There aren’t many meats that will test your patience more than a huge cut of meat like brisket.
Depending on its size, brisket can take more than 14 hours to smoke.
After waiting for 14 hours, the first thing you will want to do is dig into this gorgeous cut of beef.
However, you must let the brisket rest before cutting into it. But how long should you let the brisket rest?
Why Should You Rest Brisket?
Although it seems trivial, resting brisket is essential to the recipe’s success.
The brisket’s internal temperature will continue to rise when you remove it from your kamado grill or propane smoker because of a process known as carryover cooking.
Ideally, you want the brisket’s temperature to have an internal temperature of 202°F.
However, because of carryover cooking, the brisket’s temperature will rise about 5-10 degrees.
Therefore, you should remove the brisket when it reaches an internal temperature of 195°F.
If you do not remove the meat before it hits this temperature, it will likely end up overcooked.
You should monitor the brisket temperature with a dual probe smoker thermometer.
Another reason resting brisket is recommended is because it helps you retain the meat’s juices.
Lean cuts of beef such as brisket can be dry, tough, and difficult to chew if it is cooked above 170°F.
Brisket can end up dry and overcooked because of moisture loss. Resting the brisket is one way to combat the dryness that ruins the brisket eating experience.
Since brisket consists of 71% moisture, the goal is to preserve as much moisture as possible.
Additionally, brisket also contains a hefty portion of muscles.
The heat generated by the pellet smoker or portable pellet grill causes the muscles to tighten, pulling the moisture to the surface of the brisket and leaving the inside of the meat dry.
If you cut into the meat as soon as you remove it from the offset smoker, the moisture will spill out onto your butcher block instead of remaining in your brisket.
In addition to this, moisture loss will cause the brisket to cool faster.
Ultimately, your brisket will end up dry and tough instead of a juicy and tender cut of beef.
How To Rest Brisket
Once you remove the brisket from the grill or smoker, remove the parchment paper or butcher paper from the brisket if you wrapped your brisket.
You will need to wrap your brisket loosely with foil. Air needs to circulate around the beef, so do not wrap it too tightly.
If you wrap it too tightly, condensation will form on the surface of the meat and ruin its bark.
Nevertheless, the foil will help the brisket retain some of its heat.
In contrast, if you want to prepare your meat in advance, there is a way you can keep the brisket hot for a few hours until you are ready to serve it.
You will need to construct a makeshift cambro. A cambro is a box designed to hold food at 140°F for long periods of time.
Boil a few gallons of water, then pour the water into a food-safe cooler and close the lid. Allow the hot water to sit in the cooler for 30 minutes.
It’s best to pour the water into the cooler about 30 minutes before pulling the brisket off the smoker or grill.
This way, the makeshift cambro will be ready to go when the brisket is finished cooking.
Wrap your brisket with aluminum foil and place it into an aluminum pan once it is ready.
Drain the hot water from the cooler before placing the brisket into the cooler and closing the lid. The cooler will help preserve the briskets heat for up to 4 hours.
Unfortunately, there are downsides to the makeshift cambro method. Yes, the meat’s juices will redistribute into the meat.
However, the meat’s bark will not be as crispy when the brisket is allowed to rest.
Wrapping the brisket in foil will create a steaming chamber, steaming the meat for hours.
Nevertheless, some people prefer brisket with a softer bark, while others prefer a crispy bark.
How Long To Let Brisket Rest
Denver steaks, pork chops, and chicken breasts only need 5-10 minutes to rest.
The same cannot be said for brisket. Since brisket is a large chunk of beef, it needs more time to rest.
If you intend to serve the brisket as soon as possible, rest it for at least 1 hour. One hour seems really long to let the brisket rest.
However, the brisket will cool down to allow the collagen to solidify, and it will still be warm when you eat it.
In contrast, if you smoked your brisket in advance, rest the meat for 2 hours before slicing the meat. Do not allow the brisket to rest longer than 2 hours.
After 2 hours, the brisket will start to cool rapidly, and you will have to reheat the brisket.
If the brisket is not reheated properly, you could end up with dry brisket.
This is why you should loosely tent it with foil if you are going to let it rest for more than an hour.
Make sure you do not wrap the brisker too tightly, as air circulation is essential to wrapping to the resting phase.
Additionally, if you use the makeshift cambro, the brisket will stay warm for up to 4 hours.
So if you’ve got lots of dishes to prepare, you can make the brisket in advance and keep it warm.
Brisket and impatient people do not belong in the same sentence. There is no forcing the smoking process when cooking brisket.
There are two secrets to the perfect smoked brisket: patience and resting the meat.
Knowing how long to rest your brisket will give you the best, most tender, juicy, and moist meat that will make you want to pull out your offset smoker and barbecue food all summer long.
You might also be interested in the following:
- How Long To Let Meat Rest
- How Long To Let Steak Rest Before Cooking
- How Long To Let Steak Rest After Cooking
- How Long To Let Turkey Rest
- How Long To Let Ribs Rest
- How Long To Let Chicken Rest
- How Long To Let Pork Shoulder Rest
- How Long To Let Pork Butt Rest
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.