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Sep 23, 2011 08:55 PM

Slow-Cooking Brisket in an Oven

Hi there;

I just bought a whole beef brisket (10lbs).

I created a Texas-style dry rub from a recipe I found online and it's been sitting in the rub since Wednesday.

I don't have a BBQ, smoker, or meat thermometer but I do have an oven.

I was hoping to put the brisket in the oven at around 225 degrees F and let it slow-cook for several hours. But this is my first brisket in the oven, and I was wondering how long I should put it in for? I see lots of posts for 325-350 degrees, but none for a nice slow cook like I want to do.

Also, I bought a disposable aluminum roasting pan to place it in - do I just put it on the pan directly, or do I wrap the beast in foil? Do I then set the foil-wrapped brisket directly on to the pan, or do I have it sit in a marinade/broth?

Any help would be appreciated, I'm a very new chef!

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  1. What's up? If you want to recreate a BBQ style cook, without the wood smoke, as it sounds like you do, I would either put the brisket fat side up on a rack in the pan, or over rough cut veggies in the pan (to keep it up and out of juice), or put it on the oven rack with the pan below to catch the drippings. At 225 oven set it will likely take 10 hours or so to reach 200 internal temp. You will know when it is done when a fork goes in and out easily. You could let it cook uncovered for four or six hours and finish wrapped in foil... this will retain more moisture but soften the bark (outer crust).

    1. Cover your pan with the foil, to give the brisket a moist environment to cook in. You don't really need to get it up to 200 internal temp; 145-150 would probably be just fine. You could also consider one of those foil cook-in bags, if you can fit that monster in there.
      Agreed that this will probably take 8-10 hours at that low temp. If you cook it with the cap on top, it will definitely make its own marinade.

      1. I think either of two techniques above will be fine. The first will give you something closer to BBQ, while the second will be closer to Pot Roast with gravy (because you are really just braising/steaming it). Both are delicious. Note, however, that the collagen that must break down to give you a tender brisket will not do so until it hits about 190F and stays there for at least an hour. Cook's Illustrated did a lot of experimenting with this.

        1. i'd use one of those oven roasting bags from reynolds…it'll keep your brisket nice and moist. any "bark or crust " that would form in an oven -- to me -- would not have the same appeal as that bark created by wood smoking. there would be some caramelization in the oven, cetainly, but i think perhaps you'd sacrifice some juiciness.

          i know there would be those who'd pooh-pooh the oven bag, but i tell you, i had a venison roast done in one not too long ago, and it was perhaps the best, tenderest, and juiciest venison i'd ever eaten. just sayin'!

          1. Thanks for all the great replies; I'm definitely going for the BBQ look and taste. I'd love to get as much bark as possible (and my dream would be some burnt ends - which is probably impossible in the oven)

            The consensus so far says 10 hours - which sounds good to me. The longer the better, I'd love to do this as slow.

            So to clarify Woodburner's comments; I'm to put the brisket up on a rack, above a pan to catch what drips out? And then I can put some cut veggies into the pan to then roast/soak in the fallen juice?

            I've added a pic of my rub, and the monster brisket

            4 Replies
            1. re: mborghese

              Good to hear your intent, mborghese, but remember the lack of smoke will have an impact. Still, go for the uncovered cook (at least half the time) and build some bark. It will not dry out at the low cooking temp since that brisket has a ton of fat. And I GUARANTEE you that you must get it up to an internal temp of 190 min, 200 preferable, before it becomes tender. 140 or 150 will be, frankly, inedibly tough. If you're cooking a rib roast, go for 125 and let it sit on the counter and rise to 135, great. But this aint no rib roast. This could take 9 hours or 12 hours. It can vary a lot. So you may want to give yourself 12 hours and, if needed, when it becomes tender, you can foil it up and place in a cooler for an hour or two, no problem. And remember to slice against the grain.

              And for your next effort, I would try what you find in most of the major BBQ places throughout the TX Hill Country: a rub of roughly 2 parts kosher salt, 1 part rough cracked black pepper, and maybe a little granulated garlic and a shake or two of cayenne. It really lets the beef flavor shine.

              1. re: woodburner

                Woodburner: your brisket looks wonderful!

                So for the first 4/5 hours, cook it uncovered on a rack, then for the second half cover it?

                Also, I found this rub recipe online, and added the chili and mustard:
                1/2 cup paprika
                1/3 cup brown sugar
                3 tablespoons garlic powder
                3 tablespoons onion powder
                2 tablespoons oregano
                2 tablespoons salt
                1 tablespoon chili powder
                1 tablespoon mustard powder

                1. re: mborghese

                  Yes. And if you get a remote probe ($15), you can monitor internal temp from outside the oven.

                  I use rubs like that on pork ribs and shoulder, but on beef, try the simple S&P.

                2. re: woodburner

                  I know it sounds like a cheat, but if you are going for an indoors BBQ, use a bit of Liquid Smoke and rub it into the brisket. It's not chemicals- literally just smoke percolated through water so the liquid picks up the smoke flavor. Not as good as a smoker, but better than no smoke at all.