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How do I cook a beef brisket roast in the oven?

Hi, I have never cooked a roast before and cant seem to find any very good instructions online or in a bunch of cookbooks that I checked.

I have a 3 pound brisket roast that I want to cook tomorrow in the oven, its been thawing for 2 days in my fridge so far and Im going to take it out 2 hours before I start cooking it.

Ive read some recipes but Im still vague on what to do from there.

Is it alright if I cook it directly on the oven racks? I want to keep it fairly simple and I really dont want to screw it up. I dont want to buy things like a roasting pan or cooking wine if I dont need to but things like olive oil, onions, garlic, common spices, ect. are fine.

Also some recipes suggest cooking it at high temperatures first then lowering the heat but others say slow and low all the way is better, what do you guys think?

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  1. Not sure what you mean about cooking the brisket directly on the racks. A brisket should be braised at slow heat in a covered pan -- if you have a good size cast iron skillet or a Dutch Oven with a tight fitting lid, either will work fine.

    You indicate that you have some recipes, so not sure what other information you need. Typically you start the brisket on a burner on the stove-top in the pan that you will use in the oven, searing the meat on all sides and sauteeing any aromatics (onions, garlic), then add your liquids and place the entire pan, covered, into the oven at about 300 degrees for about 3 hours, until it is very tender. It's best made a day ahead, so you can skim off the fat from the sauce after it cools, then slice the brisket and reheat in the sauce on the stove.

    If you want particular recipes, using simple ingredients, I'm sure the CH'ers will be happy to oblige. Just let us know.

    1. Can you say a bit about what you're after? (Like a roast beef with potatoes and gravy? Or do you want it falling apart as if for shredding with a barbecue sauce?) Also, what shape is your brisket? Is it labeled either as from the "point" or the "flat" end?

      If you lack a roasting pan, tin foil can be your friend. As masha has said, brisket in an oven is typically cooked in some liquid in an enclosed container at 300-325 or so; otherwise it is smoked and indirect-grilled for 10+ hours in a smoker or grill (at circa 270 degrees).

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bada Bing

        I just want some traditional roast beef basically so yeah I guess roast beef with potatoes and gravy. I bought one of those disposable roasting pans (just barely fit in my oven) and now I just need to know the best way to cook it.

        The type of brisket is not one of those flat ones its round like a roast. I mentioned earlier about cooking a roast directly on the rack of the oven because thats what some recipes said to do, but I guess you dont do that with brisket.

        1. re: Odie77

          I suggest something like lagne's or fourunder's approaches below.

          Some other kinds of roasts could be cooked directly on an oven rack, but that applies only for quicker-cooking roasts (tenderer cuts from the loin and sirloin). What you have can taste awesome, but it takes longer cooking and therefore an enclosed environment to avoid drying out. Good luck!

      2. I normally don't like roasting bags, but i use one when I make brisket.

        Brown the outside of the roast well, toss it in the bag with some browned mirepioux, wine and stock. Toss the whole thing in a 325 degree oven and let it cook for 2.5 to 3 hours. Slice it thin and across the grain and serve with the jus.

        BTW this is one of those dishes that is better the next day.

        1. Brisket is not a roast. It should be braised slowly. I brown mine with some onions,carrots and garlic then into the oven with some Pinot noir for several hours until it's falling apart.

          1. The Cooking with Grandma archive on CHOW videos has a recipe for brisket in the oven that works very well. http://www.chow.com/videos/#!/show/co...

            1. Ok, what I have is a 3 pound "rolled" beef brisket roast. I dont have any good recipes with instructions that are very specific. Can you give me a good simple recipe? What liquids could I use?

              2 Replies
              1. re: Odie77

                This is what I like to do - a pretty classic prep, nothing fancy, but my absolute favorite (forgive me if I'm overexplaining, but you indicated that you haven't cooked many roasts so I'm going to over- instead of under-explain)..

                Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

                Salt and pepper your roast on all sides. Heat the pot you're going to cook the roast in over high heat. Add a little vegetable oil, and sear the roast on all sides until it's browned, then set the roast aside and lower the heat to around medium. Add about 3-4 tbsp. butter to the pot.

                Throw in 1 medium onion, 1 medium carrot, 1-2 medium stalks of celery, chopped, and about 2 tbsp. tomato paste. Cook for 2-3 minutes, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add 1-2 cloves minced garlic and cook another minute. Then stir in 3-4 tbsp. all purpose flour - enough that any shiny fat on the veggies seems absorbed by the flour, but not so much that the pot seems dry. Eyeball it and add it little by little. Cook it for 2-3 minutes.

                Increase heat to high, and add a good glug of red wine - at least 1 cup, more if you like (I like merlot for this, and I usually use closer to 2 cups). Let it cook for a minute, then nestle your roast in there and add about 2 tsp. each fresh rosemary and fresh thyme (or a scant teaspoon dried), and beef stock and/or water to cover the roast by about 3/4.

                Cover and bring to a simmer, then slide into the preheated oven and cook about 1.5 hours - 2 hours. (If you want potatoes as part of the roast, I would cut them into large-ish pieces and add them to the pot about halfway through your cooking time.)

                Remove the roast to slice. If the pot liquid seems too thin, reduce it on the stovetop until it reaches desired consistency (alternately, combine equal parts butter and flour and whisk it into the simmering liquid until it reaches the desired thickness).

                1. re: Odie77

                  A fairly simple recipe is to use Alton Brown's Brisket Double Wrapped In Foil. In a nutshell, you make a double sheet of foil, place the brisket into it, add a can of tomatoes and seal the foil....by making a pouch. fold the foil over the brisket, and seal fold over the edges to seal. After you do 2 sides, pour in the tomatoes and then seal the last side. Make sure you double fold the edges. Roast for 2-3 hours inside the disposable pan you have. When the roast is done, you can open a corner to pour out the liquids to make your sauce......You can use a thickener, or a stick blender. To enhance your sauce, you can add a mirepoix inside the pouch.

                  You could also use soda, beer, wine or stock in braises....but I would avoid using foil with the wine.