Skip to Content

Smoked Brisket Done Too Early? Follow This Advice

What to do if your smoked brisket is done early

If you’re wondering what to do if your smoked brisket is done too early, then you have come to the right place.

All you have to do is first of all verify whether or not it is truly done.

Grab a toothpick and start sliding it in and out of the meat, checking for resistance as you press it in.

If there is no resistance then you can rest of sure that the brisket is actually done and needs to be pulled off the smoker. 

If there is resistance than keep cooking the brisket and reassess the doneness every 30 minutes or so.

Now that we have finally identified what you should be doing initially, let’s actually take a quick look at what to do if the brisket is actually done too early

You want to pull the brisket out of the smoker and place it on the counter for about 30 minutes to protect from any carry over heat from overcooking your meat.

Afterwards, grab your favorite cooler or a warming oven and place the brisket directly inside. 

These two well insulated containers help to protect the brisket from coming down in internal temperature too quickly and can sustain them for a period of up to 12 hours. 

Not only that, but resting brisket is part of the cooking process as the whole anyways.

A lot of people don’t know that, but you should always be resting a brisket for at least 3 to 4 hours before everything about serving it. 

When you think about it, these are very large cuts of meat that have been cooking for over 12 hours to get to about 200° and internal temperature.

You can’t just pull it off the smoker and slice into it at that I have a temperature

All of the moisture would evaporate. 

That’s why it becomes so critical to let that internal temperature come down to about 165°F.

So, if you find that your brisket has been finished cooking up to three or four hours before you anticipate serving it, then you were actually right on time because you should be resting it for that long anyways.


How to serve early brisket at a party

If you’re wondering how to serve your brisket that has been done too early at a party, then consider how many hours and how long do you have until the party is from the point at which the brisket is done.

If it is less than 12 hours, then you’re in luck.

Keep the brisket inside of a cooler or a warming oven and hold it there until the party starts in no more than 12 hours.

Let’s say however, it’s more than 12 hours i before the party starts, then you should probably think about refrigerating the brisket for a period of time up until the party starts.

Refrigerating the brisket helps keep the quality and integrity of the meat and prevents it from spoiling it becoming rotten. 

Not that it really would become spoiled, but you don’t want to let the brisket sit around outside for too long for no reason.

You need to always be thinking about resting and refrigerating your briskets appropriately. 

If you happen to want to serve your brisket that has been refrigerated because if it was done too early, then you’ll need to start reheating it about an hour or two before hand. 

Place the brisket in the warming oven and turn the temperature of the oven up to 225° to 250°.

This should really help kickstart the brisket back in the shape and let it warm up quickly.


Brisket only took 6 hours 

Every brisket is different and can be done at varying degrees of time.

For the most part though, most briskets will follow the general rule of 1 to 2 pounds per hour of cook time. 

That of course is dependent on how hot and fast or low and slow you decide to cook the brisket.

If you have a large packer style brisket and it is completely done in six hours, then you most likely have smoked it hot and fast or at a temperature above 300°F.

If you didn’t do that and it is still done in six hours, then I would strongly consider whether or not your brisket is actually done.

Check to see if the thermometer reading for the internal temperature is at 200°F. 

Also grab a toothpick or perhaps even grab your thermometer, and start sliding it in and out of meat all throughout.

Test for doneness by measuring resistance. 

You don’t want any resistance whatsoever in your brisket.

If you do you have resistance than your brisket is not actually done because the collagen has not rendered down properly.


Final Thoughts

If you’re smoked brisket is done too early then do not worry.

All you have to do is place inside of a warming oven or an ice cooler

These two containers really help to insulate the meat and can sustain it for a period of up to 12 hours.

Hopefully your serving time is within that timeframe, and all you would have to do with that point it just pull the brisket out of those containers and begin slicing into it accordingly.