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How long will a packer brisket keep in the refrigerator? (Explained)

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When making any form of fresh produce product, strict safety measures are required.

Storing brisket in the right environment is beneficial not only to the meat’s quality, but also to the safety of those who consume it. Every pitmaster should have logged this information.

In this article, we’ll go over how long you can keep raw brisket refrigerated, as well as how to package it for prolonged storage.

How Long Can Brisket Be Kept in The Fridge?

Depending on how it is stored and packaged, beef brisket can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. To make the most of this time, store the brisket in an airtight container if you are not storing it in the original packaging.

Of course, this depends on how it was before being put in the refrigerator. A brisket won’t last as long in the refrigerator if it has already been sitting at room temperature for some time than it would if it were fresh. 

Remember, If the meat has already spent more than 2 hours at room temperature, it cannot be refrigerated. If its temperature has gone above 40 degrees(F), toss it out. 

How Long Can Brisket Be Kept Frozen?

This depends on how the brisket was before it was frozen. Technically, if the raw brisket is properly wrapped and stored in the freezer, it may be maintained their indefinitely.

This is not ideal, however, since the quality will start to decline and there will be more likelihood of freezer burn.

However, raw brisket may be preserved in good condition for up to 12 months if it is frozen immediately after purchase and kept in sealed and airtight packaging or containers. 

How Long Can Brisket Sit at Room Temperature?

Never let brisket, whether it be beef or pork, rest at room temperature for longer than two hours. After that, the beef serves as a breeding ground for microorganisms.

To comply with this, always stay within the “danger zone,” which is the range of temperatures considered appropriate for both raw and cooked brisket.

Danger Zone Review

The majority of meats, including pork, poultry, and beef, shouldn’t be kept at room temperature for longer than two hours. After then, the brisket will start to fester, fostering the growth of bacteria.

To help you track this, follow the “the danger zone.” This is a certain temperature range inside which meat is considered no longer safe for consumption.

40 to 140 degrees(F) are the range of temperatures here.

For example, raw, uncooked beef brisket shouldn’t be allowed to warm to a temperature of 40 degrees(F). Don’t let cooked beef brisket cool to less than 140 degrees(F)

Any raw or cooked brisket that falls into these ranges should be discarded. 

How To Tell If Brisket Has Spoiled


There won’t always be a “nice” smell to most raw meats, but there shouldn’t be one that’s overbearing. Healthy meat should smell somewhat metallic, but not in a “pungent” or noticeable way.

Brisket that has gone bad inside of a vacuum-sealed container will have a powerful stench. It will release a foul, sour scent that might perhaps include a faint ammonia odor.

The bacteria that grows on meat that has gone bad causes the rancid smell, which renders the meat unsafe to consume.

As a result, you shouldn’t attempt to “cook the bacteria out” as the spores are very certainly present under the flesh.

Texture & Color

In addition to the unpleasant aromas, rotting brisket has an unpleasant texture that is not at all palatable. Brisket develops a greyish, black hue with a greenish/yellow tint as it goes rotten.

However, just because the brisket’s color darkens doesn’t always mean it’s rotten, so keep that in mind. Sometimes, meat that has been chilled for 4-5 days or thawed from a vacuum seal takes on a deeper hue.

Because of this, it’s crucial to look out for yellow or greenish splotches, which unmistakably show that the meat has spoiled.

Fungal/Bacterial Growth

Before cooking it or storing it, you should carefully check the brisket for mold development, even if you just bought it from the butcher.

Salmonella and mild food poisoning are just two types of foodborne illnesses that can be carried by bacterial growth.

A mistaken notion seems to exist that mold growth may be safely consumed if it is heated off the meat.  Bacterial spores are still present in the meat even though heating theoretically stops bacterial growth.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, brisket can keep for quite a while as long as it’s properly stored and packaged.

Keep in mind that airtight containers work best since they reduce airflow around the meat, keeping it fresher longer.

Your brisket can be frozen and kept fresh for up to 12 months if you don’t intend to use it in the next five days.

Last but not least, always check the produce you bring home, and if you won’t be consuming it right away, store it immediately. This promotes both the quality and safety for the meat.