It didn’t take long after moving to Texas to learn that barbecue is done differently here than what I was used to, it’s all about beef down here! That means lots of beef ribs, and even more brisket, and if I was going to really fit in, that meant I would have to add a dependable brisket recipe to my repertoire, challenge accepted!
But a smoker was out of the question, as we are currently living in a high-rise with understandably very strict grilling regulations. So it looks like I would need to find a great way to cook my brisket in the oven.
Having decided to cook my brisket in the oven led me to some good news, and some bad news. First, the good news – there are plenty of recipes online to choose from. But the bad news is that there are too many to really make any sense of them all! So I sorted through a lot of them, and kept coming back to a few cooking methods I felt comfortable, and proceeded from there.
First, I decided to go with a dry rub, because I like how well my oven pulled pork turns out with a dry rub, and also because I was hopeful it would eliminate my having to constantly tend to the brisket, opening the oven over and over to baste the roast all afternoon.
Once I decided to go with a dry rub, it was a pretty quick process to figure out what spices to use, though surprisingly I didn’t see one recipe online with the same spices I chose to use. It’s not that I chose any exotic spices, but I wasn’t content to settle for just salt and pepper, which is a very common recommendation for Texas brisket recipes.
As far as the cut of meat goes, I needed to do a little bit more homework than usual to make sure I bought exactly what I was looking for. First, there are generally three choices of brisket you can buy, the whole brisket, the point and the flat portion. The whole brisket is pretty obviously made up of the two smaller parts, but not everybody needs a whole cut, which often weighs 10-15 pounds. If you would like a smaller roast, you then choose between the point or the flat.
Here are the big differences… the point has more marbling and more fat allover than the flat section, but is more irregularly shaped, while the flat roast is leaner while still having a small fat cap and is more much regularly shaped, which looks good on a carving board. I lean towards the flat cut myself, and for this recipe I used a 6 lb roast.
Whichever cut you go with, please do yourself a favor and buy Choice grade or above. This is one of the toughest beef cuts available, and if you try to save a few dollars and skimp on the grade of the meat, it will show up big time when it comes time to serve your brisket.
One trick that I did pick up from looking at other online recipes, and one that I’ve seen recommended for both pulled pork and ribs, is to place your roast in a brown paper bag after cooking, and then placing your bagged brisket in a microwave or cooler or some container that is neither heated or cooled. The idea is that the residual heat will work it’s way through the meat, let the juices settle and hopefully result in a more tender dinner for you.
I did notice that some people recommend that you wrap your brisket in plastic wrap at different points of the process. I have found this to be an unneeded and unnecessary step, as it can get pretty messy awfully quickly, and doesn’t really accomplish much. In my opinion. But it’s my blog, so it’s all my opinion!
- 6 lb brisket, flat cut with fat trimmed between ¼ and ½ inch
- ½ C black pepper
- ½ C kosher salt
- ¼ C brown sugar
- 2 T garlic powder
- 2 T chili powder
- the day or evening before cooking, mix spices together, apply rub to brisket
- place brisket in oven proof pan, cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight
- preheat oven to 275 and put brisket in oven until it reaches an internal temperature between 190-200 degrees
- remove from oven and place in brown paper bag and place into microwave or other non-heated closed environment
Brisket Nutrition Info
Finding reliable nutritional values for a brisket turned out to be harder than I would have expected. There are many different ways to prepare the roast, and it appears that many different websites try to differentiate between the various methods, and provide nutrition values accordingly. And when I compared numbers from one site to another, they almost never matched up, making it tough to decide which numbers to provide here.
Also, much of the nutritional info I found for cooked brisket was for braising, which is not how I prepared this dish. Does that make a big difference? I don’t know. But I do know that a cooked brisket will weigh less than it did when it was raw, so are these numbers for each serving size after it’s been cooked?
So, as I always seem to say with these nutritional panels, take it with a pretty large grain of salt. Personally, I think these numbers are a bit high, but I’d rather err on that side than to give you an unrealistic idea of how much you could pack away while still maintaining your daily guidelines.