how long can you rest a brisket? The correct answer

Last Updated on: 29th May 2023, 04:59 am

Most newbie backyarders assume that the procedure for smoking is done after pulling the brisket out of the smoker

But to their surprise, there is still one last step involved to make sure your effort to quit smoking pays off.

This step is the resting of the brisket.

Resting brisket has many benefits which we will discuss later, but first we need to discuss how long you can rest your brisket.

Because the resting time has a huge impact on the appearance and flavor of the brisket.

It can be really frustrating to see your effort being wasted due to resting for too long or cutting it too early.

Believe me, I have been there and it really is easy to mess it up.

After years of testing with several briskets, here is what I learned.

As per general rule, brisket can usually rest for 1-4 hours, depending on the size of the brisket.

The larger the brisket, the more time it will need to rest.

In addition, if you are resting points and flat portions separately, then you can rest them for a maximum of 3 hours.

Here are the key aspects of what we are going to explore in this post.

  • Depending on size, the brisket may be rested for 1-4 hours.
  • You may use the faux cambro method or oven if you want to preserve the internal temperature of the brisket.
  • Resting has several advantages, ranging from redistribution of meat liquids to increasing the taste of brisket.
  • You should be cautious of carryover cooking to prevent the brisket overcooking.

How long can you rest a brisket

As indicated before, brisket may rest for 1-4 hours depending on the amount of the brisket.

If you are smoking a smaller brisket, then 1 hour will be plenty, but in the case of bigger briskets that are over 20 pounds, you need to let them at least 2 hours to rest.

The size of the brisket is the key factor of the time for resting.

Brisket size depends on the size of the cow or any other animal when it is killed.

So if the brisket is smaller, it suggests it will be tender and would take less time for resting.

During smoking, when the internal temperature of the brisket approaches the boiling point, the moisture begins evaporating. It is also known as the stall phase.

Stall usually occurs at 155-165°F and lasts for around and lasts for three to five hours. for more information on what temp does brisket stall.

So, owing to evaporation, the moisture in the brisket is pulled towards the surface of the brisket.

Due to this, the deeper area of the brisket gets dry while the moisture is gathered on the top of the brisket.

If the brisket is sliced immediately after pulling it off the smoker, then the meat fluids will leak out and damage the look of the brisket.

That’s why we rest the brisket.

so that the moisture existing on the surface of the brisket should sink in and be reabsorbed by the fibers of the meat.

This technique varies based on the size of the brisket, therefore it’s vital to take the size into consideration before making the final selection.

In brief, the brisket should be rested for at least some hours before slicing to enable it to become soft and moist.

The resting period of the brisket will vary based on the size of the brisket.

Later in this post, we shall cover the most frequent sizes of brisket in association with their resting duration.

Another thing to consider is whether you are resting the point and flat separately or as a whole.

If the brisket is divided into two portions, then its size will decrease and it will require less time for resting.

The resting time of the brisket depends on size

As discussed earlier, the resting time of brisket depends on the size of the brisket.

Briskets typically weigh between 10 and 20 pounds.

But in some cases, it can be below 10 pounds or above 20 pounds.

you also need to take in account the size of brisket when resting. usually brisket lose about 30 percent of weight during smoking. here is an in depth guide on how much weight brisket lose when smoking.

Here is the resting time for these briskets, depending on size .

Resting time for briskets weighing less than ten pounds

In some cases, the brisket size can be less than 10 pounds.

These are softer than the usual briskets and don’t require much resting time.

You can rest briskets under 10 pounds for at least 30 minutes and you will be good to go.

However, if you can wait a little longer, resting for a couple of hours would be ideal.

Because of the smaller size , the moisture will redistribute in less time.

Moreover, due to their being smaller, the fibers of such briskets will absorb the meat juices more quickly.

You also need to be careful about resting them for too long because it can result in the brisket cooling.

Brisket resting time of 10-15 pounds

It is one of the most common sizes for briskets.

Due to being larger in size , this type of brisket will require more time for moisture to redistribute into the brisket.

In addition, these briskets usually have a tougher texture than smaller briskets.

You rest such briskets for at least 45 minutes before slicing.

It will give the fibers enough time to absorb the meat juices.

But if you have some extra time , then make sure to rest this brisket for 1-2 hours for better results.

Resting time for briskets in the 15-20 pound range

Most of the briskets available commercially are usually in this range.

These are tougher in texture and require more effort to smoke.

So you need to be really careful about resting them because it’s easier to mess them up by resting for too long or too short a time.

If you are smoking a brisket in this range, then you should considerably rest them for at least an hour before slicing them.

Even after one hour, you will still need to wear insolation gloves before slicing them, because some meat juices can still be present on the surface.

Resting time for briskets weighing more than 20 pounds

These are the real beasts of the brisket.

These briskets are usually not available commercially.

But these can take several hours or days to smoke completely due to their tougher texture.

Obviously, this will necessitate more rest time.

As per our experience, you should consider resting such briskets for at least 90 minutes to 2 hours before slicing them.

