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Smoking Brisket a day ahead

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    Smoking Brisket a day ahead

    I was just asked to smoke a brisket (or two) for a staff get together. I would have to do it a day before the event and then reheat it due to time constraints. I figured if I smoked it to temp and then left it wrapped in the refrigerator, then reheated it the following day on the smoker that it might turn out okay…I just don’t want it to dry out. Anyone have any tips on how best to do this?

    Is there a stove or oven at your work? That would be ideal - if you can't cook and serve the same day. One thing you definitely don't want to do is slice it ahead of time. That will dry out your brisket very quickly.

    I've never done it, so I'll let people with experience speak to the best method.


      There's the long rest in a cooler option if you can time it right. Mad Scientist BBQ did a video (someone recently posted) where he rested it 12hrs. Another member posted that he tried a long rest before and really couldn't tell much difference. I am still a novice on timing, but resting can make up for it.


        I just recently did pretty similar with a brisket in December, 2020. I cooked it the day ahead, finishing it up and coming off the smoker about 9:45 PM. Dinner the next day was at 5:30 PM. I wrapped in heavy duty foil, held it in fridge. The next day, at friend's house, we put it in the oven at 200F and let it reheat slowly for 2 hours. Then sliced. It was about 90%, in my opinion, compared to my normal brisket. Everyone else said it was great. :-)


          Sous vide is a great option if you have, or can get one. I would say to make the trip over to Maple Valley and borrow Eric's, but we haven't gotten him to drink the sous vide Kool-Aid yet!
          Last edited by CaptainMike; June 10, 2021, 12:25 PM.


          • ecowper
            ecowper commented
            Editing a comment
            I ain't doing any o' that new fangled crud. If it wasn't good enough for my gr'gr'gr'gr'great grandpappy

          • Texas Larry
            Texas Larry commented
            Editing a comment
            +1 here.
            Last edited by Texas Larry; June 11, 2021, 06:55 AM.

          I can’t remember where I read it or the exact details, but it was an account of someone who cooks them, wraps them and flash cooks them in and ice chest of cold after before putting them in the frig. I will see if I can find the details.


            I cook ahead all the time, doing it this weekend.
            When they get to probe tender in the flat, wrap if you haven't already, and let it sit at room temp until about 135 internal.
            I then go to the freezer until it is cold to the touch. Don't want a big hunk of any kind of hotness in the fridge.
            On the reheat I'll run 300 and it takes about 2.5 hours to get back to 165, and at that time I can hold it like I just took it off the smoker.


              There's an article on the free side with a method


              • bbqLuv
                bbqLuv commented
                Editing a comment
                My word that is a procedure and a half. But it works for him.

              I haven't read the other responses above me, but YES! You can do it easily. Cook it to the point that you'd normally slice it up to eat -- (200F+/-, then hold an hour at least in a warm environment) --. Then let it come down to room temp-ish. THEN refrigerate it, still wrapped, not sliced. Then re-heat it back up to 160+ the day-of, then slice and serve.


              • Richard Chrz
                Richard Chrz commented
                Editing a comment
                What are your thoughts on reheating over a steam pan?

              • Huskee
                Huskee commented
                Editing a comment
                Richard Chrz I've only ever steamed pastrami and I am not a fan. So for me, dry heat in an oven (or smoker)

              Huskee and Jerod Broussard , are you reheating in the oven at 300°ish?



              • Huskee
                Huskee commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes. Anywhere from 250 to 300 for me.

              Do an overnighter, and plan on it being done with time to spare + hold time.
              That is what I did. When done I left the brisket in foil, wrapped it in towels, and put it in an ice chest.
              I did put the juices on the slices and served them. Also made burnt end out of the point.
              Take notes and post pictures for us.
              Happy grill to you


                I just did this Memorial Day. I did the brisket overnight Saturday night to take to my Mom's Sunday. She doesn't have a smoker, and she won't let me get her one (she had a cabinet charcoal smoker that finally gave out on her a few years back; now she says she has me lol). Problem was we weren't eating until Monday. I got it to probe tender Sunday morning around 11AM. Camdro'd it in a cooler with towels and took it to Atlanta. Left it in the cooler most of Sunday until it got down to warmish (I forgot to take a temp probe) and put it in the fridge whole. Monday AM I put it in the oven at 200 for a few hours with a little beef broth, took it out and sliced at eating time. The flat was a little dry, but the point was spot on, and the flavor was there. No complaints.

                The initial plan was that I would take the WSM with me, but I got a bad bearing on the truck, so we had to improvise.
                Last edited by klflowers; June 10, 2021, 04:02 PM.


                  Chuds BBQ has a YouTube video showing his Foil Boat Brisket which he holds over night till slicing the next day for lunch. Check the video out for exact details, looks amazing


                    I always steam pastrami to reheat and love the result. Have often wondered if it would work with uncured brisket. I see Huskee doesn't like it even with pastrami, but curious for anyone who does like for pastrami - ever tried with normal brisket? I may just have to try this and see what I think.



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