Why is my Brisket stuck at 160 Degrees?


When smoking brisket, the collagen and connective fibers in the meat must be broken down to obtain the desired outcome. Smoking the brisket at a temperature where the collagens melt and the fibers split is the only way to achieve this result. Depending on how you describe it, certain pieces of beef, such as brisket, might reach a temperature where they “stall.”

Regarding Brisket Stall

When the temperature of a huge chunk of beef, in this example, brisket, grinds to a standstill, this phenomenon is referred to as “the stall.” Typically, it occurs at temperatures ranging from approximately 150 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit; however, the meat can stall more than once. Discovering more about that is one of our goals today.

The root of the problem has been the subject of much discussion among the Pitmasters for quite some time. At one point, people believed that it emerged due to the transformation of the collagen in the meat into gelatin. At a temperature of about 160 degrees, collagen begins to degrade, which is also the typical temperature at which the stall takes place. But there isn’t enough collagen in the brisket for this to be the root of the problem.

Myths about protein denaturation and stalling abound. During this procedure, the brisket’s long-chain molecules start to decompose. Again, it coincides with the stall, but it’s not the fundamental cause of the problem. 

The fat rendering isn’t either. In contrast to water, fat does not readily vaporize. As an alternative, it disintegrates. This won’t slow the cooking process, but if the smoker’s temperature is set too high, it could cause flare-ups. 

Evaporative cooling is the real culprit in the stalemate. Similar to when we sweat due to heat or exertion, this is what happens to our bodies. Due to its natural moisture being ejected onto the top when cooking, a little amount of brisket’s temperature drops.

How Does One Pass This Stall While Smoking Brisket?

Although it’s normal to feel worried when anything goes wrong, you should try not to. Nothing is amiss with your smoker at this time. Please resist the temptation to raise the smoker’s temperature above what is necessary. 

It’s best to sit back and let the stall play out. Nevertheless, not all people have the patience to wait for the surplus moisture to evaporate. What do you do if you can’t wait for the situation to improve? It’s usual to use a “Texas Crutch” to overcome a brisket standoff. 

The Texas Crutch is a method of cooking beef that involves tightly wrapping it in aluminum foil. Apple juice or water can be placed within the wrapper as a beverage. Foiling the meat reduces evaporative cooling as any moisture that escapes the meat interacts with the liquid put on the foil. Using aluminum foil, butcher paper, or leaving it unwrapped is an option.


Brisket smoked over an open fire is one of the most popular ways to prepare barbecued meat. If the brisket stall seems annoying, there’s no reason to be alarmed. Or, you may wait it out and see how things go with your smoking set-up. Indeed, the end is near, and there will be a fantastic BBQ to accompany it!

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