Brisket is hard to beat when perfectly cooked.
But one wrong cut and you risk ruining your perfect brisket.
Slicing is the most critical part of cooking brisket since it affects the final taste.
So, it’s crucial to master the skills of slicing brisket the right way.
Doing so would ensure your marathon cook doesn’t go to waste.
Read on to learn about slicing brisket and the ideal temperatures.
At What Temp Should You Slice Your Brisket?
Once the brisket’s internal temperature reads 150°F-170°F, slice it with a brisket knife.
Cutting the meat at above 170 degrees risks losing its natural juices, making the brisket dry.
Slicing your brisket below 150 degrees is not recommended either.
One, it may get a shade too cold to eat.
Two, the smoked brisket may become unsafe to eat.
Meat should not stay in temperatures 40°F-140°F (danger zone) for more than two hours.
It could get contaminated by microbes.
What’s the Perfect Temperature for Smoked Brisket?
The perfect temperature of a well-smoked brisket is 204°F.
Thus, as soon as the brisket’s internal temp is 200-204°F, pull it off the smoker.
It’s okay if the temperatures are a bit higher.
But don’t let it go beyond 204°F.
Once you pull the piece of meat off the smoker, the temperature will continue to rise for a while. The temperature rise allows the brisket to adjust to the change.
This process is called “carryover cooking”and lets your brisket cook to 210 degrees.
Why is it essential to remove the meat once it reaches 200 degrees?
Letting your packer brisket cook beyond 210 may make it tender but dry and dull.
How to Rest Brisket and Why It’s Important
Resting a brisket involves allowing it to sit at room temperatures for at least one hour.
However, we suggest resting your brisket in a cooler.
Why should you rest the brisket? When meat cooks, it loses its natural moisture to the outer surface.
Allowing the meat to rest gives its fibers time to reabsorb the lost moisture.
Or else, the liquid juices will flow out of the brisket to the carving station, drying it.
A well-rested brisket equals a perfect, flavorful, and juicy brisket.
Can You Slice Cold Brisket?
If you wish to, you can slice your brisket cold.
Slicing a cold brisket gives you the advantage of trimming away the unwanted excess fat.
Slice the cold brisket in jus while holding the slices together.
This ensures the meat retains its moisture, flavor, and tenderness.
And that you can serve it with its juice dripping.
Can You Slice Brisket the Following Day?
If you don’t plan to serve the meat after you’re done with the entire process, feel free to slice it the next day.
See the guide to smoking brisket the day before here.
Remember to refrigerate the brisket as a whole to ensure it retains its moisture.
Carve your meat when its internal temperature range between 145°F-150°F .
Reheating leftover brisket is best done while it’s still intact. And not reheating the slices separately, leading to a dry brisket.
How to Keep Your Brisket at Optimal Temperatures Before Serving
Depending on your procedure, the entire process usually takes at least 12 hours.
That’s a long period and may mess with your serving time if you cook your meat early.
So, what do you do when you have over two hours to go before serving time and your brisket is ready?
“Faux Cambro” technique may be the best strategy to keep your meat at optimal temperatures.
A faux Cambro is a home version of a Cambro. A cambro is an insulated box that keeps the food it contains at its optimal temperatures.
The faux Cambro consists of a large cooler, hot water, and clean towels.
Your cooler should be big enough to accommodate the whole brisket.
Once the meat’s temperature nears 195 degrees, pour three gallons of hot water into the cooler and close the lid.
After 30 minutes, remove the water and place clean towels on the cooler.
Immediately the chunk of meat is off the smoker, use a double layer of aluminum foil to wrap it tightly.
Next, put it in the prepared cooler and close the lid until half an hour before serving time.
The faux Cambro technique lets your brisket stay nice and hot for four hours.
After removing your meat from the cooler, unwrap and tent it with a foil for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Now, slice and serve it the way you like.
How Best Can You Reheat Leftover Brisket for Slicing?
You usually end with leftover brisket. And knowing how to reheat the leftovers is crucial; otherwise, you risk your meat going to waste.
When your are serving brisket only slice as much as needed, leave the rest intact.
It will ensure the meat stay juicer and reheats better.
Leaving your brisket intact helps retain its flavor, moisture, and texture.
The best way of reheating leftover brisket is to do it slowly. As that prevents moisture loss and dry brisket.
So, give yourself a larger time frame between preheating the oven and the serving time.
An hour or two should be fine.
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Once it reaches this temperature, add your leftover wrapped brisket.
Heat the brisket until its internal temperature is between 145°F and 150°F.
Then remove it from the oven.
Carve your meat into thin slices, and you are set to serve.
Sometimes the brisket loses some of its moisture while in the fridge.
If that’s your case, serve the meat with barbecue sauce, especially on a toasted roll.
How to Refrigerate Brisket
When refrigerating, wrap the leftover brisket in foil and store it on the lower shelf of your fridge.
Slicing brisket is not a complex process.
You only have to master the optimal slicing temperatures, and you are good to go.
While carving your meat too soon may render it dry, cutting it too late can make it cool or unsafe to eat.
Aim for an internal temperature of 150-170 degrees.
And you’ll have fantastic brisket slices.
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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