Cookouts are a summer staple. There's nothing quite like gathering around the grill with friends and family, cooking some delicious food. But what do you do with all that smoked meat once the cookout is over? Luckily, we're here to help! In this blog post, we'll discuss how to store smoked meat after summer cookouts so that you can enjoy it for weeks (or even months) to come!

The Best Way to Store Smoked Meat After a Summer Cookout

Gorgeous smoked brisket ready for a day of eating

Summertime is the high season of grilling, where even the expert year-round pit bosses ramp up production. No doubt you've been to a few cookouts this season and have come home with some leftovers. Maybe you're grilling carne asada or marinated drumsticks for a weekend pool party, and you're thinking of grilling a few pounds extra for an easy dinner later in the week. If you're anything like us, you hate to see all that good food go to waste. So how can you store it?

The best way to store smoked meat is to vacuum seal and freeze it. This will ensure that the meat stays fresh and delicious for a long time. Vacuum sealing also prevents freezer burn, so you can rest assured that your smoked meat will be just as tasty 2-3 months down the road as it is the day after your cookout.

Once you've vacuum-sealed your smoked meat, you can store it in the freezer for up to three months. When ready to enjoy it, simply thaw the meat in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it how you like.

How Long Grilled Meat Lasts Off the Grill

Don't leave leftover meat out for more than an hour if you plan on keeping it

The experience of enjoying freshly grilled meat through the afternoon and into the evening is one of the summer's great joys. But how long does grilled meat last off the grill?

Cooked meat can last up to four days in the fridge but varies depending on how it was cooked and how well you sealed it. For example, grilled chicken that has been properly sealed can last up to four days in the fridge, whereas a pulled pork sandwich left out on the counter will only last for two hours.

Contamination of cooked meat can happen as quickly as two hours after cooking, so critical to wrap up and refrigerate within those two hours. If the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, you have one hour to get it into the fridge.

If you plan on eating your grilled meat within four days, store it in the refrigerator. But if not, then pop it in the freezer for longer-term storage. Cooked chicken, pork, and steak can last in the fridge for three to four days or in the freezer for two to three months. Ground meat should be eaten within one to two days, while you should consume fish within two days.

When it comes to how long grilled meat lasts off the grill, following these storage guidelines will ensure you can enjoy your summer cookout leftovers for weeks (or even months)!

The Best Way to Freeze Smoked Meat for Later Use

The best way to keep grilled meat is in vacuum sealed bags and then freeze

As we mentioned before, the best way to store smoked meat is to vacuum seal and freeze it. This will keep your meat fresh and delicious for months. But what if you don't have a vacuum sealer? No problem! You can still freeze your smoked meat without one.

Here's how:

  • Wrap the meat tightly in plastic wrap, ensuring no air pockets.
  • Place the wrapped meat in a freezer-safe bag.
  • Remove as much air from the bag as possible before sealing it shut.
  • Label the bag with the date and contents.
  • Place the bag in the freezer.

By following these steps, you can store your smoked meat in the freezer for up to three months. When ready to enjoy it, simply thaw the meat in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it how you like.

Enjoying all the dishes during summer grilling

How to Reheat Smoked Meat, so it Tastes Just Like New

Reheating smoked meat can be tricky, but if you do it right, your leftovers will taste just as delicious as they did the day you made them. The key is not overcooking the meat, which will dry it out and make it tough to chew.

Here are some tips for how to reheat smoked meat:

  1. Preheat your oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the meat on a wire rack over a baking sheet and cover it loosely with foil.
  3. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Remove the foil and let the meat rest for five minutes before serving.

Following these steps, you can reheat your smoked meat to taste just as delicious as the day you made it. Enjoy!

American Made Grills are your ticket to endless summer barbecues and hangouts!

Now it's Time to Enjoy the Summer!

We hope this blog has helped you learn how to store smoked meat to enjoy your summer cookouts to the fullest. From how long grilled meat lasts off the grill to the best way to freeze and reheat smoked meat, we've got you covered. So fire up that grill and enjoy! And if you have any leftovers, follow our storage tips so you can enjoy them for weeks (or even months) to come.

For the best gas and hybrid grills in the market, check out American Made Grills. They have a wide selection of grills perfect for any outdoor cooking need! The Encore and Muscle Grills allow you to grill, sear, rotisserie, and smoke with any fuel, from charcoal to hardwood to gas. So whether you're a beginner or a pro, they have the perfect grill for you. So what are you waiting for? Get grilling!

June 13, 2022 — Jason Klein