Brooke Shields Flies to Her Family Each Christmas with a Smoked Brisket in Her Carry-On

"My family loves it the night before Christmas so we go through security with these big pieces of meat," Brooke Shields said on Wednesday's Live with Kelly and Ryan

Brooke Shields
Photo: Craig Barritt/Getty

Some people bring a bottle of wine when they're visiting their family for the holidays. Brooke Shields brings a smoked brisket.

The beloved actress, 56, stopped by Live with Kelly and Ryan on Wednesday, where she revealed that she and her husband Chris Henchy fly to see their family on Christmas each year with a signature dish in their luggage.

"We take meat," Shields said. "My husband smokes his own brisket, he makes his own dry rub. And my family loves it the night before Christmas so we go through security with these big pieces of meat [in our carry-on]."

Asked by Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest just how she gets it through airport screenings, Shields said "we have to take it out, but it's in plastic wrap and tin foil."

"They all know," she said, of the Transportation Security Administration workers. "They're like, 'Did you bring the brisket? You brought the brisket!' The TSA guys now know our brisket."

"I say 'our' as if I had anything to do with it," she joked, explaining that Henchy, 57, "smokes the brisket for 12 hours."

As for whether the aroma of the meat permeates through the airplane cabin, Shields insists it's "not bad."

"He wraps it in a lot of plastic," Shields said.

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Shields is not the only person to fly with food items for the holidays. Turkey Day travelers are known to bring food on their flights, either on their way to their holiday celebration or back home, with leftovers.

In fact, the TSA has shared a list of exactly which Thanksgiving treats are allowed to make the trek home in your carry-on and those that you should always put in your checked baggage.

Turkey and ham; sides like stuffing, sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, mac and cheese, and casseroles; and desserts like pies and cakes are all allowed in carry-ons, safe to be by traveler's sides at 30,000 feet.

Foods that can be spilled, spread, sprayed, pumped, or poured should be packed in a checked bag. Think gravy, cranberry sauce, wine, jam, and preserves.

And an electronic carving knife (or non-electric knife)? Yeah, that goes in the checked bags too.

By the way, the TSA has a number of resources to find out how you should pack an item. The "What can I bring?" feature on their website allows travelers to type in the item in question for an immediate answer as to whether it goes in your checked bag, carry on, either or neither. This feature is also available on the free myTSA app. Or, if you tweet a photo of the item to @AskTSA, they will respond to let you know which bag it belongs in or if it should stay home.

Castle for Christmas
Mark Mainz/Netflix

Meanwhile, brisket aside, Shields has big plans for the holidays this year. Her new movie, A Castle for Christmas, comes out on Netflix the day after Thanksgiving, on Nov. 26.

In the film, Shields portrays a famous American author, Sophie, who travels to Scotland to buy a castle. But while the chateau may be one of her dreams, its prickly owner (played by Cary Elwes) is one of her nightmares, as he's reluctant to sell to a foreigner.

"It's fun rom-com entertainment," Shields said on Live on Wednesday, while discussing the film. "There's knitters, there's whiskey. You'll cry. You'll get choked up!"

"Netflix has been amazing," she added. They're coming up with much more empowered stories for women. It's nice to see women in [this light]. She's not trying to get saved. Her daughter just went to college, she goes and falls in love with Scotland and falls in love with this castle."

Live with Kelly and Ryan airs weekdays in syndication (check local listings).

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