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Do you have to rest brisket in cooler? (Explained)

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Do you have to rest brisket in cooler

If you’re wondering whether or not you should be resting a brisket in a cooler, you’ve come to the right place! You don’t always have to be resting your brisket in a cooler, but it is recommended.

If you don’t have a cooler to rest your brisket, an oven will suffice as it has excellent heat retention properties that are similar to that of a cooler.

The main benefit of resting in a cooler as opposed to anything else is the ease of transporting the brisket. This is particularly useful if you need to place it in a dedicated space around your house or even need to put it into your car to take it somewhere.

Let’s expand on this further and take a look at what resting a brisket in general actually does.

What does resting brisket in a cooler do?

If you’re wondering about what a brisket goes through while it’s resting, keep reading. When you rest a brisket, the collagen and connective tissues inside of the meat have a chance to disperse throughout the fibers, making it very moist and tender inside. 

This also is the product of letting the high internal temperatures of 200 degrees come down to a reasonable temp.

You don’t want all the juices to evaporate the second you slice into your meat. 

Now that we’ve covered what resting does from a high level perspective, let’s explain why you should be resting a brisket in a cooler specifically.

Why you should rest your brisket in a cooler 

You should consider resting your brisket in a cooler if you anticipate needing to transport it throughout the 3-12 hours of rest time. If you don’t have an immediate need to do so, then you can still place it inside of a cooler or choose to place it inside of a warming oven to rest it appropriately. 

What’s nice about a cooler is that it’s usually a very portable device that you can just stow away somewhere in your kitchen without giving it too much thought.

The results of a brisket rested inside of a cooler are quite excellent.

Often, the juices will have fully spread all throughout the meat and leave you with a very jiggly after product!

Who should be resting brisket in their coolers

Any one that wishes to have the best brisket possible should be resting their briskets inside of a cooler. Not only that, but those who wish to have a dedicated and easily transportable space for a resting brisket should place it inside of a cooler.

If you don’t happen to have a cooler, no worries! Let’s take a look at what you should be doing in that case.

How do you rest a brisket without a cooler?

If you don’t happen to have a cooler that can rest a brisket, then that is completely fine. All you have to do in that case, is place it either in a tray large enough to hold the entire meat and place it inside of a warming oven for further resting.

If a warming oven doesn’t work, then you can just place the brisket on the counter, but pay close attention to the internal temperature and ensure it doesn’t dip too far down past 150 degrees.

Can I let my brisket rest in the oven?

You can absolutely rest your brisket inside of a warming oven, and is something a lot of Pitmasters will do. What’s really neat about doing so, is the oven allows you to manually control the ambient temperature at which the brisket. 

This can be a great way to not have to pack it with towels to keep the thing insulated well enough over a long resting time.

Final Thoughts 

At the end of the day, what matters most is getting your brisket rested properly. You don’t have to do this solely through using a cooler, but is recommended. A cooler just provides a portable device that you can move around if needed.