Brisket is a tricky cut of meat to cook. When it comes to brisket, you need to be an experienced pitmaster who knows how to cook the meat in the slow and long way to create a juicy, tender, and delicious finish.
However, since the cut is usually so large, it can be hard to consume all in one sitting, no matter how tasty it is. If this is the case, never toss your leftovers in the trash as that’s simply a way of wasting time, money, and good food, instead explore the possibilities of reheating and using another day.
In this article, we look at how to reheat brisket in 5 easy steps which will prevent it from losing moisture and becoming as dry as beef jerky. When you master these steps, we promise your brisket will be as delicious as it was straight off the grill.
How Do I Reheat My Brisket Without It Drying Out? (5 Easy Steps)
In the Oven
This is often the most common way of reheating brisket without it drying out and our top recommendation for keeping as much moisture as possible. For this method, you will need a baking pan, foil, and beef broth or drippings off the brisket, and then follow these 5 simple steps.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Double wrap your brisket in foil to help keep it as moist as possible. Using two layers of foil helps to ensure any hole in the first layer remains covered up as holes in the foil can lead to the meat becoming dry.
Let your meat sit for around 20-30 minutes at room temperature.
Use any leftover juices to stop the brisket from drying out. When cooking the brisket, ensure all the dripping is left in your cooking pan so you can use these when reheating to retain moisture. If you do not have any juices left, cover the bottom of the pan with beef broth.
Place the brisket in the oven for 20 minutes if you have already sliced it, or for a whole hour if it is still whole. The internal temperature needs to reach 160 degrees if you are reheating the brisket whole.
Other Methods Of Reheating Brisket
Though the oven is the simplest method with only 5 steps to follow and will preserve moisture, other methods that are commonly used and with practice can also prevent the meat from drying out. They include:
In The Smoker Or The Grill
To reheat your brisket in the smoker or on a grill, you will need foil and BBQ sauce to taste. The method works if you are using a charcoal grill, an electric smoker, a charcoal smoker, a gas grill, or a pellet smoker.
When you use the grill for reheating brisket via the smoking method, you need to start by preheating your grill to around 225 degrees. You then need to place your brisket, which has been wrapped in foil, in the indirect heat coming off the grill.
Once the brisket is at 155 degrees, you can unwrap it and put it back on the grill again. Keep it on the direct heat for around 5-10 minutes before removing it once its internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Place it on a serving plate and this should stop it from overcooking.
In A Crockpot
To reheat your brisket in the crockpot or any other type of slow cooker, you are going to need leftover brisket dripping or beef broth. This method is slower than the others but will still retain the moisture of the meat.
You need to begin by letting your brisker rest for around 20 minutes so it can reach room temperature. If your piece of brisket is too large to fit inside the crockpot, you need to slice it and place it in the crockpot this way.
Before turning on the crockpot, you need to empty the drippings and juice from your brisket into it and if you have none leftover, use beef broth instead.
Set the crockpot to a low setting, keeping it between 185 and 200 degrees, and let it cook slowly. It will take a total of 4 hours to reheat your brisket this way but once it has heated properly and reached the correct temperature, you can then remove it before placing it in aluminum foil. Drizzle the broth and brisket drippings all over it before wrapping it with the foil and letting it sit for 10 more minutes.
The Sous Vide Method (Water Bath)
If you are using the Sous Vide method to heat your brisket, you will need a digital thermometer, a vacuum seal bag, Ziploc bag, or plastic wrap, water, and sous vide machine.
For this method, you can use a countertop Sous Vide appliance but if you don’t have one, there is another way.
You need to start by filling the pot you will be using with water but leave enough room at the top so it will not overflow once you add the brisket.
You will need to place the digital thermometer on the pot and attach it with a clamp. Alternatively, you can choose the check the temperature every so often if you do not want to do this.
You need to aim for a temperature of 165 degrees and once your water reaches this level, you can start to prepare the brisket.
Place the meat into a freezer baggie and pour the drippings and broth in with it before placing the baggie in the water with the top left open. You can also pin the baggie to the side of the pot and this will prevent it from falling as it cooks.
Once your meat is in, you need to bring the water temperature back to an ideal temperature and once it is set again, let it cook.
Depending on the size of the brisket, this can take anywhere between 1 and 3 hours, and potentially even longer if your brisket is relatively large. Keep on checking the internal temperature and once this matches the water, you know you are on the right track.
How Do I Keep My Brisket From Drying Out?
To prevent your brisket from drying out, you need to know how to store it properly as this can have an impact on how it reheats.
When you are storing your leftover brisket in the refrigerator, you need to have already sliced it and let it cool in the juices. This is what prevents it from drying out and will also help maintain some of its tenderness.
However, if you choose to freeze your brisket it might be best to leave the brisket whole instead of cutting it up into slices.
This means the meat can preserve its moisture in the freezer and will not be as exposed to contamination. Make sure you store the brisket in a vacuum-sealed bag as this will help keep air out and moisture in.
Alternatively, you can wrap it in heat-safe plastic wrap before popping it in the freezer and wrapping it in foil. If you do decide to freeze it, pour remaining brisket juices onto the meat before wrapping for extra moisture and to keep it fresh as you store it in the freezer for a long time.
Serving Brisket The Following Day
If you want to serve brisket the next day, you need to store it correctly. If you are not freezing the meat, as we have just mentioned, after cooking, make sure you slice up your brisket before putting your meat into a container that is big enough to hold it and pour out all the juices straight on top of it before popping it in the fridge.
When it comes to the next day, pull your brisket out of the container and discard any hardened fat that has risen to the top.
Put the slices onto a tray and follow any one of the reheating methods we have mentioned above. We recommend the 5 easy step method but whichever one is preferable and works for you will do the job.
You must not skip the slicing step as slicing your meat before you pop it in the fridge allows for it to heat up much quicker later.
When it is sliced, it also means the brisket can soak up more juices which will make it taste delicious after you have refrigerated it.
Can I Use The Microwave To Reheat Brisket?
Reheating your brisket in the microwave is possible but it should never be done. This is because a microwave is designed to turn water molecules into steam and this will cause all of the moisture from the brisket to evaporate, meaning you will be left with a brisket that has lost all of its texture and is now rubbery, unappealing and dry.
Using the microwave might be the fastest option to reheat food, but with brisket, we promise it’s worth checking out one of the other methods to prevent it from drying out and keep the delicious meat as delicious as it once was when freshly cooked.
Ways To Use Up Brisket
If you’re wondering how to use your leftover brisket, you’ve come to the right place. Keep it simple and pop it in a sandwich or pair it with some potato salad and veggies or spice it up a bit and make some brisket tacos.
We promise that tasty beef in a flour tortilla with BBQ sauce, cheese, lime and cilantro will blow your taste buds away.
Alternatively, switch it up a bit and add your meat to a pasta dish, whether a rich tomato base or mac and cheese, or even make a brisket chilli served with plenty of rice and tortilla chips for dipping.
We hope by reading this article you have learned how to reheat your brisket without completely drying it out, as throwing it away would be a total waste!
All of the methods we have provided, including our simple 5-step guide will allow you to reheat your brisket without losing any taste, moisture or tenderness.
Try using your leftover brisket in some brisket tacos or some brisket stuffed peppers, trust us, you will thank yourself later that you didn’t throw it out!