Due to their larger size , these will require more time to redistribute the meat juices.

But you need to be careful about cooling down at the same time.

If your brisket is beginning to cool down during resting, then you should consider resting it by using the faux cambro technique or in an oven.

What does “carryover cooking” mean while resting brisket?

Carryover cooking refers to the continued rise in temperature of the brisket after it has been taken from the smoker.

Carryover cooking is most common during the resting period.

Depending on the size and texture of the brisket, the temperature might rise by 5-15 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is critical to remember that the brisket will continue to cook even after you take it from the smoker.

Smoking and cooking of brisket are two different things. its important to keep in mind that smoking of brisket will be stopped after removing it frim the smoker but it will keep cooking.

It’s a good idea to remove the brisket 5-10°F before it reaches the desired temperature.

For example, if you want to cook a brisket at 190°F, it is a good idea to remove the brisket around 185°F and set it aside to rest.

Otherwise, residual cooking will raise the temperature and cause the brisket to overcook.

Rest is an essential element of smoking.

You must be mindful of the brisket’s minimal and maximum resting range.

The meat juices will leak if you slice the brisket too soon.

If you leave the brisket to rest for an extended period of time, it will continue to cook or chill.

As a result, it is critical to determine a resting range for the brisket.

Brisket should be rested for 30 minutes to 4 hours, depending on size.

This range is critical for the brisket to rest.

You can’t rest every brisket for 30 minutes or 4 hours.

Consider the size of the brisket and make your decision based on the ranges shown above.

At the same time, don’t let decision-making overwhelm you since it’s the only way to properly master smoking.

Why do we need to rest the brisket?

Resting is a particularly crucial phase in brisket. It is not an optional step; rather, it is obligatory for every brisket to rest before slicing it.

There are various advantages to resting brisket.

Some of them are mentioned below

It allows redistribution of meat juices

Resting the brisket allows the meat juices to disperse more easily.

The meat juices will sink in and be reabsorbed by the meat fibers while the brisket rests.

As a result, the meat juices will not drain during slicing.

Meat fluids are an important component of smoked brisket.

This is often the moisture content of the brisket.

When smoking brisket, the surface is perforated to evaluate the color of the flesh fluids to determine doneness.

So you’re aware that meat fluids are present on the surface of brisket and seep out when you probe it.

But do you know where these liquids originate from?

The fact is that moisture from the brisket is drawn to the surface during evaporation.

During the stall phase, it is drawn to the surface.

However, even after the brisket has finished smoking, the aroma persists on the top.

So, if the brisket is chopped soon after smoking, the meat juices will seep out and ruin the texture.

boosts the brisket’s tenderness

Resting, in addition to redistributing meat juices, helps to soften the brisket.

Brisket softens due to two factors: residual cooking and moisture retention if covered.

Carryover cooking is one of the most overlooked aspects of the smoking business.

After pulling the brisket from the smoker, the temperature will continue to rise for some time.

This temperature increase will soften the meat by breaking down the fibers.

Second, if the brisket is covered while resting, the moisture will be retained and the brisket will be cooked by steaming for some time.

It will aid the brisket in becoming more tender and moist.

After a few hours, the brisket will be soft enough to be readily taken out.

improves the taste

Resting brisket also helps to improve its flavor.

It’s like giving the rub and other seasonings one more chance to properly seep into the brisket.

Along with the meat juices, the rubbed particles will sink deeper into the brisket.

Furthermore, if you applied sauce to the brisket during smoking, resting will have an even greater impact on flavor.

The sauce and rub will mingle together and enhance the flavor of the brisket.

Is there a distinction to be made between resting and holding when smoking meat?

Resting and holding brisket are sometimes confused and used interchangeably.
Because there is little information available on such subjects, you may even find professional pitmasters utilizing this phrase instead.
The interior temperature of the brisket distinguishes it between holding and resting.
When holding, the internal temperature of the brisket must be maintained for a longer period of time.
We like to rest the brisket at room temperature to allow the meat juices on the surface to sink back into the brisket.
Furthermore, we only refrigerate it for a maximum of 4 hours to avoid over-chilling.
In the case of holding, we are more concerned with maintaining the brisket’s temperature at 160°F to ensure that the brisket is delivered fresh.
That is, we care more about storing than we do about resting.
In summary, sitting at room temperature allows the meat juices to be absorbed anew.
While holding, use a fake cambro or an oven to ensure the brisket’s internal temperature remains steady.

is resting essential for brisket

yes resting is definitely essential for brisket because it takes several hours to smoke turkey and the moisture is drawn to he surface. so after you have smoked it its important to rest it for sometime to allow the redistribution of of meat juices from the surface to the deeper side.

Final verdict

You can rest the brisket for 1–4 hours, depending on the size of the brisket.

Resting brisket is important, but you need to be careful about resting it for too long.

If you want to maintain the internal temperature of the brisket, then consider storing it in the oven or using the faux cambro technique.

Jakob miller