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Picked up two Painted Hills briskets (9.6 & 10.5 pound) today from Rain Shadow Butchers in Seattle in preparation for the Fourth of July holiday weekend ahead. If you're ever in the area, you should check them out as they're known for providing old world service in a contemporary/urban setting. Case and point, they know the ranches and the ranchers that provide their product and even brag about knowing some of the animals! Not too many places dry's a thing of beauty to see!

My goal is to serve one brisket at 5 PM on 7/4 and the second brisket at 5 PM on 7/5 - neither of which will be served at my house. To complicate things further, I will be gone both mornings attending family events and away from home the night of the 4th until about 11-12 PM.

Based on their size, I know I could get them on the middle and top racks....but don't think I could get both on one rack. Should I cook both at the same time - starting the night of the 3rd - and then FTC the one to be served on the 4th holding the 2nd one in the fridge to be reheated on the 5th? The brisket for the 5th isn't the main dish and doesn't have to be a show piece.

Or should I just plan to do two smokes....starting the second one at about midnight on the 4th and hope that it is done when I pass through to pick it up in the early afternoon. This seems like a recipe for disaster to I'd appreciate insight from those more experienced.

How best to proceed?
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How do you plan reheat?

I was planning on doing a large group feed with pork and brisket a few years ago. And I asked the same question. I was told to go ahead and pull the porka nd slice the beef. then place in bags, cool and then place on ice. Then place in boiling water to reheat.

I have done this a few times for groups of 125, and it works well. I am going to do the same thing this 4th in Indianapolis. Use good bags, don't fill to full. Don't let the bags sit in contact with sides of pot. Place in sternoe pan with hot.

If you foil, place the juice from the foil in the bags. If not, I add a little butter and apple juice when I fill the bags. The water bath will keep the meat from over heating and drying out.

Was thinking that I would use a big food saver vacuum bag on the second brisket (whole....not cut up) and add some apple juice to whatever juices I was able to save from the foil. Would then place the vacuum bag into a big old pot of boiling water to reheat the brisket before slicing it up on the 5th. I know that this will not maintain that bark we all lust after...but given the circumstances I feel like this is a safer route. Thanks for taking the time to reply!
There are a bunch of posts, under the FIND at page top that would meet your needs.
Being an old comp cook,I try to stay away from vending[too hard work]and caters,except really close friends.

Randy's approach is very common and used by many of us,as it works well.There are other reasons to shift to some of the other approachs,but shouldn't need to complicate Randy's good advice.
Yep yep. Start cooking today. Get both in the bag. if you finish in the foil dump off the juice..defat and chill separate from the meat. When things have chilled down slice the brisket and reassemble exactly as cut. Pan it up and dump the defatted juice mixed 50/50 with water over the top and bring the liquid level up to about knuckle deep in the pan. Tin foil top and reheat on the pit or the oven till it hits 160 and starts smelling good. If you cook neeked briskets replace the missing moisture with black coffee. Reheat each sliced and panned briskets as needed in their own time frame.
Smokin, I have used the food saver bags, and one time the edge seam gave way. I hyave been using the 2 1/2 gal hefty zip locks. They seem to have heavier seams and they hold up to the heat. Got 5 briskets and 8 butts in them right now, heading out in the morning to serve friday evening.

I feel the sliced meat will reheat quicker than a big chunck of meat. And in the liquid it will stay moist.

Trial and error is the best and most painfull way to learn.


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