This might sound like a dumb question, but I am wondering what is the best way to serve brisket if it is ready a couples of hours before serving?

How do you get the best result and keep it juicy? I already let it rest in a cooler when done cooking which keeps it warm for longer, but if I have to wait longer before serving, should I reheat it? If so how? Or should I try to keep it at a certain temperature until it is served?


2 Answers 2


Not a dumb question at all!

After the brisket is done cooking and has rested in a cooler, you can wrap it tightly in aluminum foil or butcher paper. Wrapping helps to retain moisture and keep the brisket juicy.

If you need to wait longer before serving, you can place the wrapped brisket in an oven set to a low temperature, around 170-200°F (75-95°C). This will help maintain the warmth without overcooking or drying out the meat. You can also use a warming drawer if you have one.

If you find that the brisket has cooled down too much and you want to reheat it, do so gently to avoid overcooking or drying it out. Place the wrapped brisket in a low-temperature oven (around 250°F or 120°C) until it reaches your desired serving temperature. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature and avoid overcooking.

It's generally best to slice the brisket just before serving. This helps to retain the moisture and prevent it from drying out further. Use a sharp knife to slice against the grain for maximum tenderness.

Hope this helps!!!

  • Why wait until after it's rested to wrap it?
    – Sneftel
    Commented Jun 22, 2023 at 16:26
  • Also from Franklin’s barbecue book: “we hold them at 140F until they’re going to be served.”
    – ESD
    Commented Jun 22, 2023 at 18:01

When you pull it off the smoker, wrap the brisket in foil, then in towels, and keep it in a cooler. It should hold at food safe temperatures for several hours.

I have designated "meat towels" for this purpose.

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