How To Reheat Brisket In Microwave [COMPLETE GUIDE]

Brisket, known for its tender and juicy texture, is a popular choice for many meat lovers. However, once cooked, storing and reheating brisket can be a challenging task. The microwave is often the go-to appliance for quick and convenient reheating, but it requires specific techniques to ensure that the brisket retains its moistness and flavor. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the best practices for reheating brisket in the microwave, covering the optimal power level, cooking time, and when to avoid using this method.


Quick Answer: How To Reheat Brisket In Microwave

Reheating brisket in the microwave requires careful attention to prevent the meat from becoming dry and tough. Follow these steps for optimal results:

  1. Place the brisket in a microwave-safe dish or plate, covering it with a microwave-safe lid or damp paper towel.
  2. Set the microwave power level to 50% to ensure gentle reheating without overcooking the meat.
  3. Heat the brisket in intervals, typically 1-2 minutes at a time, checking and stirring or flipping the brisket in between each interval.
  4. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the brisket reaches an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C) to guarantee it is safe to eat.

By following these steps, you can effectively reheat brisket in the microwave while maintaining its tenderness and flavor.

When Not To Reheat Brisket In Microwave

While the microwave is a convenient option for reheating brisket, there are certain scenarios where it may not be the best choice. Here are a few instances when you should avoid reheating brisket in the microwave:

When You Have Ample Time

If time is not a pressing issue, using alternative methods such as oven reheating or sous vide can yield better results. These methods allow for slower, more controlled reheating, resulting in a more evenly heated and flavorful brisket.

When Preserving Texture Is A Priority

Microwaves have a tendency to unevenly heat food, which can lead to dry spots in the brisket. If texture is a significant concern, utilizing a slower reheating method, such as oven or sous vide, can help preserve the tenderness of the brisket.

When Reheating Large Portions

When reheating a large portion of brisket, the microwave may not be the most efficient option. It can be challenging to achieve consistent heating throughout a large portion of meat using a microwave, making alternative methods more suitable.

It’s important to consider these factors and assess whether the microwave is the best choice for reheating your brisket based on your specific needs and circumstances.

Power Level To Reheat Brisket In Microwave

The power level at which you reheat brisket in the microwave is crucial to ensuring that the meat retains its moisture and doesn’t become overcooked. Typically, a lower power setting is preferred to facilitate gentle, even reheating. Here’s a detailed look at the recommended power levels for reheating brisket in the microwave:

Optimal Power Level: 50%

Setting the microwave to 50% power is generally considered ideal for reheating brisket. This power level allows for a slower and more controlled heating process, reducing the risk of drying out the meat or causing it to become tough. It also gives the heat ample time to penetrate the brisket without overheating the outer layers.

Avoid High Power Settings

Using high power settings on the microwave can lead to uneven heating and an increased likelihood of the brisket becoming dry and losing its tenderness. High power settings may also cause the outer layers of the brisket to overcook before the inner portions are adequately heated. Therefore, it is best to avoid using high power settings when reheating brisket in the microwave.

Lower Power Levels For Delicate Brisket Cuts

For particularly delicate or thinly sliced brisket, such as pastrami or corned beef, you may consider reducing the power level even further, down to 30-40%. This lower power level can help prevent the more delicate cuts from becoming overcooked or developing tough textures during the reheating process.

By adjusting the power level accordingly, you can ensure that the brisket is reheated gently and consistently, preserving its succulence and tenderness.

Cooking Time To Reheat Brisket In Microwave

Microwave cooking times for reheating brisket can vary based on factors such as the brisket’s initial temperature, size, and microwave wattage. It is essential to monitor the brisket closely and adjust the cooking time as needed to achieve the desired level of reheating. Here are some guidelines for determining the cooking time to reheat brisket in the microwave:

Monitor Internal Temperature

Using a meat thermometer is essential to accurately gauge the brisket’s internal temperature during reheating. Aim for a minimum internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure that the brisket is thoroughly reheated and safe to consume. Check the temperature at various points in the brisket to ensure even heating.

