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I have to do a brisket the day before (off heat by 6pm, eat at 6pm the next day), so I'm wondering if I should (a) smoke the brisket to 170 ish (stall temp), remove it, stick it fridge and cook to desired doneness the next day or (b) cook it all the way through and then just reheat the next day.  Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

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I've never done either one of those, but it seems to me the two-stage cooking process would be very uncertain. The second stage is not like resuming a cook starting from the end point, because you'll be starting with a partially-cooked, cold brisket that needs to be brought back to the previous end temp, during which time it will be cooking. Also, I don't know what changes in texture, etc., might occur during the cooling and refrigeration step.

It does sound like a great experiment, though. I wonder if restaurant chefs have figured out a way to accomplish this?

In my limited experience, slowly reheated brisket is pretty darn good. I've heard of reheating in hot water in a zip or vacuum seal bag, but haven't tried it. Good luck! (And report back!)









When I do briskets I plan on a 20 to 24 hour cook.  I use a remote thermometer so I know what is going on with the meat.  I start the brisket the day before the dinner, and set the smoker at 225 to 250 degrees.  When it is time to go to bed I turn the smoker down to 200 to 205 degrees.  The next morning I look at what my meat temp is (usually around 175 to 180 degrees).  I then turn the smoker back up to 250 degrees.  If the meat temp isn't where it needs to be in the last 3 hours of the cook I will bump the smoker temp up to 275 to 300 degrees.  I do not wrap my briskets during the stall.  I start probing the brisket when it hits 195 degrees.  When the skewer goes in and the brisket feels like warm butter The brisket will actually wobble like jello.   I pull them out and put them in a disposable aluminum pan cover with aluminum foil, and place them in a warm ice chest for 2 to 4 hours.   I usually do 2 to 4 briskets when I do them. 

Mike, your plan is great. What brisket do you usually use? Choice or prime? Packer rather than flat, I assume? Source? I've only done packers from Sam's Club, since short of online ordering that's all I can find, although once I found a pretty good one at a small butcher about an hour from where I live, not very convenient.

Last edited by jay1924

So....I decided to use the HOT and FAST cooking method to cook the brisket.  I smoked my brisket x 4 hrs at 300F starting at 7:30am the day before.  At about 11:30am, Internal temperature was about 140F when I wrapped it in foil and stuck it in the oven at 300F.  After about 3 1/2 hours, brisket reached internal temp of 200F and I stuck the brisket into the fridge (actually got someone else to do this as I was away from home and unable to do this).  Next day, at 4:30pm, I opened up the foil and slowly reheated the brisket at 250F until it was warm enough to eat.  This took about 1 1/2 hours.  Brisket turned out fantastic!  Thanks to everyone for your comments and taking the time to reply.

Jay:  I have done both choice and prime.  I get the choice from a local store and sort through them as best I can.  The Prime I get is from Costco.  Doing some good sorting on the Choice briskets I have gotten some that looked as good as prime.  I really can't tell any difference in taste or tenderness.  I have only done packer briskets.   

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