Moist Brisket
BBQ Kitchen

How To Keep Brisket Moist After Cooking

Brisket is one of the most sought after 9 primal cuts of beef. Smoked brisket is one of the most classic dishes out there, with understandably hundreds of questions accompanying it. The questions are mostly related to smoking it, keeping it, and also retaining its moisture. In simpler terms how to keep brisket moist after cooking?

Now, if you explore the mighty internet on how to keep it moist, you are probably going to find a handful of tips and steps on it, or about keeping it moist after freezing the smoked meat or while slow cooking it. It’s hard to find holistic coverage for this. We resolve this dilemma and cover every question you might have had when it comes to saving the brisket from drying up. Let’s take a look.

Now, when it comes to keeping the brisket moist, there are three stages where you have to take the necessary precautions to do so. One, while you are smoking or cooking it, and two, when you keep it in the refrigerator after it is done cooking, to eat later or as leftovers. And lastly, when you reheat the frozen brisket. We will take a look at both these crucial stages and tell you what to and not to do.

How To Keep Brisket Moist After Cooking

Stop Brisket Drying Out

You can slow cook a brisket in a lot of ways, by using a grill, an oven, a slow cooker, or even a smoker. Let’s have a look on steps to take for keeping your brisket moist while cooking it slow:

Step 1: Cooking Environment Setup

First you have to set up your cookware in such a way that it helps keep the brisket moist. This means that when cooking it in a slow cooker, you can add one cup of water in it. If you’re grilling the brisket, then you can keep a water pan or a drip pan beneath the roasting meat. In this way the meat juices will get collected in the drip pan and you can reapply those juices on the meat to prevent getting it too dry.

Step 2: Positioning

Always try to keep the brisket in such a way that the fat side is up, so that when the brisket is heated, the fat is melted into it and bastes it in the process.

Step 3: Wrap It Up

You can wrap the brisket in bacon to keep it from getting dry, this also introduces additional flavors and fatty goodness from the bacon to the brisket! Or, you can wrap the brisket in foil or parchment paper too to keep it moist and also help it reach its desired internal temperature quickly, preventing potential meat stall in the process.

Step 4: Spice It Up

Generously coat the brisket with the desired seasoning. This might include salt, pepper, and anything else that you like. Not only does the spice rub provide a good flavor profile to the meat, it also helps create the delicious crust on the meat we love. This crust, apart from enhancing the brisket’s flavor, also creates a moisture barrier on it, not letting the moisture inside escape.

Step 5: Sear, Sear, Sear!

Before putting the brisket in the oven to slow roast it, first sear it in a hot iron skillet on all the sides. Alternatively, first you can roast it at a higher temperature than intended for 15 to 20 minutes, and then reduce it as the brisket browns on the outside. These methods will brown the surface of the brisket, which seals the moisture in.

Tip: Check the doneness of the brisket by poking it with a meat thermometer. Don’t ever slide it up for this, otherwise the meat juices will escape and it will defeat the purpose.

How to Freeze Brisket to Retain Its Moisture

Who doesn’t love a good ol’ brisket? It’s the perfect choice when hosting a medium sized feast or a BBQ party. But the catch here is, one cut of brisket easily measures around 12 to 20 pounds, and that means one thing. Chances are you will have leftovers even after your whole family is done eating it.

Raw Brisket

The only option that remains is to preserve it by freezing. You have to take some care on this stage as well so that the brisket doesn’t lose moisture when it’s in the refrigerator. Let’s explore the steps involved.

Step 1

If you intend to slice the brisket up before freezing, then we recommend to first let the brisket cool down at normal temperature, so that it gets the time to reabsorb those flavorful meat juices. On another note, avoid slicing the leftover brisket altogether if that is possible.

Step 2

Instead of freezing the slices huddled together, keep them separately on a baking sheet before putting them in the freezer. Once they freeze, you can seal them in a ziplock bag to lock in the moisture.

Step 3

You can separate the fats from the meat juices before freezing the brisket. To take it up a notch, use a food saver expandable bag and keep the meat with its juices in it. Suck all the air out of the bag by vacuum sealing it.

How to Reheat Previously Cooked or Frozen Brisket Without It Going Dry

Brisket In Foil

Once you keep the brisket in the fridge and take it out again after some days to reheat it, it loses a good amount of moisture and those nice flavorful meat juices by that time. Here we guide you with some crucial steps on how to stop this so that you can enjoy your brisket even after reheating a frozen slice.

Tip: It is best to defrost your frozen brisket in the fridge for around two days. Alternatively, you can also thaw your meat in a cold water bath. Be mindful of its temperature though, and don’t let it sit at a temperature in the range of 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the favorable temperature range for pathogen growth.

Here are some ways with which you can reheat your brisket:

Reheating in the Oven

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Cover the brisket in foil after defrosting, and put it in the oven with its juices
  • Your brisket is done when it reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit of internal temperature, which takes about 1 hour

Tip: If your brisket is already drying out after defrosting, you can add moisture by reducing apple cider or apple juice by half after boiling and then adding it to the meat, along with your favorite BBQ sauce.

Reheating in the Smoker

  • Heat your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Employ the 2-Zone cooking method to reheat, which is
  • To keep foil wrapped brisket on the ‘cool zone’ or the ‘indirect heat zone’ of the smoker or grill, with is the first half of the grill, with the other half covered with heated charcoal
  • Unwrap the brisket and keep on direct heat for 5-10 minutes, bringing its internal temperature to 160 degrees Fahrenheit

Tip: When reheating on the gas grill, keep the gas on medium low.

Sous Vide

The sous vide method is slowly gaining traction as a great method for cooking meats. This method is great since the meat doesn’t get dry or loses its juices with this. You can employ this method to reheat the brisket as well.

In simple words, sous vide means cooking in a water bath. Here are the steps:

  • Vacuum seal the brisket in air and water tight plastic bag
  • Keep the water temperature between 110 and 175 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Let the brisket remain in the bath until its temperature reaches the same as that of the water

The cons of this method are you need proper gear to employ this method, and also it takes a lot of time to cook or reheat the meat.

Note: Don’t opt for microwaving the brisket, as it will just steam the brisket from inside out, drying it up in the process. You can, however, boil the brisket after keeping it in an airtight plastic bag. The catch here is that you’ve to ensure the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit, which will be a tricky thing to do when boiling.


There you go! We have given you all the tips and tricks to keep your brisket from drying. You can preserve your brisket’s flavors and moisture just by taking a few steps while cooking, freezing, and reheating it. You can try all the options given and decide which works the best for you!

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