Brisket is a tough cut of beef that needs to be cooked low and slow to become tender and delicious. When you cook a whole brisket, you usually end up with leftovers. While fresh-cooked brisket is ideal, you can reheat brisket and still get a tasty result if you use the right methods. This article will provide tips on the best ways to reheat brisket whether it’s smoked, sliced, or frozen.
Reheating Brisket in the Oven
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Use a lower temperature to ensure the brisket warms through without drying out.
- Place brisket in an oven-safe dish or pan. Make sure the dish is large enough to accommodate the brisket without crowding.
- Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. The foil helps retain moisture as the brisket reheats.
- Heat brisket for 20-30 minutes until warmed through. Check temperature using a meat thermometer to confirm it reaches 165°F.
- Avoid heating the brisket much beyond 30 minutes or it may become dry. Keep an eye on it.
- For sliced brisket, lay it out in a single layer in a foil-lined pan. Heat at 300°F for 10-15 minutes.
Reheating Brisket in the Microwave
- Place sliced or shredded brisket in a microwave-safe dish. Cover it with a paper towel or wax paper to prevent splattering.
- Microwave on high in 30-second intervals until heated through, checking and stirring after each interval.
- Take care not to overheat the brisket, as the microwave can create hot spots. Reheating beyond 2 minutes may dry it out.
- Let the brisket rest for a minute or two after microwaving before serving.
Reheating Brisket in a Slow Cooker
- For shredded or sliced brisket: Place it in the slow cooker and add 1-2 cups of beef broth or barbecue sauce.
- For a whole brisket: Place it in the slow cooker fat side up and add broth or sauce around it.
- Cook on low for 2-3 hours until heated through. The extended time prevents drying.
- Use a thermometer to confirm the brisket reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
Reheating Brisket by Sautéing
- Slice or shred the brisket into smaller pieces for sautéing.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the brisket and sauté until hot and slightly crispy on the edges, about 5 minutes.
- Add a drizzle of barbecue sauce or beef broth to moisten it.
- Serve the sautéed brisket warm. The crispy bits add great texture.
How Should You Reheat Smoked Brisket?
Smoking a brisket requires hours of slow cooking at a low temperature in a smoker. It’s easy to end up with more smoked brisket than you can eat in one sitting. Here are some methods for reheating leftover smoked brisket:
- Use the oven – Preheat your oven to 325°F. Place the brisket in an oven-safe dish, cover it with foil, and warm it through for 20-30 minutes. This gently brings the meat up to temperature without drying it out.
- Use the microwave – Microwave smoked brisket for 1-2 minutes on high, checking it frequently. Microwaving can lead to uneven hot spots, so stand nearby and don’t walk away.
- Use a slow cooker – Place sliced brisket in a slow cooker, add a small amount of barbecue sauce or beef broth, and cook on low for 2-3 hours. The slow cooker will evenly bring the brisket up to temperature.
- Sauté it – Dice up leftover brisket and sauté the pieces in a skillet over medium-high heat with barbecue sauce. This adds nice crispy bits.
How Should You Reheat Sliced Brisket?
Pre-sliced brisket reheats a little differently than unsliced brisket. Here are some good reheating methods for leftover sliced brisket:
- Warm it in the oven at 300°F for 10-15 minutes uncovered. Watch closely to avoid drying it out.
- Place slices in a foil pouch with a bit of broth. Seal and warm in a 300°F oven for 15 minutes.
- Melt cheese on top. Put slices on a sheet pan, top with shredded cheese, and melt under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.
- Make burnt ends. Dice up the brisket, toss in your favorite barbecue sauce, and broil or sauté until crispy.
How Do You Reheat a Frozen Brisket?
It’s ideal to thaw brisket in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. However, if you’re in a time crunch, here are some quicker methods:
- Thaw in cold water – Place the frozen brisket in a leakproof bag submerged in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes until thawed.
- Use the microwave – Defrost a frozen brisket in the microwave at 30% power in 5-minute increments, flipping occasionally. This can lead to uneven cooking.
- Cook frozen brisket at 300°F – Increase oven time by 50% over a thawed brisket, and cover with broth or sauce to prevent drying out.
- Use a sous vide circulator – For the best results, cook frozen brisket sous vide in 131°F water for 18-24 hours until completely thawed and heated through.
Tips for the Best Reheated Brisket
- Always reheat brisket to an internal temperature of at least 165°F.
- If the brisket seems dry, add a bit of broth, sauce, or au jus to moisten it.
- Slice the brisket across the grain before reheating for maximum tenderness.
- Don’t overcook reheated brisket or it will become tough and dry. Use lower oven temperatures and frequent checks.
Here are some recommended appliances for reheating brisket:
- Toaster Oven – A toaster oven with convection settings can reheat brisket nicely. The Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven is compact but powerful.
- Standard Oven – Any standard full-size oven works well. Gas ovens heat brisket a bit more evenly than electric.
- Panasonic Microwave Oven – This 1.2 cubic feet microwave from Panasonic has an inverter technology that delivers consistent heating for reheating brisket without drying it out.
- Toshiba Microwave Oven – For a budget option under $100, this 1100W microwave from Toshiba uses smart sensor technology for thorough heating.
- Crock-Pot Manual Slow Cooker – Crock-Pot is a trusted brand, and this 5-quart manual slow cooker evenly reheats brisket for 2-3 hours.
- Breville Fast Slow Pro – For a versatile appliance, the Breville converts from pressure cooker to slow cooker with presets for meats like brisket.
- Look for microwaves with at least 1000W power and inverter technology for even heating.
- Slow cookers with 5+ quarts capacity work well for reheating a whole brisket.
- Convection settings in a toaster oven help circulate hot air better than a standard oven.
- Gas ovens provide more consistent heat than electric when using a standard oven.
With the right technique, you can reheat leftover brisket to be moist, flavorsome, and tender. The keys are using gentle heat, preventing drying, and bringing the internal temperature up to at least 165°F. Whether you have leftover smoked, sliced, or frozen brisket, use these reheating methods to get the most out of your brisket cook and enjoy delicious hot brisket again later.