Blue Yeti Cooler with Beer on Top and Brisket Inside

How Long Should My Brisket Rest Before Serving?

A juicy, delicious brisket is something we all enjoy. But how long should you leave it to rest after it’s been cooked? The answer varies based on the size of the cut and the level of doneness you like.

There is a lot to consider when it comes to cooking the ultimate smoked brisket dish. So naturally, you’ll need to keep an eye on the smoker and make sure everything is cooking properly.

However, you should consider how you will serve the brisket once cooked. After all, you’ll want to display all of your hard work in the greatest possible light.

Unfortunately, many inexperienced smokers destroy their hard work by not allowing the brisket to rest. Many experts agree that not letting a brisket rest is one of the worst mistakes you can make, especially since there isn’t much you can do to undo the harm.

If you’re going to start smoking meats, you should definitely understand what it means to rest them.

What does resting mean? And why is it important?

The act of allowing the meat to rest at room temperature after it has finished cooking is known as “resting.” That’s all there is to it. What happens during the resting phase, on the other hand, is anything from straightforward, and it could be the difference between a delicious meal and one that isn’t.

Resting the meat, first and foremost, allows the juices to disperse. If you cut into the brisket shortly after it comes off the fire, the juices will spill all over the cutting board instead of staying where they belong. That means the meat will be dry and rough when you take that all-important first taste.

The second reason is almost as crucial as the first. The temperature of the meat will continue to climb 5-10 degrees while it rests, giving it the delicate texture you’ve worked so hard to get. This effect is known as “carry-over cooking,” and it makes it simple to overcook your meat if you’re not paying attention.

Here are some methods for keeping brisket warm and moist

Fortunately, keeping your brisket warm without drying it out isn’t difficult. The idea is to keep the steam from escaping by keeping it insulated. It can keep its heat for up to 10 hours if properly insulated. In a cooler is the best method to do this. Boiling water, clothes, and heavy foil are also required.

Resting Brisket with Foil

Wrapping the beef in aluminum foil while it rests prevents moisture from escaping and helps the brisket keep heat. After removing the meat from the smoker, wrap it in foil, then wrap it in a towel and place it in a dry insulated cooler. Competition meat smokers utilize this technique 

frequently. The main disadvantage to covering brisket in foil is that it produces steam, which might soften the bark.

Resting Brisket with Butcher Paper

Remove the brisket from the smoker once it has reached 195°F – 203°F if wrapped in butcher paper. While resting, keep the brisket wrapped in its foil to prevent the juices from leaking out. Allow a few hours or until the brisket achieves an internal temperature of about 150°F. While the brisket is resting, you can leave a thermometer probe in it to keep track of the temperature. A brisket can keep hot for 3-4 hours if stored properly.

Resting Brisket in a Cooler

A dry cooler is the greatest location to rest a brisket, and it is my favorite one. Line the cooler with a cloth and set the meat inside, still wrapped in its packaging. The brisket will keep for hours in the refrigerator. You could travel across the state with the cooler in the trunk, and the brisket would still be warm when you arrived.

By placing one of your thermometer probes into the brisket, you may continue to monitor the interior temperature of the meat. Instead of piercing the brisket with an instant-read thermometer, use your ‘leave-in’ DOT thermometer or something similar. Carve the meat when the internal temperature is at 150°F.

Resting Brisket in an Oven

If you don’t have a cooler, you can keep your brisket warm in the oven. Set your oven to a low temperature, between 150 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit, and rest the brisket for two to four hours. It can be kept from drying out by wrapping it in pink butcher paper and setting it on a pan.

Avoid opening the oven door throughout the cooking process to prevent the heat from escaping. Because oven temperatures are not always exact, you should check the temperature of your oven with a thermometer.

What Happens If I Don’t Allow the Brisket to Rest?

The meat will not be tender and juicy if the brisket is not rested. The brisket will continue to cook for a few hours after being removed from the smoker. Because the flesh tenderizes during this period, resting is a vital element of the process. Additionally, the resting time permits the meat to rehydrate. If you omit this step and slice the brisket before it has had time to rest, it will be chewy and dry out quickly.

So, how long do briskets rest after smoking?

The longer you leave the brisket to rest, the juicier it will be. Some individuals leave their smoked meat to rest for up to 4 hours.

The time depends on the meat’s internal temperature. You must keep the temperature above 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which is ideal for slicing.


You can rest comfortably by remembering these tips and tricks, as well as allowing the brisket to rest for a couple of hours before serving it as a delectable dinner; you will be getting the most out of the hours you put into cooking the meal.

Knowing these factors will help you improve your ability to smoke and grill the best Brisket possible.

Please let us know if this post was helpful or if we could have explained something more clearly. Be a BRISKET PRO!


Featured Categories

About Me

Greetings BBQ & Brisket fans!

Since BBQ is now a professional career, I designed this website to turn you into a Brisket Pro. BBQ is more than a cooking style; it’s a lifestyle and art form. 

Read about how our community of grilling pros gets the perfect bark on our brisket or what grills and accessories we use. Plus, ask questions and find answers to your burning BBQing questions.