Can You Freeze Brisket?

by Charlie

Brisket, which is a beef cut from the lower chest of the cow, is a delicious mouth-watering dish that can be slowly roasted, braised, or smoked. Since brisket is a cut of beef from the lower chest of the cow, it usually has a tough texture.

However, the cut’s tough texture doesn’t mean that it can’t be tenderized and cooked with sweet spices and flavors to make a wonderful dish. It may take many hours of slow cooking over a grill, but the brisket will eventually get tender and juicy with great flavors for eating. 

Maybe you’ve had guests over for a party or some other event and there’s a significant amount of leftover briskets, what do you do? Most likely you wouldn’t want to see all that delicious brisket go to waste. Besides, you must have spent many hours slow cooking the tough beef cut to tenderness.

When left to sit at room temperature, brisket shouldn’t be left out for more than 2 hours. Once the beef cut is exposed to room temp for more than 2 hours, toss it in the trash. The reason for this is that bacteria grow quickly at temperatures within the 40⁰F to 140⁰F range.  

Can you freeze brisket? Yes, you can freeze brisket. Freezing brisket preserves its life for about 6 to 12 months, which is a lot of time for you to use up all the frozen portions of cooked brisket. However, for your frozen brisket to keep that long, you must have followed the correct steps to package the brisket for freezing.    

Refrigeration doesn’t preserve brisket for as long as freezing does, but if you’ll be eating the leftover brisket soon, you can leave it in the fridge to keep for about 4 days. You should know that after freezing your brisket for a while it will eventually start losing its original taste and texture. It is best to consume your frozen brisket within the first six months of freezing. That way you’ll get to enjoy the best taste and juicy texture of the preserved brisket.   

Freezing Brisket 

You may have thought that the portion of brisket you’re cooking can be finished all at once – probably you were feeling very hungry. However, your calculations were off and now you’re left with a large portion of delicious and juicy brisket that you aren’t willing to waste. Thankfully, we have established that you can safely freeze brisket for up to 12 months; refrigeration is also an effective short-term preservation method. 

However, the best results can only be gotten out of freezing when you go about the process correctly. You should also remember to eat the brisket during the earlier parts of the freezing process if you want the best quality brisket.  

How to Freeze Brisket

How well your brisket keeps in the freezer is affected by how well you’ve wrapped it. You have to eliminate as much air as possible from the brisket’s packaging before you freeze it. Here are a couple of easy steps you can follow to successfully preserve your juicy brisket through freezing: 

Step 1: Allow the Brisket to Cool and Wrap in Plastic Wrap  

Start by letting the brisket cool down to room temperature. However, you must be careful not to expose your brisket to room temperature for too long before you start packing it for freezing. Once the brisket has cooled down, start wrapping it in plastic wrap. You can go for a double layer of wrapping for extra protection. 

After wrapping the brisket in plastic wrap, go ahead to wrap it in aluminum foil. Bothe the plastic wrap and aluminum foil play important roles. The plastic wrap shields the brisket from being corrupted by other smells in the freezer while the aluminum foil protects the brisket from cold freezer air that causes freezer burn.  

Step 2: Vacuum Pack the Brisket 

Grab a freezer-safe bag or container that can contain all the briskets and vacuum as much air as possible out of it. If you have an automatic vacuum sealer at home, you’ll have great use for it now. Use the vacuum sealer to remove air from inside the brisket-filled freezer-safe bag and then seal it off tightly. If you don’t have an automatic vacuum sealer at home, you can make use of a straw. 

Push the straw through the bag’s opening, suck out as much air as you can, and quickly seal it off. Vacuum sealing eliminates most of the air in the freezer-safe bag and inhibits the action of bacteria. The vacuum also keeps the brisket from coming into contact with cold freezer air that causes freezer burn. 

Step 3: Label the Freezer-Safe Bag and Place in a Safe Freezer Compartment 

After properly packing the brisket, go ahead to write the present date on the freezer-safe bag – write it with a marker. The purpose of writing that date is to keep you reminded of how long the brisket has been frozen for. 

How to Reheat Frozen Brisket 

You need to be careful with how you reheat your frozen brisket. The correct steps need to be followed if you want to reheat frozen brisket and still get the delicious taste and juicy texture back. Failure to reheat correctly can cause the brisket to be overcooked and really dry. 

One thing that you shouldn’t do is leaving the frozen brisket out on the countertop to defrost – prolonged exposure of the brisket to room temperature will cause bacteria growth to increase and make the brisket potentially harmful to eat. 

One of the safest methods for defrosting frozen brisket is by leaving it in the refrigerator overnight. This refrigerator process actually takes a long time, but it is totally worth it. The frozen brisket can also be placed in a bowl and positioned under a tap of running cold water.  

Frozen brisket can also be thawed inside a microwave, although it isn’t a highly recommended method. So your best option for thawing frozen brisket is by refrigeration.

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