How Long To Rest a Brisket After Smoking Like A Pro?

We all love a juicy, tender brisket. But how long should you rest it after cooking? The answer is different depending on the size of the cut and your preferred level of doneness.

The post will cover how long to rest a brisket after cooking it.  The lack of resting time is a common mistake, but can be overcome by using an oven bag or aluminum foil.  Let’s dive in and find out more about this delicious smoked dish!

Remember- always use a digital thermometer with an alarm function so that your family stays safe from potential foodborne illnesses while eating delicious smoked dishes like these tasty beef briskets!

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How Long To Rest A Brisket After Smoking?

In order to make sure that your brisket is cooked thoroughly and not burnt on the outside before being fully cooked inside, there are some helpful guidelines below for determining what temperature your grill should be set at and how long you should rest a brisket!

How Long Should A Brisket Rest?

As is true with most barbecued meats, letting the meat rest after it has finished cooking is essential. How long you let brisket sit (or any other barbecued meat) varies according to personal preference and how the brisket was cooked.

For example, if you’re barbecuing with a “mopping” method where you baste your brisket throughout the cooking process, then only allow the meat to rest for about 5 minutes before slicing or serving. This allows time for some of the juices to be reabsorbed back into the meat.

If you were using a rub, marinade or injecting solution on your brisket during cooking, then allow it to rest least 10-15 minutes before slicing, as this is a longer resting time that allows the meat to reabsorb some of those flavorful juices.

The final way to let your brisket rest is by holding it in an “oven bag” after cooking and allowing it to sit for 1 to 3 hours. This method seems to allow the meat’s natural juices to be re-distributed into the entire piece of meat rather than just on the surface; however, there are people who disagree with this method because they believe the flavor will dissipate over time.

How long should a brisket rest? The answer varies depending upon how you cooked it and what you want from your finished product.

How long to let brisket rest in cooler?

How long you leave a brisket in the fridge is going to depend on its weight, but only within certain boundaries. If your brisket is over 1.5kg (3’1lb) then you could leave it in the refrigerator for 24 hours before it will be harmful to eat raw. A 2kg brisket should be kept for less than 12 hours,  and anything over 2.5kg (4’7lb) can be left for up to 24 hours after cooking.

Depending on your preference, you could allow beef brisket to rest in the cooler overnight – although this will increase the time that it takes to reach peak flavor and tenderness. However, if you’re preparing a smaller brisket and would like to eat it sooner, then leaving it in the fridge overnight might suffice; all you’ll need to do is leave it out of the fridge for about 30 minutes before serving or slicing.

How long to let brisket rest before putting in fridge?

The best way to ensure that your brisket rests for the correct amount of time before refrigerating it is by letting it sit at least 1 hour. You can even leave it over night if you plan on eating in 2 hours or so, but make sure there are no large cracks forming along its surface!

How long to let brisket rest in foil?

Another way to let brisket sit after cooking is in an aluminum foil “oven bag.” How long you leave the meat in the oven bag depends on the size of your cut. For example, a 3-pound beef brisket would likely take 1 hour and 15 minutes to heat through completely while resting in the oven bag; whereas a 5-pound beef brisket should rest for about two hours and fifteen minutes.

How long should a brisket rest before slicing?

After barbecuing or slow roasting your brisket, it’s important to allow it to rest so that its natural juices don’t escape when you slice into it. How long you let your cooked (and rested) beef brisket stand before cutting also varies depending upon how you cooked it.

If your brisket was barbecued with a mopping method, then allowing it to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing should be plenty; anything more than that and some of those delicious juices might slip away

How To Rest Brisket After Smoking It

(Note: This is for a whole packer brisket, un-trimmed)

  1. Remove from pit and cool at least 1 hour (preferably 2). Remove as much fat as you can (don’t cut into the flat portion to remove fat, use your hand to peel it off like peeling a sticker; you can also spray it with some cooking oil in a spray bottle and rub it against the fat)
  2. Wrap tightly in foil or place in an aluminum pan (foil will give you the best results as far as moisture retention but if using foil make sure not dump any accumulated juices from step 3 below back onto meat when wrapped tight)3. Place back on smoker still wrapped for at least 2 more hours (I recommend 3 hours to be safe). You want the internal temp of the meat to rise another 5-10 degrees (140-160) and you also want it still hot when slicing.
  3. Unwrap and slice as thin as possible across grain into desired thickness or place on a cutting board and slice thin against grain

