The brisket will take a few days to thaw in the refrigerator, so it’s best to plan accordingly – or simply submerge the brisket in a sink full of cool water and it will thaw in a few hours.Cooking a brisket perfectly is all about the internal temperature of the brisket and the time required to cook every brisket is different, so the only way to cook them perfect every time is to use a digital meat thermometer and monitor the internal temp closely. Unfortunately there is no time/temperature combination that will work every time for every brisket. It is wise to figure on the better part of a day to cook a brisket to perfection, smaller briskets (5 – 6lbs) can be done in 6 hours or so, large ones (12 – 14lbs) can take 10 hours or more, most will require somewhere between the two aforementioned time extremes.
(Not necessary, but very, very handy is a pair or two of light cotton gloves with a nitrile glove over the top of the cotton gloves, this will allow you to handle the hot brisket much more safely and easily than using tongs or other tools) optional
Starting with a thawed brisket, thoroughly preheat your oven or grill to 350-400° F. If using a grill, it’s fairly important to be able to maintain consistent high heat for a few hours, and you’ll want to make sure that it is indirect heat as briskets may catch on fire if rendering fat contacts flame or ember. Most wood pellet grills work great but gas and/or charcoal grills can be much more challenging. The oven is always the most consistent, in my opinion.
Remove the brisket from the packaging.
Season the brisket. My preference for seasoning briskets is a blend of Salt, Pepper, and Garlic (or Nebraska Star Beef Sgnature® SPG). When you season the brisket you want to use a reasonable amount of seasoning, but don’t over do it. The seasoning should just accentuate the flavor of the beef, it shouldn’t overpower it. Guests can season to taste once it’s cooked & cut. If you have a jaccard tenderizer, now is the time to use it, but it’s not a necessity. I generally don’t jaccard my briskets, others prefer it. It is a matter of preference.
Start cooking the brisket unwrapped but on a rack/drip pan. When the internal temperature of the brisket reaches somewhere between 170–180° F, remove it from the oven or grill and wrap it with heavy tin foil or pink butcher paper/grilling paper and reduce the heat setting of the oven or grill to 225–250° F. Place the wrapped brisket back in the oven or grill at the lower temp until the internal temperature of the brisket reaches 195–200° F. Once the internal temp of the brisket reaches 195-200° F lower the oven temp to 190° F and hold until ready to serve (at least 1 hour minimum, longer is better) OR until ready to rest in insulated container. (see below)
A trick learned inadvertently is to rest large cuts for a couple hours in an insulated container. This allows more time at ideal temp for the fat, collagen and connective tissue to break down. While the brisket is cooking to final temperature, pack the bottom of the cooler that you will be using to rest the brisket with newspaper, paper towels or brown packing paper, this will help to absorb any rendered fat that drips out of the foil. Cover the brisket with the same after placing it in the insulated box or cooler.
When the internal temperature of the brisket is between 195–200° F, remove it from the oven or grill and place it in the prepared cooler and put the lid on. Allow it to rest like this for at least one hour, briskets will rest this way easily for a few hours. This resting period is what makes the brisket tender as it allows the muscle fibers time to relax and the collagen to fully convert to gelatin.
Slice the brisket into pieces approximately 3/8–1/2” thick and serve with a variety of BBQ sauces.
i smoke meat a lot like my smoker a lot it gets the job dun very well
Going to try this exact way out. Never cooked a beef brisket in my life. Hope for the best.
Roger – make sure and don’t get in a rush to cut/serve it when the internal temp hits the 195-200F range, give it an hour or two (or more) at that internal temp for all the collagen to break down and fat to render. That has delivered the best results for me.
Do you have a crock pot recipe ???
Tim – Not yet, but I believe we need to fix that… wouldn’t be my first choice for cooking a brisket, but I’ll bet we can come up with something good. Thanks for stopping by and dropping a comment.