Timothy Woods
Published by Timothy Woods
Last Updated On: October 27, 2021

I don’t know about you, but I love a good smoked brisket. Granted, it’s not the easiest BBQ meat to cook, and it sure does take some time. However, it is worth it for a bite of that delicious, tender beef.

Many people are unsure what to do with a few pounds of leftover brisket. If it is reheated wrong, it can result in tough, unpleasant beef jerky.

Luckily, after some trial and error in my own kitchen, I’ve come up with a few ways to reheat brisket without sacrificing any of those leftover juices.

Summary of the Key Findings

  • There are four ways in which you can reheat the brisket.
  • Each of the reheating brisket methods has several steps you should follow to do it correctly, and avoid ending up with dry brisket.
  • You shouldn’t use the microwave to reheat the brisket. 
  • To be able to reheat the meat properly, you should know how to store the brisket correctly. We’ve outlined what steps to follow.

4 Ways To Reheat Brisket

There are several ways you can reheat brisket without drying out the meat. Below, I’ve listed 4 of my favorite ways to do so. Some of these methods require special tools, whereas others can simply be done in your home oven.

Remember, to safely reheat briskets, you must reach a certain internal temperature [1].

1. Reheat Brisket in the Oven

Brisket on a baking tray

The best way to reheat leftover brisket is actually in the oven. Since it takes less time than most methods, there is less chance of the meat drying out under high temperatures. Reheating leftover brisket this way tastes the closest to brisket right off the smoker.

Since your brisket has already been infused with smoke and flavors beforehand, all you have to do is pop the brisket in the oven and reheat it.

Here are the steps to take:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. While the oven preheats, take the brisket out of the refrigerator and allow the meat to reach room temperature.
  3. Place the meat in a deep baking tray or cooking tray, along with any leftover cooking juices (if you don’t have any, use beef stock instead).
  4. Cover your brisket with aluminum foil and cook for about an hour. The size of your brisket will determine how long it takes to reheat. You can check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer.
  5. Once it has reached 140 degrees Fahrenheit, the brisket is ready to be served.

Tip: If you don’t have enough original cooking juices, you can always make your own sauce.

  • Boil two cups of apple cider or apple juice until it is reduced by half.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of your favorite barbecue sauce.
  • Once the sauce is ready, you can pour it over your brisket before reheating.

The sauce will not only revive your dried-out meat but add some great flavor too.

2. Reheat Brisket in a Smoker

Sliced brisket, outdoor smoker

The smoker method is quite similar to reheating brisket in an oven. The difference is the time it takes to reheat the brisket.

Here are the steps you need to take to reheat your brisket using a smoker:

  1. Preheat your grill to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Remove your beef brisket from the refrigerator and allow it to adjust to room temperature.
  3. Wrap your brisket in aluminum foil and place it in indirect heat.
  4. Once the meat reaches an internal temp of 155 degrees Fahrenheit, unwrap it and place it over direct heat.
  5. Your brisket is ready to be served once it hits 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Note: If you’re using an electric smoker or gas grill instead of charcoal, set it to medium heat.

3. Reheat Brisket Using the Sous Vide Method

Brisket meat on a sealed plastic

Not everyone is lucky enough to have sous vide machine at home.

These machines are great at reheating without leaving you with chewy meat or dried-out brisket. Boiling meat is often scoffed at by pit-masters; however, the brisket tastes great.

“Some foods will improve your meal, your mood, your day, your buttered noodles. Brisket will improve your life.” - Stephanie Pierson, in “The Brisket Book”

Sous vide is essentially a machine that gives your meat a water bath. It heats the leftover meat without cooking all over again. This can take a few hours, but it will leave you with meltingly tender brisket with a robust flavor.

Here are the steps to take to reheat your brisket:

  • Take the brisket out of the fridge and let the meat rest for 30 minutes. Once it has reached room temperature, you can place it inside a vacuum-sealed bag.
  • Place the brisket inside of the sous vide machine and add enough water to cover it completely.
  • Set the machine to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • You will know the brisket is ready when it reaches the same temperature as the water. If you’re having trouble reaching the right temperature, you could always refer to sous vide cooking charts [2].

While it may be straightforward, it could take up to 5 hours for your brisket to reheat. If you want to speed up the process, it is better to use pre-sliced brisket. Reheating slices can often lead to dryness, but not with the sous vide method.

Brisket sliced ½ inches thick will take around 10 minutes to reheat. Brisket slices that are 2 inches thick will take up to 2 hours.

4. Reheat Brisket Using a Slow Cooker or a Crock-Pot

Brisket inside a slow cooker/crock pot

Using a slow cooker or a crock-pot to reheat beef brisket is super simple. It is similar to the oven method in the sense the heat distributes well, which is the key to reheating food.

This method also ensures that the brisket’s own juices don’t dry out while cooking.

The downside to slow cooking brisket is that your standard-sized machine isn’t large enough for half briskets, let alone a whole brisket. So, you’ll have to cut it up beforehand.

Cutting up your brisket beforehand will also reduce the time it takes to reheat.

Here are the steps to reheating brisket in a slow cooker:

  1. Slice brisket, so it fits comfortably in a ceramic container or baking pan.
  2. Pour the leftover juices (use beef broth if there aren’t any juices left) over the brisket and place it in the cooker.
  3. Set the temperature anywhere between 185 - 200 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 4 hours.
  4. Once the brisket has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it is ready to be served.
  5. Let your brisket rest and serve.

Why You Should Avoid the Microwave

Inserting a plate inside a microwave

As tempting as it can be to whack the brisket in the microwave and simply be done with it, it definitely isn’t a great method to use. Microwaving your brisket will only leave you with dry, unpleasant meat since the microwave sucks out all the moisture.

That being said, sometimes microwaving is the only option due to a lack of resources and time. So, I will let you know how to reheat brisket in a microwave.

  1. Place the brisket in a microwaveable container and loosen the lid.
  2. Reduce the heat of the microwave to 20%.
  3. Heat the brisket for 30 seconds each time until the internal temp reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Store Brisket

Storing brisket correctly is the key to successful reheating. Good brisket will be stored in the refrigerator and kept for a maximum of three days. You can also freeze it if you want to keep your roasting meat longer.

Here is how to store your brisket successfully:

  1. Let your brisket cool down and drain the meat of any leftover juices. You can use a fat separator to get the juice away from the fat.
  2. Transfer the brisket into a large pan and place it in a ziplock bag with a tight seal. Any vacuum sealer, plastic wrap, or plastic resealable bag will do. If you’re worried about the juices leaking, you can always double layer the bags.
  3. Place your covered brisket in the refrigerator and leave for a maximum of 3 days.

Reheated Brisket Can Make for Delicious Recipes

If reheated correctly, brisket can be just as delicious as it was when freshly cooked.

The key to reheating brisket lies within proper storing methods as well as keeping the original meat juices.

While some methods take a few hours, it is possible to reduce this time if you slice your brisket beforehand.

You can also turn your brisket into a classic recipe such as beef stroganoff, or you could serve it with a side of barbecue sauce and mashed potatoes.


References:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-reheat-leftovers#steak
  2. https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/sous-vide-time-and-temperature-guide

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