Leftover Smoked Brisket Taquitos | System of a Brown (2023)

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If you have lots of leftover smoked brisket from your latest BBQ, then this Leftover Smoked Brisket Taquitos recipe is perfect for you!

Leftover Smoked Brisket Taquitos | System of a Brown (1)

Smoked brisket isn’t just a meal, it’s an event. It includes a lot of prep work and takes all day to smoke, but it’s worth every second. Through much practice, we’ve become pretty happy with our smoked brisket process. The problem is, there are always soooo much left in leftovers (a very tasty problem though). I like to try to get a little creative with ways to enjoy it for the following days. I’m always needing more leftover brisket recipes, and this recipe for leftover smoked brisket taquitos is one of my favorites.

Prepping the Brisket Taquitos

Making the brisket taquitos is pretty simple, but the most work goes into the prep. Prepping all the ingredients is important because when you are in the thick of making everything, you don’t want to need something and it hasn’t been chopped or heated!

Leftover Smoked Brisket Taquitos | System of a Brown (2)
Leftover Smoked Brisket Taquitos | System of a Brown (3)

Start by getting a pre-heat on your oil. Fill a heavy duty pot (about 6-8 quarts) with about 3-4 quarts of oil. Most kinds are fine: Canola, vegetable, corn, peanut- whatever. They’ll all work just fine. Turn the heat on medium-low so the oil will heat, but not get to full frying temperature. I do this so when you ARE ready to fry your brisket taquitos, you can turn the heat up and it is much quicker getting it to full heat.

While your oil is preheating, get the filling ready:

  • Empty the can of beans into a small saucepan and heat (season with cumin and salsa if you like).
  • Slice the onion (about ¼-1/2 an onion).
  • Core and slice 1-2 jalapeños
  • Finely chop brisket (about a cup)
  • Grate cheese (on the smaller setting)
Leftover Smoked Brisket Taquitos | System of a Brown (4)
Leftover Smoked Brisket Taquitos | System of a Brown (5)

Preparing your leftover brisket

After everything is chopped and grated, let’s heat things up! Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions and peppers until soft and translucent (about a couple of minutes). After those are heated, add the leftover brisket. Heat the leftover brisket for about 2-3 minutes, mixing well with all the onions and peppers.

How do I stop my corn tortillas from cracking?

Once you have all your ingredients sliced, grated, and heated, you’re ready to start rolling brisket taquitos! You’ll need about 10 or so corn tortillas (I just fill a bunch until I run out of filling). Now…. here’s the most important part:


Yeah. It’s a must. If you don’t heat each tortilla, it will break when you roll it. Immediately. And it’s so frustrating. It works best when you heat each one individually right before you roll it. Yeah, it’s annoying and high maintenance, but it works well.

Leftover Smoked Brisket Taquitos | System of a Brown (6)

After heating one tortilla in the microwave for about 15 seconds (you want it to be hot enough to almost be uncomfortable to hold), hold it in your hand, take a small spoonful of beans and smear it in one strip across the tortilla. It works well if it’s sliiiightly off center because it makes it a little easier to roll. After the beans, add a small spoonful of the leftover brisket and peppers mixture. Don’t put too many or you won’t be able to close it. Top that off with a strip of that grated cheesy goodness.

Leftover Smoked Brisket Taquitos | System of a Brown (7)

Before the tortilla cools, start wrapping! If you put the ingredients off center, start on that side. Wrap tightly and roll all the way up. Take a toothpick and it lengthwise up the taquito. It should go in and back out, exposing both ends of the toothpick. Keep on rolling until you run out of ingredients! I got about 10 out of this batch.

(Video) EASY Brisket Pot Pie - Leftover Brisket Never Tasted So Good

Time to fry!

Turn the heat up on the oil and heat until it reaches 375°F. You want the oil good and hot so it crisps up fast and doesn’t soak up oil.

Leftover Smoked Brisket Taquitos | System of a Brown (8)

If you don’t have one of these infrared thermometers (affiliate link), stop what you’re doing and GET ONE. Once you have one, you’ll wonder how you ever functioned without it. All you have to do is point and shoot, so you know the exact temperature of EVERYTHING! Oil, pans, surfaces, water… ANYTHING! It’s a lifesaver. The days of tossing in a random fry to test the oil temperature are gone.

When your oil is at 375, carefully put in about 4-5 depending on the size of the pot. Don’t overcrowd so the oil temperature doesn’t drop too much. There will probably be a few leaky ingredients, but that’s ok. It won’t be a lot.

Fry for about 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown. I like mine EXTRA crunchy, so I let mine go for a little longer. I usually know it’s ready when most of the oil bubbling is gone.

