Brisket in advance

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Original poster
Nov 5, 2014
I will be to busy over Christmas weekend to get two brisketts done for extended family lunch on Monday the 26. I was thinking of smoking Wednesday, cooking then just reheating on Monday. Is this ok or is there a better way? They are both around 15 pounds and I do not want to risk staying up all night Sunday for a failed attempt.
I would smoke early and enjoy your visit with no stress, I hate to be late. 

I have tried three different ways to do this. I have smoked as normal then vacuum sealed and frozen in one piece afterwards.  I found it kinda messy to have to thaw, un-package then heat up and then slice, especially at someone else's house.. 

I have smoked as normal, sliced, then re-stacked in glass baking dishes and stored covered in foil in a cold refrigerator or even freeze a little and then after transport, slowly heat up at about 250 in the oven a couple hours or so if there is an oven to easily use where you are going before your meal.  Works pretty well, but I have found ovens usually are busy with other things at different temps at most family gatherings. 

The best and easiest way I have found for me in this situation is smoke as normal early then stack the sliced brisket in a crock pot liner full to the brim for storing in a cold fridge or freezer for a day then back to the refrigerator to stay almost frozen at home and then transport for reheating a few days later.

You can usually find counter space to plug a crock pot in that is out of the other cooks way in a remote busy kitchen.  I had to even put one out in one relatives garage to be out of the way of the "cooks in the kitchen" until we were ready to eat one time.  A crock pot is a little slow to warm up even on high for a while.  I would allow 3 hours, High a while, then turn it down to simmer and you will be more than fine to serve steaming hot meat.

To me, this is the easiest and best option if it would work for you.  I have found a standard crock pot will hold a 15 lb brisket after cooking, trimming a little fat, and naturally just a little quality control tasting as you are slicing.  You really do not want to serve that slightly dry crunchy first slice off the end tip to Aunt Jane do you? Thought not, Ha Ha

In all cases I poured in a mix of 1/2 left over juice after removing the fat and 1/2 water in the bottom of the pot before refrigerating for moisture while heating back up.

Not quite "just off the smoker" at your house, but pretty darn close, and importantly, on time.

Good luck to you.  Dazzle them with your brilliance and enjoy your Christmas Holiday..
This sounds like a plan.  I may even wait until the next day to cool, then slice and place into a liner before freezing a day.  It looks like I will be cooking Wednesday and eating Monday.  Thanks agin! is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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