How long to let brisket rest? This is a question that comes up often for those who are cooking brisket. The answer isn’t simple, as there are many variables that can affect how long the meat needs to rest.

There are many debates in the cooking world, but one of the most hotly contested might be how long to let brisket rest. Some swear by 10 minutes, others say a half hour is necessary. So what’s the right answer? As with most things, it depends.

In this blog post, we’ll look at what happens when you let brisket rest and explore some of the factors that influence how long you should wait. We’ll also provide a few tips to help make your brisket taste great every time. Stay tuned!

The science behind resting meat: What happens when meat rests?

When you prepare meat, certain reactions occur between the protein molecules and the heat. These give rise to changes in color, taste, and texture. However, these reactions only take place while the meat is being cooked.

If you let it rest, some of these chemical reactions continue even after cooking because heat still diffuses through for a short period of time. This causes the internal temperature to rise again slightly (although this effect is mostly noticeable in larger cuts like roasts).

For example, during braising or other moist-heat cooking methods , acid-catalyzed chemical reactions result in collagen breakdown into gelatin . However, if you let roasted or pan-seared meats sit before carving or eating them, these reactions will continue, creating tougher meat.

On the other hand , enzymatic reactions that cause protein molecules to unravel are activated by heat. But these reactions are halted during cooking because the increased temperature denatures enzymes which prevents their activation.

When meats are rested, there is still some heat diffusing through the meat but not enough to denature these enzymes. This means they can act on proteins more readily, which produces a change in texture and taste of the final product.

The role of resting times: How do resting times affect your food?

So when should you let it rest? The short answer: for as long as possible! But what does this mean practically? What’s too short to make a and how much time is optimal for a ?

The length of time you rest meats can have a significant impact on their final result. The most obvious effect is the change in juiciness and tenderness. As we mentioned above, enzymatic reactions that increase toughness occur more readily when proteins are still partially heated.

Additionally, when acid-catalyzed chemical reactions create tough collagen , they do so at an increased rate after cooking because there is still some heat diffusing through during resting. And if you let meat sit for too long before carving it? More luscious juices will leak out onto your cutting board!

Why you should let brisket rest? The role of cooking method

As we mentioned above, there are a number of variables that will determine how long you should let your meat rest. These include the type of cooking method utilized and the size and shape of the cut.

In general, more tender cuts like filet mignon need less time to rest because they cook quickly and break down further during cooking leading to a very soft but not tough texture.

Longer resting times make sense for tougher cuts like brisket because their higher collagen content requires longer enzymatic breaks down into tender gelatin.

The requirements also depend on the cooking method. If you’re pan searing, allowing meat to rest under foil for 10 minutes while it finishes in a hot oven can lead to overcooked meat. This is because the exterior layer of the meat continues to cook during that time due to conduction.

Alternatively, meats cooked sous vide or braised don’t overcook as easily because they are sealed and then cooked at lower temperatures for longer periods.

These cooking methods make it easier to allow the meat to rest before serving without overcooking, although resting times may still be recommended depending on the cut.

To help you determine how long you should let brisket rest, we’ve provided a table below (click here for printable version) based on different cooking methods:

What’s best way to Rest Brisket?

Brisket is a cut of beef taken from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal. It has lots of connective tissue including collagen, which makes it tough unless cooked for a long time at low temperatures.

While resting meat after cooking helps to redistribute its juices evenly throughout the meat, it doesn’t have much effect on internal temperature. Resting times are therefore most important when serving hot meats where you want them at their maximum juiciness, texture and flavor.

For this reason, we recommend resting tender cuts that don’t require long cooking times like steak , pork loin , etc., for around 5 minutes before slicing into them because by then they will only have lost about 10°F / 6°C of heat.

On the other hand, for cuts that cook more slowly or require long cooking times, resting times of 20 minutes can lead to a greater temperature difference of around 40°F / 20°C.

This is because as you increase the length of time something rests, two things happen: The amount of heat diffusing through towards the center increases and so does the surface area exposed to air. This causes more juice to evaporate off and it further cools down the exterior of the meat before being reabsorbed by heat diffusion from within.

This second effect also means that regardless of whether you’re cooking at low or high temperatures, meats should always be allowed sufficient time to rest after coming out of a hot oven, grill, etc.

In this case, resting times will lead to less of a temperature difference of around 25°F / 12°C because the surface of the meat will be exposed to significantly less air.

How long to let brisket rest for the best results?

It’s important to know how long to let brisket rest , but it’s also important to understand how this time can impact the quality of your final result.

