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Unread 04-07-2009, 09:38 AM   #1
thirdeye
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Question Reheating Whole Frozen Brisket ~ Advice Needed

A gal that Mrs~t~ works with is organizing her son's wedding rehearsal dinner, which is later on this summer. The number of guests total around 60. He is a rodeo guy, so she wants the theme to be a barbecue.

Problem is.....It's being held in a very small town about 300 miles away. Now she has sampled plenty of my Q, and has asked me to smoke and freeze briskets for reheating later. She is going to find out exactly what is available for reheating....I'm assuning ovens for now.

Plenty of times, I have cooked whole ones one day for serving the next day. After cooking I add liquid to the foil, put the meat side down, cooler rest several hours (and when the internal is still above 150°), I seal the whole briskets (still in the foil ) in a vacuum bag. Then I plunge into an 80qt cooler full of iced water for about 30 minutes to move the internal temp quickly through the danger zone. Then refrigerate and reheat the next day in the foil pouch.


What I don't have any experience with or need advice with is:
  • Any extra precautions or tips before freezing
  • Packaging for freezing ( I would expect I'll cook them a couple of weeks ahead)
  • Thawing procedures - time required etc.
  • Reheating procedures (if they are different than reheating never frozen briskets) such as providing additional reheating liquid, or specific oven temps, etc.
  • I've always reheated my non-frozen ones whole, but I'm open for suggestions.
Once I get a plan, I do plan on a single brisket test cook, simulating the entire process from smoking to freezing. Then I want to give it to her still frozen with instructions and let her thaw and reheat on her own. Then she can decide if she wants to go this route.

So, I'm open for comments, suggestions and advice.
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Unread 04-07-2009, 10:53 AM   #2
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I will say one thing... it seems to happen when people cook like you and I do, which results in a traditionally made, flavorful bark. Obviously expect the bark to be different than fresh when it comes off the smoker, but I notice a complete and significant dropping of the bark flavor profile from freezing and reheating; everything from the level of smoke to the saltiness.

Good thing is.... it goes deeper in the meat esp. since the cell walls break and allow free liquid movement. They will dry out more too on the table after freezing for this reason so save that juice.
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Unread 04-07-2009, 11:05 AM   #3
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Local BBQ place called "Peco's" routinely freezes sliced brisket and pulled pork - all frozen with sauce and cryovac'd. I've had it and it's good - not as good as fresh and the bark, as previously stated, does get soft and virtually goes away as the way one would want it.
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Unread 04-07-2009, 11:13 AM   #4
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I've done several gallon size bags of brisket and pulled chuck roll this way outta the freezer, but nowhere near the quantity you guys are doing. I didn't worry too much about freezer burn since they were only in there a few days. I did freeze them with as much juice as possible and added apple juice to increase the yeild of the drippings. I did the old freezer bag into hot water to soften the block of meat so I could break it apart. From there they went into the Sunbeam roaster oven that I had already brought up to temp with some more apple juice and water, for steam purposes mostly. It did the trick.
If they will have electricity out there, those little roaster oven are great and will do a great job heating up and maintaining the temp till serving.
Let us know how that tester brisket does. Good Luck.
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Unread 04-07-2009, 11:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbefunkoramaque View Post
I will say one thing... it seems to happen when people cook like you and I do, which results in a traditionally made, flavorful bark. Obviously expect the bark to be different than fresh when it comes off the smoker, but I notice a complete and significant dropping of the bark flavor profile from freezing and reheating; everything from the level of smoke to the saltiness.

Good thing is.... it goes deeper in the meat esp. since the cell walls break and allow free liquid movement. They will dry out more too on the table after freezing for this reason so save that juice.
I was thinking that freezing may have that effect. Actually, the more I think about it I would rather sacrifice a little on the flavor side in favor of moistness. I need to see if they plan on a separate meat line with a dedicated carver, or think they can slice and put in buffet serving dishes. I will strongly advise the former. With this crew, there is bound to be someone willing to handle the knife, (and take credit for the brisket)

Although not my style, I'm also going to make a couple of table sauces to send along, one of which will be a thin but spicy table sauce, most likely with some oil & butter for moisture and to anchor it's own flavor. To all sauces, I'll suggest she add some of the foil juices. Mabye even go so far as to give instructions on how to make a fresh table sauce from the foil juices....
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Unread 04-07-2009, 11:22 AM   #6
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What will they have available to reheat brisket for 60? That has a lot to do with how I'd do it.
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Unread 04-07-2009, 12:31 PM   #7
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I just vacuum sealed and froze a brisket flat and a small butt yesterday from the weekend and was wondering the same. This is the first time I've ever frozen Q. Ducking while asking cuz I don't know any better, could they be reheated while still in the bag submerged in boiling water?
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Unread 04-07-2009, 12:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommykendall View Post
I just vacuum sealed and froze a brisket flat and a small butt yesterday from the weekend and was wondering the same. This is the first time I've ever frozen Q. Ducking while asking cuz I don't know any better, could they be reheated while still in the bag submerged in boiling water?
That's how I did mine. The heavy duty freezer bags work a bit better as they are a bit thicker and just don't let the bag touch the bottom of the pot unless you want to make soup. Don't ask how I know. I think the vacuum pack bags are the best suited for this too.
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Unread 04-07-2009, 03:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommykendall View Post
I just vacuum sealed and froze a brisket flat and a small butt yesterday from the weekend and was wondering the same. This is the first time I've ever frozen Q. Ducking while asking cuz I don't know any better, could they be reheated while still in the bag submerged in boiling water?
I've done that with thawed pulled pork, always in the vacuum bags with little CocaCola added. I load up the Nesco, fill with water then put the roasting rack on top for weight. It's a nice even reheat.





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