Is your smoked brisket dry? Well, that means that you’re doing it wrong.
Just because you’re smoking a piece of meat doesn’t mean it has to be completely dry and devoid of moisture.
In this article, we’ll show you how to keep your brisket juicy and moist during the cooking process. Plus, learn how to save and reuse all of that delicious brisket fat and drippings.
How to Keep Brisket Moist & Juicy
There are so many things that you can do to ensure that your beef brisket retains its moisture and stays juicy throughout the smoking process. These include:
- Trimming Your Brisket — don’t trim too much of the meat fat layer off. You want to make sure that you have at least one inch of the fat cap still on the meat’s surface.
- Spritz the meat — If it looks like the brisket’s getting too dry then you need to replenish some of that moisture. You can do this by making a DIY spray out of apple juice and apple cider vinegar. This won’t affect the taste of the meat.
- Stop lifting the lid — Checking up on your brisket too much will release even more of that moisture!
- Wrapping — Covering the meat with a large piece of aluminum foil will help it cook faster and prevent the brisket stall from taking place. This is because it does an excellent job of preventing all that moisture from evaporating off.
- Apply Brisket Mop — This helps add extra flavor, plus add more moisture to the meat; kind of like BBQ sauce. These sauces can be made out of apple cider vinegar, beer, apple juice, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and much more. They also make your meat drippings more flavorful!
How to Get Meat Juices & Drippings
So, how do you obtain all those delicious fat drippings and beef drippings?
The easiest way is by using a drip pan. You don’t have to invest in some designated drip pan.
Instead, you can just pop off to the shops and by yourself a disposable aluminum foil tray. Just slip it under the grates, and organize it so that all the charcoal pieces are set around it.
Then just smoke the brisket as per usual, and the liquid drippings will just drip from the meat, through the grill grates and into the aluminum tray.
We love using this method because it also makes it easier to clean our smoker or kettle grill after the cook.
There’s no need to spend hours just scrubbing all of the hardened drippings off.
Another Way to Get Drippings
Another method would include wrapping the meat halfway through the cook.
Then making sure that you unwrap the cooked and cooled brisket over a plastic container or jar. That way, you can immediately store it away after.
By the way, did you know that if you leave it to completely cool, you’ll see a layer of fat begin to solidify on the very top?
We actually recommend skimming or scraping that layer off and using it as a substitute for butter or oil when you do your other cooks. For example, we love using it whenever we need to fry anything on the stove.
How to Store The Drippings
There are two ways to store the liquid. You can stick its container in the freezer or the fridge.
If you can see yourself using it within the next week, then keeping it in the fridge is fine. But if you’re not going to use it for a while, then it’s safer to just stick it in the freezer.
While you can totally keep the brisket juices frozen for up to a year. We don’t suggest waiting that long because you might just forget about it and let it go to waste!
If you’ve got leftover brisket slices and you’d like it to last longer in the fridge or freezer, then don’t store the juices in a separate container. Keep them together and the fat juices will preserve the meat for longer.
What to Do With The Drippings
If you really have no idea what to do with the leftover brisket drippings, then you should try out these recipe ideas!
Make Brisket Icecream
If you add the drippings to an ice cream base, you can make delicious brisket ice cream. It might sound strange at first but everyone loves bacon ice cream!
Turn It Into a Delicious Gravy
Combine it with a spoonful of butter and some all-purpose flour or some starch in a pan on the stove. Just cook that combination up and pour in a tiny bit of beer or some other alcohol.
After everything melts and thickens up nicely, just let it simmer for a little while. And once it cools, you’ve got some nice gravy to add to anything.
Use It to Make Beef Stew or Pie
If you don’t have any beef stock or chicken stock on hand, then just whip out your stash of smoked brisket drippings.
Just add the brisket juices into any meaty soup dish, add in some vegetables, top with pasty and you’ve got a beautiful pie for the whole family to enjoy.
The leftover juices from smoked briskets is really just pure liquid gold.
It’s so versatile and useful. Plus, you can store it for so long and just use it whenever you need to. It’s easy to reheat, plus tastes oh-so-good!
We hope that our article has inspired you to save your brisket drippings so that you can use it to level up any of your other meals and dishes!
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 love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)
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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