper to tear or stick to the meat.”

Tips for experimenting and finding what works best for you:

“There is no ‘right’ way to wrap a brisket, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques and styles,” says barbecue blogger Danielle Bennett of Diva Q BBQ in Ontario, Canada. “Try wrapping in different stages or with different types of paper to see what works best for your cooking style and preferences.”

Maximizing Flavor: The Science Behind Butcher Paper Brisket Wrapping

So, why does butcher paper make such a difference when it comes to flavor and texture? According to food scientist and barbecue enthusiast Greg Blonder, it’s all about the science.

Explanation of how butcher paper enhances flavor:

“Butcher paper is similar to parchment paper but uncoated, which allows moisture and smoke to penetrate the paper and interact with the meat,” Blonder says. “This creates a unique flavor profile that can’t be replicated with other wrapping materials.”

The science behind how it works:

Butcher paper is also more breathable than other types of paper, which allows smoke to circulate around the meat and create that smoky flavor that we all love from our barbecue. Additionally, the paper prevents moisture from building up inside the wrapper, which can lead to a soggy or overcooked brisket. By allowing just the right amount of steam to escape, butcher paper ensures that your brisket stays juicy and flavorful.

Additional tips for maximizing flavor:

– Experiment with different types of wood chips or chunks to add additional smoke flavor to your brisket.
– Use a blend of spices in your dry rub to create a unique flavor profile.
– Wrap the brisket in butcher paper in stages to allow the meat to absorb more smoke flavor over time.


If you’re looking to take your brisket to the next level, wrapping it in butcher paper is a tried-and-true method that delivers great results every time. With the right technique and a little bit of experimentation, you can create juicy, flavorful brisket that will have your friends and family begging for more.

Remember to choose the right paper, wrap carefully, and experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you.

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