A Guide to Freezing Leftover Brisket

published Mar 31, 2018
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

If I could implore you to do one thing whenever you cook brisket, it would be this: Make extra brisket and freeze it. Beef brisket is better the day after it is cooked, but it can be momentarily life-changing when you remember you have some ready and waiting in the freezer. This simple tip for freezing those leftovers will ensure that you can take the leftovers and turn them into breakfast, lunch, or dinner anytime.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Slice Leftover Brisket and Freeze in a Single Layer

For easier brisket freezing and reheating, slice the brisket and freeze it in a single layer. This will give you brisket “popsicles” that you can then move to a freezer bag or container for long-term storage. Whenever you need just a few slices, you can pull out and thaw just what you need.

Key Steps for Freezing Leftover Brisket

  • Cool cooked brisket in its cooking liquid. This is what makes brisket better the next day. When it’s cooled in the cooking liquid, the brisket will stay moist, absorbing some of the liquid and fat as it cools. If you freeze just-cooked sliced brisket, it will be quite dry.
  • Slice and freeze slices in a single layer. The next day, remove the brisket from the cooled liquid and slice. Lay the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze until solid, about three hours.
  • Label and store. Once frozen, move the brisket slices to a freezer bag or freezer container and label. Store frozen brisket for about three months.
  • Use as needed. When you need a few slices of brisket, remove them from the freezer and reheat with a little beef broth in a skillet. Sautéing them in a shallow pan with some liquid will thaw them while keeping them moist.

Lastly, that cooking liquid from the brisket? Freeze that in muffin pans or small containers — it is liquid gold that can jump-start soups, finish stir-fries, or simply help reheat that frozen brisket.