When they’re finished, remove your brisket taquitos and let sit on paper towels to soak up excess oil. Let the temperature of the oil come back up before you do the next batch.

Leftover Smoked Brisket Taquitos | System of a Brown (9)

And that’s it! Dip in guacamole, salsa, queso, or enjoy as is! A super delicious and different way to use your leftover brisket! There are lots of things you can do with brisket, but for me, leftover smoked brisket taquitos are absolutely perfect!

More smoked meat leftovers? Check out this recipe for Cheesy Smoked Rib Quesadillas! You could also use your leftover brisket in this recipe too!

Leftover Smoked Brisket Taquitos

Make the most of your leftover 4th of July smoked brisket by mixing it up with these delicious brisket taquitos!

4.5 from 8 votes

Print Pin Rate

Prep: 20 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

(Video) How to Make Birria Tacos Using Leftover BBQ

Servings: 10 taquitos

Calories: 200kcal

Author: Lisa Brown


  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 Onion sliced into strips
  • 2 Fresh Jalapeños cored and sliced
  • 10-12 Corn tortillas
  • 1 cup leftover smoked brisket finely chopped
  • 1 can refried beans I like traditional Rosarita
  • 4 oz pepper jack cheese finely shredded
  • canola oil about 3-4 quarts for deep frying


  • In a 6-8 quart heavy pot, pre-heat about 3-4 quarts of oil. Keep heat on medium heat while you are prepping ingredients so it doesn't overheat.

Prepping Filling

  • Empty the can of refried beans into a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat. When beans have heated thoroughly, turn heat down to low and let simmer while the other ingredients are being prepped. Season with cumin, salsa, chipotle pepper, or whatever else you like.

  • Finely chop brisket until you have about a cup. (this amount is flexible). Set aside.

  • Grate cheese. Set aside.

  • Slice onion and jalapeños into about strips about 1-2 inches in length.

  • Heat olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Sauté peppers and onions until soft and translucent (about 3 minutes).

  • Add chopped brisket. Sauté until fully heated and moistened, about 2-3 minutes.

    (Video) Easy Crockpot Mexican Shredded Beef

Wrapping taquitos

  • Take one small spoonful (about a teaspoon) of heated refried beans and smear in one strip across a heated corn tortilla. It should be slightly off center (this helps with wrapping later).

  • Add about a tablespoon of the brisket/onion mixture on top of the beans. It should be arranged in a straight, narrow strip on top of the beans. Top this off with a pinch of cheese.

  • Roll taquito tightly, beginning on the side where you placed the ingredients off center. Make sure that first wrap is tightly secure over all the ingredients.

  • When the taquito is fully rolled, secure with a toothpick. The toothpick should run the length of the taquito, not across. The toothpick should go in and out of the same side of the taquito, laying flat.

  • Repeat this process until you run out of filling. I made about 10 with this amount.

Frying the taquitos

  • Raise heat on oil to medium-high (Do not bring it all the way to high). When your frying oil reaches 375°F, carefully place the taquitos in the oil. Don't overload the oil. I normally comfortably fry 4-5. Fry for about 5-6 minutes, or until the tortilla has reached a crispy, golden brown. Remove from oil and set on paper towels to soak up excess oil.

  • Let the oil reheat to 375°F. Repeat until all taquitos are cooked.

  • Serve immediately. Dip in salsa, queso, or guacamole. Serve extra refried beans as a side if you like. Enjoy!

Tried this recipe?Mention @asystemofabrown or tag #systemofabrown!


Serving: 1taquito | Calories: 200kcal

Reader Interactions


  1. Leftover Smoked Brisket Taquitos | System of a Brown (11)Michelle says

    Can you cook these in an air fryer?


  2. Leftover Smoked Brisket Taquitos | System of a Brown (12)Brian Thompson says

    Have you ever frozen the taquitos after? Do you think you could?


    • Leftover Smoked Brisket Taquitos | System of a Brown (13)Lisa Brown says

      Hello! I’ve never frozen them, but I bet you could freeze them before you fry them. I don’t know that I would freeze them after frying. Seems to me like they could be frozen and stored like any other store bought frozen taquitos.


      (Video) ~Beef Brisket Taquitos~

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What to do with leftover tough smoked brisket? ›

If your leftover brisket seems a bit dry, never fear. It can still be revived and no one will be the wiser. To moisten the meat, give it a marinade in some warm beef broth, and make sure to add broth when reheating. Another option is to use the meat in dishes where it can soak up a rich sauce.

