All meat, whether raw or cooked, should not be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Following that, the rate at which bacteria and other microbes reproduce more than doubles, rendering the meat unfit for human consumption.
This means, you shouldn’t let your brisket sit out overnight, even if it has been fully cooked.
You should constantly follow the “danger zone,” which is a band of temperatures that meat should never be permitted to enter.
This is the temperature range at which certain meats are no longer considered safe to eat. This is between 40 and 140 degrees(F).
• Never allow raw brisket to reach 40 degrees(F) at room temperature.
When the brisket enters the danger zone, it becomes a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, which multiply at an exponential rate.
Brisket, like most other meats, is already a breeding ground for dangerous germs including Listeria, Staphylococcus, E. coli, and salmonella. They are, however, insufficiently plentiful to pose a concern in fresh meat.
However, when meat enters the danger zone, unrefrigerated, they begin to grow to hazardous levels. Once in the danger zone, it is believed that these bacteria double in number every 20 minutes.
How To Store Freshly Smoked Brisket Overnight
Refrigerated The Brisket
The best way to keep your brisket fresh is to store it properly in the fridge and reheat it the next day.
Wrap the brisket in plastic wrap or foil and place it in an airtight container or package after it has rested and cooled. If the brisket is too large to fit into a single container, divide it up and store it separately.
Note: Be careful not to slice off too much of the brisket. The more you cut it up, the more moisture it loses, which dries it up dramatically when reheated.
Using A Cooler
Coolers are well insulated, which allows them to keep items cool. That same insulation, though, is ideal for heat retention.
Brisket may be kept fresh and warm for up to 4 to 6 hours by storing it in a cooler. Some smokers, however, have reported holding them for up to 10 hours using the cooler method.
However, in order to successfully use a cooler for long-term storage, some preparation is required.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and pour it into the cooler a few minutes before removing the brisket from the smoker.
- Rinse and dry the cooler thoroughly before lining it with dry cloth towels. Close the lid quickly to keep the heat in.
- Remove the brisket from the smoker and immediately wrap it in another dry linen towel. (If you haven’t previously done so, wrap the brisket in tin foil or butcher paper before wrapping it in a towel.)
- Put it in the cooler right away and close the top tightly. Because the cooler will have a lot of empty space, you can pack it with extra towels or blankets to further trap the heat.
Take the brisket out of the cooler every hour or so to re-filter another pot of hot water through the cooler for the best results. This will ensure that the temperature remains consistently warm.
The goal is to maintain the brisket above 140 degrees(F).
Finishing The Brisket in The Oven
Another option is to finish the brisket in the oven at slow temperatures during the night. While this is not widely recommended, it can provide some pretty nice outcomes in a pinch.
Begin by smoking the brisket as usual until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees(F). Then firmly wrap it in butcher paper or aluminium foil.
Make sure it’s wrapped tightly enough to contain all of the rendering drippings. These juices keep the meat hydrated and aid in the cooking of the brisket in the oven.
Place the brisket on a baking sheet or dish with raised edges and place in a preheated oven at 225 degrees(F).
Set an alarm and go to bed; the brisket will cook to 200 degrees(F) while you sleep.
The advantage of utilizing an oven for this is that it is less unpredictable than a smoker and requires far less management and supervision. The brisket should have retained a lot of smoky flavors from its time already in the smoker.
Because brisket is normally wrapped at 160 degrees(F), you won’t miss out on too much of the smokiness.
How To Reheat Smoked Brisket
To begin, remove your brisket from the refrigerator and let it to come to room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. This ensures that the brisket roasts evenly. Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees(F) while the brisket is resting.
Simply put it in the oven and wait. It normally takes around an hour to reheat a full brisket. If you’re using leftover or sliced brisket, it should just take 20 to 30 minutes.