Brisket Tacos – two words that ignite cravings and set mouths watering. After spending the weekend smoking and enjoying that big brisket, those flavor-packed leftovers deserve a spotlight. Enter Brisket Taco Tuesday, a celebration of smoky beef bliss tucked into tortilla folds with all your favorite toppings.

Tacos are a beloved staple, but when the protein is the star of the show, it can make or break the experience. Leftover smoked brisket elevates the humble taco to lofty heights. Its rich, melt-in-your-mouth texture and deep, wood-fired flavors transform every bite into a flavor explosion.

Creating an exceptional taco is an art form, a delicate balance of quality ingredients that complement rather than overpower. A hearty, savory brisket filling demands a balance between heat, and some acidity to cut through the richness. Crisp, fresh herbs provide a bright contrast, while the choice of soft or crunchy tortilla shells is a personal preference.

Taco Topping Inspiration

The beauty of tacos lies in their versatility – you can let your creativity run wild with an array of toppings and fillings. When you have leftover smoked brisket on hand, the possibilities are endless. Here’s some inspiration to take your brisket tacos to new heights:

  • Beef brisket: The undisputed star of the show. Whether sliced, diced, or shredded, this smoky, tender meat will steal the spotlight. For an extra punch of flavor, consider using brisket burnt ends as your filling.
  • Sauces: A tangy, herbaceous chimichurri sauce complements the richness of the brisket beautifully. Alternatively, a drizzle of your favorite barbecue sauce or a zesty BBQ vinaigrette can add a touch of sweet and tangy flavors. For some heat, reach for a Mexican-style hot sauce like Cholula or Tapatio instead of Tabasco.
  • Pickled Red Onions: These zingy, pink-hued slices offer a bright, acidic contrast to the rich brisket.
  • Avocado or Guacamole: Creamy avocado or guacamole provides a cool, luxurious texture and helps balance the bold flavors.
  • Cheese: If you’re a cheese lover, crumbled Cotija cheese adds a salty, tangy punch. However, the brisket is so flavorful that cheese is optional.
  • Fresh Toppings: Diced onions, chopped cilantro, grilled corn salsa, and fresh lime wedges contribute vibrant flavors, crunchy textures, and a pop of color to your brisket tacos.

The Taco Foundation: Choosing the Perfect Tortilla

The tortilla is the foundation upon which your taco creation stands, so choosing the right one makes a difference. A high-quality, fresh tortilla can elevate the entire experience.

When it comes to the age-old flour versus corn debate, it’s a matter of personal preference. Flour tortillas (my go-to choice) offer a pillowy softness and slightly sweet flavor that complements the rich brisket beautifully. Corn tortillas, on the other hand, provide an earthy, robust base that allows the smoky meat to shine.

Seek out the freshest, highest-quality options available. This is an area where it’s worth splurging a little.

brisket tacos overhead horizontal

Reheating the Brisket for Tacos

The secret to reheating leftover brisket for phenomenal tacos? A hot cast-iron skillet. Preheat it over medium heat. Add your sliced, diced, or shredded brisket and let it sizzle. The intense, even heat will restore that fresh-off-the-smoker tenderness while crisping up the edges. Those crispy bits concentrate the smoky flavors and they will be delicious!

This simple method not only reheats the brisket perfectly but adds a delectable textural contrast. The hot cast iron develops an incredible crust on the meat, while the interior remains meltingly tender. With just a skillet and a few minutes, you’ll breathe new, extraordinary life into those brisket leftovers.

brisket tacos close up

Brisket Tacos

Turn leftover brisket into drool-worthy, crowd pleasing tacos! These beauties are bursting with smoky flavor, melt-in-your-mouth tenderness, and come together in a flash.
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Course: Main
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 lb leftover beef brisket (sliced, diced or shredded)
  • 8 fresh flour or corn tortillas

Topping Suggestions

  • pickled red onions
  • chimichurri sauce
  • avocado or guacamole
  • grilled corn salsa
  • jot sauce, BBQ sauce or BBQ vinaigrette
  • diced red or white onion
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped or whole leaves
  • crumbled Cotija cheese
  • lime wedges


  • Reheat the brisket: In a hot cast-iron skillet over medium heat, reheat the brisket, tossing occasionally, until warmed through and lightly crisped on the edges. Cover to keep warm.
  • Just before assembling, warm the tortillas in a dry skillet or directly over the flame until pliable. Keep warm, covering with cloth napkins or towels.
  • To serve, fill the tortillas with the brisket and desired toppings. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top.


  • Yields 8 tacos.
  • Use your favorite toppings or what you have on hand.
  • BBQ vinaigrette makes a great taco sauce as well.

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