Are you looking for ways on how to reheat brisket leftover from your weekend barbecue? If you’ve tried it before, you may have noticed that it no longer has that delicious smokey taste that you love so much.

Brisket comes from the cow’s lower chest or breast. This part is where you’ll find some of the most hard-working muscles of the cow. That’s why brisket tends to be tough and one of the toughest to cook properly. 

However, when you cook it low and slow (and with the beef injection), that’s when the magic happens. This where the brisket tender, melt in your mouth meat with rich flavor, making all the time and effort you invested the entire day well worth it. 

The problem here is that even if the meat is mouthwatering, it’s challenging to eat a 10-pound brisket in one seating. Generally, you can refrigerate a cooked brisket for up to 4 days and keep it frozen for as long as 3 months. But keep in mind that keeping it that long will dramatically diminish its quality. 

So how do you ensure that you won’t waste even a single slice of your tender, juicy beef by turning it into jerky? This guide will show you how you can properly reheat your leftover brisket while keeping its flavor and without drying. Plus, you’ll also learn how to preserve it properly so that you’ll be able to savor all its glorious flavor whenever. Learn also should you cook brisket fat top or down in our other article.

How To Properly Store And Freeze Your Brisket

How you wrap and store your brisket is crucial since it will have a direct impact on its quality and flavor. 

Oxygen and dehydration are two things you want to avoid as much as possible. These are your meat’s biggest enemies, and the best way to defend your brisket from them is a food vacuum sealer.

Using a vacuum sealer can help get rid of the oxygen around the brisket. Meanwhile, the thick plastic wrap will be able to prevent evaporation from rearing its ugly head. Besides, it will keep all the moisture in while preventing freezer burn. 

If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, what you can do is to use a cling film to wrap your beef brisket as tightly as possible. Then, hold the plastic wrap in place with an aluminum foil. Next, place your mean in a sealable freezer bag. The aluminum foil will prevent freezer burn while the plastic bag will ensure that odors will not penetrate it.

Most people will freeze their brisket whole. But if you slice them, ensure that they’re in the bag and pour in a few pan drippings, au jus, and leave any jelly stuck on your beef. These will keep all the slices tender and moist once you thaw them later on. Also, you will use the juice when reheating the brisket.

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind:

  • Do not forget to label the bags of your brisket with the date when you place it in the freezer. Also, make sure to include everything that’s in the bag. 
  • Only use heavy-duty aluminum foil when storing your brisket. The last thing you want is to use a cheap one that will easily rip out while you’re storing your meat, exposing it to contamination.
  • If you’ll slice your beef, let the slices cool first and sit in their juice before storing them. Do not put them directly in the freezer so that they won’t dry out once you reheat them.
  • Place your brisket slices on flat sheets of baking paper during their initial freezing. One they’re firm, you can place them in the bags, making sure to follow the steps mentioned above.

Should I Slice My Brisket Before Or After Freezing?

How you freeze your leftover brisket will mainly depend on whether you want to slice it before or after freezing it. Here are the pros and cons of each:

Slicing Before Freezing 

Pros:

  • When you slice your brisket before freezing, you’ll bee able to reheat the slices individually. This is very convenient if you only want to reheat a few slices at a time.
  • Slicing your beef will not take up as much freezer space as an entire brisket would.

Cons:

  • You may end up with dried out slices if you’re not careful enough.
  • Sliced meats have more surface area, making it more prone to exposure to contamination. So make sure to put your brisket slices in the freezer right away as soon as you’ve prepared them to avoid any problems.

Slicing After Freezing 

Pros:

  • Freezing a whole brisket will help retain more of its moisture.
  • It’ll be less prone to contamination since there’s less surface area exposed.
  • Slicing a whole brisket will provide you with a reheated brisket that looks fresher.

Cons:

  • It will take up more space in your freezer.
  • You need to reheat it in one go, which will take longer than reheating slices.

How To Preserve The Flavors Of Your Brisket

Most people reheat their brisket by throwing it in their microwave for a few minutes. However, this is a bad idea since your delicious meal may end up dry and overcooked.

On the other hand, others leave their meat to thaw on the countertop for a few hours and even overnight. If you’re doing this, you need to stop right now. What you’re doing is an easy recipe for food poisoning.

The best way to thaw your beef brisket is to take it out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator. Although the process may take a day or two, it will not compromise your health since it’s the safest method. But if you’re in a hurry, simply put the meat in a bowl under running cold water.

Different Ways On How To Reheat Brisket

How To Reheat Brisking In The Oven

This method works well for a whole brisket since it’s the easiest and quickest way to reheat your beef. Here’s how to do it:

  • Preheat your oven to about 325°F.
  • Cover your meat foil. It’s also a good idea to cover it with two layers to make sure there are no holes in the foil, which can lead to dried out meat.
  • Once your oven reached the temperature, place your thawed brisket inside.
  • Your brisket should be done in about one hour.

Slowly baking your brisket with its leftover juices will keep it from drying out, and it’ll be just as delicious as it was when you first made it.

How To Reheat Brisking In The Smoker

Using your smoker is one of the best ways on how to reheat a brisket. When done properly, not only will your meat have a delicious smoky flavor, but it will not dry out as well.

  • First, set your smoker grill to preheat at 225F.
  • Wrap your thawed brisket with a tin foil. 
  • Make sure that your smoker has a two-zone set-up.
  • Once preheated, place your beef brisket in the cold zone of your smoker.
  • Let it cook there to a 155F internal temperature.
  • When done, unwrap your brisket and finish reheating it by placing it in the direct heat zone for about five to ten minutes.

Make sure to keep a close eye on your meat to avoid burning it.

How To Reheat A Brisket Using The Sous Vide Method

The Sous Vide method of reheating brisket is growing in popularity because it will not overcook or dry out your meat. Nevertheless, you need a little more time and the right technique and pieces of equipment to do it. But when done properly, it’ss almost impossible for you to mess up your brisket. 

  • Put your brisket in a vacuum bag and then in the Sous Vide container.
  • Set up your Sous Vide machine to 150F.
  • Wait for at least six hours for the reheating process to finish.

An entire brisket will take around five to six hours to reheat, while two-inch-thick brisket slices will take about two hours. It may be longer than the other ways on how to reheat a brisket, but you won’t have a dried out meant even if you forget about it. Plus, it’ll also retain all its tasty juices.

Monitoring The Temperature

The best way to monitor the temperature of your brisket while reheating is to use a food thermometer. There are thermometers on the market for checking the internal temperature of meats while you’re reheating or cooking them. This will provide you with the most accurate results possible. 

Conclusion

Brisket is tasty and packed with flavors, so make sure to never let any piece go to waste. Knowing how to reheat brisket properly, as well as freeze and thaw it, will ensure that you’ll get the most out your leftover. You will be able to enjoy it like you did when you first cooked it. 

On top of that, it’ll have a better flavor and the meat’s texture will also be more enjoyable at every bite. Just make sure to follow the steps we have here and don’t forget to check the temperature of your meat throughout the reheating process.

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