Oh my gosh. Leftover brisket can be used in so many amazing ways. Let’s talk about how to reheat brisket by itself or in a million different brilliant recipes without losing flavor or ending up with dry, disgusting beef. You are going to love this.
🥩 How Much Do I Need?
I highly recommend buying at least double the brisket you actually need for the first meal so that you can make brand new recipes with the leftovers. Plan to serve ½ pound of meat per person on the day you make it. After your smoked brisket has been served, refrigerate or freeze the leftovers.
Sliced or diced brisket will work best if you plan to freeze it, but if you are placing it in the refrigerator, you can go ahead and leave it unsliced. This will give you more options for how to reheat it later.
🍴 How to Store
If you are planning to reheat your brisket, it’s important that you store it correctly for the best results.
First, if you plan to freeze it, go ahead and slice it (the brisket flat) or shred it (the brisket point). If you are refrigerating it, you can choose sliced or unsliced, and it won’t matter.
Second, make sure to place the brisket in an airtight container or freezer-quality baggy. Even if it’s going in the fridge, a freezer quality bag is essential to keep odors out and liquids in.
Third, keep refrigerated brisket for two or three days and keep frozen brisket for up to three months. Check cooked and refrigerated beef carefully for signs of spoilage before using the leftovers.
🥄 How to Reheat Brisket Without Drying it Out
If you plan to use your brisket as-is, without adding it to a new recipe, the process is very straightforward.
Oven: To reheat brisket in the oven, wrap the sliced or whole meat in foil with butter and broth or apple juice. Bake it at 400ºF until the meat is up to temp at 165ºF.
Skillet: Place slices on the skillet over medium heat for one or two minutes and then flip it and cook it on the other side. A little BQ sauce can help keep it moist.
Microwave: Proceed with caution when using the microwave. You can use the microwave as long as you reheat the meat slowly and check it often because it can go from perfect to dry and chewy very fast with this method. I would not attempt to reheat an unsliced brisket portion in the microwave.
When reheating meat, you want to make sure you follow all of the temperature guidelines to keep your family safe.
First, make sure that the meat doesn’t hover between 90 and 140ºF as it cools down from your first meal. If the meat sits out at room temperature for too long, bacteria will have time to proliferate, and the meat will spoil more quickly. Instead, make sure to refrigerate the leftover meat as quickly as possible.
Second, make sure the meat is properly covered in the refrigerator, stored in an airtight container, and kept for no more than two or three days before you put it in a new dish. If you won’t reuse it within the allotted time, consider moving it to the freezer instead.
Third, make sure the meat is reheated to the correct temperature for beef to kill any existing bacteria. You should reheat the brisket to a temperature of at least 165ºF. In soups and baked dishes, this isn’t usually an issue. However, for sandwiches or any time the meat is reheated in a skillet, you want to make sure you give it enough time on direct heat. Putting the brisket in a sandwich on the panini press where it doesn’t have direct contact with the heat source is probably not a good idea unless you heat up the meat first.
If you are making Brisket Chili or any other soup with your leftover brisket, the process of reheating it is simple. For refrigerated meat, cut it into bite-size pieces, add it to your soup after all the other ingredients have been heated through, and continue cooking the soup until the meat is heated through.
For frozen meat, add it to your soup with the other ingredients so that it has time to thaw. If the frozen meat is not already diced, you may have to partially thaw it in the microwave and then cut it into bite-sized pieces and add it as the ingredients heat up.
🥣 Baked Dish
Add leftover brisket to baked beans, cheesy potatoes, or other similar dishes where the brisket actually reheats as the food is baked. This is very simple. As long as your dish will be in the oven for thirty minutes or so, you can add the leftover brisket in with the rest of the ingredients and let it heat through as it bakes.
If the brisket is frozen, you may need to briefly thaw it in the microwave to break it up and heat it. You can also thaw the brisket in a skillet or pull it out to the refrigerator overnight to thaw.
With twice-baked potatoes, you can cut the brisket up. Then simply add refrigerated smoked brisket directly to the potatoes before placing them in the oven. If your brisket is frozen, you will need to thaw the brisket partially in the microwave or refrigerator. Then cut it into bite-size pieces and add this to the potatoes before baking them. For brisket nachos or any other use of brisket as a topping, the process would be similar.
You can also add reheated brisket to the top of a salad or to mac-n-cheese. For this kind of application, simply reheat the brisket in a skillet, or you could even reheat the brisket on a George Foreman grill. While a microwave can work, it is probably not the best choice since your meat can go from perfectly fine to dried out and weird or chewy in a matter of seconds.
Our brisket-grilled cheese is to die for. But if you want options, there are a million different sandwiches you can make using leftover brisket. Throw leftover slices of brisket in a skillet and add provolone to make a cheesesteak-style sandwich on a long bun. Chop up brisket and add bbq sauce on a round bun for a traditional BBQ sandwich. Use your imagination to come up with sandwich variations.
Cook the brisket in your microwave in thirty-second or one-minute increments and check it often. It will go from good to overdone quickly.
Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Wrap the brisket slices in foil. Add some broth or apple juice before sealing the foil. Place sliced brisket packets on a sheet pan. Place the brisket in the oven. Check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer and remove the meat as soon as it reaches 165ºF.
Use a skillet on medium heat to reheat brisket slices for one to two minutes per side until the meat is 165ºF.
Preheat your skillet to medium heat, and then cook the brisket slices for one to two minutes per side. Make sure the meat reaches 165ºF. Adding bbq sauce can help prevent the brisket from drying out.
Cook the brisket at 400ºF or the closest setting you have on your air fryer. Place the brisket slices inside and cook for a few minutes until the meat is 165ºF. The air fryer will cook the meat faster than the oven so watch it carefully. The exact time depends on the size of your air fryer and the number and thickness of the slices.
Thaw the brisket first. Once it is fully thawed, you can wrap it in foil, place it in the oven at 225º and bake it until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. The time will depend on the size of your brisket and may take up to one hour.