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Brisket make ahead help and comments


Joined Aug 1, 2020
I have to make a brisket a couple of days ahead of when we're actually going to eat it. I'm think that I should either (a) smoke it to a certain temperature (say 170F, stall temp), cool, then cook to desired doneness the day we need it or (b) cook it all the way through in one day and then just reheat the day we're eating it. What do you think would be the better method? Any other way you might do this? Thanks.


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
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Joined Jun 22, 2009
I think I would cook it all the way thru, slice it up & add as much juice as you have to it, cool it down & wrap tightly in saran wrap & foil. Refrigerate, and then re heat it in a 250 degree oven for a couple of hours with all the juices. If it's a small brisket I prefer to reheat it in a pan of hot water sealed in a vac bag. It comes out just like you just cooked it. Even if it's been frozen for months!

Buttah Butts

Smoke Blower
SMF Premier Member
Joined Dec 22, 2019
I have had great success is reheating brisket with sous vide method.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Jun 10, 2008
If you don't need to hold it at a certain temp for long periods Sous Vide takes to long to warm up a vat of H2o. Like Al said vacuum sealed and a pot of near boiling water works great toss it in for a few minutes and it's ready to eat.


Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
Joined Dec 1, 2019
I can't tell you how many cook-ahead briskets I've done for various events and friends. I smoke as usual but triple wrap with some jazzy beefy broth when the internal is around 160°, then cook it tender, then rest in an insulated cooler for at least 3 hours. Next I vent the pouch until the internal falls to 145°, then seal the pouch and put it in a bucket liner bag and plunge into an icy slurry in a large cooler. Your objective is to get the brisket <40° as fast as possible, which will take about 45 minutes or so. The icy bath also prevents condensation from forming in the pouch, and you can check that if you want. Next the brisket goes into the freezer or my spare fridge if they are going to eat it in a day or so.

Reheating is in a 250° oven and after 75 minutes the pouch is opened and the internal temp is checked. They usually take another 30 minutes of so. If you have liners for your nitrile gloves you can turn it over in the pouch after checking it. USDA says reheated food should go to 165° so if this is a public type event I adhere to that. If it's something like a birthday party where the meat will be devoured in short time, 150° is a good temp. You always want to slice brisket right before plating, so you can hold a big piece in the same foil pouch back in the oven (which is off, but still warm).

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