There’s nothing more satisfying than eating a smoked brisket. You’ve spent hours smoking it yourself on your smoker or pellet grill and everyone has enjoyed an amazing meal. No matter what, there are almost aways leftover brisket. Which is never a bad thing in my opinion.
But you will have to reheat that brisket, and it’s not quite as easy as it sounds. How do you reheat brisket for tomorrow? Well, you have a few different options: use an oven or air fryer, vacuum-seal and then submerge in warm water, or put it back on the smoker.
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For me, the best way to reheat brisket is in the air fryer. If you don’t have an air fryer yet, you absolutely should get yourself one. It’s a fantastic way to reheat just about any food, including brisket.
But I understand that not everyone has an air fryer. So in this article, we delve into the best way to reheat brisket and provide some alternatives in case you don’t have one at the ready.
The Best Method to Reheat Brisket
Ultimately, when reheating brisket, you want to retain its juiciness. You want to avoid drying it out as much as possible because it defeats the purpose of slow-cooking the brisket to make it soft and tender.
The perfect method to achieve that soft and juicy reheated brisket is in the air fryer or the oven. It’ll evenly spread the heat so no parts of the meat are overexposed—minimizing the chances of dehydrating your brisket.
You do have a few options if you don’t have an oven. Whatever method you choose to do, stay away from the microwave! This is one surefire way to dry up your brisket in a hurry.
OUR FAVORITE AIR FRYER
There are a lot of features to love about this air fryer, but top of our list are the super easy to clean basket, how fast it cooks (faster than other air fryers we’ve tried), and how great it is at getting things super crispy.
How to Heat Brisket in the Oven or Air Fryer
Like when cooking your brisket for the first time, slow and steady wins the race. It’s best to avoid high temperatures because that dries out and overcooks the meat—this is why we don’t recommend using the microwave!
Below is a quick guide on how to heat brisket in the oven or the air fryer. Just remember that the air fryer is an oven on steroids. It heats food quite a bit faster than the oven because it’s smaller. So you will need to adjust the cooking times accordingly.
Let the Brisket Sit at Room Temperature First
Take the brisket out of the refrigerator and let it sit for a few minutes until it’s at room temperature—that’s around 68 to 72°F.
If you’re taking it out of the freezer, you might want to let it sit in the refrigerator overnight to defrost first. Then you can take it out of the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to make sure all pieces are defrosted.
Preheat Your Oven
You’ll want to preheat your oven or air fryer so it’s at the perfect temperature already before you put the meat in. If you don’t preheat, the meat will spend quite a bit of extra time in the oven than is necessary, and that will allow it to dry out.
What is the best temperature for reheating brisket? The most common range is between 225ºF and 300ºF. Avoid going over that range because you don’t want to shock your meat with high temperatures. I almost always go with 250 degrees F, because it’s the gentlest temperature for the reheat. If I’m in a hurry, I’ll go with 300ºF.
Double Wrap Your Brisket
Aluminum foil or butcher paper is a savior when it comes to avoiding drying out or burning. Using it to wrap your brisket lets your meat lock in moisture.
We recommend wrapping it twice because any holes in the first foil wrap will significantly increase the risks of drying it out. Double wrapping eliminates this possibility by providing a tight seal over the brisket.
Place it in the Oven
The amount of time you need in the oven depends on how your brisket is sliced.
If it’s already cut into thin slices, 10 minutes in the air fryer or 20 minutes in the oven should be enough. However, if your brisket is whole, it would typically need around 25 minutes in the air fryer or 45 minutes in the oven.
Other Ways to Reheat Brisket
Say you don’t have an oven, or it isn’t available for whatever reason. What other methods can you try? In this section, we looked at some of the alternative ways to reheat brisket.
Using the Smoker
Using a smoker is similar to using an oven when reheating brisket.
Remember to keep the temperatures low because we want a slow and steady reheating to help the meat retain moisture better. Typically, you’d want the temperature to be around 250ºF.
Just like in the oven method, wrap your brisket in aluminum foil and add all of its original cooking juices. Keep a close eye on the meat while reheating to avoid accidental burning if you place it under direct heat from the smoker.
Sous Vide Method
The sous vide method uses a vacuum seal and warm water to reheat the brisket. It’s quite similar to boiling, but without the risk of losing flavor because of water absorption.
Some consider sous vide as one of the best methods for reheating brisket too! That’s mainly because there’s virtually no chance of overcooking or drying out your meat if you use this method.
There’s less room for error, but you need special equipment for this method. First, you’d need to vacuum seal your brisket in food-grade plastic wrap.
Set up the water bath and adjust it to 165°F. You’ll know your brisket is ready if it reaches the same temperature as your water.
A lot of effort goes into making slow-cooked brisket. If there are leftovers, you want to keep the brisket in the same state as it was the first time it came off the grill.
The best way to reheat brisket is in the air fryer or the oven. This method retains the juiciness and tenderness of your meat.
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Laura is a passionate home cook and grill enthusiast who has spent years perfecting her culinary skills, with a particular focus on grilling techniques and flavor combinations. Her fascination with the grill, smoke, and the mouthwatering results they produce has led her on an exciting journey to discover the best methods for grilling delicious and unforgettable meals.