Grillaholics, we’ve already shown you how to choose, prepare, and smoke the perfect brisket, but in doing so, we forgot to mention one, extremely important thing to consider.
Let’s be honest, nobody just makes “a little bit” of brisket. Brisket, like all other meats, is best prepared in quantities that would have medical professionals concerned for your safety. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I made brisket when I DIDN’T have tons of the stuff taking up all of the space in my refrigerator (not that that’s a bad thing!). And let me tell you, there’s no better feeling than knowing that your lunch and dinner are going to be epic every day for a week.
The bottom line is this: if you’re a Grillaholic, you’re going to have leftovers. Because of this, it is extremely important to know how to properly reheat your leftovers so that they taste just as good as when they first came out of the smoker. Especially for something like brisket, it is CRITICAL that you are a pro at reheating, otherwise you’ll end up with a dried out mess that might as well be jerky.
Reheating brisket doesn’t have to be a challenge. We have two Grillaholics approved methods of reheating brisket that we have found give the best results.
First Things First…
Before we can even start talking about the best methods for reheating brisket, it’s important to make sure you’re storing your leftovers properly in the first place in order to guarantee maximum freshness.
After your brisket has been sliced and has had sufficient time to rest, it is ready for storage. At this point, you need to determine how long your leftovers will last.
If you will have the leftover barbecue finished off within 3-4 days, then the refrigerator will work fine for leftover storage. Storing leftover brisket in the fridge is simple; you’ll just need either some airtight Tupperware containers, or some Ziploc bags (just be sure to get as much air out of the bags before sealing as possible).
If it’s gonna take you longer than 4 days to finish off that brisket, then you’re going to want to freeze your leftovers. Not only will this ensure that you don’t get food poisoning, but even more importantly, it will keep your leftovers fresh for much longer. When storing barbecue leftovers in the freezer, it’s more important than ever to make sure there is as little air in the storage container as possible. Ziploc bags can still work, but it’s essential that there is almost no air left in the bag. To ensure this, we recommend using vacuum seal plastic bags to keep your brisket nestled safely. After all, you wouldn’t want something that you spent 6 hours smoking to be ruined by freezer burn.
If you are storing your leftovers in the freezer, then it should be known that the methods we are about to discuss are only for brisket out of the refrigerator, NOT frozen. Simply move your brisket from the freezer to the refrigerator 2 days before you plan on reheating it and you should be golden.
NOTE: Don’t forget to save the juice from the brisket into a separate container! This will be important in ensuring that your reheated brisket is just as juicy as when it first came out of the smoker.
The most important thing to remember when reheating brisket is that it needs to reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees (F). We have two different methods for reaching this perfect serving temperature without overcooking.
Method 1: Oven
This first method is definitely our preferred method for reheating brisket, as using an oven makes it much less likely that you dry out the meat during reheating.
Begin by preheating your oven to 325 degrees (F). Next, take your refrigerated brisket out of its airtight container, and move it to a disposable aluminum tray. You can use a baking pan as well, but we’ve had the best results with the disposable trays. Once the brisket is in the aluminum tray, drizzle a bit of the brisket juice that you saved from earlier over the brisket (make sure to ration it so that it lasts through all of your leftovers), and cover the tray with aluminum foil. Finally, place the entire tray into the oven. If you’re reheating a large amount of brisket, it can take up to an hour for the brisket to thoroughly reheat, so make sure to plan in advance so that you don’t go into hunger related shock.
Method 2: Microwave
We know that a lot of you are going to be bringing that leftover brisket into work the next day, so this second method is for those who may not have access to an oven, but still want to reminisce in the majesty that is brisket. When reheating brisket in a microwave, it is much more likely that you can overcook and dry out your meat, so you will want to follow these instructions exactly.
When reheating brisket in the microwave, you can thankfully just reheat it in the Ziploc bag or Tupperware container that you stored it in, just make sure to crack the bag/lid for venting purposes. Place the container in the microwave. Reduce the power of your microwave to 20%. I’m going to repeat what I just said because it is without a doubt the most important part in making sure that you don’t overcook your brisket. REDUCE THE POWER OF YOUR MICROWAVE TO 20%. Once you’ve lowered the power, begin reheating the brisket in 30 second intervals, checking warmness between each 30 second cycle. Again, depending on the amount that you are reheating, this can take anywhere from 1 minute to 4 minutes. Just use your best judgement and be sure you don’t overcook the meat.
It’s that simple really! The microwave is definitely the quicker method, but if you’ve got the time to spare, we definitely recommend using your oven. Either way, we hope that these methods help you enjoy that leftover brisket for days to come. If you found this blog helpful, please let us know! We love connecting with you Grillaholics, so feel free to reach out on our Facebook page! And as always, cheers to being a Grillaholic.