Can You Freeze Brisket?

If you’re stocking up on meat for an upcoming BBQ, you may end up buying more than you actually need. After all, our eyes are sometimes bigger than our bellies! Brisket is best enjoyed on the BBQ but can also be prepared in lots of different ways.

But regardless of how you prepare brisket, is it possible to freeze any leftovers to ensure it doesn’t go to waste? Let’s take a look now.

The Quick Answer

Yes, you can freeze brisket. Brisket can be frozen for around 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 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
    While it’s perfectly fine to freeze brisket whole, consider portioning it before loading it into the freezer. For instance, if you’re likely to use sliced brisket on 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 your brisket, you will then need to double wrap it. Use either heavy-duty 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, so make sure it’s extremely well wrapped before freezing. 
  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. Remember, you can freeze cooked brisket for around three months. 

3 Tips for Freezing Brisket

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing brisket to have the best results:

  • Add Gravy – Depending on how you’ve prepared your brisket, freezing it with gravy is an excellent way of helping it to retain its moisture. Simply coat your cutting (or slices) with gravy before wrapping, and you will find that your brisket is incredibly moist and tasty after it has been defrosted. 
  • Freeze it Fresh and Whole – If you know in advance that you’re not going to eat all of your brisket in one sitting, consider slicing your meat into two portions – one that you will cook now and one that you will freeze. The reason for this is that fresh and whole brisket that is wrapped airtight will be good in the freezer for anywhere between six and twelve months.
  • Don’t Delay – It stands to reason that the sooner you place the brisket in the freezer, the fresher it will be once it has thawed. Unless you expect to use the leftovers within a few days, don’t put your brisket in the fridge before freezing. As soon as it’s cooled, wrap it well and place it straight in the freezer, as this ensures it will be super fresh and moist once it has been thawed. 

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. 

You Can Freeze Brisket for up to 3 Months

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. 

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing brisket or brisket in general, then these may help:

How Long to Defrost a Brisket?

As a whole brisket can be quite large, it can actually take multiple days to defrost. Place it on a plate in the fridge for 48 hours to allow it to thaw fully. Once thawed, you’ll need to use it up within 24hrs. 

Can yOu Freeze Smoked Brisket? 

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

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