How long is leftover smoked brisket good for? ›

Cooked brisket without liquid or gravy will last longer in the fridge (up to four days) but less time in the freezer (up to two months). If the brisket is stored in the gravy, it may be refrigerated up to two days and frozen up to three months.

How do you save a burnt brisket? ›

Burnt Ends
  1. Cut the point end of the cooked brisket into 1 1/2-inch cubes. Try to make them all roughly the same size.
  2. Place them in an aluminum pan and add your favorite barbecue sauce. Toss the brisket pieces around, so they're all covered in sauce.
  3. Set the brisket pieces back in the smoker and cook for another hour.

Why is my brisket still tough after 12 hours? ›

The only way to break it down to get tender brisket is to expose the meat to heat for an extended period of time. As such, if you don't cook brisket for long enough, the connective tissue isn't going to have time to break down. Therefore, you will be left with a still tough brisket.

How do you salvage a chewy brisket? ›

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Carve the brisket into long 1/4-1/2 inch slices.
  3. Lay out the brisket in a large baking dish with fairly high sides. ...
  4. Pour the beef broth and wine all over the brisket.
  5. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 3-4 hours.

Can you eat brisket that was left out overnight? ›

If a perishable food (such as meat or poultry) has been left out at room temperature overnight (more than two hours) it may not be safe. Discard it, even though it may look and smell good.

Can cooked brisket go bad? ›

USDA recommends using cooked beef within 3 to 4 days, kept refrigerated (40°F or less). Refrigeration slows but does not stop bacterial growth. USDA recommends using cooked leftovers within 3 to 4 days.

Is smoked brisket good reheated? ›

Reheat the brisket in the oven for about an hour for large pieces and less time than that for thinner pieces. You can let the internal temperature hit about 165-degrees for the best tasting reheated brisket that tastes like it's fresh from the smoker.

What to do with brisket trimmings? ›

Brisket fat trimmings have multiple uses. You can use them to make beef tallow, hamburger meat, homemade sausages, and Yorkshire pudding. You can also use them as meat moisturizer when smoking brisket. So if you have been throwing away brisket fat trimmings, you now know not to do that.

Are burnt ends and brisket the same thing? ›

Technically, burnt ends and brisket are the same things. Burnt ends are the trimmings from a smoked brisket. During the smoking process, the point cut of the brisket develops a rich, smoky bark and crunchy texture.

How do you reheat smoked burnt ends? ›

Leftover pork belly burnt ends can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. They reheat really well in a 350 degree F oven for 15 minutes or you could always throw them back on the smoker.

Why does brisket turn brown? ›

After beef has been refrigerated for about five days, it may turn brown. This darkening is due to oxidation, the chemical changes in myoglobin due to the oxygen content. This is a normal change during refrigerator storage.

Why does smoked brisket look burnt? ›

Due to the higher fat content of the brisket point, it takes longer to fully cook to tender and render out fat and collagen. This longer cooking gave rise to the name "burnt ends". Sometimes when the flat is done, the point is returned to the smoker for further cooking. Some cooks re-season the point at this time.

Can you reheat brisket burnt ends? ›

Burnt Ends

Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove burnt ends from package and wrap in aluminum foil. Heat in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove from foil and serve.

What is the longest you should let a brisket rest? ›

No matter the cooking method (smoking, roasting, etc.), cooked brisket should rest for at least one hour but not more than two hours. After more than a couple of hours at room temperature, the brisket starts to get cold, and reheating it can cause it to dry out.

Why is my brisket still tough after 8 hours in slow cooker? ›

It's because you haven't let the collagen break down. Extend the cook time, make sure there's enough liquid and keep an eye on the dish.

Is 20 hours too long for brisket? ›

Smoking duration will be 18 to 22 hours. After smoking, it should rest for at least 1 hour, but can be held in the oven at 140°F for several hours. Plan to put the brisket in the smoker 24 hours before serving so that you can be confident it will be done and ready.

Can overcooked brisket be saved? ›

If the majority of your brisket is overcooked, it's possible that the point end might still be salvageable. This can be used to make a simple version of brisket burnt ends. Usually, the point would be separated from the rest of the brisket before cooking and smoked in a dry rub mixture.

Does brisket get softer longer it cooks? ›

It's a tough cut of meat, which is why the best way to cook brisket is a low-and-slow method: Long, slow cooking makes it tender.

How long can you leave smoked meat in a cooler? ›

How Long Can I Safely Hold Meat In A Cooler? — The standard advice on food safety is that you can safely keep food in the "danger zone" for a maximum of four hours. The danger zone, of course, is between 40°F and 140°F.

