How to Reheat Brisket Without Drying It Out

Since brisket is a large and tough cut and takes up a lot of time and effort to be cooked properly, many home cooks tend to shy away from preparing it at home.

But if you are a BBQ enthusiast who has taken the time and put in the effort to prepare delicious low a slow-smoked brisket, you may be wondering how to best store and then reheat and utilize the leftovers.

Thankfully, there are several tested and tried methods for warming up leftover brisket, which will help preserve the meat’s flavor, texture, and juiciness.

Here are some tips on how to reheat brisket and how to prevent it from drying up during the process.

What’s Good to Know About Reheating Brisket?

The good news is that there are several methods for reheating the brisket which has been leftover from your previous cookout, which will ensure that the food you serve is as good as it was when it first came out of the smoker.

When stored properly, the brisket can be even more delicious on the next day or whenever you decide to serve it.

How to Keep Brisket from Drying Out

The most important thing to keep in mind when reheating brisket or other meat is to prevent it from losing its moisture and becoming tough and unpleasant to eat.

This should start from the storage of the leftover brisket.

When you are storing sliced brisket, you should allow the meat to cool down in its juices or sauce completely before you proceed to store it. This will ensure that it remains nice and tender.

When the brisket is stored in its gravy or other juices, it can last for up to two days in the fridge and up to three months in the freezer. Storing it without the sauce and liquids will ensure that it lasts longer in the refrigerator.

The most important thing to remember is never to try reheating the leftover barbecued meat in a microwave because it will lose most of its moisture and will most likely become quite tough and unappealing.

Supplies You’ll Need

Here are the supplies which you will need to properly reheat the frozen or refrigerated brisket by using one of the four different recommended methods:

Supplies for reheating it via an oven:

  • An oven
  • A baking pan
  • Aluminum foil
  • Brisket drippings or some beef broth

Supplies for reheating it on a grill or in a smoker:

  • Aluminum foil
  • BBQ sauce (optional)

Supplies for reheating it in a slow cooker:

  • Brisket drippings or some beef broth

Supplies for reheating it via the sous vide method:

  • Sous vide machine
  • A vacuum seal or Ziploc bag
  • Water
  • A thermometer

4 Great Methods to Reheat the Meat

The best ways to reheat smoked or barbecued brisket are:
1. Using your oven
2. Using your grill or smoker
3. Using a slow cooker or crockpot
4. Using sous vide machine

Reheating Brisket in the Oven

Steps for reheating leftover brisket in the oven:

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Make sure to wrap the meat with two layers of aluminum foil tightly to keep it moist
  • Leave the wrapped meat at room temperature for about 20 to 30 minutes
  • If you have leftover brisket drippings or juices, add them to the meat
  • Place the wrapped brisket in the preheated oven
  • Leave it in the oven for 20 minutes if the meat is sliced
  • Leave it in the preheated oven for an hour if the brisket is whole

The first thing to do is to preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature higher than that will cause the evaporation of the moisture and will dry your meat to a chewy and tough structure.

While the oven is preheating, take your brisket out of the refrigerator and double wrap it tightly in foil. Let it rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.

Ensure that there are no holes in the foil because they can allow the moisture to be evaporated and will lead to the drying of the meat.

If you have leftover juices from cooking the brisket, make sure you add them to the oven pan. If not, use some beef broth to ensure that your leftover brisket remains nice and juicy.

Depending on the size of the brisket, the reheating should take about an hour or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

If the brisket has been sliced, then it should be reheated and ready to be served in about 20 minutes in the oven.

Make sure you keep an eye on the brisket and check its internal temperature to ensure that you are reheating it rather than cooking it in the oven.

Reheating Brisket on Grill (or Smoker)

You can use one of the following types of grills or smokers for reheating the leftover brisket:

Steps for reheating leftover brisket in a smoker or grill:

  • Start the grill or smoker and set it to 225 degrees Fahrenheit
  • While waiting for it to preheat, wrap the brisket in aluminum foil tightly
  • Place it on indirect heat in the grill
  • Monitor the internal temperature of the meat, and when it reaches 155 degrees Fahrenheit, you can take it out, unwrap it, and put it back in the smoker or grill
  • Place it over direct heat for 5 to 10 minutes
  • Remove it from the grill as soon as its internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and place it on a serving plate to prevent it from continuing to cook

Reheating Brisket in a Crockpot

If you own a Crockpot or any other slow cooker, you can use it for reheating your leftover brisket, but keep in mind that it will not be as quick as most other reheating methods.
In fact, reheating the barbequed brisket in a Crockpot or other slow cooker will take about four hours or even longer. Then again, due to the low and slow reheating, the risk of drying up the meat is minimal.

Here are the steps for reheating the leftover brisket in your crockpot:

  • Take the brisket out of the fridge and let it rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
  • If it can’t fit in the slow cooker, slice it up, or cut it accordingly.
  • Add any leftover brisket drippings or some beef broth to the pan along with the leftover brisket.
  • Set the temperature of the crockpot to low (180-200 degrees Fahrenheit) and let the meat cook.
  • This procedure should take about 4 hours.
  • When the brisket reaches the desired internal temperature, take it out of the slow cooker, drizzle it with any remaining drippings or broth and wrap it in aluminum foil.
  • Let it sit for about 10 minutes in the foil, then unwrap the brisket and serve it.

Reheating Brisket with Sous Vide

If you own sous vide machine or have a multicooker with sous vide function, then you can reheat your leftover BBQ brisket in it.

Here are the steps for using sous vide for reheating cooked brisket:

  • Fill the pot of the machine with water, but only partly, leaving enough room for it when you add the brisket.
  • Place a kitchen thermometer in the pot of water, or prepare a thermometer which you will use to check the temperature periodically.
  • The target temperature of the water is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • When the water reaches the desired temperature, start preparing the brisket. Place it in a Ziploc or other vacuum bag, and pour any leftover juices and drippings, or some beef broth in it too.
  • Place the bag in the water, leaving the top open.
  • To prevent it from spilling into the water, you can clip the bag to the pot during the reheating in the sous vide machine.
  • Wait until the temperature goes back to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and allow the leftover brisket to cook for 1-3 hours, or until its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit as well.
  • Once the temperature is reached, you can take it out of the machine and bag and proceed to serve the brisket.

Serving Brisket the Next Day

If you are planning on serving your cooked brisket the next day, make sure that you store it properly.

Slice the brisket before placing it in a container.

Place the sliced brisket in an airtight container, and pour any leftover juice or drippings on top of it.

On the next day, remove any visible hardened fat from the container.

Proceed to reheat the meat using one of the abovementioned methods.

Is Slicing Brisket Before Refrigerating Necessary?

By slicing the brisket before storing it, you will help reduce the time needed for its reheating.

Also, when it is sliced, the meat will absorb more of the leftover dripping and juice when it is stored and when it is being reheated.

Reheating a Brisket without drying it out

A brief overview of the steps for reheating the brisket without letting it dry out:

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Wrap the meat and in two layers of aluminum foil
  • Let the wrapped meat rest at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes
  • Use any remaining juices, drippings, or beef broth when reheating the meat
  • Place it in the hot oven, and let it reheat for about 20 minutes if it is sliced and for about an hour if the brisket is whole

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, we have helped you choose the best way to reheat those delicious brisket leftovers so that your family and guests can enjoy the sheer deliciousness of the meat as if you have just taken it out of the grill or smoker.

There are multiple ways to serve the reheated brisket, including making a chili, tacos, nachos, stuffed peppers, or top some mac and cheese with it.
Good luck and Bon Appetit!

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