Section 11
Freezing barbecue meat and leftovers

  1. Freezing barbecue meat and leftovers

    • [What is the best method to reheat my barbecue?]

      Jay Bennett--
      I used to eat my leftover BBQ cold because I felt reheating it changed the texture and turned into ordinary pot roast. Lately, I've been trying out a novel method I learned from a Q'er and caterer in Houston. Oil a brown paper bag, put the meat inside, staple the bag shut. Put a rack in a deep baking pan (like a 13X9 cake pan), add hot or boiling water below the level of the rack, place the bag on the rack and place the pan in a hot oven. This warms the meat up without drying it out or overheating it (so it doesn't toughen up). Be sure the bag doesn't touch the oven heating elements! Try an oven temperature of about 325F. It takes about 20 minutes or so, you will have to experiment, but I think the water regulates the temperature and makes timing less critical.

    • [I have some smoked whole chickens in the freezer. How do I reheat them?]

      Ed Pawlowski--
      Defrost them in the microwave. You can then heat them in there also. Do it on a low heat setting and they will be as juicy and tasty as the day they were taken off the smoker.

    • [I have some leftover barbecue. What's the best way to freeze it?]

      Ed Pawlowski--
      I freeze chickens whole, brisket I'll cut into about thirds, pulled pork I put in dinner-sized packages, same with country ribs, about 6 to a package. Use freezer-type Ziploc bags. Editor--For longer-term freezing, wrap the pieces of barbecue in aluminum foil before putting them into the Ziploc bags.

      Sometimes we'll pull it out the day before and put it in the refrigerator to thaw, but it is a quick dinner when you have been out and do not have time to cook. That is the beauty of the microwave. Depending on the size, put it in the defrost cycle for about 10 minutes. If you can, break it down and do it in five minute intervals to be sure it is defrosting and not cooking away on the outside.

      Once defrosted, I heat it on medium for about two minutes. Check to see if it needs a minute or two more, letting it stand for about half the defrosting time. Sounds longer than it really takes, and heated gently, it will be a juicy as it was the day you froze it.

    • [I smoked a big brisket yesterday and we ate only half of it. What can I do with the rest?]

      Summary of several posts--
      You can chop some of it up for barbecue sandwiches, give a chunk of it to a good neighbor, slice some and eat it hot or cold or in sandwiches for the next several days, chop some up and use it in tacos or burritos, but probably the best way to use left-over brisket is to chop it up and use it in chili.

    • [Can you freeze fresh briskets and still get good barbecue? In other words, should I stock up when I see them on sale?]

      Pat Lehnherr--
      The one I did last weekend was two years old. I kept it in the deep freeze at about 5 to 10F. It turned out to be one of my best briskets ever.

      I have kept fresh uncooked brisket frozen for as long as six months and I cannot tell which is which. I always keep three or four on hand.

      David Gerard--
      No degradation for fresh briskets for up to six-eight months if sealed from air to prevent freezer burn (dehydration). (Keep them in their cry-o-vac pack.)

    • [Is it dangerous to your health to eat barbecue due to the presence of carcinogens in the meat caused by the wood fire?]

      Smoky Hale-
      Found this on the Kansas City BBQ Forum and it seems to answer your question.

      Nitrosomines, which may be produced in charred fat of certain animals, has tentatively and tenuously been linked to cancer in humans. In order for nitrosamines to be created, there must be very high temperatures (500F+) and charring. Minute quantities may, therefore, be created by careless trimming of the fat on steaks to be broiled (500-700F) and overcooked or flamed. The risk of getting cancer from this is less than drowning in the shower, IMHO.

      Barbecuing is, by definition, cooked at temperatures around the boiling point of water and no competent barbecuer is likely to willingly let his meat reach the point of charring. The 'burnt ends' served by some commercial establishments are not barbecued and are more of an affront to good taste than a threat to health.

      If cooking meat over hot coals were a hazard to human health, the species would have starved or died out a couple million years ago.

      I think this is a rumor started by a vegetarian who used to be a Women's Magazine Food Editor and therefore knew nothing about barbecue.

      Cook slow, relax, have fun, and don't worry.

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BBQ FAQ Rev 1.0 ©1997 William W. Wight. All rights reserved.