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Can brisket rest too long? | BBQ DROPOUT’S TAKE

Can brisket rest too long? | BBQ DROPOUT’S TAKE

Brisket can absolutely rest too long, just like any other type of meat.

That being said, you don’t want to rest a brisket for too short a time – either.

Brisket can be a tricky piece of meat to handle, but if you let brisket rest the right way, you can rest assured that the results will be amazing every time you smoke one.

Can brisket rest too long – How long is too long to let a brisket rest?

As a rule of thumb, for larger cuts like brisket – you will want to rest it for a time period greater than 3 hours.

A way to ensure a properly rested brisket is to even try resting it for 8-12 hours. 

Anything less than 3 hours for a rested brisket will create the chance that you will get a dry piece of meat.

You don’t want that.

All you have to do is simply place it in either a Faux Cambro (ice chest) or some kind of warmer oven.

This will ensure proper insulation, and will let the internal temperature of the brisket to come down steadily. 

Since brisket is just a giant piece of meat, you want to rest it just long enough (12 hours maximum) but not too long!

Anything past 12 hours – and you should be questioning if you started the cook too long. 

In other words, 12 hours for resting a brisket is more than sufficient to render all the moisture inside.

Can brisket rest too long – What Happens If You Let brisket rest too long?

If you let a brisket rest too long, it will become too cold to eat and you will have to reheat it. 

A good rule of thumb to follow for gauging the internal temperature of a brisket is to never let it go below 150 degree before serving.

That is why if the brisket is rested for longer than the threshold of 12 hours – you will most likely experience a brisket with a very low internal temperature.

Aside from having to potentially reheat a brisket that was rested for too long, there isn’t really any threat to the moisture or tenderness present within.

It may actually be good to just rest it for as long as you possibly can, since resting for large amounts of time can certainly help the moisture content steady out.

Steadying out moisture just means the moisture inside the brisket isn’t way too hot, so when you slice it – it won’t immediately just vaporize and cause your meat to dry out instantly.

Can brisket rest too long – Can you rest a brisket for 6 hours?

Yes, resting a brisket for 6 hours is the preferred method from many experienced Pit-Masters.

Anything less than resting a brisket for 6 hours, and you run the chance of having it dry out. That would be terrible!

Actually, if you really want to protect yourself – try resting your brisket for almost 12 hours in the preferred methods of resting (Faux Cambro/Oven) and you can potentially get an even more moist and tender brisket.

In short, don’t worry much about letting your brisket rest for a period of 6 hours.

Especially since that is my preferred time frame for resting all of my freshly smoked brisket.

Can brisket rest too long – Is smoked brisket good the next day?

Smoked brisket can be a fantastic meal even though you cooked it the prior day.

In fact, you will often find that the entire brisket cooking process takes over a day anyways. 

Barbecue is one of the types of food where it can be very resilient.

This means that not only does it take a lot of beating during the actual cooking process, but a cut like brisket can taste amazing even though it is over 12-24 hours after the cooking process has come to a halt.

If you want to make sure the brisket comes out great the next day – just make sure to let it come down in internal temperature properly.

This will preserve all of your moisture and basically make the meat taste great.

Check out this article where I dive a little deeper into how long to let a brisket rest:

Can brisket rest too long – Is brisket better the next day?

We’ve already covered whether a brisket can be good the next day.

Now – can it be even better than what it would have been freshly sliced? 


If you’re considering eating the brisket the next day – like mentioned above – often times you will find that the cooking process already takes over 24 hours anyways.

However, if you’re just considering letting it come all the way down in internal temperatures, refrigerating it, reheating, then serving – you can still get some amazing results than you would have otherwise. 

To make brisket better the next day – make sure you slowly let it come down in temperature before refrigerating.

Once in the fridge and you are ready to start eating the next day, make sure to slowly start rising the internal temperature to roughly 150 degrees.

This will ensure a great, warm, and moist brisket without losing much of it’s flavor. 

Can brisket rest too long – What temperature do you slice brisket at?

Slicing the brisket is another very important topic. Regarding what temperature you slice one – Do not slice until the brisket hits about 150 degrees in internal temperature.

That will help to ensure that you don’t lose any moisture, and the brisket will respond accordingly.

When you want to slice a brisket, just ensure that you take the appropriate measure to keep the internal temperature within that range.

If it goes below 150 degrees in internal temperature, you might have too cold of a brisket.

If you try to cut the brisket above that amount, then you may start to lose all of the moisture that you’ve worked so hard to preserve!