Skip to Content

How do you rest a brisket flat?

Grilled or roasted meats are a popular dish that is enjoyed by many, but there is an often overlooked step in the cooking process that can make a world of difference in the final result. Resting the meat before serving is crucial for both flavor and tenderness. One of the most beloved cuts of meat by BBQ enthusiasts is brisket, but many don’t know how to properly rest it. This blog post will guide you on how to rest a brisket flat the right way.

What is Brisket?

Before we dive into how to rest a brisket flat, let’s first discuss what a brisket is. Brisket is a cut of meat from the lower chest of a cow. It is a tough and stringy cut that has a lot of connective tissue and fat. Brisket is often smoked or roasted to tenderize the meat and render the fat for a juicy, flavorful dish.

Why is Resting Meat Important?

When you cook meat, the heat causes the fibers and proteins to contract and squeeze the juices from the meat towards the center. Resting the meat allows the fibers and proteins to relax and redistribute the juices throughout the meat, making it more tender and moist. Additionally, excessive heat can cause the meat to dry out, but resting the meat allows the residual heat to continue cooking the meat without drying it out.

Steps to Resting a Brisket Flat

1. Remove the Brisket: Once the brisket is finished cooking, remove it from the heat source (oven, grill, smoker, etc.) and place it on a cutting board.

2. Remove Foil or Butcher Paper: Carefully remove any foil or butcher paper that may be covering the brisket. Be careful not to puncture the meat or lose any of its juices.

3. Transfer to a Dish: Transfer the brisket to a dish or aluminum pan that can catch any juices that may be released during resting. If the brisket was wrapped in foil or butcher paper, save any juices that may have collected in the wrapping and pour them over the brisket in the dish.

4. Cover: Cover the brisket with foil or a clean kitchen towel. This will help keep the heat in and prevent the meat from cooling down too quickly.

5. Rest: Allow the brisket to rest for at least one hour, and up to three hours if possible. The longer the meat rests, the more tender and moist it will be.


Resting a brisket flat is a crucial step in the cooking process that should not be overlooked. It allows the meat to become more tender and moist, resulting in a more flavorful dish. Remember to remove the brisket from the heat source, transfer it to a pan, and cover it before allowing it to rest for at least one hour. Follow these steps, and you’ll have a perfectly rested brisket that your family and guests will love.

If you’re interested in learning more about grilling and smoking meat, be sure to check out for all your BBQ needs.


Should I unwrap brisket to rest?

When it comes to smoking a brisket, resting the meat properly after cooking is crucial to its overall flavor and tenderness. However, many people are unsure whether they should unwrap the brisket during the resting process or leave it wrapped in foil or butcher paper.

It’s worth noting that resting a brisket is essential because it allows the meat to re-absorb its own juices and redistribute them through the fibers. This results in a more flavorful and tender brisket.

Some people advocate for wrapping the brisket in foil or butcher paper during the resting phase to ensure that it stays moist and doesn’t dry out. However, while wrapping the brisket might keep it moist, it can also cause it to continue cooking and mess with the equilibrium of flavors.

When you wrap a brisket while resting it, it essentially retains heat and continues to cook as long as it’s wrapped. This can lead to an overcooked, dry, and chewy brisket that lacks the desirable flavor and texture of a perfectly cooked brisket. Additionally, wrapping a brisket while it’s still hot can cause the juices to steam and become trapped, which can create a soggy exterior and dilute the flavor.

Instead of wrapping your brisket, it’s best to remove it from the smoker and allow it to rest at room temperature for about an hour. You can place it on a wire rack or a cutting board and loosely tent it with foil. This will prevent it from losing too much heat and keep it from drying out, without causing it to continue cooking.

Remember, resting a brisket is a critical step that can make or break the quality of the meat. So, for best results, avoid wrapping your brisket and give it ample time to rest at room temperature.

What temp do you pull a brisket off the smoker to rest?

Smoking a brisket is a culinary art that takes patience and attention to detail, and knowing when to remove it from the smoker is an essential aspect. While cooking a brisket, it is crucial to monitor the internal temperature of the meat to determine when it is cooked through and ready to rest.

When smoking a brisket, the internal temperature of the meat rises steadily until it reaches a certain point where it plateaus. This plateau, also known as the “stall,” can last for several hours, making it difficult to predict an exact time when the brisket is done. However, experienced pitmasters know that the brisket is ready when the internal temperature reaches 195°F.

At this point, the brisket is considered “done,” but it is not yet ready to eat. Instead, it needs to rest for a period to allow the juices to redistribute evenly throughout the meat. This process is known as “resting,” and it plays a crucial role in ensuring that the brisket is tender and juicy.

During the resting period, the internal temperature of the brisket will continue to rise by several degrees. Therefore, it is essential to remove the brisket from the smoker when the internal temperature reaches 195°F, so by the time you are ready to eat, the temperature is at the desired target of 200°F.

When smoking a brisket, it is crucial to monitor the internal temperature of the meat to determine when it is ready to rest. Removing the brisket from the smoker when the internal temperature reaches 195°F and allowing it to rest ensures that the meat is tender, juicy, and delicious.

Can I let the brisket rest 7 hours?

Brisket, one of the most incredible cuts of meat, is a favorite of grill enthusiasts. Cooking a brisket to perfection requires a lot of patience, time, and attention. But the hardest part comes after the meat is cooked – resting the brisket. The question arises, can you let the brisket rest for 7 hours?

The short answer to that question is yes, you can let the brisket rest for 7 hours. However, it is important to remember that the degree of food safety decreases over time, and you must ensure that your brisket stays safe to eat throughout the resting period. To be sure, you should store the brisket in a cooler or refrigerator immediately after it is cooked to bring down its temperature rapidly.

After cooking the brisket, you must let the meat rest to ensure that it doesn’t end up dry and tough. Resting the brisket helps the juices to redistribute through the meat. Over the course of the resting period, some of the juices from inside the meat will come to the surface and evaporate. This process creates a kind of natural sauce that will then be reabsorbed by the meat when you slice it.

If you are planning to let the brisket rest for a long time, it’s essential that you wrap it in foil and put it in a cooler or refrigerator as soon as possible. If you’re planning to rest the brisket for longer than an hour, don’t leave it sitting out at room temperature, as warm temperatures could lead to bacterial growth. Instead, let it cool until it reaches a safe temperature to refrigerate, which is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is possible to let your brisket rest for several hours, and sometimes this may even be necessary if you’re cooking for a crowd or preparing the meat ahead of time. However, you must take appropriate precautions to ensure that the meat stays safe to eat throughout the resting period. So go ahead and let your brisket rest, and enjoy the tender and flavorful meat that comes as a result of patience and attention to detail.