Beef brisket can be prepared and served in a wide variety of ways. It requires long, slow cooking, which tenderize the brisket. Because cooking must be long and slow, brisket is a good choice for a make-ahead meal because reheating won’ dry out or damage the meat.


Plan Ahead

Preparing a brisket the day before you plan to serve it requires a small amount of planning. If your brisket is frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator. A small, trimmed brisket takes around 24 hours. A large, whole brisket weighing 10 pounds or more can take several days. The U.S. Food Safety Working Group recommends refrigerating brisket in shallow dishes no more than two hours after cooking. Have an appropriate container on hand and smake pace in your refrigerator to hold your brisket.

Cooking Brisket

Brisket can be boiled, braised, or smoked with good results. Whatever recipe you choose, be sure to cook the meat to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Because it is tougher than other cuts of beef, it requires at least two to three hours of slow cooking to become tender. A slow cooker is one way to achieve this long, slow preparation.

Reheating Brisket

The best way to reheat brisket depends on the original cooking method. If you originally smoked the brisket, set your oven or smoker to 200 F. Return the meat to the smoker or oven until it is warmed through and reaches an internal temperature of 165 F. You may need to add a small amount of water or broth to prevent drying. If the meat was cooked in a liquid, reheat the meat and liquid together in a slow cooker or stock pot over low heat until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.

Serving Leftover Brisket

Slice leftover brisket into thin strips for sandwiches. Chop it and cook in a skillet with onions, garlic, cubed potatoes and vegetables for a rustic hash. Top with a fried egg for a hearty brunch.