Brisket is usually enjoyed cooked on the grill with BBQ sauce, but it can also be prepared in many other ways. Most people will cook the brisket and end up with leftovers. If that’s the cause, you may wonder if you can freeze brisket.
So, can you freeze brisket? Yes, you can freeze brisket. It can either be frozen raw or cooked. Properly stored, brisket can be frozen for up to 3 months. Make sure it’s well wrapped to prevent freezer burn.
Does Brisket Freeze Well?
Due to the high moisture content in the brisket, it freezes extremely well.
Cooked brisket will usually last for around 3 months. If you freeze raw meat, it will last for much longer. You can leave it in the freezer for up to 12 months.
The trick to ensuring that the brisket stays fresh in the freezer for a long time is to keep it moist. Once the brisket begins to lose moisture, it will become dry.
Therefore, if the brisket is prepared correctly and stored properly, you will find that it will freeze extremely well.
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How To Freeze Brisket
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When it comes to freezing brisket, the biggest risk is air. If the air is leaked into the meat, it will dry it out. This will affect the taste of the brisket greatly. To ensure that doesn’t happen, you’ll need to make sure it’s well wrapped and protected from freezer burn.
Before freezing, you’ll need to decide if you want to freeze the brisket whole or sliced. Both will freeze just fine, and the method of freezing them is the same.
Below are the steps to freezing brisket:
Step 1: Allow To Cool Down
If you’ve cooked the brisket, allow them to cool down to room temperature. It’s not recommended to place the brisket into the freezer while it’s still hot or warm. Doing so will cause condensation in the storage container, which will cause the brisket to become spoiled.
You can leave the brisket on a rack and set it on the countertop. Turn it around every 10 minutes to help speed up the cooling process.
Step 2: Portion
You can freeze brisket whole, and it’ll freeze perfectly fine. This is a great way if you’re planning to use it for a large family meal.
On the other hand, if you’re planning to use the meat in sandwiches or for a small meal, it’s best to portion it before freezing. This will make it easier when freezing and thawing them. Most importantly of all, you don’t have to worry about any of it going to waste.
Step 3: Double Wrap
This step of the freezing process is very important. The meat needs to be sealed tightly to prevent freezer burn. If any air gets past the wrap, it can dry out the meat. The result will be a tasteless and hard brisket.
For both whole and sliced brisket, use either heavy-duty film or tin foil. Double wrap them for extra protection. Ensure there is no part of the meat that’s exposed.
Step 4: Airtight Container
Once the brisket is wrapped, place them into an airtight container. Before securing the lid to the container, check to see if the seals are damaged. Look for tears, cracks, or deterioration. If you notice any of these, replace the seal or the entire lid. Just a small cut in the seal will let the air into the container, which could cause freezer burn to the meat.
Step 5: Label and Freeze
With a marker, write the content and date of freezing on the airtight container. Then place them into the freezer for storage.
Can You Freeze Brisket After Smoking?
Yes, you can freeze brisket after smoking. Smoked brisket freezes well, just like fresh or cooked brisket.
However, once it’s frozen, you will notice that it will lose some of its smokey flavors. The longer you keep it in the freezer, the more the flavor will degrade.
How Long Can You Freeze Brisket?
Brisket can be frozen for about 3 to 12 months, depending on if it’s cooked or raw.
If the brisket has been cooked, you can store them in the freezer for about 3-4 months. Avoid keeping them any longer as the brisket will likely start to dry out. When this happens, it will lose much of its flavor. You’ll still be able to safely eat it, though.
On the other hand, brisket that is frozen when fresh will last much longer. You can keep raw brisket frozen anywhere between six and twelve months.
How Do You Defrost Brisket?
Depending on whether you freeze brisket as a whole or slices, the best method is to let it thaw in the fridge. This will allow the meat to thaw without affecting the flavor or texture.
If you are defrosting the whole brisket, it can take anywhere from 10-15 hours for it to thaw completely. For that reason, try to thaw the brisket a day before you plan on eating them.
On the other hand, sliced brisket will take only 1-2 hours to thaw.
No matter how short you are on time, never defrost brisket at room temperature. This will cause the meat to thaw unevenly. While the outside is thawed, the inside will still be frozen. This can lead to bacterial growth on the brisket, which could cause food poisoning.
Can You Refreeze Brisket?
Yes, you can refreeze brisket, but only if it’s defrosted in the fridge. Refreezing the brisket can be a challenging one. Once it’s thawed, the meat will lose some of its moisture. As you freeze it again, the meat could become dry.
To ensure that you won’t have to refreeze brisket, try to freeze the meat in portions. That way, you will only need to remove what you need without worrying about refreezing it.
Other Questions about Brisket
How long does it take to defrost a 12-pound brisket?
It will take around 3-4 days to thaw a 12-pound brisket in the fridge. If you thaw them at room temperature, it will take about 24 hours. Ensure that the brisket is wrapped completely to prevent flies and other insects from landing on it.
Can you freeze brisket with gravy?
A great way to retain moisture in the brisket while it’s frozen is to add gravy. After the brisket has cooled down, cover the entire meat with gravy. Then double wrap them with tin foil and place it into an airtight container. Seal the container, label it, and place it into the freezer.
After the brisket has been thawed, you’ll find that it will still be moist and tasty!