You can keep meat warm overnight
How do I keep the brisket moist overnight?
Smoking a brisket until it reaches about 160 ° F and then baking it is a common way to cook brisket. Meat doesn't benefit much from further smoking after it hits around 160 ° F, and the oven is much less fussy than a grill or meat smoker. For reference, here is a good description of how to smoke brisket in a charcoal smoker and then finish it in the oven.
When it is time to take the meat out of the smoker, the common practice is to thoroughly wrap it in foil and then immediately put it in the oven. Once the meat has reached the final temperature, you can hold it for hours before serving, as long as you keep it warm. So what you want to do is expand the oven part of the process so you can go to sleep.
I would do something like this:
- Smoke the chest piece to an internal temperature of 160F or so.
- Thoroughly wrap it in heavy duty wrap. You want to prevent fluid from leaking out.
- Transfer the roast to an oven set at 225F or even 210F-215F if the oven gets that low.
- Go to bed.
With the oven set this low it will take a long time for the meat to reach its final temperature. This is a good thing as the brisket benefits from being cooked slowly and slowly. And in the worst case scenario, the meat cannot get any hotter than the oven temperature.
The next morning you can check the meat temperature and make final adjustments. If the meat doesn't cook quickly enough, you can turn up the oven. Once the meat has reached temperature, you have several options:
- Take the roast out of the oven and wrap it in towels (in foil) and place it in a small insulated cooler. This way it loses very little heat and there is even more time for the collagen to melt.
- Turn the oven to keep warm (hopefully 170F-180F) and keep the meat that way.
However you keep it warm, pull it out at some point so the meat has the proper resting time. When you finally open that slide, you will likely find the meat resting in a pool of wonderful smoky, meaty smelling liquid. You can pour this back over the sliced meat or work it into a finishing sauce.
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