How to Reheat Brisket Correctly?

I am sure many of us can’t resist a juicy brisket taken out of smoker literally minutes after. Most of the people enjoy it while warm, however when it comes to reheating brisket one may wonder how to do it. 

As the actual preparation of brisket takes patience, the same goes with reheating brisket. There are couple of ins-and-outs in knowing how to reheat brisket and get the best out of it.

To be honest, during my BBQ journeys I realized that the best way to reheat brisket is to wrap it in aluminum foil and then shove it to the smoker or on the grill.

I have to mention, that I always smoke brisket with hickory or applewood chips soaked in water. If you still have questions regarding which wood should you use to smoke brisket, I have written an article about the best wood for smoking brisket.

For some reason, no matter how many pounds of brisket I smoke, I always end up with some leftovers. Let me tell you, brisket leftovers are goldmine if prepared the right way! Not one slice of that meaty and juicy beef will go to waste with this handy guide for how we all may go about reheating brisket without really turning it into the jerky.

Different Ways To Reheat Brisket

As mentioned in the beginning, the procedure of preparing and cooking brisket can well be slow and long, but it is all worth our effort.

Before getting to the different ways to reheat brisket, I must add that storing the brisket plays a major role in reheating the brisket. Probably, the best way to keep brisket from drying out is to vacuum seal it it. Additionally you can put in a box with a lid or wrap it in tin foil. This way the meat wont dry out so quickly.

brisket leftovers are goldmine if prepared the right way!

Considering the leftovers, there can be couple of ways to reheat brisket. In my experience the best results in reheating brisket came while using: grill, smoker, oven, crockpot or sous vide.

I must add, if you use smoker or oven, please please please wrap your brisket in aluminum foil. By doing this, all the the heat will not leave the meat and will prevent your brisket in getting dry!

I don’t want my brisket to become a jerky

Look, its quite simple – reheating brisket is all about bringing it back to that nice texture, not drying it out. For this reason, always remember to reheat it using low temperature and short period of time. All of us can reheat our divine cut of beef meat in numerous ways and utilize it in several other dishes. 

What is the secret in reheating brisket?

Well, let me tell you, there are no secrets, but a good preparation in how we are planning to reheat it.

How we store our or freeze the leftover Brisket may significantly affect how good it reheats. Always use boxes, sealants or anything else to keep brisket from direct cold. When storing leftovers, we should slice brisket and let it cool in remaining juices to guard the meat against drying out. It will even help it maintain a bit of its tenderness and juiciness.

I have achieved the best results reheating brisket in a grill, smoker, crockpot and sous vide, really. Anything but that is out of the window, for sure.

4 Different ways to reheat brisket


First thing we need to know is that we can’t set temperature too high. This will ultimately turn your brisket to hard and dry lump of meat. Whenever I reheat my brisket I preheat my oven to 325° Fahrenheit.

While I am waiting on an oven to preheat, I usually wrap the my gorgeous (yes, this is how I call it :)) in one or couple of layers of aluminum foil and then I let it sit at room temperature for about 20 to 30 min.

The two layers of foil will ensure that if there is any hole in the first layer, it is well covered by that second layer so no glorious juice will be wasted.

The oven may dry the brisket out when there is not enough moisture. For this reason I have a pro tip for you: always save the drippings from the cooking or smoking brisket. This juice is literally liquid gold. You have no idea how much it influences the brisket being reheated. 

Pour this juice into a tray and place your brisket literally on top of it. If there is not enough juice from the brisket, cover the very bottom of a tray with beef broth. This can be used as a substitute in achieving great results.

always save the drippings from the cooking or smoking brisket! 

How long to cook it? Well it depends on the size of the brisket. In guidance, I always aim for 160° Fahrenheit internal temperature – which usually takes around full hour if the brisket is whole and around 20-30 minutes if already sliced.

