Growing up in southern Virginia, I’ve always been a pulled pork guy, but now that I live down here in Atlanta, and am just that much closer to Texas (the Brisket capital of the world, mind you), I figured I’d start boning up on my brisket smoking skills. As luck would have it, that ended up being an incredibly wise decision because as it turns out, this pulled pork guy is developing a serious affinity for smoked brisket these days.
That said, as much as I enjoy a perfectly smoked and moist brisket, the one thing that sucks about them is that they begin to dry out almost immediately upon slicing and as expensive as they are around here ($8.50/pound for USDA Choice), the last thing I want to do is have any of it go to waste.
So what’s a cheapskate barbecue connoisseur, such as myself, to do? Glad you asked.
Step 1 – Preserve
The first thing you want to do with any leftover brisket is to preserve it by getting it in an airtight container. Ideally, you’d have something like a Foodsaver Vacuum Food Sealing System to seal the leftover brisket, but if not, no worries.
I’ve had success wrapping my brisket up tightly in aluminum foil and then sealing it in a freezer bag. If you really want to take this method to the extreme, get a straw and suck the air out of the freezer bag before sealing.
Either way, once the meat is sealed in an airtight container, label it and toss it in the freezer until you’re ready to eat it.
Step 2 – Reheat with a little TLC
Okay, so, it’s the dead of winter and you have a craving for some of that awesome smoked brisket you made during your Labor Day barbecue. Solution?
No, don’t even THINK about putting it in the microwave!
Instead, grab your frozen brisket out of the freezer and let it thaw in the sink. Some folks will tell you to let it thaw slowly in the refrigerator, but that isn’t necessary. The sink is perfectly fine.
Next, take your brisket and place it in an oven-safe baking dish.
Pour in just enough beef broth to cover the bottom of the dish and then tightly wrap the dish in aluminum foil. We’re not only going to reheat this bad boy, but we’re also going to steam the moisture right back into it.
Set the oven for 300F and plan to reheat about 20 minutes or so if it’s already sliced or up to an hour or so if it isn’t.
You should then have yourself a perfectly warm and moist brisket dinner that’s every bit as good as it was when it first came off the smoker.
Note: Shout out to Big Green Craig for also confirming my suspicion that this was the proper method for preserving the flavor and moisture of a smoked brisket.