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After smoking or cooking a brisket, it is essential to let it rest before slicing, serving, or storing it in the fridge.
Resting allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and juicy final product.
In this blog post, we will discuss the ideal resting time for a brisket before putting it in the fridge, along with some tips for properly storing and reheating your delicious smoked meat.
Ideal Resting Time for Brisket
The general rule of thumb for resting a brisket is to let it rest for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the size of the brisket.
Some sources recommend resting for 15 to 20 minutes per pound of meat.
It is essential to monitor the internal temperature of the brisket during the resting period, aiming for a temperature between 130-135°F.
Resting Brisket on the Counter
You can rest your brisket on the counter for up to 2 hours, which should be enough time for it to cool down and lock in the flavors and juices.
However, it is important not to let the brisket rest for too long, as it may enter the food safety “danger zone” of 41-135°F.
Resting Brisket in an Insulated Container
For a longer resting period, you can wrap the brisket in foil and place it in an insulated container.
Some pitmasters have rested briskets in an insulated container for up to 8 hours without compromising the quality of the meat.
Storing Brisket in the Fridge
Once the brisket has rested, it is important to store it in the fridge safely.
The brisket should be placed in the fridge before it reaches 140°F to avoid entering the food safety “danger zone”.
Here are some tips for storing your brisket in the fridge:
Wrapping and Cooling the Brisket
To store your brisket in the fridge, first, let it rest until it reaches 140°F.
Then, wrap it in foil and place it directly in the fridge or freezer to cool it down rapidly to 40°F or lower.
This rapid cooling prevents the growth of bacteria and ensures that your meat stays safe to eat.
Slicing Before Storing
If you plan on serving your brisket later, it is generally easier to slice the meat when it is cold.
You can slice the brisket and store the slices in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in foil or plastic wrap before placing them in the fridge.
When it’s time to serve your brisket, proper reheating is crucial to maintaining its tenderness and juiciness. Here are some methods for reheating your stored brisket:
Reheating in the Oven
Preheat your oven to 300°F. Place the wrapped brisket in a baking dish with a small amount of liquid, such as beef broth or water, to help keep the meat moist.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and heat the brisket for approximately 30-45 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F.
The time needed for reheating will depend on the size and thickness of the brisket.
Reheating on the Grill or Smoker
If you prefer to reheat your brisket on the grill or smoker, set the temperature to low (around 225°F) and place the foil-wrapped brisket directly on the grates.
Add a small amount of liquid, like beef broth, to the foil before sealing it to maintain moisture.
Reheat the brisket until it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F, which may take 1-2 hours, depending on the size of the brisket.
Reheating in the Sous Vide
If you have a sous vide machine, you can use it to reheat your brisket gently and evenly. Vacuum seal the cold brisket slices and set the sous vide machine to 150°F.
Place the sealed brisket in the water bath and let it heat for 1-2 hours, or until it reaches the desired temperature.
Steaming is another excellent method for reheating brisket without drying it out. Place the sliced brisket in a steamer basket or a heat-proof dish with a small amount of liquid, such as beef broth or water, in the bottom.
Cover and steam the brisket for 2-3 minutes, or until it reaches the desired temperature.
Resting your brisket before putting it in the fridge is crucial to ensuring a tender, juicy, and delicious final product. Let your brisket rest for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on its size, and monitor the internal temperature during the resting period.
When storing your brisket in the fridge, be sure to cool it down rapidly to prevent bacterial growth and preserve its quality. Finally, reheat your brisket using one of the methods mentioned above to enjoy a mouthwatering, tender smoked meat.