I like to smoke my briskets around 250 degrees or so for about 4-5 hours (at least 2 large chunks of hickory) depending on the weight of the meat and time of year; seasonings etc…, until it reaches 195 in the flat portion – this is usually right at 9-11 hours in my experience after it’s started cooking. If you can hold off, let rest wrapped in foil for at least 1 hour before serving (preferably upto 2 hours). This will allow all the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. The texture/tenderness will be much better too! Do not slice until ready to eat — again, this allows all those great juices that redistributed during resting to stay inside the meat. The brisket will be much better reheated after a day in the fridge, wrapped tightly in aluminum foil or in an aluminum pan.

How To Rest Brisket In Oven for Party

  1. Remove from oven pit and cool at least 1 hour (preferably 2). Remove as much fat as you can (don’t cut into the flat portion to remove fat, use your hand to peel it off like peeling a sticker; you can also spray it with some cooking oil in a spray bottle and rub it against the fat)
  2. Cut brisket across grain and place back on smoker for at least 3 more hours after removing from pit…I prefer doing this before I start my party so that the meat is still warm when serving.

How To Rest Brisket In Cooler for Party

  1. Remove from pit and cool at least 1 hour (preferably 2). Remove as much fat as you can (don’t cut into the flat portion to remove fat, use your hand to peel it off like peeling a sticker; you can also spray it with some cooking oil in a spray bottle and rub it against the fat)
  2. Wrap tightly in foil or place in an aluminum pan (foil will give you the best results as far as moisture retention but if using foil make sure not dump any accumulated juices from step 3 below back onto meat when wrapped tight)
  3. Place whole brisket or half brisket wrapped tight in foil or aluminum pan surrounded by towels on bottom of cooler and add ice on top of meat.
  4. Allow to rest in cooler for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours (wrapping in towels helps retain more heat).
  5. Slice as thin as possible across the grain and consume immediately….or allow to come back to temp on counter before slicing if desired (cooking during party, etc…). Slicing while ice cold can produce a gummy texture when reheating smoked meats that are sliced cold like brisket, turkey, etc….. So it’s preferred by some that these meats are allowed to warm slightly before slicing if you’re cooking/planning on serving them later.

Some Tips For Resting Brisket

What’s The Best Way To Rest A Brisket?

It depends on how far along your brisket is. If you removed from pit at 160-165 degrees then you don’t need any special rest methods, just let it rest on counter wrapped. If you removed at 170-175 then I recommend wrapping tightly in foil or an aluminum pan and allowing to rest either inside a cooler (w/ice) wrapped in towels for up to 8 hours, or on the counter overnight 2-8 hrs if you prefer it warm when serving.

If your brisket was still smoking hot from last step….and remember that’s hard to do by now pit temp has probably dropped considerably since you’ve been resting meat, then I’d wrap tight in foil and allow additional time to come back up to 150 degrees or so before slicing thin across grain into desired thickness for serving.

How do you keep a brisket moist after cutting it?

1. When slicing the rib portion remove any excess fat on top of the flat before you cut or slice against grain for best results, or leave it on if you don’t mind a little more moisture loss and smokiness.

2.  Be sure to wrap tightly after removing from pit and allow to rest at least 2 hours (3-4 is better), and preferably overnight. Wrap tight in foil and place in an aluminum pan with no added juice if possible (if using foil then make sure not dump any juices back onto meat).

3. Slice as thinly as possible or chop into bite size pieces for use in BBQ sandwiches, quesadillas, tacos etc…..and consume immediately!

What temperature should I rest my brisket in the oven?

Thoroughly cooked brisket can safely stand at room temperature for up to two hours. It should not be held longer than that. The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 190 degrees F when using a thermometer.