How do you reheat a brisket after resting overnight? ›

Preheat oven or smoker to 250°F. Wrap brisket in two layers of aluminum foil and place in heated oven or smoker . Your brisket is done when it reaches 165°F which will take between 20-55 minutes depending on the size of your brisket and if you are heating a large chunk or individual slices.

How can you tell if smoked brisket is bad? ›

How to tell if beef brisket is bad? The best way is to smell and look at the beef brisket: signs of bad beef brisket are a sour smell, dull color and slimy texture; discard any beef brisket with an off smell or appearance.

What does spoiled brisket smell like? ›

Bad meat will have a sour smell, almost like spoiled milk. It will also turn from its red color to a murky brown shade. If any of the meat in your refrigerator has a strange smell or color, it's best to throw it away rather than take your chances.

What's the best way to reheat cooked brisket? ›

Next, preheat your oven to 325˚and place your brisket in an ovenproof dish. Drizzle the meat with some of the original cooking liquid or a little beef broth, then cover the dish tightly with foil. Heat until the brisket is warmed through (cooking times will vary depending on whether your brisket is sliced or whole).

How long to reheat refrigerated brisket? ›

Cover the brisket with slices of butter. This fat is your friend to provide much needed moisture when reheating. Reheat until the internal temperature is over 140. This will take 90 - 120 minutes depending on the size of your brisket.

Why does brisket taste better the next day? ›

Brisket is a great make-ahead dish since it actually tastes better the next day, after the flavors have had a chance to develop and come together. Another advantage is that the fat that melts into the cooking liquid will solidify and be easy to remove after a stay in the refrigerator.

How to make burgers from brisket trimmings? ›

For a 100% brisket burger – cut trimmings into small pieces and add to grinder. Make note to have approximately 25% of the total weight in fat. Run cold trimmings/meat through a chilled meat grinder on the coarse setting. Run it through an additional time if you desire a finer grind.

What is the fatty end of a brisket called? ›

The point cut is the fatty part of the brisket, which is called the deckle. The flat cut, also known as "first cut", has the deckle removed, which makes it leaner and causes it to lay flat. Early on the brisket was not very popular and was often discarded for stew meat or to be ground up.

Why are burnt ends so expensive? ›

Pandemic-related shutdowns that slowed parts of the production process. Not having enough workers in the factories or transporting the beef. High gas prices for transporting. A drought, leading to less healthy grass for calves to eat and therefore less calves.

What is the thick end of the brisket called? ›

Point: The thicker, pointy, fattier end. Stall: The point while cooking a brisket when the internal temperature stops rising, usually around 160 degrees.

Can you make burnt ends after smoking? ›

You can make burnt ends from an entire brisket but be sure to separate the point from the flat, after smoking and cutting into cubes. Use a Kansas City Style BBQ sauce for a more authentic flavor, however you can modify with any sauce you like.

Can burnt ends be reheated? ›

Remove burnt ends (with supplied burnt end juices) from plastic container (DO NOT PLACE PLASTIC CONTAINER IN OVEN – IT WILL MELT!) and place in oven safe Pyrex (or equivalent). Cover top with foil. Place in oven for 1 hour per pound (typically) and they are ready to serve when internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Can you make burnt ends the next day? ›

Make Burnt Ends Another Day

If you don't have the time to make burnt ends right away, simply refrigerate or freeze the brisket point and make them another day.

Is brown meat OK to eat? ›

That colour actually indicates a lack of exposure to oxygen, which is normal. Grocery stores will often discount meat, such as ground beef, that has turned brown, though it's well within its shelf life. If the meat turns brown or grey on the outside, though, it's likely not yet unsafe, but it is beginning to rot.

Is brown beef OK to eat? ›

Ground beef turning brown is a normal reaction involving myoglobin and oxygen. And the hamburger is usually still good to eat.

What causes meat to turn brown when cooked? ›

As the internal temperature of the meat rises above 140 degrees, however, myoglobin loses its stability and forms a new molecule called hemichrome. Hemichrome is the compound that gives medium-cooked red meat its slightly browned color.

What color should smoked brisket be? ›

Personally I want at least 5-6 hours of smoke and a dark, mahogany-colored bark. Typically when those two things happen, the internal temperature has reached the point where the brisket is stalling (150-170F). The fat should also feel like you're pushing into a marshmallow and have a slight jiggle.

Why does my brisket look GREY? ›

The reason for this discoloration is that this edge of the brisket is exposed when the carcass is split into sides, and these sides have various antimicrobial treatments applied to them such as organic acids (lactic acid is the most common), hot water, and/or steam pasteurization to destroy potential pathogens.

