The 2-Step Freezing Technique For The Juiciest Leftover Brisket

If you want to enjoy brisket not just once, but twice, the way you handle your leftovers is key. We all love this type of meat for its tenderness and juicy flavor when freshly cooked, however, this can quickly turn into a chewy, dry disappointment if frozen and reheated improperly. The good news is that there's a simple two-step freezing technique that can save your brisket from a sad fate and keep it juicy for round two.

The first step starts right after you've finished your meal. Instead of rushing to slice up the leftover beef, let it cool off in its cooking liquid. This step allows the chunk of brisket to reabsorb some of the moisture it lost during the cooking process. Once cooled, refrigerate it in the same liquid overnight. The next day, it's time to prepare the meat for freezing.

Remove the brisket from the fridge, take it out of the liquid, and slice it up. It's easier to do this when the beef is cold, as it holds together better. Lay out the brisket slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and pop them in the freezer for a flash-freeze. This prevents the slices from sticking together. After they're frozen solid, transfer the slices to a freezer bag. Ensure you remove as much air as possible before sealing the bag. 

Finally, label the bag. For best quality, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends you eat your frozen brisket within two to three months.

How to thaw and reheat leftover brisket

Now, let's talk about the second phase of handling your leftover brisket — thawing and reheating to recreate that just-cooked taste and texture. The key here is patience. Rushing either of these steps can turn your juicy meat into something more akin to leather which is not ideal. 

Start by removing the brisket slices from the freezer and place them on the counter to thaw for about 30 minutes. While the beef is defrosting, preheat your oven to a low temperature of around 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the brisket slices in an oven-safe dish or pan, add in some of the leftover cooking liquid or beef broth, and cover it with aluminum foil. The covering is important as it traps moisture and heat, ensuring the meat heats evenly without drying out.

Reheat the brisket until it gets to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Once ready, remove from the oven, let it rest for a few minutes, and serve. You'll notice that the two-step freezing technique, combined with gentle thawing and reheating, ensures your brisket remains as succulent and flavorful as it was the first time.