How to Reheat Brisket (So it Tastes Like it Fresh Out The Smoker)

Everyone loves a good brisket, but there’s no denying that it’s a very big cut of meat.

We don’t know about you, but it’s actually rare for us to be able to finish it all in one sitting. We’re always left with at least a pound of meat that nobody can finish. So, what happens to the leftover meat? 

Well, we store the brisket leftovers in the fridge and we get to enjoy the leftover during the week (just make sure you know how long brisket lasts in the fridge!)

However many people think that brisket doesn’t taste as good the next day. Why? Well, it’s no surprise many people don’t know how the correct techniques for reheated brisket! Mine ensure reheated tastes as good as when it’s just been freshly cooked or smoked1

However, I have a few tricks from some mates on the competition circuit! They taught me how to reheat brisket as they do and I am ready to share it with you!

reheating my brisket in the smoker
Reheating my brisket in the smoker, with my temp probes in

My 5 Favorite Ways to Reheat Brisket

The mark of a perfect brisket is one that is full of flavor and has juicy tender meat. So, how do you heat up the leftovers without making them dry and tough to eat? 

Continue reading on to find out the best ways to heat up leftover brisket. We’ll share the best tips and tricks that you can implement to keep that meat moist and ready to enjoy. Almost as if you’d just taken it off the heat for the very first time.

I have listed the methods from best to worst, I don’t advise using a microwave unless you desperate!

Jump to:

Hot Tip!
Before you go about reheating your slices of brisket, it’s important that you’ve stored them properly in the fridge or freezer before. Always make sure that you keep the meat in an airtight container.

We recommend that you also save any of the residual juices or original cooking juices from when you first prepared the brisket. These can come in super handy because they’ll help add extra flavor and you’re sure to be left with extra juicy briskets that you can go ahead and enjoy.

1. Reheating in your Smoker

The first reheating method can come as a bit of a surprise since it includes placing the leftover piece of meat back in the smoker. This is a great way method for barbecue enthusiasts who just love to find any excuse to use their beloved smoker. 

  1. Firstly, you’ll want to begin by heating your smoker or conventional grill to approximately 225℉. We recommend that you set the heat settings to medium heat if you’re using a gas grill.
  2. The reheating process will be different from how you initially cooked the brisket. For one, we recommend that you use the 2-zone cooking method to reheat the meat. This method uses indirect heat. Using direct heat on pre-cooked meat can dry it out further and you may also overcook it in the process.
  3. Start by wrapping the leftover beef brisket in heavy-duty aluminum foil, and place it in your smoker or grill.
  4. You’ll have to then use a meat thermometer to keep an eye on the meat’s internal temperature.
  5. As soon as it reaches 155℉, take it out of the aluminum foil and place it on direct heat until it reaches 160℉. It should take around 5 to 10 minutes to do so.

Not sure what to do with your brisket? try my Mom’s smoked brisket pot pie! It’s juicy inside and delicious flaky pastry!

2. The Sous Vide Method to Reheating your Brisket

If you have sous vide machine or a food vacuum sealer, then this is a great way to reheat your brisket.

  1. Start off by taking the brisket out from the fridge and letting the meat rest till it reaches room temperature. Next, you’ll want to place it in a vacuum-sealed bag. 
  2. For the next part, you can totally use a pot of boiling water if you don’t have a sous vide machine. If you do have the fancy machine, set it to 150℉ before you place the sealed brisket in to soak. Of course, you can easily replicate this by waiting for your pot of water to boil and reach 150℉. As long as you’re heating the meat up in a hot water bath, you’re using the sous vide method.
  3. You’ll know when the meat is ready to serve when the internal temperature of the brisket reaches 150℉. It’s best to slice up your brisket prior to attempting this method. This is because it can quite a while for the brisket to heat up if you simply vacuum seal a whole chunk of meat.

If you haven’t used a sous vide before, have a watch of this first.

3. Reheating Brisket in the Oven

This second method might be the best option to go with if you’ve frozen your brisket.

  1. You want to start by preheating your oven to 325℉.
  2. Place your defrosted brisket on an oven-safe dish and be sure to pour on any leftover juices or barbecue sauce on the meat. This will ensure that the meat doesn’t dry out.
  3. Next, you’ll want to cover the dish with a layer of aluminum foil. It’s important that you create a somewhat tight seal with the foil. This is because any holes or openings will lead to the meat drying out during the reheating process. Sometimes it even helps to create a double layer seal with the foil.
  4. As soon as the internal meat temperature of the brisket hits 160℉, you can take it out and it’ll be ready to serve. 

4. How to Reheat Brisket on the Stovetop

Did you know that you could reheat brisket by steaming it on a stovetop? This technique works well if your brisket wasn’t already cooked via barbecuing or smoking it on a grill.

  1. Start by taking a metal pot and filling it with around a cup of apple juice. Set this to boil on the stove. While the apple juice is heating up, place your leftover brisket on a suitable sized plate or dish.If you don’t have a plate that fits into your steam basket, you can always line the basket with a single layer of a baking sheet or greaseproof paper.
  2. Once the juice begins to produce steam, place the plate into a bamboo or metal steam basket and put it over the pot. Next, you should let it steam for around half an hour until the meat reads around 165℉ on your meat thermometer.
  3. If you don’t have apple juice, you can easily use a pot of boiling water instead.
my slicing my reheated brisket
My brisket after I reheated it using my steam method

5. Can You Reheat Brisket in the Microwave?

Of course, you can reheat brisket in a microwave oven! We only recommend resorting to using a microwave if you’re truly desperate to reheat this meat as fast as you possibly can.

We strongly suggest that you only use this method for heating up brisket that was previously cooked in a slow-cooker or stove pot.

Remember to always only use a microwave-safe container to heat things up in a microwave. To be completely safe, we recommend using a ceramic or microwavable glass container. Borosilicate glass works best. 

  1. Place the leftover meat and any accompanying sauce in the container and set it in the microwave.
  2. Adjust the heat to medium heat and cook the brisket at one-minute intervals.
  3. During this process, make sure to keep an eye on the meat’s internal temperature. You’ll know when it’s done as soon as it reaches 165℉.

What to do with your Leftover Brisket

If you’re stumped as to what to make with leftover brisket, here are a couple of our favorites:

Storing and Freezing your Brisket

The way in which you store your leftover brisket will significantly affect the quality of the meat. The best is to store it in an airtight container in the fridge and consume the meat within 4 days.

Its also recommended that you do not pre-slice the meat. If the meat is stored as a whole piece, it’s less likely to dry out while it’s chilling in the fridge.

If you don’t see yourself finishing these leftovers in less than four days, then your best bet would be to freeze them. The best way to freeze the brisket is to wrap your brisket in cooking paper and foil then placing it in a heavy-duty freezer bag or container.

We hope that you found this article helpful and that you’ve learned some new methods on how to properly reheat your leftover briskets. At the end of the day, we highly recommend trying out the sous vide method if you have the time. And make sure that you only use the microwave method as a final resort.

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also loves to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill). We especially love mid-week leftovers! My wife makes an EPIC brisket pot pies!

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 adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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