If you are done with the cooking and want the smoked meat to remain palatable, juicy, and safe even if it will be hours before serving it, then read on to find out how to keep the meat warm after smoking.
We have explored some of the most popular methods for keeping the meat warm and safe from bacteria growth and from drying out after smoking it.
Still, it is always advisable to have a meat thermometer handy to ensure that the meat is safe for consumption after resting it and before serving it.
The safe temperature for storing meat after it has been cooked is above 140 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, keep in mind that after resting the meat after smoking, you can expect the meat to start losing some of its moisture and juiciness if not kept warm properly.
Here are some of the most common and easy ways to keep the meat warm and delicious after smoking it.
Using the oven to keep the smoked meat warm is the easiest and most accessible option for most. You can use it for keeping all types of smoked meat warm as well as for reheating it. It works for pulled pork, brisket, ribs, and other smoked or grilled meat.
To keep it warm, place the ready meat in the preheated oven at a temperature between 170 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a baking dish, baking sheet, or another pan to keep the meat warm for about an hour or two. To minimize the drying and to maintain the deliciousness of the meat, you can cover it in aluminum foil.
If your oven has a warming drawer on the bottom, you can use it as well to keep the smoked meat warm and mouthwatering.
If you have a slow cooker or a multicooker with slow cooking or keep warm option, then you can keep the meat warm and tasty for hours after removing it from the smoker.
Choose a temperature setting that will ensure that the meat stays at a safe temperature of at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit. And as with all other methods for keeping the meat warm, keep in mind that it will begin changing its taste and texture after about two hours of taking it out of the smoker.
If you own a chafing dish, then it is among the best options for keeping the smoked meat warm and delicious before serving it. This is why chafing dishes are used by professional caterers when hosting different buffets, events, and parties.
With a chafing dish like the Kook Warmer, you can keep meat and other food warm for up to six hours.
A chafing dish is a stainless steel pan that sits on top of another one that is filled with hot water. Under them, there is a frame with fuel that can be lit to keep the water and thus the smoked meat evenly heated and ready to eat.
Professional pitmasters use Faux Cambros for keeping smoked brisket and other meat warm and let it rest before serving it. It is also a great way to transport the cooked meat and to keep any kind of food, either hot or cold, for hours.
Even if you don’t have a pro-range Cambro, you can use a regular insulated cooler to ensure that your smoked meat rests and remains warm and juicy right until you serve it.
You can use any type of insulated cooler, even a soft-sided one, for this purpose.
Preheat the cooler with hot water, and let it stay closed for about 30 minutes before removing the water and placing the meat inside it.
Make sure that you wrap the meat in aluminum foil or place it in a covered dish before storing it.
Place a towel on the bottom of the cooler, and then cover the dish or pan with another towel before you close the lid of the cooler.
Keep it sealed until you need to serve it, and make sure that you sanitize the cooler after each use for safety reasons, especially when storing meat in it.
To stay on the safe side, you can use a wireless meat thermometer to ensure that the temperature doesn’t fall under 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can use the warming rack of your grill, or simply turn the heat of the burners to the lowest setting or move the meat to the cool zone over the indirect flame, and keep it there until it comes time for it to be served.
Still, make sure that you don’t leave the meat on the grill or warming rack for more than two hours because it can start drying out and deteriorate in flavor.
Using aluminum foil is inexpensive and straightforward and will help you keep the smoked meat warm and juicy for up to 30 minutes. Wrapping the meat after smoking it can also help it rest properly and redistribute the juices in it, making it even more juicy and flavorful.
When you are wrapping the meat, try not to wrap it too tightly because this can cause a loss of moisture.
You can also place the wrapped meat in a microwave without turning it on. The microwave will act as an insulator and will help keep the aluminum foil-wrapped meat remain warm and juicy for longer.
A rice cooker works similarly to a slow cooker and can be used for keeping the smoked meat warm for hours.
In order to keep the meat warm in the rice cooker, make sure that you let any steam out of the appliance periodically to prevent the meat from overcooking.
When kept in a rice cooker, the meat will remain warm and safe to eat for up to five hours.
While double boilers are perfect for keeping food such as potatoes, soups, stews, or sauces warm, these useful appliances can also be used for keeping your smoked meat warm as well.
You can even make your own double boiler by placing a stainless steel bowl that fits well in a saucepan and then place the food inside it over low heat to keep it warm.