How to Cook a Beef Brisket

If you are learning how to cook a beef brisket, you will find it to require special cooking, unlike most of the other beef cuts. The brisket is cut from the chest of the beef, containing muscles and connective tissue of the animal. For this reason the meat is tougher, therefore, requiring special cooking methods. This is not to say that this is not a good cut but quite the opposite. If the brisket is cooked properly, it will have a very flavorful taste suitable for many different dishes.

How to Cook a Beef BrisketHow to Cook a Beef Brisket

The first step in learning how to cook a beef brisket is knowing that it must be cooked very slowly. One can be cooked on top of the stove, in the oven or on a grill but however you choose, it must be done slowly over low temperature. Cooking in liquid, water or broth is good because this allows for a long period of cooking without drying out the meat. One of the most popular ways to cooking a brisket is to make corned beef.

The corned beef recipe became a way of preserving meat by a salt curing method. This method was used in most countries to preserve all types of meats. My dad used to use this method to a great extent for preserving pork when we butchered. Many of us believed that corned beef was among the Irish traditional foods. The fact is that most Irish people did not start consuming corned beef until they immigrated to the United States.

Years ago, when we made corned beef and other preserved meats, we would use saltpeter in the recipe. Saltpeter was a potassium nitrate; this was used along with salt and spices to make corned beef. After rubbing this combination over the meat and letting it marinade for a period of time, it would kill off any bacteria on the meat and give the corned beef a pretty red color. After much controversy over this product, it is no longer available to consumers. In some of my recipes I have substituted saltpeter with equal amount of Morton’s Meat Cure.

If you are new at learning how to cook a beef brisket, corned beef is not the only way to go. You can also simply cover the meat with water and boil slowing until very tender.  A beef brisket is also very good roasted very slowly in the oven. Both of these ways are very good served with your favorite vegetable or side dish recipes.

You can learn how to cook a beef brisket by trying my recipes below. Most of the recipes are flavored with wonderful seasonings. Even if the brisket is not cured with spices over a long period of time like corned beef, they all still have a great taste and some even “spicy”.

Trimming the Extra Fat or Gristle Off the BrisketTrimming the Extra Fat or Gristle Off the Brisket


Learn how to cook a beef brisket over two days making corned beef.

  • 4 to 8 Pounds beef brisket
  • 1 Pound kosher salt
  • 4 Bay leaves
  • 3 Tablespoons cracked black pepper
  • 1 Onion finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon salt

Place meat in a large stockpot or covered dish; add water to completely cover and add kosher salt.

Refrigerate for 2 days; remove meat and rinse with clean cold water.

Rinse all salt from stockpot; return meat to pot and cover with clean water.

Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer about 1 hour until meat is tender.

PREHEAT OVEN to 350F degrees.

Remove meat from pot and place in a baking dish; if desired rub with more black pepper.

Bake until outside is brown; serve hot with potatoes, cabbage and hot bread.


Learn how to cook a beef brisket making corned beef over 8 days.

  • 5 Pound beef brisket
  • 1 Cup salt
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Heaping teaspoons Morton’s Meat Cure

Rub salt meat cure and sugar thoroughly into the meat; add NO liquid.

Refrigerate for 8 days; turn meat occasionally.

After 8 days, wash meat with fresh cold water; place in a large pot and cover with fresh water.

Cover and boil about 3 hours until tender; do not brown meat.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F degrees.

Cover meat with brown sugar and press whole cloves into meat.

Place meat in baking dish; bake until meat is browned.


Learn how to cook a beef brisket with barbeque sauce.

  • 3 Pounds beef brisket
  • 1 Tablespoon liquid smoke
  • ¼ Cup dried minced onion
  • 1 Tablespoon apple vinegar
  • Barbeque sauce

Preheat oven to 500F degrees.

Rub brisket with liquid smoke; cover with minced onion and place in roasting pan.

Pour a small amount of water in bottom of pan; add vinegar.

Bake for 30 minutes turning once after 15 minutes; baste with juices frequently.

When outside of brisket is browned, REDUCE HEAT to 325F degrees.

Cover tightly with lid; if needed add more water and vinegar.

Bake about 1 hour longer or until meat is tender.

OPTION: Baste with favorite barbeque sauce if desired and cook another 10 minutes.


Learn how to cook a beef brisket flavored with apple and other fruits.

  • 5 Pounds beef brisket
  • 1 Jar (10 ounces) apple jelly
  • 1 Lemon (rind and juice)
  • 1 Orange (rind and juice)
  • 1 Can apricot halves (29 ounces total)
  • 1 Can pineapple chunks drained (20 ounces total)

Place beef in a large kettle; cover with water and simmer 3 to 4 hours until tender.

PREHEAT OVEN to 375F degrees.

Combine jelly, lemon rind and juice, orange rind and juice in a saucepan; heat until jelly melts.

Remove beef from water to a shallow pan; arrange apricot halves and pineapple chunks around meat.

Baste meat and fruit with half of the jelly glaze.

Bake for 25 minutes; baste with remaining glaze and bake 30 minutes longer.