Does brisket bark taste burnt? ›

“With smoke and enough time, it can be transformed into a licorice-black, shiny lacquer.” That's why the bark on a pork shoulder or beef brisket can make your meal look like a meteor, but there is no carbon burned flavor.

How do you recover an overcooked brisket? ›

If your leftover brisket seems a bit dry, never fear. It can still be revived and no one will be the wiser. To moisten the meat, give it a marinade in some warm beef broth, and make sure to add broth when reheating. Another option is to use the meat in dishes where it can soak up a rich sauce.

How do you reheat leftover smoked brisket? ›

How to Reheat Brisket (Keeping It Juicy)
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Remove leftover brisket from the fridge. Place it on a baking sheet and let sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Pour some extra juices over the brisket.
  4. Cover the brisket in a double layer of foil. ...
  5. Place your brisket in the oven. ...
  6. Enjoy!
Mar 3, 2021

How do you reheat brisket to make it tender? ›

How to Reheat Brisket (Keeping It Juicy)
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Remove leftover brisket from the fridge. Place it on a baking sheet and let sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Pour some extra juices over the brisket.
  4. Cover the brisket in a double layer of foil. ...
  5. Place your brisket in the oven. ...
  6. Enjoy!
Mar 3, 2021

How do you moisten smoked brisket? ›

After two or four hours of cooking, you can lightly spray your brisket with water, hot sauce, apple cider vinegar, or apple juice. You can do this every 30 minutes or every hour, based on preference.

Why is my slow cooked brisket tough? ›

If your brisket is tough, chances are it needs more time to cook and become tender. Heat: Cook brisket over low heat. If you cook the beef quickly over high heat you will end up with tough, dry meat. Rest: It is imperative you let the meat sit for a little bit before you cut into it.

Why is my smoked brisket dry and tough? ›

Why is My Brisket Tough and Dry? Your brisket may be dry because it lacks marbling, is cooked at a high temperature, cooked for too long, not wrapped, or not allowed to rest for long enough.

Is there a way to tenderize already cooked meat? ›

Simmering in a little bit of liquid or broth is a great way to tenderize. Acidity can also be your friend here. A little bit of vinegar and lemon juice in the liquid can help you tenderize the meat.

How do you reheat brisket without overcooking it? ›

Next, preheat your oven to 325˚and place your brisket in an ovenproof dish. Drizzle the meat with some of the original cooking liquid or a little beef broth, then cover the dish tightly with foil. Heat until the brisket is warmed through (cooking times will vary depending on whether your brisket is sliced or whole).

What is the best liquid to keep brisket moist? ›

7 Options of Liquids to Use for Spritzing Brisket:
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. This is one of the most commonly used liquids for a brisket spritz, especially for Carolina-style barbecue. ...
  • Apple Juice. Apple juice is another popular spritz option. ...
  • Beer. ...
  • Beef Broth. ...
  • Melted Butter. ...
  • Worcestershire Sauce. ...
  • Plain Water.
Oct 12, 2022

What is the secret to moist tender brisket? ›

We cook our brisket at 250 degrees Fahrenheit (F) using cherry or apple wood from the Northwest. This temperature will break down the connective tissue, rendering some of the intramuscular fat, which in turn keeps the tenderness, and juicy flavor.

How do you moisten smoked meat? ›

  1. Water Pan – Use a water pan in your smoker to maintain a humid environment so the meat doesn't cook with hot, dry air. ...
  2. Spritzing – Many pit-masters keep a spray bottle filled with stock, apple juice or spray butter handy, spritzing the meat when the surface starts to dry.

How do you make dry meat moist again? ›

The quickest way to reintroduce moisture back into your meat is to add a liquid. You can easily do this with water but it's best if you use a liquid that's flavorful. This is because with the evaporation of the moisture that originally was in the meat went some of the flavors, too.

Why did my brisket turn out rubbery? ›

If you are using the words "chewy" or "tough" to describe the texture of your meat, in nearly all cases it has not been cooked enough. Your time/temperature pretty much confirms it.

Is tough brisket undercooked or overcooked? ›

Undercooked brisket will be tough and chewy, while overcooked brisket will be dry and crumbly. Ideally, you want to achieve a “fall off the bone” tenderness – whereby the meat is cooked all the way through but still has a slight resistance when pierced with a fork.

Can you smoke brisket too long? ›

If you cooked the brisket too long, so the internal temperature reached past 208°F, the meat dried out. Rest the brisket for at least 30 minutes before slicing, or the juices won't redistribute and end up running out onto your cutting surface instead of remaining in the meat.


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