Intervals And Checking

Reheating the brisket in intervals, typically 1-2 minutes at a time, allows for frequent checking and stirring or flipping to promote even heating. These intervals prevent the brisket from overheating and help maintain its moisture and tenderness.

Adjusting For Variations

For larger or thicker pieces of brisket, you may need to increase the overall cooking time. Thinner or smaller portions may require shorter cooking times to prevent overcooking. Pay close attention to how the brisket responds to the reheating process and make adjustments as necessary.

Resting Period

After reheating, allow the brisket to rest for a few minutes before serving. This resting period allows the heat to distribute evenly throughout the meat and ensures a more consistent and enjoyable eating experience.

By carefully monitoring the cooking time and making adjustments based on the specific characteristics of the brisket, you can achieve optimal reheating results in the microwave.

Reheating brisket in the microwave can be a convenient and efficient way to enjoy leftover brisket without sacrificing its tenderness and flavor. By following the recommended techniques, such as using a 50% power level, monitoring the cooking time, and incorporating intervals for checking, you can effectively reheat brisket while preserving its quality.

However, it's essential to assess the specific needs of the brisket and consider alternative reheating methods if preserving texture, time, or portion size are significant factors. Additionally, paying close attention to the internal temperature and making adjustments based on the brisket's characteristics can further enhance the reheating process.

Ultimately, reheating brisket in the microwave requires attentiveness and a meticulous approach to ensure that the meat retains its delectable qualities. With the guidelines provided in this comprehensive guide, you can confidently reheat brisket in the microwave for a delicious dining experience every time.

How To Reheat Brisket In Microwave

Brisket is a popular and versatile cut of meat that is often slow-cooked to perfection. However, there are times when you may find yourself with leftover brisket that needs to be reheated. While there are various methods of reheating brisket, using a microwave can be a quick and convenient option.

Before diving into the process of reheating brisket in the microwave, it’s worth mentioning that the results may not be as optimal as using other methods. The microwave tends to heat food unevenly and can result in dry and rubbery meat if not done correctly. However, if you are pressed for time or don’t have access to other reheating methods, the microwave can still get the job done.

Here’s how you can reheat brisket in a microwave:

  1. Start by taking the brisket out of the refrigerator and allowing it to come to room temperature for about 20 minutes. This will ensure that the meat heats more evenly.

  2. While the brisket is coming to room temperature, prepare a microwave-safe dish or plate. Place a microwave-safe cover or microwave-safe plastic wrap loosely over the dish to retain moisture.

  3. Cut the brisket into smaller, evenly sized portions. This will help the brisket heat more evenly and reduce the chances of some parts becoming overcooked while others remain cold.

  4. Arrange the brisket pieces on the microwave-safe dish, making sure to leave some space between each piece for even heat distribution.

  5. If desired, you can add a tablespoon or two of beef broth, barbecue sauce, or water to the dish to help moisten the brisket. This is especially helpful if your brisket tends to be on the drier side.

  6. Place the dish in the microwave and set the power level to 50% or medium. Reheating the brisket at a lower power level helps prevent it from becoming overcooked or drying out.

  7. Heat the brisket in the microwave for about 2 minutes, then carefully remove the dish and open the cover or plastic wrap to check the progress. If the brisket is not yet warmed through, carefully turn the pieces over and rearrange them for even heating.

  8. Continue to heat the brisket in 1-minute increments, checking the temperature and moisture level after each interval. Be cautious not to overheat the brisket, as it can quickly become dry and tough.

  9. Once the brisket is heated through, remove it from the microwave. Let it rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute.

  10. Before serving, you can also consider brushing the brisket with some additional barbecue sauce or pan juices to enhance the flavor and moisture.

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By following these steps, you can reheat brisket in the microwave while minimizing the risk of drying out the meat.

