Oven-barbecued brisket

Total Time
4 hr 20 min
20 min
4 hr
Look for the first cut—sometimes called the flat cut—when buying brisket for this recipe. It's the leanest option. It may take a couple of days to prepare, but the payoff is well worth it. Simply slice only as much brisket as you need for dinner on the first night. Put the remainder with its sauce in a large baking dish, cover with aluminum foil, and refrigerate for up to 4 days, so you can have this delicious brisket on hand for lunch and dinner any time you need it. And as a bonus, the hunks of meat will be easier to slice the next day and even more flavorful, after chilling.


Uncooked lean and trimmed beef brisket

6 pound(s), divided into two 3-lb pieces

Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbsp

Liquid smoke flavoring

1 Tbsp

Uncooked shallot(s)

1 medium, quartered

Canned crushed tomatoes

3½ cup(s), reduced sodium

Unpacked light brown sugar

5 Tbsp

Apple cider vinegar

5 Tbsp


3 Tbsp, mild, smoked

Dried ground coriander

1 Tbsp

Ground allspice

1 tsp

Ground cloves

1 tsp

Dry mustard

1 tsp

Celery seed

½ tsp


  1. The evening before you want to cook, piece together long strips of aluminum foil so they’ll cover and extend widthwise over the side of a large roasting pan. Set briskets in pan, overlapping only as necessary. Rub Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke onto meat. Seal foil tightly and refrigerate overnight, for at least 12 hours or up to 16 hours.
  2. Position rack in center of oven; heat oven to 350°F. While oven heats, remove brisket in its roasting pan from fridge.
  3. Bake brisket sealed in its foil packet for 2 1/2 hours.
  4. Meanwhile, put shallot, crushed tomatoes, brown sugar, vinegar, smoked paprika, coriander, allspice, cloves, dry mustard and celery seeds in a large blender. Cover and blend until smooth, stopping blades and scraping down inside of canister a few times.
  5. After brisket has cooked for 2 1/2 hours, remove roasting pan from oven. Slip aluminum foil out from under brisket, leaving meat and juices in roasting pan. Spoon off any surface fat from liquid by skimming a flatware spoon over juices. Pour prepared tomato sauce mixture over meat.
  6. Return to oven and bake for an additional 1 1/2 hours, basting occasionally with pan juices, until meat is fork-tender. Transfer briskets to a cutting board; let stand for 10 minutes. To serve, slice against the grain into 1/4-inch thick strips. Serving size: 4 ounces cooked brisket and 3 tablespoons sauce.


Tips, hints, and suggestions: What does fork-tender mean? It means this: when you insert a large meat fork into the beef, you can pull that fork back out with almost no resistance. If the brisket lifts up with the fork or if you need to pull a bit to get the tines free, the meat is not yet fork-tender. In truth, briskets get tender at their own rate; some take longer because of a host of factors including the age of the cow, its diet, and even its stress level. Start checking these after 1 1/2 additional cooking hours in step 6, but realize that you might need up to 1 extra hour to get the meat truly fork-tender. Fork-tender brisket is difficult to slice into strips without shredding. The only answer is to use a very sharp knife — and to cut the meat against the grain. Run your finger along the meat to discover which way the fibers in the meat run, much like the grain in wood. Position your knife at a ninety-degree angle to the lay of these fibers and begin slicing. Ask the butcher to trim the surface fat from the brisket, rather than doing it yourself. You’re less likely to lose precious meat — and less likely to cut yourself!