Easy Beef Brisket–No Grill Required

Easy Beef Brisket-no grill required
This is one of those tried and true recipes that I didn’t think could be improved upon…until recently.  The original recipe was given to me by a good friend, Tracy Evans.  Tracy had graciously made this for my family one day when I was crazy busy trying to keep my house spotless because it was up for sale in advance of us moving to Texas.  Whew, THAT was a long sentence.

As I said, the original recipe stood ‘as is’ for years, but it got a little unexpected tweaking recently when I made it for a get-together at my sister’s house.  The fervor, yes I said fervor, with which this brisket was consumed left me gaping.  I had made ten pounds of brisket for 14 people and watched in shock as it disappeared within about 20 minutes.  Note to self: 10 lbs. of brisket for 14 people is not enough, especially if men are involved.  Even my mom was elbowing her way in line for seconds, which was totally unexpected because 1) anything with more than one grain of pepper on it is considered ‘too hot’ and, 2) she had been nauseated a few minutes prior to dinner and was sitting in a corner looking pale and belching.

Briskets come in two ways at my local grocery store: trimmed and whole.  The whole brisket is cryopacked and has all of the fat still in place.  It is cheaper per pound than the trimmed brisket, but you do your own trimming.  This is the way I like to buy it, but I will confess that there is a little more work involved.  However, I think that the flavor is better because it initially cooks with all that delicious fat in place. (Don’t panic, you take the fat off later in the cooking process.)

This is one of those recipes that is really easy, but needs a little planning. You’ll want to get started in the morning because the brisket needs to cook for most of the day.

Brisket is a tough cut of meat, but it will amaze you with how tender it can get during a long, slow cooking process.  Most of the time that is spent on this brisket is just letting it cook.  You get to walk away and do other things.  Like clean the house, water the yard, do the laundry, shop for groceries, make phone calls, save the planet, call your congressman, run the kids to and from soccer-dance-swimming-piano-violin-cello-debate-football-basketball-preschool-detention-voice lessons…

Easy Beef Brisket
Recipe @ that’s some good cookin’
Printable Recipe

  • 4-5 lbs. brisket
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Line the inside of a roasting pan with heavy aluminum foil.  Set aside.

Make a dry rub by combing the salt, black pepper, chili powder, chipotle powder, and garlic powder together in a small bowl.  Rub some of this mixture on the “lean” side of the brisket, then place the brisket fat-side up in the foil-lined roasting pan.  Sprinkle the remaining dry rub over the fat side.  (By the way, if you are using a whole brisket, you will most likely have to cut the brisket in half in order to make it fit the pan).  Place another piece of foil over the top of the pan and fold tightly around the edges to make a good seal.  If your roasting pan has a lid, put the lid on top of the foil.  Bake in a 275 degree oven for 3 hours.

Remove the brisket from the oven, take off the foil covering and let the meat rest for about 15-20 minutes.  Next, place the brisket on a  cutting board and slice it thinly across the grain.  Put the sliced meat into a crock pot and pour the juices from the roasting pan over the meat slices.  For those using a whole, untrimmed brisket see the special note below***.

Pop the lid onto the crock pot.  Cook on low for another 3-4 hours.

Serve the brisket on crusty, toasted sandwich rolls.  Pour a little of the juice over the meat on your sandwich for added flavor and moisture.  My husband puts some of the juice in a cup and dips his sandwich in it, like with french dip.

Two great ideas that came out of the family get-together:

  1. Melt either mozzarella or provolone cheese on top of the brisket (after you have it on the sandwich roll–just pop it under the broiler for a minute or two.)
  2. Top the sandwich with caramelized onions

***Special note if using a whole, untrimmed brisket: With a spoon, scoop the spices off of the fat side of the brisket. Set aside in a small bowl. Slice the fat off of the brisket and discard. Next, slice the meat thinly against the grain and place in a crock pot. Return the saved spices to the juices and give everything a quick stir to disperse the spices. Pour the cooking juices over the meat. If at any time you feel so inclined, I give you permission to skim off the oils that rest on top of the juices.

Easy Beef Brisket-no grill required
A full brisket, unprepped.  These usually come cryopacked.
Easy Beef Brisket-no grill required
The lean side.
Easy Beef Brisket-no grill requiredThe fat side–as if you couldn’t tell.
 Easy Beef Brisket-no grill required
I have to cut a whole brisket in half in order for it to fit in the baking pan.
Easy Beef Brisket-no grill required
Put some dry rub on the lean side and rub it into the meat.  This only takes a few seconds, don’t make a grand event of the process…unless you are at a FoodNetwork food challenge and the prize is $10,000.  Then again, if that was the case, you’d probably not be cooking your brisket in the crock pot.  Just saying.
Easy Beef Brisket-no grill required
Line a roasting pan with heavy duty aluminum foil.  I use two pieces of foil.
Easy Beef Brisket-no grill required
Put the brisket in the roasting pan, fat side up, and sprinkle with the remaining dry rub.  No need to rub this into the fat.  Just let it sit on top and do it’s flavorful spicy magic.
Easy Beef Brisket-no grill required
Cover the roasting pan with an additional piece of foil, pressing around the edges to form a tight seal.
Easy Beef Brisket-no grill required
Put the lid on top, pressing it down against the foil.  I have used this inexpensive roasting pan for 30 years.  It has made many, many pot roasts, some turkeys, and the occasional baked chicken experiments.  I have told myself repeatedly for those 30 years that someday I was going to get a magnalite roaster.  I’ve come close a few times, but always back away from the purchase because of the expense.  What is WRONG with me?  Maybe I am secretly hoping that Magnalite will see my blog and say, “Wow! This woman really deserves one of our roasters.  Let’s be truly magnanimous and give her two of our roasters, one in each size.”  Do you think that is going to happen?
Anyway, go put that big ol’ pan in the oven and bake the brisket at 275 degrees for 3 hours.
Easy Beef Brisket-no grill required
Mmmm…looks good, smells divine.  After it comes out of the oven , let it sit for about 15 minutes to rest.
Easy Beef Brisket-no grill required
Put the brisket on the cutting board.  If you’ve used a whole brisket, now is the time scoop off the spices and return them to the liquidity goodness in the roasting pan.  Now is also the time to trim the fat.  Toss it in the garbage.  With a good sharp knife, slice the brisket across the grain into thin slices.
Easy Beef Brisket-no grill required
Put the brisket slices in your crock pot, pour the juices and seasonings from the roasting pan over the meat slices.  Put the lid on the crock pot and cook on low for 3-4 hours.  Now you’re ready to make a sandwich.  Better make yours first.  This is no time to be the gracious hostess or host or else you could end up like me and find that the rest of the gang has left you the scraps.

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