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Food & Recipes

How to Reheat Brisket so It Pulls Apart at the Touch


Moist, tender smoked beef brisket is a favorite among meat and barbecue-lovers. That’s why knowing how to reheat brisket is something you need to become familiar with, especially if you want to turn your leftovers into a dinner sensation after the barbecue is over. But like so many other cuts of meat, it’s tricky: Brisket can quickly dry out if you don’t reheat it correctly. 

The good news? You have several options to choose from when you want to reheat smoked brisket or reheat BBQ brisket. Here, our experts give you the lowdown on the best methods to use to make sure yours comes out perfectly.

How to Reheat Brisket in the Oven

If you want your meat to taste like you just cooked it, then the oven will be the best choice to reheat smoked brisket. “Reheating your brisket in the oven is the best way to ensure your brisket doesn’t go from tender and delicious to chewy and forgettable,” explains chef Courtney Rada, host of Genius Kitchen’s Carnivorous. To get your leftover brisket ready to serve the next day, follow Rada’s five steps to reheat brisket in the oven.

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Take your leftover brisket out of the fridge and allow it to come back to room temperature.
  3. Place your brisket on a baking sheet or tray and drizzle those delicious saved juices on the brisket.
  4. Cover the entire tray in tin foil.
  5. Place in the oven and heat for about 45 minutes. Total time may vary and depends on the size of your brisket.

Since the oven is the best way to reheat a brisket, it comes as no surprise that this method is ideal for all types of brisket. After all, Claudia Sidoti, a chef at HelloFresh, says that using the oven to reheat will drastically reduce the chances of drying out the meat during the reheat process. With that said, if you want to reheat BBQ brisket, Sidoti recommends this quick and simple three-step process. 

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Wrap brisket in foil. 
  3. Heat brisket in the oven until the meat is warm all the way through. Reheating time will vary based on your oven. 

How to Reheat Brisket in the Microwave

The microwave gets a bad rap no matter what meat you’re trying to reheat. Sure, it’s not the first choice (or even the second or third choice) when it comes to mastering how to reheat a brisket without drying it out, but it can work if you only have a few minutes. Before you get started, check to see what type of container your brisket is in. When reheating brisket in the microwave, you can usually use the container that it was stored in, as long as it’s microwave-safe. According to Sidoti, these five steps are the best way to reheat brisket in the microwave.

  1. Place the container with brisket in the microwave.
  2. Reduce the power of the microwave to about 20 percent. This is the most important step to avoid overcooking your brisket.
  3. Reheat brisket in 30-second intervals.
  4. Check the warmth of the brisket between each 30-second cycle.  
  5. Depending on the amount of brisket that you’re reheating, this can take anywhere from one to four minutes.

How to Reheat Smoked Brisket

It doesn’t get much better than smoked brisket that’s been cooking for hours, does it? But when dinner is over, and the leftovers are stacked high, make sure you have a plan for how to reheat smoked brisket the next day. Sidoti lays out her plan for reheating smoked brisket in the eight steps below. 

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Trim any excess fat off the brisket with a knife.
  3. Place the meat in a baking pan with any juices you saved from when you originally cooked the meat.
  4. Cover the pan tightly with foil. 
  5. Place the pan in the oven. 
  6. Reheat the smoked brisket for approximately 20 minutes if it’s already sliced, or about an hour if it’s whole. 
  7. Check brisket with a meat thermometer while it’s in the oven. 
  8. Remove brisket once it reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

You can follow these same steps if you want to reheat sliced brisket. 

The Best Way to Reheat Brisket Without Drying It Out

Want to know how to reheat brisket without drying it out? Toss it in the oven. Sure, it probably comes as no surprise that the oven is the best way to reheat brisket. While this method requires the most amount of patience, it results in moist, tender brisket that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Other than using the oven, there are a few tips that will help you keep your brisket at its best. To restore your brisket to its original glory, Rada recommends saving the juices when your brisket is fresh. But what if you didn’t save the juices? No worries: You can always make your own and add it before you reheat brisket in oven. And the best part? It’s up to you what flavor you want to bring to your brisket. One suggestion to enhance your meal’s juices: Boil one to two cups of juice, then add one to two tablespoons of barbecue sauce, stir, and add to the brisket.  

How to Store Brisket

While we’re on the subject of dry brisket, how you store leftover brisket will make a significant difference in how your meat tastes when you reheat it. The trick to storing your brisket is to make sure it is tightly sealed before you toss it in the fridge or freezer. 

If you have a vacuum sealer, we have good news: This is by far the best way to seal and store brisket. But if your kitchen is sans sealer, you can still preserve the moisture of your meat by tightly wrapping the brisket in plastic wrap, then foil, and then sealing it in a freezer bag. 

One tip the experts say will keep your meat moist is to add a small amount of juice to the brisket before you wrap it up. It may be a bit messy, so let the liquid soak in before you wrap the brisket in plastic wrap. 

Are you ready to try your hand at reheating brisket? Choose the method that fits your style and time frame, and give it a try. Better yet, to turn your leftover brisket into a three-course meal, consider adding a salad, and a side of mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, or sweet potatoes. Enjoy!

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