Brisket is a tough cut of meat that requires long, slow cooking. If you don’t cook it properly, it can become dry and chewy.
It can also become dry for a range of other reasons, such as using a cut of meat with less fat, or leaving the brisket in the grill for too long.
Because it is naturally a pretty tough meat, brisket is more prone to drying out. This is especially true when you are trying to reheat slices or even the whole brisket.
The good news is that you can fix this problem by reheating the brisket in the oven.
Under the right conditions, you can continue to enjoy the juicy, rich taste of brisket without having to coat it in sauce or chug a glass of water afterwards because of the dryness.
These are some of the different ways that you can reheat brisket without drying it out, using the oven and other methods.
The first part of preventing your brisket from drying out comes from the storage. Make sure that you are storing the cooked meat correctly in the refrigerator or freezer.
This can affect the overall taste of the meat as well as the amount of time it takes to reheat.
Slice your brisket before storing in the refrigerator. This can prevent it from drying out, as it will absorb more juices when it is reheated.
Slicing your brisket before storing it will also reduce the total amount of time that the meat will need to reach the desired temperature.
You can also choose to freeze your cooked brisket if you want it to last a little longer. Make sure that you freeze the sauce or gravy separately, and tightly seal the meat in a Ziploc bag by squeezing the air out.
This prevents freezer burn from happening, which can alter the taste and texture of the brisket.
Step One: Preheat Oven
Firstly, it is important that you are not heating your brisket to high temperatures. It has already been fully cooked, so there is no need to let it get excessively hot.
It is worth remembering that you are only reheating your brisket to get it warm enough to eat, rather than to cook the meat.
Any temperature higher than 325 Fahrenheit should be avoided, because this can result in dry brisket that isn’t as tasty or flavorful.
This is the temperature where the juices are likely to begin evaporating in the oven, so you should try to reheat your brisket at lower temperatures if possible.
Preheating the oven while you focus on preparing the meat can decrease the total time taken to reheat your brisket. This is especially true if your oven takes a little longer to reach the right temperature.
Older ovens or anything that isn’t a convection oven are more likely to take a little longer to reach the desired temperature.
Step Two: Prep The Meat
Next, it is time to take the brisket out of the refrigerator and get it ready to place in the oven. Wrap the meat in two layers of aluminum foil, so that it is as protected from dryness as possible.
Holes can easily occur when the foil is being wrapped or folded, so we would recommend that you use two layers to prevent this.
When there are holes in the foil, the brisket inside becomes more exposed to the heat of the oven. This can encourage the meat to dry out a little more, so it’s worth avoiding this if possible.
Step Three: Resting
You will need to leave the meat at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before placing it in the oven. This step helps get some of the chill out of the brisket, which can create a more even temperature with every slice.
If you decide to store your brisket in the freezer to make it last longer, it is important to remember that it will take a little longer to reach room temperature internally.
Make sure that you do not rush this process, and let it fully defrost before placing it into the oven for reheating.
The same principle applies to brisket that has been stored without slicing. It will take a little longer to get to room temperature because the meat will be slightly more solid in texture as a result of being frozen or chilled.
Step Four: Leftover Juices
Depending on how much leftover juices you stored your brisket in, and the amount that was produced when you were cooking it in the first place, it is important to reintroduce this to the meat.
This is because it is extremely flavorful and prevents the brisket from becoming dry when it is in the oven.
There are different amounts of juices and barbecue sauces which are used in the cooking process.
If your brisket has a little less surrounding it, or if you removed most of it in the form of solidified fat after chilling, you can add beef broth around the brisket to keep it from drying out.
It can also be used to dilute the sauces and make the flavors spread a little further.
Place the juices from the meat into your roasting pan or tray before placing the foil-wrapped brisket in the center.
This encourages any holes in the aluminum foil or gaps to draw in moisture, rather than drying out the meat inside.
Step Five: Reheat Your Brisket
Next, your brisket is ready to place in the oven for reheating. It should take around twenty minutes if it is already sliced, whereas larger joints that are not sliced will take a little longer.
