Skip to Content

7 Tips On Resting Brisket In Coolers For Long Periods!

Sharing is caring!

We strive to provide you with authoritative, trustworthy, and expert advice. In doing so, the staff at performs extensive research, editing, and fact checking to every post on this webiste. If you feel that this article can improve, please feel free to reach us at

How long to rest brisket in cooler

If you’re wondering how long you should be resting brisket in a cooler, you’ve come to the right place!

For the most part, you’ll want to rest any particular brisket inside of a cooler anywhere between 3-12 hours.

‘That is enough time to let the internal temperature reach a point where the moisture will not evaporate the second you slice into the meat.

You really just want to ensure that you rest the brisket long enough between those two temperature ranges, to obtain the best possible results for your Brisket. 

When you think about it, you’ve already spent so much time going to the effort of smoking a brisket, so you need to begin taking that same spirit and applying it to resting barbecue.

In doing so, you will ensure a very tasty and juicy piece of Brisket. 

Resting is perhaps the second most important thing you could ever do.

What is the best length of time to rest brisket in a cooler

Considering there is a pretty wide variance in the recommended length of time to properly rest a brisket to perfection, it really boils down to your overall goals and timeline for consuming the brisket. 

What that basically means, is that if you happen to be in somewhat of a time crunch, then make sure to just rest the brisket inside of a cooler for about 3 to 4 hours. 

You need to plan ahead of course, so calculate how long the smoking session will take, and then add about 3 to 4 hours on top of that to properly rest the brisket. 

If you are not in as much of a time crunch, then try to push the resting period for your brisket as close to 12 hours as you can.

This will help further render down all the collagen and connective tissues inside, as well as ensure that the moisture has come down to a reasonable temperature.

Who should know how long to be keeping a brisket in a cooler

Anyone smoking a brisket who plans to begin resting it properly, should always try to understand how long they should be keeping it inside of the cooler. 

As noted above, resting the Brisket alone is perhaps the second most important thing besides pulling the brisket at the right temperature.

It is absolutely paramount that anyone who wishes to obtain juicy and tender results, understands that they need to rest their brisket for a minimum of 3 or so hours.

Why should you let a brisket rest for long periods of time

The reason you should always consider resting your brisket, and in a cooler in particular, is to let the internal temperature reach a point where it will not dry out the meat the second you slice into it.

When you pull a brisket off the smoker, it’s more than likely over 200 degrees in internal temperature, which is way too hot to ever think about slicing.

When you simply allow the internal temperature to come down somewhat, you’ll be surprised how much better the meat will come out.

The moisture essentially soaks back up into the brisket, further creating a very tender and moist piece of barbecue once you slice into it.

Where should the cooler be placed over long rest times

Whenever you consider actually placing your brisket inside of your cooler for longer than 3 hours, just tuck it away in a place where there is not a lot of foot traffic.

You’ll also want to select a location that does not tempt you to begin constantly opening the lid. 

Many times I’ve had briskets sitting around during their resting period, I’ve always been tempted to keep opening the lid on the cooler to just check on things.

This is not recommended simply because it will cause all the ambient and stable temperatures inside to escape.

This can then decrease the overall heat insulation for the meat, which is something you don’t want.

When to put brisket in cooler

As soon as you are ready to pull the brisket off the smoker or cooker, you’ll notice the temperature is most likely at or above 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

At this stage in the cook, pull the brisket off, then perhaps even let it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes or so. 

This is only to let the carry over heat escape, allowing you to not overcook the brisket.

Afterwards, place the brisket directly into the cooler for the resting phase of the overall cook. 

In essence you should place the brisket inside of the cooler roughly 30 minutes have passed since you have pulled it off of the smoker.

Final Thoughts 

On average, you can expect to rest a brisket inside of a cooler anywhere from 3 to 12 hours.

This lets the internal temperature come down to a reasonable amount, which then allows you to slice it without worry of the moisture going to waste.