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How to keep brisket warm without drying out (Explained)

How to keep brisket warm without drying out

If you’re wondering how to keep a brisket warm without drying it out, follow these simple tips. You need to first pull the brisket off at the right temperature. That is around specifically 200°F and internal temperature. Furthermore, you also want to make sure the meat probe can slide in and out with little to no assistance whatsoever.

Once you’ve made sure to do those two very important things, you can now start to worry and consider how to keep the brisket warm for extended periods of Time without drying it out at all.

To keep your brisket warm, you will want to place it directly into an ice chest cooler or a warming oven. These two methods are some of the best ways to keep a brisket warm for a substantially longer period of time then if you were to just leave it out on the counter.

Furthermore, they provide excellent insulation and allow you to even pack in more meat inside of the storage methods if you happen to have more BBQ than just a single piece of meat.

Now, this is really just had to keep the brisket warm. Basically, you just want to place the brisket inside of a warming chest or a warming oven and hold it at a steady ambient temperature.

You can either choose to wrap it in foil and put your paper, a towel, or even just place the brisket with no wrapping it all inside of the storage mechanism. All of these different types of ways of going about trying to warm a brisket are substantial.

In order to ensure that the brisket will not dry out once you slice into it, make sure you rest it for a period of around 3 to 5 hours at the very minimum.

This basically just lets the internal temperature of the meet comes down to a reasonable degree and ensures that no moisture will be lost. When you lose moisture after slicing into a brisket, that means the internal temperature is way too hot. In other words, it is so hot that it evaporates the second you expose air to it.

Another method to keep the brisket nice and warm without drying it out, is to wrap it thoroughly. You can wrap it with a piece of butcher paper, foil, or a towel. These are some of the most popular methods of wrapping the brisket and keeping it warm for extended period of time. 

After slicing, if you want to keep the brisket warm, then make sure to not separate each of the slices of brisket apart from one another. If you were to do that, you risk them dry out completely. This is also a fact even though you may have rested it properly and pulled it off at the right temperature. Brisket can be a very finicky piece of meat.


How to keep brisket warm

Let’s say you just finish smoking the best brisket in the world, and it is nice and big. It looks amazing, has a great bark, and has excellent marbling. The next step in the process is to keep it warm.

This is probably the second most important thing when cooking a brisket. The first one as mentioned above, is to pull it at the right internal temperature and to make sure that it probes tender like it goes in to a stick of butter.

Keeping a brisket warm after smoking in for several hours, and tells placing it in the right storage container. The right storage container is up to the individual, but some of the most common, or ice chess coolers, warming oven’s, and even smokers themselves.

Common thing that all these have, are thick walls that provide plenty of insulation. The insulation is what matters. Not so much the storage container.

When you place a brisket in one of these containers, you can expect to have it kept warm for a period of several hours. This is generally anywhere between 3 to 5 hours if the brisket is not wrapped. If the brisket is wrapped however, you can start to increase the resting time and expectation of it being kept warm to around 5 to 10 hours.

As I mentioned previously, these are excellent ways to keep the brisket warm. Now, the next step is to determine how to keep it moist and tender, without it actually drying out. To do that, make sure that you do not slice into it whatsoever until the internal temperature has reached at least 165°F.

If you do not follow this advice, then the brisket will be at higher risk of drying out the moment you slice into it, no matter how well you rested it and kept it warm for several hours.


How to keep brisket flat from drying out

There are several parts to a brisket. The first of which is the flat part, happens to be the leaner area of the muscle itself. Since the flat is a lot more lean than other parts such as the deckle or point which are more fatty, you need to take extra steps and add in more consideration when attempting to serve it and prepare it.

Essentially, flats of a brisket have a propensity to dry out a lot easier and more often than the deckle or point portion of the brisket. Having a later part of brisket that is rather finicky, is certainly a tedious task but provides excellent results. Specifically, you will want to wrap the brisket flat or at least consider wrapping it, in foil, butcher paper or a towel.

After letting it sit in the wrap of your choice, go ahead and remove it from the wrapping and storage container, and place it onto a cutting board. Now it is time to discuss how you should actually slice it because both the point and the flat part of the brisket have different ways of slicing it.

For the flat, there is a thin line or a series of thin lines that run to the left and right as you look at the brisket. You want to cut against them, meaning that you should cut against the grain. This helps to preserve the texture quality of the flat, as well as maintaining all the connective tissues and juices present within the meat. 

If you happen to slice with the grain, there is an added risk of drying it out, so don’t do that!


How do you warm up brisket without drying it out?

If you’ve already sliced into a brisket and it came out nice and tender, but have since refrigerated it and want to reheat it, follow this quick advice. In order to warm up the brisket without drying it out, you want to place it into a warming oven that is placed at around 150 to 225°F. You also want to strongly consider wrapping it in foil.

This helps to trap any and all moisture that could potentially get evaporated within the encasing. It will basically just produce a lot of condensation in further steam your brisket and certainly maintain all the moisture within. 

Another method you could do in addition to this, is also place a stick of butter, or perhaps even some beef broth and pour it all in the aluminum foil after you wrap the brisket in it.

This further douse is the meat in juices and makes it still very tender and moist. It’s also a common way that catering places will use to ensure all of their barbecue and brisket comes out adequately for their events.


Final thoughts

Keeping a brisket warm without drying it out is a very tedious task, but when done correctly can produce awesome results for your brisket. You will want to make sure that you first and foremost pull the brisket off at around 200°F and internal temperature. 

At this point, you won’t want to make sure that the thermometer itself can slide in and out of the meat all around with no resistance at all. Only at this point should you consider pulling it off the smoker. Once you pull the brisket off the smoker, place it inside of a warming chest or a warming oven to keep it warm for several hours. 

If you plan to rest it for extended periods of time, consider wrapping it in foil, butcher paper, or even a towel. All these work. No, the hardest part of all is to ensure that it does not slice dry. To ensure that it does not dry out once you begin slicing into it, do not pull it out of the resting mechanism until the internal temperature reaches around 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This just ensures that none of the moisture inside of the meat has a chance to evaporate those drying it out.