Wondering how long to let a brisket rest? This post will cover that topic in quite some detail. For the most part, it is recommended to let a brisket rest at least 6-12 hours. That can be quite a lot of time, but if you want a great, moist, and tender brisket that retains all of its’ moisture – that is what you should do. Trust me – i’ve tried!
Before continuing this article, I wanted to let you know that I have a YouTube channel where I showcase all sorts of video content related to BBQ. Subscribing would mean a lot to me, and I very much appreicate all the support!
How long to let Brisket Rest – Can I let brisket rest overnight?
Yes, you can let a brisket rest overnight. Pit-Masters do it quite frequently.
If you’re wondering generally speaking how long to rest a brisket – the answer is usually it depends. That’s why I try to use the ball park estimate of 12 hours. Obviously, there are a lot more factors that go into determining whether you can let a brisket rest over night such as your method of wrapping and storage location.
The methods of storing a brisket overnight are usually one of two things:
1. Placing the brisket inside an ice chest (Faux Cambro)
2. Placing the Brisket inside of the oven/warmer
These two methods of storing a brisket overnight will help to sufficiently not only keep the brisket temps stable, but will allow a steady decrease in temperature over a longer period of time.
When considering holding the brisket overnight – just be sure to finish the cook at a decent time, and factor in a rough estimate of about 8-12 of rest time in one of those two placement methods.
How long to let Brisket Rest – Can brisket rest too long?
Don’t worry about resting a brisket too long, especially if you put in the effort of storing it properly. Resting a brisket in the proper location is critical. Like mentioned above, storing a brisket in either an ice chest cooler or a warming oven can allow you to hold a brisket for substantially longer periods of time than you otherwise could.
That being said, you CAN rest a brisket too long if you don’t follow the above advice. Any piece of meat, no matter how raging hot it currently is – will go cold at some point. You don’t want that.
The reason you want to be placing your brisket in a storage area that provides insulation is to allow all of the juices and the meat itself to come to a reasonable temperature. You don’t want rapid spikes in heat in either direction. Placing it in a controlled environment will also allow you to make this a repeatable process thus allowing you to create some consistently great barbecue!
Check out this article where I dive a litter deeper into this subject:
How long to let Brisket Rest – How long can you let a brisket rest?
Letting a brisket rest for long periods of time is completely fine, and often practiced by many experienced Pit-Masters. Ever notice when you head to a really good barbecue restaurant and they’ll pull one of their juicy briskets out of a warmer? Those briskets have been in there for quite a long time.
Again, generally speaking – you will want to rest a brisket for a substantial amount of time. This equates to roughly 8-12 hours. Anything past 12 hours is probably over kill – and if you need to let it rest any longer than that, you should start to ask yourself if you prepared the brisket too early before serving.
At the end of the day – you can rest assured that a brisket can tolerate not only a ton of heat and smoke during the cook, but afterwards – can certainly tolerate extended periods of time where it is simply resting.
On the opposite end of the spectrum – it isn’t really suggested to let a brisket rest any shorter than 8-12 hours. That’s simply because the brisket – depending on the size – has been on the smoker for just about that time or even longer, which suggests that it is still blazing hot to come back down all the way to the right internal temp to begin slicing.
How long to let Brisket Rest – Is smoked brisket good the next day?
Yes, brisket can be very good the next day. With everything though, it can depend, and you will want to take the appropriate steps to ensure the end product is amazing.
A preferred method of experienced Pit-Masters to ensure a brisket can produce amazing results the next day – is to let it rest properly. That means storing it in the ice chest or oven for a steady amount of internal temperature decrease.
Often times, you will find that no matter how you prepare your brisket – you have no choice but to serve the next day anyways. That’s just because of the length of cooking and resting time. If you add up roughly 12 hours for smoking and 8-12 hours of resting time – that’s just at around 24 hours total.
If you aren’t storing the brisket inside a refrigerator – meaning the internal temperature has never come down to sub 100 degree levels – you can certainly serve a great piece of barbecue the next day.
Check out this article where I dive a litter deeper into this subject:
How long to let Brisket Rest – Can brisket rest in the fridge?
You absolutely can rest a brisket in the fridge. The reason you would do this is because you have finished smoking the brisket, and don’t necessarily need to slice into it anytime soon. This would also imply that you don’t mind having to reheat the brisket once you are ready to start serving.
If you decide to serve the brisket and do not wish to reheat it, then it is not recommended to let it rest in the fridge. The internal temperature of the brisket will get too low too quick thus requiring you to heat it back up again to an appropriately serve-able internal temperature.
How long to let Brisket Rest – How long should brisket sit before refrigerating?
It does not matter how long you let a brisket sit before refrigerating. The only risk in that equation would be that the raging hot brisket could potentially cause the ambient temperature in the fridge to increase – which would spoil all the other contents inside.
For a general rule of thumb – Rest a brisket in an ice chest (Faux Cambro) or some kind of warming oven for about 8-12 hours – then place the brisket inside of the refrigerator.
How long to let Brisket Rest – Is it better to cut brisket hot or cold?
This can be a tricky one.
Generally speaking, you want to consider how easy you want it to be to actually slice a brisket. If you were to slice the brisket while it is relatively warm – the knife should cut through it like butter. On the other-hand – if you were to attempt to slice the brisket while it is cold and perhaps frozen, it would be very difficult to do so.
Therefore, it is recommended to slice a brisket while it is warm/hot and NOT when it is cold.
How long to let Brisket Rest – How do you keep brisket moist after cutting?
Keeping brisket moist after cutting is a skill that not many can master.
One of the first things you will need to make sure you do is let the brisket a long enough time. This will ensure that the moisture within the meat itself isn’t vaporized when you start to slice into it.
The second thing you need to do while you slice the brisket – is to make sure you don’t separate the slices apart from each other. This helps to ensure that more of the moisture is retained within the meat. If you don’t, you’ll quickly notice that the meat will start to dry out.
Brisket is a very finicky piece of meat!
This article was written by Robert McCall, the founder of bbqdropout.com. Robert also owns and operates the BBQ dropout YouTube channel where he demonstrates his first-hand experience cooking all kinds of meats and strives to provide helpful, authoritative content for people looking how to barbecue.
He primarily hand writes the bulk of the content but occasionally will leverage AI assisted tools, such as chatGPT, to properly edit and format each blog post on this website. This ensures a pleasurable reading experience for visitors. Read more about our editorial policies here. If there are any improvements that can be made to this article, reach out to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org