Should I Reheat Brisket In Microwave

While reheating brisket in the microwave is a convenient option, there are some drawbacks to consider. Here are some pros and cons of using the microwave for reheating brisket:


  1. Convenience: Using a microwave allows for quick and easy reheating, making it a convenient choice for those who are short on time or don’t have access to other reheating methods.

  2. Minimal cleanup: Reheating brisket in the microwave typically requires minimal cleanup, as you only need a microwave-safe dish and cover. This can be advantageous for those looking to minimize the post-meal mess.


  1. Uneven heating: Microwaves heat food unevenly, which can result in some parts of the brisket being overcooked or dried out while others are undercooked. This can be especially problematic for brisket, as it is prone to becoming tough and dry if overcooked.

  2. Texture: Because of the uneven heating, reheating brisket in the microwave can lead to a rubbery or chewy texture. This is particularly true if the brisket was already on the dry side to begin with.

  3. Loss of flavor: The intense heat produced by microwaves can cause some of the flavors to dissipate, resulting in a less flavorful brisket.

  4. Lack of caramelization: One of the prized qualities of well-cooked brisket is its caramelized exterior. Unfortunately, microwaving brisket doesn’t allow for the development of this desirable crust.

Considering these factors, reheating brisket in the microwave should be done with caution. While it can be a suitable option for quick reheating, it may not produce the same quality results as other methods.

Reheating Brisket Without Microwave

If you’re not keen on using a microwave to reheat your brisket, there are alternative methods available that may yield better results. Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Oven: Reheating brisket in the oven is a popular choice as it allows for more even heating and helps retain the moisture and flavors. Preheat your oven to around 325°F (162°C). Place the brisket in a baking dish, cover it with foil, and heat it for approximately 20-30 minutes or until it reaches the desired temperature. Basting the brisket with some beef broth or barbecue sauce can help prevent it from drying out.

  2. Sous vide: If you have a sous vide machine, this can be a fantastic option for reheating brisket. It allows for precise temperature control, ensuring the meat heats evenly while retaining its moisture. Vacuum-seal the leftover brisket in a plastic bag and set the sous vide machine to the desired temperature (typically around 150°F or 66°C). Submerge the bag in the water bath and let it heat for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  3. Steaming: Steaming is another method that can help reheat brisket while preventing it from drying out. Fill a pot with water and place a steamer basket or colander inside. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Place the brisket on a heatproof plate or in a steamer basket, cover it, and steam for approximately 10-15 minutes or until it reaches the desired temperature.

  4. Stovetop: Reheating brisket on the stovetop can be done by gently simmering it in a flavorful liquid, such as beef broth or barbecue sauce. Place the brisket and liquid in a pot, cover it, and heat it over low heat for about 15-20 minutes or until warmed through. Be careful not to boil the brisket, as it can lead to an overcooked and dry texture.

Each of these methods has its own advantages and may result in a more enjoyable reheated brisket compared to using a microwave. Experimenting with different methods can help you find the one that works best for you.

What Reheating In Microwave Does To The Brisket

Reheating brisket in the microwave can have several effects on both the texture and flavor of the meat. Understanding these impacts can help you determine whether this method is suitable for your preferences.

  1. Texture: Microwaving brisket can often result in a rubbery or chewy texture. The uneven heat distribution of the microwave can overcook certain parts of the brisket, causing them to become tough. Additionally, the high heat can further dry out already lean cuts of meat, resulting in a less desirable texture.

  2. Moisture: Brisket is known for its juicy and tender qualities. Unfortunately, reheating it in the microwave can lead to moisture loss. The intense heat produced by the microwave can evaporate the natural juices, resulting in a drier final product.

  3. Flavor: The high heat of the microwave can cause some of the flavors in the brisket to dissipate. This can result in a less flavorful final product compared to using other reheating methods that help retain the meat’s natural flavors.

