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Mar 8, 2010 08:01 AM

Brisket a la Arthur Schwartz

Virtually every brisket recipe I’ve ever seen - except Arthur Schwartz’s - calls for braising liquid that comes to about half-way up the meat in its cooking dish. AS says you don’t need to add any liquid at all! (

Has anyone made brisket a la Schwartz? Does it work?

(He also says brisket made this way was at peak when it came out of the oven, not better reheated the day after cooking. Could this be related to reduced amount of cooking liquid?)


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  1. I make Nach Waxman's brisket (google it). It has no liquid either, other than what comes from the meat and the 1 tbsp. of tomato paste. It is delicious!! The onions and meat juices combine to make the perfect "gravy". adam

    1. I've never tried it without liquids, but since moving to Texas, I have found that brisket is a smoked meat around these parts. They basically cook it forever (well, over eight hours, up to twelve) at around 200 degrees in a smoker in a relatively dry environment, save for liquid in the drip pan. The slow heat is what tenderizes the brisket. Most BBQers wrap their brisket in foil or plastic after a few hours in order to prevent it from drying out and getting too much of a smoked flavor. I do think that cooking long and slow the Schwartz way will work based on what I see with smoked brisket, and will try it next time.

      1 Reply
      1. re: RGC1982

        Made the Nach Waxman recipe. It was very good but I did have to add beef broth to it. After the meat was sliced the liquid cooked down to almost nothing.

      2. His recipe for brisket is intriguing. I don't have the book but have read bits of it and he goes into a lot of explanation about the cut of brisket that should be used, which differs from what most other cookbooks insist upon. Don't remember the details but it involved leaving a lot more of the fat on it than other recipes. Do you think this is the reason for no liquid? Is it slow-cooked? If so, the fat and collagen probably slowly breaks down rendering a tender, juicy brisket w/o braising liquid. If you try it I hope you'll let us know how it turns out.

        3 Replies
        1. re: cinnamon girl

          Thanks, all. Cinnamon girl, I have that explanation - he recommends using a whole brisket (first cut plus second, fattier layer of meat on top) vs. first cut alone. But I don't think that accounts for his recommendation re no liquid.

          1. re: jns7

            Thanks. No probably not as there likely isn't a significant difference in the internal fat of the different cuts. There must be enough in there to begin with for low and slow cooking, as RGC points out regarding Texas bbq. I'd bet it might be even tastier cooked low and slow w/o the liquid; it might be more intensely "briskety" than those braised in liquid. Good luck! Let us know JNS.

            1. re: cinnamon girl

              I do think that a whole brisket seems to have MUCH more fat, and that this is why he doesn't seem to need much liquid. The fat probably renders.

              Whole briskets are found in supermarket meat sections around here, usually just barely trimmed. You can also buy them at Costco and Sam's in a cryovac. I cut into three sections and trim to make two roasts, and I grind the last piece to make great hamburgers. You can cook that piece as a roast too as long as you realize that you will have two pieces of brisket to cook, separated only by a significant layer of fat. One piece is known around hear as "fatty brisket" and the bottom layer is leaner.

              On a whole brisket, if cutting into thirds, the first cut, which is flat, is the most lean. The second cut has more fat, and the third is best used for either hamburger or cubed stew meat. There is so much fat on a whole brisket compared to a first of second cut sold individually, that I have to believe this is the reason you don't need much liquid.