Lets conclude all instructions:

      • Preheat oven to 325° Fahrenheit;
      • Double wrap the meat in the foil;
      • Let the tucked in brisket sit at room temperature for approx. 30 minutes;
      • Pour leftover brisket juice or beef broth at the bottom of the tray and plant your bomb;
      • Shove that big boy in an oven for 30-60 minutes, depending on the size.

Grill or smoker

Another option to successfully reheat brisket is to use grill or oven. The technique is the same for the both options. Reheating brisket this way will provide us with more or less similar results as reheating in the oven, but it will take a little bit longer.

While reheating brisket in grill, I set it up to usually around 225°F. This way it is not so scorching inside and the lump of meat can slowly heat up nicely and evenly.

For reheating brisket in grill, I usually wrap it in the aluminum foil and put it out of direct grill zone. I let it sit there for a while, until the internal temperature is around 150° Fahrenheit. Then I unwrap it and put my favourite BBQ sauce all over the brisket.

To finish up, I place the meat under direct heating zone for about 10 more minutes. When my meat thermometer hits 160°F, I know the brisket is ready to go.

Concluding the instructions:

    • Preheat the grill to 225° F.
    • Ensure to go and set the grill to a 2-zone setup.
    • Wrap the brisket in a few aluminum foil sheets and put that in a cold or indirect grill zone.
    • Let the brisket cook until the big boy reaches internal temperature of 150° F. 
    • Unwrap the brisket and then shift it onto a direct heating zone of the grill.
    • Let the meat finish cooking there for about 10 minutes tops. Use the meat thermometer to ensure that it’s reached the internal temperature of 160° F before serving it. 


While this way is slower than others, it’s a quite decent reheating technique that evades drying out the Brisket. The same way as before, first things first- make sure the brisket is resting on a counter for around 20-30 minutes to reach room temperature. 

There can be a chance, that your brisket is too big for a crock pot (never happens to me), but don’t worry – just slice it before shoving it in there. This will not harm the meat at all.

As mentioned earlier – save the brisket juice and use it as a base for crockpot. When there are not enough leftover juice, just use simple beef broth – this will definitely enhance the flavour and prevent the meat from getting dry.

I usually set up my crockpot to a low temperature while reheating it. The reason for that is that crockpot tends to get meat really dry when hot. I have tried it several times and the best results came in letting the crockpot run on a pretty low temperature – around 185°-200° F.

Have you seen those videos online when the meat literally falls of the bone? Well, this is kind of what we are trying to achieve. I usually let it run for a good while – 3 to 4 hours. This way, the meat texture start collapsing and trust me, that is one different level of a brisket.

Sous vide

Alright, while this might sound really fancy it is quite an easy way to reheat pretty much anything, to be honest. I do not often practice this way of reheating stuff, but one of my good buddies does.

Sous vide is that “pro chef secret” when it comes to reheating brisket. The meat, actually,  warms up without getting cooked any further, meaning that each bit will be extremely tender and juicy. This method – particularly the warm bath for brisket – takes additional time and effort, which is kinda not for me, but the results are pretty decent, I must say.

If you haven’t heard yet, sous vide is a way of cooking/reheating food when it is vacuum-sealed and then dipped in hot water – sounds simple right?

While dipping the brisket in our “bath” the main goal is to allow it to luxuriate, to release the tension of the meat. My friend told me, that he never goes over 150°F while reheating food.

Sliced brisket is likely to turn dry and tough using this method, but the very risk is negligible when we’re making use of this clever method.

The time taken to sous vide sliced meat depends on the very thickness of your pieces: The Brisket that’s sliced into ½-inch shaving will likely be ready to be piled on the sandwich bread in just about 11-min while more substantial pieces (let’s say, 2-inch-thick) will be required to bathe for about an hour.

In conclusion

If there is a leftover brisket and you are about to throw it away – you are nuts! Same goes for the juice that collects while cooking it. I believe that the methods listed in this article will definitely help you in finding the best way in reheating brisket. I literally have some leftover brisket in my fridge – on my way to reheat it!


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