The Best Brisket
- Grill (or Oven)
- Meat Thermometer
- Large Cookie Sheet & Drip Rack if using the oven
- Heavy Tin Foil
- Medium Sized Plastic Cooler
- Old Towels or Paper Towels
- Brown Packing Paper
- Your Favorite Seasoning
- (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.