Mike Parker

As any self-respecting outdoor cook in Texas will tell you, you can barbeque just about any kind of meat; pork, chicken, links, ribs, brats. But let’s be honest—the king of Texas barbeque has always been, and always will be, slow-cooked brisket. Umm, umm. It makes your mouth water just thinking about it.

But before you start rubbing on the dry rub, or slathering on your granddaddy’s secret sauce, the USDA has a few tips about food safety that might prevent some serious discomfort from food poisoning. Just like comedy, when it comes to brisket timing is everything. You can keep a fresh brisket in the refrigerator for up to five days before cooking. If it’s going to be longer than that before your shindig, brisket will keep in the freezer for up to a year. Just allow plenty of time to thaw your frozen brisket in the refrigerator. It could take from 24 hours to several days for a larger cut.

Cook times will vary depending on your preferred method of barbequing, but this cut of meat requires long, moist cooking for proper tenderization, so plan at least several hours. Even when it’s fork tender, the USDA advises using a meat thermometer to test for doneness. Internal temp needs to hit 160 degrees before it’s safe.

Since you likely won’t be able to consume all that beefy goodness in a single sitting, chances are you’ll have leftover barbequed brisket, which is awesome because brisket reheats well, and is even pretty good served cold. Just remember to store in the refrigerate at below 40 degrees, and when it’s time to reheat, take it to above 165 degrees, and don’t leave it out unrefrigerated for more than two hours.
 

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