Hector Manuel Sanchez
Brisket is a tough piece of beef, which is one reason some cooks shy away from it. But those of us who love it know that when cooked for a long time at a low heat, the meat becomes meltingly tender and full of robust flavor (try this Slow-Cooker Texas Chili or this Barbecue Brisket and you be a true believer). If you happen to purchase a large brisket, you may be left wondering what to do with the leftovers. Follow one of these methods and not an ounce of that delicious beef will go to waste.
How to Reheat Brisket in the Oven
When possible, food should always be reheated in the same manner it was cooked. If you can't put your brisket back on the smoker, then the best way to reheat your brisket is to use your oven. Remember that low and slow is key; don't think you can reheat the meat faster by using a super-hot oven. Preheat your oven to 325°F. A higher temp sucks the moisture out of your brisket (before it is thoroughly heated) and will result in tough, chewy meat.
While the oven preheats, take your leftover brisket out of the fridge, place in a baking pan, and let it sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. This will ensure that it reheats evenly, and you won't have a warm exterior and a cold center. If you have any leftover cooking juices, pour some over the brisket. You can use a cup of beef broth if you don't have cooking juices. Cover the brisket in a double layer of foil and crimp the foil around the edges of the pan; you want a tight seal with no holes. Place your covered brisket in the oven and heat until, per the USDA guidelines, the internal temperature reaches 165°F. If your brisket has already been cut, it won't take as long as one that is still whole.
How to Reheat Brisket in the Slow Cooker
The convenience of a slow cooker comes into play when you want to use it to reheat a brisket. It might not be very quick, but nothing about a brisket was ever quick, right? You may need upwards of 4 hours, so plan accordingly. Here is what to do.
Let the meat rest on the countertop about 20 minutes so it can reach room temperature. Place the brisket in the pot. If the piece is oversized and won't fit into the slow cooker, slice it into thick pieces until it all fits. Empty all of the reserved drippings and juices into the slow cooker—even the fatty, congealed blobs of flavor. If you don't have any drippings, use a cup of beef stock, barbecue sauce, etc. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours, depending on the size of the brisket.
BBQ 101: Tips on Seasoning Brisket
We went straight to a barbecue pitmaster to find out the best way to add spice and flavor to your brisket.
Never Reheat Brisket in the Microwave
A microwave works by turning water molecules into steam, which means your brisket will steam all of its good moisture out and become dry, rubbery, and not very appealing.