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Mar 25, 2010 03:48 PM

HELP! Passover Brisket techniques

Ok, so i'm making my FIRST EVER brisket for passover and am reading WAY too much and getting WAY too confused.

I'm definitely going to cook my brisket in a slow-cooker, but how long do you suggest? Some recipes say 4 hours, where others say 11 hours. i would think the lower the temp and the longer the better, right?

Also, I'm thinking I should cook it the night before since that it what most people say is better to do. If I do this, then Monday, how should I reheat? In a pan in the oven? I'll be cooking carrots and potatoes with it, should i put that all in a pan together in the oven? Or separate?

Thanks for all and any help!! I really need it! :)

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  1. I don't use a slow cooker but I cook it for 4 hours at 350 in a regular oven so it should be quite a bit longer in a slow cooker. Yes it is definitely better the next day and you should slice it while it is cold (across the grain) before reheating (eveyrthing together in one pan is fine).

    1. Jfood uses a Reynolds Turkey sized cooking bag, an oven 300 degrees, mrs jfood's recipe and 4-5 hours. After 3 hours he removes carefully slices and returns to bag for the last 1-1.5 hours. Into the fridge. Day 2 into a 350 oven in a roasting pan covered with foil.

      Just relax, the brisket is smart enough to know how to cook itself.

      Happy holiday

      5 Replies
      1. re: jfood

        What size is your brisket? 3lbs or 9lbs?
        300-325 is a good temp. and I cook mine for several hours as well and slice thin. Avoid use of tomato-products (ketchup, BBQ Sauce, chili and so on).

        Use of tomato-products is odd and not a "normal" or appropriate ingredient..

        What is best is simple. Just rub some chopped cloves of garlic into each side of the meat. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper all over to taste but don't be stingy. Spread onions, carrots and celery on the bottom of the pan. Put the meat over that on rack.

        hint: i sometimes also sprinkle my meat with one of those onion soup mixes but thats up to you. they are widely available in any grocery store.
        add some water to the pan. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and cook in a preheated 300-325-degree oven for 4 hours or so until meat is just tender.

        You can brown the meat too buy cranking it oven to 450 at first and letting the meat go in for 20 minutes then turning it down to 300..verse the stove.

        I always get a whole brisket or "First Cut" from a respectable top notch butcher. That is a good start to making a great brisket. Make sure you get your meat from a good source and it is fresh.

        Personally, I think it is optimum soon when it comes out of the oven after you let it rest for 20 minutes rather reheated the next day.

        1. re: HungryinBmore

          different strokes...

          "Use of tomato-products is odd and not a "normal" or appropriate ingredient.." - totally disagree. Mrs jfood's recipe calls for ketchup and it works just perfect.

          And to the day of vs the next day - Jfood HIGHLY recommends not only brisket, but all braises be served the next day.

          Onion soup mixes - they will never cross jfood's threshhold. Just read the ingredients. Blech. It's a distant memory from many of his mom's recipes growing up.

          1. re: HungryinBmore

            So then, use of tomato-based products is "odd," not "normal" and not "appropriate" for brisket, but dried, faux onion soup mixes are? Well, I say "to each his/her own" and I'll stick by my chili sauce/beer braise for non-Passover briskets.

            1. re: HungryinBmore

              I think that statement is odd and not normal! I've been making my ketchup/beer/cranberry sauce brisket recipe to raves for years.

              1. re: mdepsmom

                I'm adding my vote to the idea that there is nothing the least bit odd about using tomato products. I use Negro modelo, tomato sauce, brown sugar and onion soup mix along with real onions. And for the leftovers, I add sliced green olives and turn the whole thing into ropa vieja.

          2. My family recipe's like none I've seen or had anywhere else. I first posted it on CH in 2006--here it goes again.

            Trim some of the fat from the brisket. Score the meat lightly in a diamond pattern on both sides to prevent it from curling. Salt, pepper, paprika on both sides.

            Then, whatever weight the brisket is, take half its weight in onions, and chop them into maybe 3/4" dice. Put them in the bottom of a large stockpot, then lay the meat over them, curling it down to fit. Put it on a low flame on the stove, listening to make sure it actually begins to cook.

            Cook it on the stove for 3 hours, turning the meat twice. The onions and meat will make a surprising amount of juice that will turn appetizingly brown. Then fish the meat out, put it into a baking dish, and cover it to cool overnight in the fridge. Cool the onions/gravy separately. If you want to get hysterical about de-fatting the gravy, you can separate the onions as well.

            Then the next day, slice the meat very very thin, on an angle, against the grain. Take the fat off the top of the gravy, and correct its serasoning (it'll probably need a bunch more salt). Spread the meat out in the baking dish, distributing the onions and juices among the slices. Cover the dish with foil and heat it for an hour or so, then serve!

            This is a very forgiving meat. If it isn't tender enough after three hours, cook it another hour. Or give it an hour when you're reheating. The flavor is neutral enough that you can use the leftovers in any number of ways. Freeze some until after Pesach and use it in a bolognese sauce. Sandwiches on matzoh-meal popovers are very nice.

            Good luck!

            1 Reply
            1. re: heidipie

              Agreed. I just Garlic and Salt and Pepper on mine. Some people do it some don't. The OP is looking for a Passover Brisket, not Texas or Southern-Style which would be BBQ Sauce or Tomatoey, Chile Sauce, Beer Can Brisket etc

            2. Get a copy of Joan Nathan's "Jewish Cooking in America" or her holiday cookbook. You'll use it often if you are gonna cook holiday meals. One of the recipes I like a lot is the one for chopped chicken livers.

              Buon appetito! (the language of my wife's ancestors)

              1. Thanks everyone. But has anyone used a slow-cooker to cook their brisket? Has it gotten dried out? For how long do you cook? If i'm putting potatoes and carrots and onions in there and then want to serve the next day do you suggest that when reheating, I reheat separately? Thanks again!

                3 Replies
                1. re: tbradin

                  I would stick to the oven if you can be home for 5 hrs the day before. I use slow cooker often, but never have for brisket. It's possible that it could shred too much & end up like beef bbq, not giving you any slices.

                  1. re: tbradin

                    my mom cooked hers today in the slow cooker... 6 hours on low. i think she plans to reheat all at once...

                    1. re: tbradin

                      Tbradin, my friend's recipe (developed over many years) calls for 8 hours on low in the pressure cooker. She puts in tomatoes, onions, celery and carrots, and seasons everything with garlic, bay leaves and Indian spices (I'm not kidding!). (full details here:

                      It must have turned out well because everyone at her seder this year was remarking about how juicy and flavorful the brisket was this year (I'm a vegetarian, so I didn't actually get to try it, unfortunately!).

                      She cooked it the day before mostly, but then fired it up in the pressure cooker for about an hour before the seder to finish it off, so no need to reheat.