The beef will continue cooking while standing, and it’s safe to eat (though flavor will change) when the internal temperature is between 140-180 F. If you like your meat well done, aim for 185 F .

This means if you remove the brisket from an oven set at 250 F, three hours into the process, the internal temperature would be around 185 F (depending on how thick your cut). How To Rest A Brisket After Smoking?

Should brisket rest covered or uncovered?

That was the question at hand during an anonymous survey of barbecue cooks recently undertaken by this newspaper.

As it turned out, there were no dissenting opinions in either camp. All respondents said they believe resting is essential to allow juices to redistribute throughout a cut of meat after cooking. All agreed that if rested for more than 30 minutes, brisket should be loosely covered with foil or butcher paper to prevent surface drying.

Top 9 FAQs Before Resting A Brisket

Q: Can brisket rest too long?

The question on everyone’s mind is can you hold the meat too long? Rest assured, it will not turn into a dry brick if left for an hour. Moisture from urine or blood are replaced with reabsorbed moisture during rest which results in juicy brisket when sliced soon after cooking!

Just notice, it will be just as moist and tender if you let the meat sit for a few hours after cooking.

Q: Is 4 hours too long to rest a brisket?

Do you have 2-4 hours to rest before eating your brisket? If so, try not cutting into it right away. You’ll want the meat cooked through but still juicy with plenty of sauce for dipping!

2 -4 hours is the optimum amount of time to rest a brisket. It’s important that you wait until your cooked meat has cooled before cutting into it, because doing so will also allow any juices in the exposed area have ample opportunity seal out and keep them from flowing away when cut open again–the second slice may be less juicy than what was on first glance!

Q: Can a brisket rest overnight?

Your answer is yes! Briskets are one of those meats that can be refrigerated for up to two days if they’re wrapped in plastic and then returned back into their container. This will keep them fresher than if left out on an open kitchen counter or cutting board where bacteria could start growing again, which would result in less tender meat (and potentially make me sick).

Q: Can I rest a brisket for 6 hours?

– No, six hours is too long and the meat will dry out.

– Yes if you insulate it well. All the heat and moisture will stay trapped inside, so there’s no need to worry about any potential loss of quality!

Q: Can I rest a brisket in the oven?

You can rest a brisket in the oven in 1-2 hours before It dry , but you have to let it cool before eating. You shouldn’t leave any meat for more than two hours because that will cause the internal temperature of your cooked food too low and they’ll be tough on accounta how well done this is!

Q: How do you rest a brisket for 10 hours?

– Place in a pan and cover with foil

– Place in a pan and cover with plastic wrap

– Place in the fridge overnight

Q: Do you unwrap brisket to rest?

When you want to rest your brisket, the first thing that needs to happen is for air exposure. That’s why removing any wrapping or marbling it with a knife before hand will help give better results in terms of taste and tenderness later on when we’re ready come back after sitting down time has passed!

Q: Can you rest a brisket at room temperature?

Yes, Resting the meat after it’s been cooked in an open area, away from heat sources is crucial. Waiting for even 30 minutes to 2 hours can make all of your work worthwhile – not just because this will give you juiciest and tenderest food but also often times there are juices that leak out during cooking which help keep fresh flavors going!

Q: What temp do you prefer to let brisket rest?

– Warm (120°F)

– Cooler (110°F)

– Hot (140°F)


When you’re cooking a beef brisket, it’s important to know when the meat is done.

In order to make sure that your brisket is cooked thoroughly, it’s important that you know when to take it off the heat or grill.

It takes about 5 hours of cooking time for a 3 pound brisket at 225 degrees Fahrenheit, but if there are any pink areas left on your meat then keep cooking until they turn brown and crispy.

So, how long to rest a brisket after smoking?

To stop overcooking after taking the meat off the grill or stovetop (or oven), rest it in an aluminum pan with some foil covering for 30 minutes to 1 hours before slicing up against the grain into thin slices.

Resting will allow juices from inside of brisket will be kept.

A smoked beef brisket is a delicious dish, and it can be cooked to perfection when you have the right know-how. Let us know if this article was useful or if we could have explained something better so please reach out!

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