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Preparing brisket in advance

Hello All,

I am going to smoke packer trimmed brisket for 27 people this Christmas.  I have an XL egg.  I haven't done a brisket yet, but am assuming these should take around 15-18 hours to cook.  My first question is, how many briskets do you recommend for this number of people?  I'm just not sure how much waste there is.  Also, if I smoke it ahead of time, what is the best way to freeze and reheat the brisket so it is still great tasting and moist?  Thanks in advance for your time!



  • You are going to need at least 2 and probably 3 to feed 27 hungry people. I would very much avoid reheating a brisket for a holiday meal. They are so finicky you could be setting yourself up for a disappointing result. Briskets are by far best served after a rest but still hot. If you feel you need to cook in advance and reheat, Highly recommend a butt over a brisket. Butts can handle being held at temp for long periods or being reheated much better than a brisket

    Keeping it Weird in the ATX
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,577
    Butts can handle being held...hehe.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • henapple said:
    Butts can handle being held...hehe.

    In fact, they love it
    Keeping it Weird in the ATX
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,402
    Hi Aaron.
    A good sized packer brisket is 12-15 pounds, and you'll end up with about 7-9 pounds of finished meat. Even if you figure a generous 1/3 pound per person, you won't need more than 2 briskets.

    At competitions, we've been regularly hitting 11-12 hours cooking time with 15 pounders, so you surely don't need 18.  If you will be reheating, I would recommend pulling it off just before it is fully tender....say, 180 internal. Cool a bit on the counter, then freeze the whole thing. Or even better, cook within a few days of Christmas, and just refrigerate it. When you are ready, reheat whole in foil until good and hot, then unwrap to set up the bark a little. Thinking 160 would be a good temp to shoot for on the reheat.

    Hope it helps. It's just one opinion!
    Cheers and happy cookin.
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • henapple said:
    Butts can handle being held...hehe.
    Get yer mind out of the gutter there man! :D


    Caledon, ON


  • Good stuff guys.  Thanks so much for the great advice.
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