- The brisket will take a day or two to thaw in the refrigerator, so it’s best to plan accordingly for that – 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 it takes to cook every brisket is different, so the only way to cook them perfect every time is using a digital meat thermometer and monitoring the internal temp closely. Unfortunately there is no time/temperature combination that will work for every brisket.
I usually 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 land somewhere between the two aforementioned extremes.
ITEMS YOU’LL NEED:
- Digital cooking thermometer
- A large cookie sheet & drip rack if using the oven
- Heavy tin foil
- Medium sized plastic cooler
- Old towels or a bunch of paper towels
- Brown packing paper and 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)
- Starting with a thawed brisket, thoroughly preheat your oven or grill to 350° F. If using a grill, it’s fairly important to be able to maintain a consistent heat for a few hours, and you’ll want to make sure that it is indirect heat as to not start the brisket on fire as the fat renders. Most wood pellet grills do a great job, gas or charcoal grills can be much more challenging. The oven is always the safest bet, in my opinion.
- Remove the brisket from the packaging.
- Season the brisket. My preference for seasoning briskets is a blend of Salt, Pepper (Black and White) and Garlic (aka 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.
- When the internal temperature of the brisket has reached somewhere between 170 – 180° F, remove it from the oven or grill and wrap it with heavy tin foil and reduce the heat setting of the oven or grill to 225 – 250° F. Place the tin foil wrapped brisket back in the oven or grill at the lower temp until the internal temperature of the brisket reaches 195 – 200° F.
- While you are waiting for the brisket to reach it’s finish temperature, pack the bottom of the cooler that you will be using to rest the brisket with old towels, paper towels or brown packing paper, this will help to absorb any rendered fat that drips out of the foil.
- 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. So if it finishes a few hours prior to serving, just leave it in the cooler until you’re ready to serve. This resting period is what makes the brisket tender as it allows the muscle fibers time to relax and soften.
- Slice the brisket into pieces approximately 3/8 – 1/2” thick and serve with a variety of BBQ sauces.