Brisket is a popular meat to smoke, and smoking this cut of meat has become a popular tradition among many families. However, you are bound to have leftovers as this cut is a pretty significant piece of meat. Thankfully, you can store the leftovers in the fridge, but how long will it last in the refrigerator?
Smoked brisket will last up to four days when kept in the fridge. However, the time will be dictated by how you store the brisket in the fridge. The best way is to place the meat into an airtight container within two hours of the meat being cut to help increase its storage life in the fridge.
Why do you need to store smoked brisket in the fridge? How can you tell if a smoked brisket has gone bad? Is there a way to increase the shelf life of a smoked brisket? Let’s find out!
How Long Can Smoked Brisket Last In A Fridge?
When you smoke your brisket, you might be left with a few leftovers as we all tend to smoke more meat than we can eat. This is not a bad problem to have as we all know that brisket is just as good the next day warmed up for a nice lunch, or even on a sandwich.
However, there are times when we either forget we have leftover brisket in the fridge. Or we don’t have the opportunity to eat it over the next few days for whatever reason.
Then, when you finally get to your brisket again, you may be wondering if it’s still good to eat or if you now have to throw it away or risk giving yourself food poisoning. If you have stored your smoked brisket in your fridge correctly, then your brisket can last about four days when stored in your fridge.
So, if you can remember how long your smoked brisket has been in your fridge for and you know it’s less than four days, then you can still enjoy the smoked brisket sandwich you were looking forward to.
How To Store Smoked Brisket In The Fridge Correctly
When you store your smoked brisket in your fridge, there are a few considerations you need to keep in mind to store it correctly to ensure it lasts as long as possible. So, let’s go through how to store your smoked brisket in your fridge correctly.
When dealing with any meat or meat products, like smoked brisket, you need to refrigerate any leftovers within two hours of cutting the meat.
If your smoked brisket is left to sit in your kitchen at room temperature longer than two hours, it could begin developing some dangerous food-borne bacteria that can seriously harm your health.
So, when you have finished cutting your smoked brisket, and you know you will have leftovers, it is wise to place the leftovers directly into a shallow airtight container and place it in the fridge.
Alternatively, you can tightly wrap the leftover brisket in some heavy-duty aluminum foil and place it in the fridge. However, this storage method will reduce the time your smoked brisket will stay safe to eat. It will only last two, maybe three days when stored with aluminum foil.
Why Should You Keep Smoked Brisket In The Fridge?
One question that many people have is why you need to store smoked brisket in the fridge as smoking is used to preserve meat. Of course, smoking used to be used as a preserving method in the past, but the way we smoke meat today skips two crucial steps in preserving the meat.
The two steps that are not used in today’s smoking process are curing the meat and drying the meat. These two steps help ensure the meat does not develop any dangerous bacteria. The brisket needs to be refrigerated after smoking to keep the meat edible without these two steps.
How To Tell If A Smoked Brisket Has Gone Bad
If you are not sure about how long your smoked brisket has been in your fridge, then there are a few indications you can look for that will tell you if your brisket is still good to eat or not. The first sign you can look for is the smell of your smoked brisket.
If you smell your smoked brisket through the container you have it in, and it smells foul, you need to throw the brisket away. If it smells alright, open the container and smell it again; ensure there is no change in the smell of the brisket and that it doesn’t smell sour.
If you think it smells alright, or you are unsure, then move on to the look of the brisket. Look at your smoked brisket closely; if the meat looks slimy, you should throw it away as it’s no longer good to eat.
Lastly, you can look at the color of the brisket. If there is any discoloration of the meat, you need to throw the brisket away as it has begun to spoil and can make you ill if you eat it.
How To Increase The Shelf Life Of Smoked Brisket
When working with a cut of meat like brisket, you will likely have leftovers as it is a large cut of meat. Knowing this can help you prepare your kitchen for the leftovers you are bound to have.
Early preparation can help you stay organized and ready for the leftovers, which can help you increase the shelf life of the meat. As mentioned earlier, you need to place your leftover brisket into the fridge within two hours after it’s been cut and served.
However, if you are unsure when you can eat the leftover brisket, you can freeze the brisket instead. This will increase the shelf life of the meat to 6 months. If you have had the leftover brisket in the fridge for three days already and won’t eat it anytime soon, you can still freeze the meat.
To freeze your leftover smoked brisket, you need to place the meat into an airtight container that can handle the cold temperatures of the freezer. Place the brisket on the middle shelf of your freezer and let it freeze through.
You can keep the brisket frozen for up to 6 months, during which time you can defrost the meat and enjoy it whenever you wish.
Having leftover brisket is an excellent thing as you can use the meat in many different ways, and you can store the meat in your fridge for up to four days, depending on how you store it.
An excellent way to help keep track of how long the brisket has been in the fridge is by writing the date on the container you place the meat in. This will ensure you never eat spoiled brisket.
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