Place meat and fruit to a serving platter and serve hot.


Learn how to cook a beef brisket or other beef cuts with this rub.

  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 2 Teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 Teaspoons garlic salt

Combine all ingredients; rub into meat (Enough for 8 pounds deboned brisket)

Bake meat on a rack in oven for 6 hours at 350F degrees; slice and serve hot or cold.


Learn how to cook a beef brisket for Passover or Easter dinner.

  • 1 Trimmed beef brisket (About 4 pounds)
  • 3 Cloves thinly sliced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher vegetable oil
  • 2 Carrots finely chopped
  • 1 Finely chopped stalk celery
  • 3 Medium onions finely chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ Teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ Teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 Crumbled bay leaves
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • ¾ Cup condensed kosher chicken broth
  • ¾ Cup water

Cut 1 inch slots in beef brisket; insert garlic slices in slots just under the surface.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat; brown brisket in hot oil on both sides and remove from pan.

REDUCE HEAT; add carrots, celery and onion to the pan; cook stirring constantly for 5 minutes or until onion is tender.

Return the brisket to the Dutch oven.

Combine sugar, salt, paprika, pepper, bay leaves and peppercorns; sprinkle over brisket.

Add broth and water to Dutch oven; bring to a boil.

Cover pan, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours or until meat is tender.

Remove brisket and peppercorns from pan; reserve pan drippings.

Discard peppercorns and slice brisket; serve drippings with the brisket.

Serves 8 to 10.


Irish Spiced Beef RecipeIrish Spiced Beef Recipe

Learn how to cook a beef brisket with all the spices the Irish love.

  • 1 Pound pickling spice
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 3 Crushed bay leaves
  • 1 Fresh red hot cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard seed
  • 1 Teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 Teaspoon cracked coriander
  • 1 Teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1 Teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1 Teaspoon crushed whole dried ginger
  • 2 Teaspoons Morton’s Meat Cure
  • 1 Beef brisket (About 6 pounds)

Combine and mix together all dry ingredients.

Place brisket in a large dish with a cover; rub dry mixture thoroughly over entire surface.

Store meat covered in the refrigerator; turn meat over each day for 7 days.

Collect spice mixture from bottom of dish; again rub these spices thoroughly over the meat.

Return meat to refrigerator for 8 more days turning over each day.


  • 1 Teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 Teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 Medium sliced onions
  • 3 Sliced carrots
  • Warm water to cover

In a small bowl combine cloves, allspice and cinnamon; rub mixture over meat (recipe above).

Place onions and carrots in a large kettle; lay meat on top of vegetables and cover with water.

Place lid on kettle and simmer 3 to 4 hours until tender; serve warm or cold.

TO SERVE COLD, while still warm, place meat between two plates with light weights on top; refrigerate until cold.

Slice thinly against the grain.

Irish Spiced Beef MixtureIrish Spiced Beef Mixture
Rubbing Brisket with Irish SpicesRubbing Brisket with Irish Spices


  • 5 Pounds brisk of beef
  • Lemon pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Package Onion soup mix
  • ½ Cup barbecue sauce

Preheat oven to 275F degrees

Generously sprinkle meat with lemon pepper.

Sprinkle Worcestershire sauce over meat; sprinkle with dry onion soup mix.

Spread barbecue sauce over meat; place meat in baking pan.

Cover baking pan with foil; bake 6 hours.

After meat has cooled, trim fat and refrigerate; skim fat from drippings and slice beef very thinly.

Serve cold or hot; TO SERVE HOT reheat meat in the sauce again covered with foil.


  • 4 to 6 Pounds whole brisket
  • Salt
  • Dampened hickory chips or liquid smoke
  • 1 ½ Cups ketchup
  • ¾ Cup brown sugar
  • ¾ Cup chili sauce
  • ½ Cup white wine vinegar
  • ¾ Cup water
  • ½ Cup lemon juice
  • ¼ Cup bottled steak sauce
  • ¼ Cup prepared mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon celery seed
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • Dash Tabasco sauce
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Salt brisket; place on grill away from hot coals.

Add dampened hickory chips or brush meat with liquid smoke and close hood.

Barbeque slowly for 4 hours or until meat is tender.

Cool and slice thinly against the grain; line up slices in a shallow pan.

Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 30 minutes; pour over meat.

Heat 1 hour on the grill or in oven at 200F degrees. Serves about 10


  • 5 Pounds whole beef brisket
  • Hickory wood chips
  • ½ Cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Combine brown sugar, Cajun seasoning, salt, lemon pepper and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl.

Spread sugar mixture on both sides of the brisket; cover and chill for 8 hours.

Cover wood chips with water and soak for 1 hour; prepare fire in smoker and let burn 15 to 20 minutes.

Drain wood chips and place on coals; place water pan in smoker and fill to water line.

Remove brisket from marinade and place on lower food rack; pour remaining marinade over the meat.

Cover with smoker lid; cook 5 hours or until inserted thermometer reaches 170F degrees. Serves about 10.