Resting times for meats like brisket will help ensure more even cooking and better moisture retention. But resting too long may start to “cook” the outer edges, making them dry by drawing out some of the juices as they move back into the center of the meat.

The bottom line? It is best not to cut into your meat until it has rested enough that you’re able to hold it comfortably with two hands without any heat transferring through (and burning your palms).

As we mentioned above, this typically means letting a whole brisket (about 8 lbs ) rest for about 20 minutes , which is also about half of its total cooking time.

And always keep in mind that if you’re planning to slice your brisket for sandwiches, the situation becomes more complicated because you don’t want to dry out the meat by letting it sit too long.

Cutting against the grain (click here for our tutorial) while applying pressure with a carving fork will help ensure an even cut and make for better results while resting periods might require some experimenting to find what works best for your particular situation.

And remember: “Resting” times are only recommended when comparing similar types of cuts or pieces of meat . While resting times can be used as a general rule, it’s best not to use them as exact prescriptions that must be followed every time without fail.

If you prefer your meat more rare than the rest of your guests, so be it . These rest times should only be treated as loose guidelines for those looking to achieve uniformity and consistency in their final results without overcooking or undercooking due to resting periods.

A few last words about resting times:

In most cases, resting meats like brisket for 5 minutes per pound is only a general rule of thumb and not an exact prescription where resting must take place at exactly 5 minutes per pound.

It’s really a matter of personal preference and accuracy is not guaranteed unless you have a good quality thermometer so use the rule only as a rough guide.

For example, for a brisket weighing 8 pounds, a 5-minute resting period will be about right but if your brisket weighs 10 pounds instead , you should check your internal temperature at the end of cooking and let it rest for about 15 minutes per pound instead (around 150°F) to ensure that it’ll come out as moist as possible.

And again: don’t rely on this rule as an exact prescription – try it out first and then tweak according to your own taste preferences!

Cooking by Internal Temperature?

Using a thermometer is one of the best ways to ensure that you’re cooking meats like brisket properly because it doesn’t rely on any subjective factors (like how well cooked something looks).

You can also use our jerky calculator (click here for instructions) which will help take all the guessing out of drying beef at home! And keep in mind: Resting times may vary between different types of thermometers, especially depending on their placement.

For this reason, it’s best to trust the manufacturer’s internal temperature recommendations for resting times instead of using generalized rules like “5 minutes per pound” or the like.

Tips for slicing and serving brisket:

To ensure even cooking and prevent juices from running out of your meat, we recommend applying gentle pressure to the back of your brisket with a carving fork. Slice against the grain (click here for our tutorial) while applying pressure with a carving fork. This will help ensure an even cut and better final results.

And remember: if you’re not resting before slicing , keep in mind that some parts of the meat may be more done than others due to different cooking times between thick and thin areas on your brisket – plan accordingly!

Tips For Resting Brisket:

Try using a carving fork instead of tongs when checking temperature because you can avoid puncturing the meat fibers, allowing them to retain more juices!

When ready to serve, slice brisket against the grain in a horizontal motion at a 45 degree angle.

After slicing , mist or baste your brisket with an acidic sauce to prevent it from drying out. This will also improve the flavor of the final dish!

Place sliced brisket on a platter with a lip so that any juices remaining can be collected and added back onto your slices of beef – this makes for even juicier meat!

Resting time is not always necessary–if you are serving boiled beef for example. Since boiling does not have any direct effect on internal temperature, there’s no need to rest after cooking.

You should still let boiled beef rest for at least 5-6 minutes because this lets carryover heat distribute throughout the meat. Also, you can slice less-than-thick pieces without waiting too long!

Signs That Brisket Is Ready To Serve?

For whole cuts like brisket, it’s best to trust internal temperature instead of appearance or taste because temperatures will become less accurate as they rest. Using a thermometer, you can check for readiness right in the meat itself (just make sure it doesn’t touch any bones).

The brisket is done when it reaches about 185°F internal temperature or around 200°F if you’re removing the fat cap . It’s important to remember that every piece of meat is different and will start to firm up as it cools off.

For this reason, you should avoid slicing into your brisket too soon because its internal temperature may keep increasing even after removal from heat.

A good rule-of-thumb for an approximate cooking time per pound is 15 minutes of cooking time per inch thickness . This means that for a 3″ thick brisket , you should expect at least 45 minutes in an oven, depending on your recipe’s internal temperature target.

Since it cooks indirectly , start checking for doneness with a reliable instant-read thermometer about 1/3 into this estimated cooking time .

Is there anything else I can do with my rested brisket?