  4. Overcooking: Microwaving brisket requires caution, as it is easy to overcook the meat. Brisket becomes tough and dry when heated for too long or at too high a temperature. Therefore, it is crucial to heat the brisket in shorter intervals and check its progress regularly to avoid overcooking.

Considering these effects, reheating brisket in the microwave can be a trade-off between convenience and potentially compromising the quality of the meat. However, if done correctly and with appropriate caution, you can still enjoy a decent reheated brisket using this method.

Reheating brisket in the microwave can be a convenient option when you're pressed for time or lack access to other reheating methods. While it may not produce the same optimal results as using an oven or sous vide, following the proper steps can minimize the risk of drying out the meat or overcooking it.

If you have the time and resources available, alternative methods such as using an oven, sous vide, or stovetop can produce superior results in terms of maintaining moisture, texture, and flavor. Regardless of the method you choose, it's important to handle and store the brisket properly to ensure optimal safety and quality.

With these guidelines in mind, you can confidently reheat your leftover brisket and enjoy its deliciousness all over again.

Can You Restore The Initial Quality Of Brisket?

Brisket is a popular and flavorful cut of meat that is often enjoyed as a main course during special occasions or as a comfort food. Whether you’ve cooked the brisket yourself or have some leftovers from a restaurant or barbecue joint, reheating it properly is crucial to retain its initial quality and taste. While there are various methods to reheat brisket, the microwave is one of the quickest and most convenient options.

Before discussing the specifics of reheating brisket in the microwave, it’s important to address a common concern – can you truly restore the initial quality of brisket after reheating? While the reheating process can cause some loss of moisture and tenderness, it is possible to achieve satisfactory results if done correctly. Proper reheating techniques can help preserve the flavor, texture, and juiciness of the brisket, allowing you to enjoy it as if it was freshly cooked.

Tips For Optimal Reheating Results

To achieve the best possible results when reheating brisket in the microwave, consider the following tips:

1. Slice The Brisket Before Reheating

Before placing the brisket in the microwave, it is recommended to slice it into smaller portions. This not only allows for more even reheating but also speeds up the process. Thin slices tend to reheat more quickly and evenly than larger chunks of meat. Additionally, slicing the brisket beforehand makes it easier to portion out and serve later.

2. Use A Microwave-Safe Plate Or Dish

When reheating brisket in the microwave, it’s important to use a microwave-safe plate or dish. Ceramic or glass dishes are ideal as they are less likely to react with the food. Avoid using plastic containers or plates that may warp or melt due to the high temperatures in the microwave. Also, make sure the dish is large enough to accommodate the brisket slices without overcrowding.

3. Add Some Moisture Or Sauce

Brisket can dry out when reheated, so adding a bit of moisture or sauce can help retain its juiciness. You can drizzle a small amount of broth, au jus, or BBQ sauce over the sliced brisket before reheating. The added moisture will prevent the meat from drying out and help preserve its tenderness.

4. Use The Microwave In Short Bursts

To avoid overheating and drying out the brisket, it’s best to reheat it in short bursts rather than all at once. Start with shorter intervals, such as 30 seconds to 1 minute, and check the temperature and texture of the meat after each burst. This way, you can prevent the brisket from becoming tough or rubbery. Keep in mind that microwave wattage and the thickness of the brisket slices may affect the reheating time, so monitor it closely.

5. Cover And Rotate The Brisket

To ensure even reheating, cover the microwave-safe plate or dish containing the brisket with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap. This helps to trap steam and moisture, creating a more favorable environment for reheating. Additionally, rotating the slices halfway through the reheating process helps to distribute the heat evenly and prevents any hotspots from forming.

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6. Rest The Brisket Before Serving

Once the brisket is heated through, it’s important to allow it to rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the meat to reabsorb some of its juices and helps to redistribute the heat. Resting the brisket also enhances its tenderness and allows the flavors to meld together. Covering the reheated brisket with foil during the resting period can help retain its warmth.

