How Long to Rest Brisket: The Essential Guide

July 16, 2023 5 min read

How Long to Rest Brisket: The Essential Guide

Brisket is a beloved and flavorful cut of meat that requires proper handling and resting to achieve optimal tenderness and taste. 

Resting the brisket after cooking is a crucial step that allows the meat to relax, retain its juices, and develop enhanced flavors.

So,how long to rest brisket?

For the best results, rest the brisket for at least one hour, ideally two or more. This allows the juices to redistribute, maintain moisture and improve the flavor. After cooking, unwrap and transfer the brisket to a platter, covering it for an hour before slicing it against the grain.

Keep on reading to find out more!

How Long to Rest Brisket

To enhance both flavors, it is essential to allow smoked brisket to rest for at least one hour before carving. However, it is highly recommended to extend the resting time to a minimum of two hours or even longer for optimal results.

how long to rest brisket after cooking

Source: BBQ Revolution

You need toavoid cooking brisket too fast, as it can compromise the desired results. In certain instances, successfully resting briskets for up to eight hours in an insulated container has been achieved. 

Brisket is a tough cut of beef with a significant amount of connective tissue, which is why slow cooking is necessary. 

After being cooked, the brisket retains a significant proportion of water. Approximately 56% of water content is still present in the cooked brisket. Resting permits the meat to absorb the juices and moisture again, leading to a pleasantly succulent and richly flavored brisket.

While it's safe to rest brisket at room temperature for up to an hour, longer periods require specific methods to ensure food safety.

Why is Resting Brisket Important?

Resting brisket is important for several reasons.  

Firstly, when you cook a brisket, the high heat causes the juices within the meat to redistribute and move toward the center.  

Resting the brisket allows these juices to redistribute back throughout the meat, resulting in a juicier final product. 

Additionally, resting the brisket withthe right temperature settings helps to retain its moisture. If you were to immediately slice into a brisket after cooking, the meat's juices would spill out, leaving you with a drier end result.  

Allowing the brisket to rest gives it time to reabsorb the moisture and ensures a succulent and flavorful eating experience. 

Furthermore, during the resting period, the brisket continues to cook from the residual heat, which helps to further break down the connective tissues and collagen in the meat.  

This extended cooking time contributes to a more melt-in-your-mouth texture.

How to Rest Brisket: 5 Steps Guide

Resting brisket is a crucial step in achieving flavorful results. Follow these five simple steps to properly rest your brisket and enhance its juiciness and texture.

Resting brisket

Source: ThermoWorks Blog

Step 1: Remove the Brisket From the Heat Source

Once your brisket has finished cooking, whether it was smoked, grilled, or roasted, carefully remove it from the heat source.  

Use heat-resistant gloves or tongs to handle the hot meat and ensure your safety.

Step 2: Remove Any Foil or Butcher Paper

If youwrapped the brisket in foil or butcher paper during the cooking process, now is the time to remove it.  

Unwrap the brisket gently, being cautious not to lose any of the flavorful juices that might have accumulated inside.

Step 3: Transfer the Brisket To a Platter

Place the unwrapped brisket onto a large platter or cutting board.  

Choose a platter with raised edges to contain any juices that might still be released during the resting period.

Step 4: Leave the Brisket Alone For an Hour

Cover the brisket loosely with foil or a clean kitchen towel to keep it warm, and let it rest undisturbed for at least an hour.  

The resting time can vary depending on the size of the brisket, but a general rule of thumb is to rest it for about 1 hour per pound of meat. 

During this resting period, the brisket will continue to cook slightly from the residual heat, allowing the collagen to break down further and enhancing the softness.

Step 5: Slice the Brisket After Resting

After the resting period, it's time to slice the brisket.  

For optimal results, utilize a sharp carving knife and cut the brisket against the grain. Allowing the brisket to rest guarantees a juicy and flavorful outcome while slicing it after resting helps preserve its moisture and overall quality.

Tips & Tricks to Mastering Brisket Resting

Mastering the art of brisket resting can elevate your barbecue game. Discoveressential tips and tricks to ensure your brisket is perfectly rested, resulting in juicy, and flavorful meat.

  • Plan Ahead: When preparing your brisket, account for the resting time in your cooking schedule. Resting is a crucial step that should not be rushed.
  • Temperature Control: To help the brisket retain its heat during the resting period, you can place it in an insulated cooler or wrap it in additional layers of foil.
  • Patience is Key: Avoid the temptation to cut into the brisket immediately after cooking. Give it ample time to rest, and you will be rewarded with a more delicious result.
  • Taste Test: While resting, use this time to prepare any accompanying sauces or sides. This way, everything will be ready to serve once the brisket is sliced.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How do I know when the brisket has rested long enough?

You can determine if the brisket has rested long enough by gently pressing it with your finger. If it feels tender and springs back slightly, it is likely ready to be sliced.

Can I reheat the brisket after it has rested?

Yes, you can reheat the brisket after it has rested. To preserve its moistness and retain its juiciness, envelop the brisket in foil and gently heat it in a low-temperature oven or on a grill.

Does the size of the brisket affect the resting time?

Yes, the size of the brisket can affect the resting time. As a general guideline, it is recommended to rest the brisket for about 1 hour per pound of meat to allow for proper redistribution of juices.


The question ofhow long to rest brisket is essential for achieving a tender and flavorful result. 

While a minimum resting time of one hour is recommended, aiming for two or more hours is preferable. 

Exercising patience while allowing the brisket to rest enables the juices to redistribute. This further promotes a moist and delectable outcome while also improving its overall texture.

It’s time to leave, until then, goodbye!

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