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Can You Freeze Brisket?

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By Ross Young

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If you’re stocking up on meat for an upcoming BBQ, you may end up buying more than you actually need. Regardless of how you prepare brisket, is it possible to freeze any leftovers to ensure it doesn’t go to waste?

Freeze Raw Brisket

Can You Freeze Brisket?

Yes, you can freeze brisket for up to 3 months. Brisket can be frozen raw, or after it has been cooked, so it’s up to you how you portion it up for the freezer. Either way, you will need to ensure that it’s well wrapped and protected from freezer burn.

How to Freeze Brisket

The biggest risk to the moisture of your brisket is air. So, whatever you do, you need to make sure it’s well wrapped and protected from freezer burn, as you don’t want it to dry out.

You will also need to decide whether to freeze your brisket whole or already sliced, as either work.

Below are the simple steps you need to follow in order to freeze cooked brisket: 

  1. Cool
    If you’ve cooked your brisket, you will need to leave it to cool thoroughly before freezing it. The best way to do this is to place it on a rack on the countertop, allowing cool air to circulate around the meat. 
  2. Portion
    Consider portioning it up before putting it into the freezer. If you’re likely to use sliced brisket in a sandwich, portion your meat accordingly before freezing it. This makes your life much easier when it comes to defrosting the brisket, and you don’t have to worry about any wastage. 
  3. Double Wrap
    However you’ve decided to portion it, you will need to double wrap it. Use either cling film or tin foil to wrap your brisket before placing it in an airtight container. Freezer burn is the single biggest threat to the moisture of your frozen brisket.
  4. Label and Freeze
    Place the lid on top of your freezer-safe container and write the date that you purchased or cooked the brisket. You should also make a note of the use-by date of the meat.  
Can You Freeze Raw Brisket?

Yes, brisket can be frozen raw. Wrap it in multiple layers of cling film before placing it into a freezer bag. Seal the bag up and then place the bag into the freezer. Make sure you label the bag! You could also cut it up into portions before freezing it.

Can You Freeze Smoked Brisket?

Although it’s possible, you may find that smoked brisket that is frozen will lose some of its smokey flavours. The longer it is frozen, the more the flavour will degrade. 

How Long Can You Freeze Brisket?

You can freeze brisket for around three months. 

If you’ve already cooked your brisket, we wouldn’t recommend freezing it any longer than this, as it will begin to dry out. However, brisket that has been frozen when it is fresh will be good in the freezer for anywhere between six and twelve months.

So, if you want your brisket to last that little bit longer, it’s a good idea to freeze it before cooking. 

How Long Does Brisket Last in the Fridge?

Unfortunately, cooked brisket will not last for a long time in the fridge. It will only last for around 4 days if wrapped tightly and kept airtight.

How Do You Defrost Brisket?

To defrost brisket, remove it from the freezer the day before you plan on eating it. Transfer it straight from the freezer into the fridge, leaving it initially in its airtight wrapping.

Depending on how big your portion of brisket is, it could take anywhere between 10-18 hours to thaw fully in the fridge, so you will need to be patient. Don’t be tempted to defrost brisket in the microwave as it will affect its moisture content.

Also, you should never defrost meat on the countertop, as it can easily go bad and cause a stomach upset.

Can You Refreeze Brisket?

If you’ve defrosted your brisket in the fridge, it’s safe to refreeze it. But the challenge with refreezing tender meat like brisket is that you risk spoiling its moisture content, and it can easily dry out.

If you think you will use brisket for several meals (as opposed to in one go), it’s a good idea to split the meat into smaller portion sizes before you freeze it initially.

This way, you can easily remove the required amount of brisket and don’t need to worry about having to refreeze any leftovers. 

Does Brisket Freeze Well?

Brisket freezes extremely well. While cooked brisket will stay good for around three months, if you freeze the meat while it’s super fresh, you can leave it in the freezer for anywhere between six to twelve months.

The trick to guaranteeing moist, delicious brisket is making sure that it’s tightly wrapped, as freezer burn will cause your meat to dry out.

So, providing you take the necessary care when preparing your brisket for the freezer, you will find that it freezes extremely well. 

Sources

We have verified the information on this page using the following resources:

The Spruce Eats

Bearded Butchers

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