Briskets are always one of the favorite meat to eat at a barbecue party. There’s no doubt about this because briskets can be very juicy, tender, and just overall delicious, especially if served straight from the cooker.
However, after a barbecue party and there’s still leftover brisket left, what do you do about those?
We all know that briskets can be very dry when not fresh from the oven, and it’s not very enjoyable to eat. But, of course, throwing them away is not an option either. Why waste a good brisket, right?
Fortunately, there are a couple of things you can do to reheat a brisket and still manage to retain all its juiciness and tenderness. And that’s exactly what we’ll explain in this article.
There are three ways to do this:
- In the Oven
- In the Smoker
- Using the Sous Vide Method
On top of this, we’ll also tackle how to store and freeze your brisket and why you should never use a microwave.
So, if you’re interested to know how you can enjoy a juicy leftover brisket, let’s dive into the article below…
How to Store and Freeze your Brisket
Proper storage and freezing are important before you reheat your brisket for the next day. This exact process here will affect what kind of results you’ll get after you’ve reheated your brisket.
So, how do you do this correctly?
First, make sure you place the brisket in a pan and pour all remaining juices onto it. This is very important if you wish to keep that meat tender and delicious. You then place the whole pan inside a vacuum pack and put it in a freezer.
There are two ways to do this: slice the brisket before freezing or don’t.
Slicing the brisket before freezing is a really great idea if you have a big-sized brisket left. If it’s big-sized, it’s a given that you might not eat all those leftovers in one sitting. So, slicing them up would mean you can reheat them individually.
However, note that if you slice the brisket before freezing, the slices may become dry, as the inside is now exposed. In other words, there may not be that much juice left inside your brisket.
On the other hand, if you choose not to slice before freezing, you manage to retain lots of moisture inside. This may sound great but may not be doable for those who have a small freezer. Also, you’d have to eat the whole brisket in one sitting, as you simply don’t want to freeze them and reheat them again.
If you don’t have a vacuum pack, you can wrap the beef tightly with a clingfilm instead. After that, cover it with aluminum foil to ensure that the cling wrap stays in place. And finally, place the whole beef in a sealable freezer bag. After that, pour the remaining juices inside that sealed bag.
Make sure that you consume all left-over brisket in three days. More than that, those briskets will not be very good to eat.
If Frozen Ensure You Thaw First
Your brisket has been stored in a freezer. So, naturally, when you remove them the next day, they’ll be ice cold.
Before you even start reheating them, make sure that you thaw them first. This is very important as this will help preserve the flavor that remains in the brisket.
Now, if you’re going to thaw your brisket, don’t place it on top of the counter at room temperature. This is one common mistake that most people make, and it’s hazardous. You’ll be inviting lots of bacteria that can make you sick.
So, instead, when you thaw the brisket, just remove it from the freezer and place it on your refrigerator until the ice melts. It might take longer, so make sure you do this a few hours before you cook it.
If you plan to serve it for dinner, thaw it in the morning.
For a faster way, just place the brisket in a bowl and let cold water run to it until it thaws out. But, make sure that it’s completely sealed, or you’ll end up with a very wet brisket.
3 Different Ways to Reheat Brisket
Now that we have a clear understanding of how to store and thaw out the brisket properly, it’s time for the part you’ve been waiting for – reheating the brisket!
Again, there are three ways to do this – in the oven, in your smoker, and using the sous vide method. And we’re going to tackle each one by one.
Reheating Brisket in the Oven
Let’s start with reheating your brisket in an oven.
This is the best and easiest way to reheat a whole brisket as it helps keep all the juices in and, of course, keeps the meat tender.
To start, preheat your oven at 325 °F. Don’t go higher than this, as it will only make your meat leathery.
Place your brisket in a pan and pour all the extra juices left. If you didn’t save any excess juices, using a beef broth will do. Or another alternative is mixing 2 cups of apple juice with a few tablespoons of barbecue sauce.
After you’ve prepared the brisket and the oven is ready, pop your brisket in and wait for the magic to happen.
You would usually need to wait only for an hour until the brisket is ready to be served. But you can wait until the internal temperature is at 160 °F.
Reheating in your Smoker
The next method you can try out is reheating your brisket in a smoker. This is almost the same as the first method but may take a lot longer.
To start, you need to heat your grill or smoker at 225 °F.
Place your brisket in a pan (this could be the same pan you used to freeze it overnight) and place an aluminum foil on top of your brisket. After that, place the pan on the grill. Again, keep all the juices there.
The purpose of the foil is to keep the moisture of the brisket in. So, make sure you don’t miss this step.
Another important thing that you should not forget is to place a water pan to help keep the meat tender.
After that, you just simply wait.
You want the internal temperature of the brisket to reach 160 °F. It might take 90 minutes to get done.
You can also use the 2-zone cooking method. You place the brisket under the indirect zone until it reaches the internal temperature of 155 °F, then transfer it down to the direct zone until it reaches 160 °F temperature.
Just make sure to keep an eye on your meat, so it doesn’t burn.
Use the Sous Vide Method
The last method you can try out is the sous vide method.
This is the best method out of the three because it simply guarantees that it won’t dry out or overcook your meat. However, it takes more time than the first two.
Now, to give you a bit of an idea of what the sous vide method is, it’s just a more elegant term for a water bath. In other words, we’re simply reheating our brisket under the water.
To prepare your brisket, remove it from your pan (if you placed it in the freezer with a pan) and place it inside a vacuum pack. Pour all the juices in there and make sure that the pack is sealed.
After that, fill the sous vide bath with water, enough that it will cover the brisket completely. Set the sous vide at 250 °F and put your pack in.
Once your brisket reaches the same temperature as the water, it’s ready. But, let me warn you, this takes up to 5 hours for a whole brisket to be ready to eat. However, for sliced briskets, it might take only 2 hours.
This method is really good because it doesn’t dry out your meat. The downside, however, is that you would have to buy your own sous vide bath.
Don’t Use a Microwave!
Now, you might be wondering why we didn’t use a microwave here because it’s probably one of the obvious things to use, but it’s a no-no. The brisket and microwave just don’t get along well.
It’s tempting to just throw your brisket in a microwave because it’s quick and easy. However, if you don’t want that leathery meat, don’t do it!
If you’re aware of how a microwave works, then you know that it turns water molecules into steam. So, if you place your brisket inside a microwave, the device will simply suck out all remaining moisture inside the meat. And if that happens, you only end up with rubbery, dry, and just plain terrible meat. You might just even throw that away.
So, no matter how tempting it is, just avoid the microwave.
The other three methods might take a lot longer, but it’s worth it.
There’s finally no need for you to be scared of leathery, leftover brisket. Because now, there are easy ways to enjoy tender and delicious leftover briskets, you might even think they’re freshly cooked.
Again, there are only three methods to follow:
- Reheating in the oven
- Reheating in the smoker
- Reheating in a sous vide bath
But before all these, make sure that you store and freeze the brisket properly and thaw it out safely. Don’t throw away any remaining juices, and just place them inside the bag with your brisket.
And the last reminder, but definitely not least, don’t ever use a microwave.
That’s it! If you’re having a barbecue party soon, there’s nothing to worry about anymore if you have leftover briskets.