Reheating Brisket More Than Once

If you have reheated the brisket once and have some leftovers that need reheating again, it’s important to exercise caution. Reheating brisket multiple times can increase the risk of bacterial growth and can impact the quality of the meat. To minimize these risks, follow these guidelines:

1. Refrigerate Brisket Promptly

After serving and cooling the leftover brisket, refrigerate it promptly to keep it safe for future use. Slice the brisket into smaller portions and store them in airtight containers or zip-lock bags. Proper refrigeration helps to slow down bacterial growth and keeps the brisket safe for up to 3-4 days.

2. Reheat Leftover Brisket Within 2 Days

To maintain the best quality and safety, it is recommended to reheat the leftover brisket within two days. The longer the brisket sits in the fridge, the more its quality and taste can deteriorate. Always inspect the brisket visually and smell it before reheating to ensure it hasn’t spoiled. If it smells off or shows signs of spoilage, it’s best to discard it.

3. Reheat Only The Portion To Be Consumed

When reheating leftover brisket, it’s best to reheat only the portion you intend to consume at that time. Reheating the entire batch of leftover brisket every time can cause unnecessary exposure to heat and result in the overall quality degradation of the remaining meat. This way, you can retain the freshness and taste of the uneaten portions for future use.

4. Follow The Same Reheating Steps

When reheating the brisket for the second time, follow the same reheating steps mentioned earlier. Slice the leftover brisket into smaller portions, use a microwave-safe plate or dish, add moisture or sauce to prevent drying, reheat in short bursts, cover and rotate the brisket, and allow it to rest before serving. These steps will help maintain the quality and taste of the reheated brisket.

5. Avoid Reheating More Than Twice

While it is generally safe to reheat brisket once, reheating it more than twice is not recommended. The texture and flavor of the brisket can significantly deteriorate with each reheating cycle. Additionally, repeated exposure to heat increases the risk of bacterial growth and foodborne illnesses. It’s best to consume the leftover brisket within the first or second reheating cycle to ensure both safety and quality.

Reheating brisket in the microwave can be a convenient way to enjoy leftover or previously cooked brisket. By following the tips mentioned above, you can restore the initial quality of the brisket and ensure that it remains flavorful, tender, and moist. Slicing the brisket beforehand, using microwave-safe dishes, adding moisture or sauce, reheating in short bursts, covering and rotating the brisket, and allowing it to rest before serving are all essential steps for optimal reheating results. While it’s possible to reheat brisket more than once, it’s important to exercise caution and follow proper food safety guidelines to minimize the risk of bacterial growth and maintain the quality of the meat. Take these precautions and enjoy your reheated brisket just as if it were freshly cooked.

Safety Measures When Reheating Brisket

Brisket is a popular dish that’s served in many homes around the world. It’s a tough cut of beef that is cooked for a long time over low heat until it becomes tender. However, if you’ve made a large batch of brisket, you may need to reheat it later.

Reheating brisket in the microwave is quick and easy, but it requires some careful considerations to ensure that the meat is heated thoroughly and is safe to consume.

Before putting your leftover brisket in the microwave, it’s essential to take some safety measures to prevent foodborne illnesses.

1. Refrigerate Or Freeze The Brisket Properly

When storing leftover brisket, make sure to refrigerate it within two hours of cooking or freezing it in airtight containers. If the brisket has been left out for more than two hours, discard it and do not attempt to reheat it.

2. Thaw The Brisket Safely

If you’re reheating frozen brisket, thaw it safely in the refrigerator overnight or by using the defrost setting on your microwave. Avoid leaving it to thaw at room temperature since it can lead to bacterial growth.

3. Reheat To The Correct Temperature

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that all leftover meat should be reheated to an internal temperature of 165°F (73.9°C) to kill any bacteria that may be present. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of the meat, especially in the thickest part of the brisket.