Because of this, it is worth using a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the brisket when you are reheating it.
As soon as the brisket reaches 160 degrees, it is ready to remove from the oven. Carefully remove the aluminum foil and beware of escaping steam when you are moving the foil around.
Leave the meat to completely cool and rest for several minutes before slicing if it has not been sliced yet.
This method will give you an incredibly juicy, flavorful brisket that has a delicate melt-in-the-mouth texture.
You will not have to worry about drying out your brisket as long as you have plenty of juice or broth for the meat to sit in when it is reheating.
Alternative Reheating Methods
The great thing about brisket is that it can be reheated in different ways, using different equipment. Why not place your delicious brisket on the grill or smoker for 5-10 minutes in indirect heat?
That way, you can enjoy the sunny weather or continue conversations with guests if you are entertaining in the backyard.
Similarly to using the oven, it is recommended that your brisket reaches 160 degrees internally before removing it from the heat.
Alternatively, you could make great use of the crock pot if the weather is a little unpredictable. It may be a little slower than other methods, but it can create a much softer brisket that is reheated surrounded by juices.
It will take around four hours to reheat this way, but it is definitely worth the wait as you will be left with a flaky and incredibly juicy meat that will have you coming back for more.
Another way to reheat brisket uses the sous vide method. Using freezer bags, and a large container of water that is 165 degrees, place the meat into the bag with all the sauce and juices.
Then, you can leave the meat for anywhere between one and three hours until the brisket reaches 165 degrees. This will achieve a delicate tasting meat which is the perfect temperature.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should I Use If I’m Out Of Beef Broth?
You can encourage brisket to stay moist and juicy when you are reheating it by rubbing butter on it.
Other methods include coating it in a tasty barbecue sauce, or soaking it in creamy peppercorn sauce, which can have whiskey added for another level of warmth.
Can I Reheat My Brisket In The Microwave?
While it is physically possible to do, we would not recommend using your microwave to reheat brisket.
It can be an extremely delicate piece of meat, which doesn’t pair well with the somewhat intense methods of heating food that microwaves use.
Because they normally heat food unevenly due to the nature of microwaves, it is more likely that your brisket will dry out and potentially overcook.
Try to avoid using the microwave to reheat your brisket if possible, as the results can be a little unpredictable, and it is easy to overcook the meat in this way.
How Can I Serve Leftover Brisket?
The short answer is you can serve it however you like.
The meat makes for a delicious leftover sandwich with your favorite cheese, making sliders for a potluck or day trip with a group, or you can be a little more adventurous with it.
Make your brisket into tacos for a delicious spin on the classic Mexican dish, or add some to nachos for a decadent tasting snack. You could also make brisket stuffed peppers or mushrooms topped with lots of cheese.
Does Reheating Affect The Taste?
Not at all. Some say that you should aim to reheat your brisket in the same way that it was cooked, but you could just place it in a preheated oven on a low heat.
The key is low and slow when reheating brisket, and it is definitely worth waiting a little longer for. The taste is not compromised at all, and you will still be left with an incredible tasting, delicious brisket.
Some people even go as far as cooking the brisket the day before a particular occasion, and reheating it once guests start to arrive. This is because you will be able to predict when the meat is ready a little more accurately.
There are a surprising number of reheating methods when it comes to brisket, so it could be worth trying several out when you have the chance.
However, we would highly recommend using the oven for a well-rounded flavor that is consistent with the freshly prepared brisket.
The key method to avoiding drying out the meat is to let it sit in the juices that were created during the initial cooking process.
Failing that, it could be worth using high quality beef broth or even a peppercorn sauce. Reintroduce some moisture to the brisket and the chances of it drying out are greatly reduced.
This will leave you with an incredibly juicy tasting brisket that melts in your mouth.
It will certainly have your guests coming back for more, so it is worth preparing a brisket for your next occasion or barbecue as your own showstopper dish.