The GrillingDad Answer: You can freeze any leftover cooked brisket as long as it is in a sealed, freezer-safe container. Do note, however, that the freezer may change the tenderness and consistency of the meat over time. You can also freeze raw brisket to keep it fresh until you are ready to smoke it.
Brisket is one of the best-smoked meats you can make. But what happens when you make too much? Can you freeze it?
Let’s look at some more details about freezing brisket as well as the best methods for doing so!
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Can You Freeze a Cooked Brisket?
Looking to store your brisket for later? Freezing is a popular option. But can you freeze a brisket? The answer is yes, you can freeze a brisket, both cooked and uncooked. Freezing is a great way to preserve the quality of the meat and extend its shelf life.
Cooked brisket can be kept fresh in the freezer for two months. This is much longer than the fridge where cooked brisket will only stay good for about 4 days.
But, we have to be honest here, fresh brisket right off the smoker is the best way to consume it. If you have leftovers you cannot eat, then by all means save them in the freezer, just know that it will not taste quite as good as it did when you first cooked it.
Tips for Freezing a Cooked Brisket
To freeze a brisket, it is important to properly package and store it to avoid freezer burn and maintain its flavor and texture. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Slice the brisket before freezing: Slicing the brisket before freezing makes it easier to store and reheat. It also helps the meat retain its moisture and flavor.
- Use an airtight container or freezer bag: An airtight container or freezer bag will prevent air from getting in and causing freezer burn.
- Label and date the package: This will help you keep track of how long the brisket has been in the freezer and avoid wasting it. Remember all cooked frozen brisket should be consumed within 2 months of the date you made it.
- Freeze the brisket as soon as possible: The longer the meat sits in the refrigerator or at room temperature, the more bacteria can grow, which can affect the quality and safety of the meat.
- Freeze the brisket in a deep freezer: A deep freezer will maintain a constant temperature and prevent the meat from thawing and refreezing, which can cause discoloration and affect the texture.
Can You Freeze a Raw Brisket?
If you have purchased a brisket, and for whatever reason, don’t plan to smoke it before its expiration date, you can freeze it to keep the meat fresh for longer.
As long as the brisket is placed in an airtight bag, you can leave it in your freezer for 6 to 12 months.
How to Freeze a Cooked Brisket
Need more information about freezing brisket? Here are the step-by-step instructions!
How to Package Brisket for Freezing
- Wrap the brisket tightly with plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn.
- Place the wrapped brisket in a resealable freezer bag.
- Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing the bag.
- Label the bag with the date of freezing.
Alternatively, you can vacuum-seal the brisket for better preservation.
How to Store Brisket in the Freezer
Store the brisket in the coldest part of the freezer (-18°C or 0°F). Also, avoid placing the brisket near the freezer door or in the door compartment, as these areas are subject to temperature fluctuations.
How to Thaw Brisket
Ready to eat your frozen brisket? Here are the steps for thawing it out!
- Move the frozen brisket from the freezer to the refrigerator a day before you plan to use it.
- Leave the brisket in its packaging and place it on a plate or tray to catch any drips.
- Allow the brisket to thaw slowly in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours.
- Do not thaw the brisket at room temperature or in warm water, as this can promote bacterial growth.
How to Reheat Brisket
- Preheat your oven to 250°F.
- Remove the brisket from its packaging and place it in a baking dish.
- Add some beef broth or water to the dish to prevent the brisket from drying out.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 2 to 3 hours, or until the brisket is heated through.
- Alternatively, you can reheat the brisket in a slow cooker on low heat for 4 to 6 hours.
- We recommend serving reheated brisket with gravy or BBQ sauce to help hide the change in consistency.
By following these steps, we can freeze and preserve our brisket for later use without compromising its quality and flavor.
Need more information about reheating brisket? Head over to our guide which covers how to reheat brisket without drying it out!