4. Don’t Reheat Too Many Times

Avoid reheating leftover brisket more than once. Each time you reheat the meat, it loses its quality and can create an environment for bacterial growth. If you have large amounts of leftovers that can’t be used within three to four days, it’s best to freeze leftovers and reheat them when ready.

Avoiding Common Mistakes In Microwave Reheating

Reheating brisket can be tricky in the microwave and can result in uneven heating, dryness, and tough textures. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when reheating brisket in the microwave.

1. Not Covering The Brisket

When reheating the brisket in the microwave, it’s essential to cover it with microwavable plastic wrap or a lid. This will help trap the steam and keep the brisket moist.

2. Overheating The Brisket

Microwave ovens vary in wattage, and brisket may be reheated too fast and become overcooked and tough. It’s best to start with shorter heating times and check for doneness, then add more time if needed.

3. Cutting The Brisket Into Small Pieces

When reheating brisket, avoid cutting it into small pieces since they’ll dry out faster. Instead, keep the brisket in larger pieces or slices to retain its moisture and tenderness.

4. Placing The Brisket In Straight Lines

When heating the brisket, avoid placing it in straight lines, as this could cause uneven heating. Instead, try to spread the meat out evenly in a circle. This will help distribute the heat more evenly.

Tips And Tricks To Reheating Brisket In Microwave

Here are some tips and tricks to help you reheat brisket in the microwave properly.

1. Add Some Moisture

To add moisture when reheating the brisket, try spreading some barbecue sauce or broth over the meat. Adding a tablespoon of water or apple juice to the dish can also help retain the moisture.

2. Seal The Brisket Properly

When reheating the brisket in the microwave, make sure to seal it tightly to prevent any air from escaping. This will help keep the moisture inside the container.

3. Use The Right Container

Use a microwave-safe container with a tight-fitting lid or microwavable plastic wrap. Avoid using containers made of metal or plastic that can’t withstand high temperatures.

4. Let The Brisket Rest

Allow the brisket to rest for a few minutes after reheating to ensure even heating throughout the meat.

5. Adjust The Power And Time Setting

To avoid overheating the brisket, start with short time settings at lower power levels. It’s better to reheat in intervals of 30 seconds than to heat for longer durations.

6. Reheat With Slices In Mind

When reheating brisket, it’s best to cut it into slices that are easy to reheat in the microwave.


Reheating brisket in the microwave requires some careful considerations to prevent safety issues, avoid common mistakes, and retain the texture and moisture of the meat. Always follow the recommended safety measures, and use the correct technique to reheat the brisket. With the tips and tricks shared in this article, you can make your leftover brisket taste as if it has just come out of the smoker.


How Do I Reheat Brisket In The Microwave Without Drying It Out?

To prevent your brisket from drying out in the microwave, start by placing a damp paper towel over the meat before reheating. This will add moisture and help to retain its juiciness.

What Is The Recommended Time And Power Level For Reheating Brisket In The Microwave?

The recommended time and power level for reheating brisket in the microwave may vary depending on the size and thickness of the meat. A good starting point is to reheat for 30-60 seconds on medium power, checking frequently until it reaches your desired temperature.

Can I Reheat Brisket In The Microwave If It Has Been Frozen?

Yes, you can reheat frozen brisket in the microwave. However, it is best to thaw the brisket first before reheating to ensure even cooking and to prevent any potential food safety issues.

How Do I Know If My Brisket Is Fully Reheated In The Microwave?

The safest way to determine if your brisket is fully reheated is to use a food thermometer. The internal temperature should reach at least 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.

Can I Add Sauce Or Gravy To My Brisket Before Reheating It In The Microwave?

Yes, you can add sauce or gravy to your brisket before reheating it in the microwave. However, it is best to heat the brisket first and then add the sauce afterwards to prevent it from becoming soggy or losing its texture. Alternatively, you can heat the brisket uncovered and add the sauce afterwards for better results.