Since brisket rests while it’s still hot , this is a good time to consider whipping up a pan sauce while you let the meat rest in a warm place. This way, your brisket will be ready to serve at its maximum juiciness and flavor.


Can brisket rest too long?

For most meats, a long rest time can be a bad idea because it allows flavor-carrying juices to flow out of the meat and onto your serving platter. For this reason, it’s important to always slice just before serving .

It is important not to let brisket rest for too long because the temperature will continue rising from residual heat even after you take it out of the oven or off the grill.

A safe resting time for large cuts like beef brisket is about 10 minutes per pound but only if the internal temperature has reached at least 145°F as measured with a reliable instant-read thermometer!

What happens if you don’t Let brisket rest?

If you don’t let brisket rest, its internal temperature will rise to about 185°F by the time it’s ready to serve! This means that the meat won’t be as moist because the juice inside has already started flowing to the edges. It’s best to slice brisket right after cooking for maximum juiciness.

Should I rest my brisket in a cooler?

If you let your brisket rest inside a cooler, the heat of the meat will help keep it hot. However, this is not recommended because of safety reasons:

If you don’t wrap up your cooked meat properly, any bacteria that may have survived the cooking process could also survive in a warm environment and still be able to contaminate fresh meats.

How long does beef brisket last?

Properly stored, cooked beef brisket (meat only) will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator . We do not recommend storing it for longer since as soon as its temperature rises above 40°F, bacteria begin multiplying quickly as temperatures rise from 40°F to 140°F within just a hours.

If kept refrigerated below 40°F, it can last for up to 7 days.

What is the difference between a whole beef brisket and a packer cut?

A whole beef brisket is what many people picture when they think of brisket : it’s a large, rectangular muscle with an extra layer of fat on one side. This type of cut contains too much connective tissue because it includes several muscles or collagen-rich ribs that weren’t separated during butchering.

When cooked correctly (low and slow), the connective tissues break down and contribute to the rich flavor and texture of this roast. A packer cut , also called “primal cut”, “packer trimmed” or “first cut”, is simply a whole beef brisket that is cut right before it’s placed on sale in the meat case.

If you’ve ever wondered why your beef brisket is so much smaller than that of your barbecue joint , this is probably the reason: they buy their briskets pre-packaged and trimmed by the butcher!

Should meat rest covered or uncovered?

It’s best to not cover meat when it comes out of the oven or off the grill. This will trap in heat and moisture which can make your meat mushy or give it a steamed flavor instead of a nice, crispy crust.

What is an ideal Cooked beef brisket temperature?

A cooked beef brisket (meat only) cooked at 210°F should reach about 145°F by the time it’s done. This means that you’ll have to adjust your cooking time if your brisket is larger or smaller than 5 pounds since this temperature will rise for 15 minutes per pound of meat after being removed from the oven, grill or smoker .

What happens if leftovers are refrigerated?

Ensure that you don’t leave any leftover brisket unrefrigerated for longer than 4 hours because any bacteria present will quickly multiply and start producing toxins (poisons) from 4 hours onwards – especially if put inside a warm cooler box on a hot summer day!

What are the best tools for cutting beef brisket?

If you want nice even slices, a sharp long knife is your best bet. It also helps to have an extra pair of hands for this task! Alternatively, if you want only the leaner pieces, use a fork to hold it in place while you slice through the fat with a sharp carving knife.

How long does Aaron Franklin rest his brisket?

Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue fame recommends that you wait at least half an hour (up to an hour or two) before slicing into your brisket . This means that it’s best to start cooking this cut the day before serving it!

How long does texas style brisket take to smoke?

Texas pitmasters typically cook their beef or pork butts for about 18 hours – and then let them sit in its own juices until serving time! This can be done up to 3 days before hand, so meat doesn’t even have to come out of the freezer. Then all you need is fire and heat when guests arrive!


Brisket is a popular cut of meat, and it can be cooked in several different ways. No matter how you cook your brisket, though, it’s important to let it rest for the right amount of time so that the juices redistribute and the meat is juicy and tender.

We’ve outlined some general guidelines for resting times based on the cookery method you use, but remember that there are many variables involved.

So always test a piece of brisket before serving to make sure that it’s fully cooked. With a little practice, you’ll be able to create perfect briskets every time using these tips!

However, by following the guidelines in this blog post about How Long To Let Brisket Rest, you can ensure that your brisket will be cooked perfectly every time. The amount of time you let the meat rest after cooking is critical for achieving optimal results.

We hope that our tips have helped you better understand how to cook brisket and achieve delicious, succulent results every time. Have you tried cooking brisket using one of the methods we described? Let us know in the comments below!

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