How Long Does a Cryovac Brisket Last (Vacuum Packed to Increase Shelf Life)

Cryovac brisket is known to last longer than regular packaged brisket. But precisely how long can it keep before going bad? Let’s dig deeper!

What Is the Shelf Life of a Cryovac Brisket

The shelf life of a cryovac brisket ranges between 30 to 60 days. In cryovac packaging, the meat is wrapped in impermeable plastic. And the oxygen inside the package is removed.

The impermeability and lack of oxygen prevent the growth of most spoilage bacteria. This extends the shelf life of cryovac brisket.

What Is Cryovac Brisket ?

Cryovac packaging involves wrapping food in an water-tight bag or pouch that has no moisture and oxygen. This process is also known as vacuum-seal packaging. A vacuum chamber is used to remove oxygen from the package. The package is then sealed using heat. The removal of oxygen and moisture prevents the growth of most spoilage bacteria.

Packaging brisket in a cryovac has other benefits – wet aging. Wet aging refers to the process where the enzymes in the brisket break down the protein fibers, this enhances the meat’s texture and flavor.

Storing brisket in a cryovac is a natural way of wet aging, resulting in a flavorful and tender brisket. What’s more, cryovac brisket freezes better, the vacuum pack prevents the development of freezer burns. It also makes thawing the meat easier.

How Long Can Cryovac Brisket Stay at Room Temperature?

Like any other type of meat, cryovac brisket can keep at room temperature for up to two hours, once the meat has been on the counter for two hours, it needs to be refrigerated.

Otherwise, it enters the “danger zone” – temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Leaving beef at 40-140 degrees facilitates the rapid growth of bacteria, this can lead to food-borne illnesses.

How Long Does a Cryovac Brisket Last in the Fridge

A cryovac brisket lasts up to 2 months in the fridge from the kill date. If possible, refrigerate your cryovac brisket in a fridge you don’t use often. This helps with temperature fluctuations.

And remember to place the raw meat towards the back of the refrigerator lower shelf. Some studies suggest that vacuum-sealed beef can last up to 83 days when stored at temp 28 and 32 degrees.

Note that for cryovac brisket, counting starts from when the animal was slaughtered. And that corresponds to the packaged date.

How Long Does Cryovac Brisket Last in the Freezer

Cryovac brisket can last up to 3 years in the freezer.

But for optimum freshness, cook your meat anytime between 6 months and one year.

When freezing, ensure you constantly maintain your fridge temperatures at 0°F

Changes in temperatures can interfere with your food safety. 

Ways To Smoke A Brisket

There are many ways to smoke a brisket.

See some of the methods we have used below

Using an electric smoker

Brisket on Pit Boss Pellet Grill

In a Traeger

In a Big Green Egg

Using a Barrel Smoker

Each recipe has images and step to step method for juicy tender brisket.

How Can You Know Your Cryovac Brisket Is Spoilt?

Besides looking at the expiry date, there are other signs that your meat is unsafe to eat.

Check out the following signs to know whether to cook your cut of beef or discard it.


Start by looking at the pack to determine whether it’s damaged or not.

Check for fluid leakage or whether the bag feels loose against the meat.

If the bag feels loose and the meat is wiggling around or if there’s fluid leakage, chances are the pack is damaged.

Now, check the color of the meat.

Vacuum-sealed meat appears darker than normal meat due to discoloration.

Rinse the meat in cold water and let it rest for 30 minutes. Doing so should allow it to return to its natural purplish-red color.

However, if the meat appears brown or grey, even if it’s a few patches, it may be spoilt.

So, avoid eating it.


Although smell can help you tell you whether the cryovac meat is spoilt, it’s not a reliable tool.

That’s so because vacuum-sealed beef has a strong odor.

The odor is due to the lactic acid produced during the wet aging process but should subside once the meat is exposed to air.

However, if the meat has a rancid, ammonia-like smell, even after rinsing and exposing it to the air, it’s likely rotten meat.


The texture is another great way to establish the state of your meat. Fresh meat is tender with good elasticity.

So, if your meat has no elasticity and contains a slimy and sticky texture, discard it as it’s inedible.

Smoke On!


Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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