Sunday, June 1, 2014

(Oven) Smoked BBQ Brisket

Now that summer is finally here I'm able to do one of my favorite types of cooking - smoking meats. To me, nothing says summer quite like the smell of wood burning over an open fire and meat slowing cooking and absorbing the flavor of the smoke. When I smoke something, it's most often a brisket. If you've never had any kind of brisket other than the corned beef type for St. Paddy's Day, this is very different.  You actually start with a brisket that has NOT been "corned" (which is basically a type of brining using a similar brine to that used to make pickles). It's simply a cut of meat like any other that you would get from your grocery store that you then use your smoker to turn into a very tender slice of heaven.
A smoked brisket directly from my smoker
But I didn't always have a smoker (or a grill) to cook my brisket (and I know not everyone does whether it's because they wouldn't use one, don't want one, live in an apartment and can't have one or any of a thousand other reasons). When I was young, my mother always made this for us - and we didn't have a smoker then either. There IS a way to get a similar, smoked flavor to your brisket without smoking it - and that's what I'm here to help you with.  I'll tell you upfront that it's not going to have the same type of look to it that you get from cooking in a smoker - no "bark" (the cooked exterior) and no "smoke ring" but you DO get a smoked flavor and that's the most important part.

Oven smoked BBQ brisket!

My family has been giving out this same basic recipe for years - I've made a few alterations here and there but it's basically the same as it was when I was a kid (and that's more years than I care to count).

If you decide to try it, let me know what you think!

Watch how to make it here!


4 - 8 pound beef brisket*
Beef rub**
3.5 oz bottle Wright's Liquid Smoke***
1 tbsp celery seeds
2 tbsp olive oil

*There are different cuts of brisket: the flat, the point and a whole brisket which is sometimes called a packer brisket (a whole or packer brisket is both the flat and point together, simply not separated. Also, I mentioned this before, but it's worth mentioning again - you do NOT want a corned beef brisket).

I typically use either a whole or flat cut. Beef prices have risen so much that when I bought a brisket last week, whole briskets were $3.39/lb and flats were $7.59/lb.  For that, you can get a whole brisket that weighs twice as much for the same amount as a flat.  I bought an 11 pounder, removed the point and was left with seven pounds for the flat and paid less that I would have for a five pound flat.  I then had four pounds of point to turn into burnt ends (arguably the best part of a brisket) for far less than the equivalent flat cut.

**There are LOTS of different kinds of rubs and just as many opinions as to which one is best. I suggest either finding a rub recipe you think you'd like and trying that or simply buying one at the store (you'll have a lot to choose from). Here is a link to one that I've tried before and really like, but again, feel free to use whatever YOU prefer. When we were younger, we didn't use a rub at all - we simply used the celery seed on top of the brisket along with the liquid smoke and that works as well!
Liquid smoke

***Liquid smoke is one of those things that a lot of people seem to either have never heard of or are kind of confused about. Exactly what is in it? Well, if you buy Wright's, the answer is water and hickory smoke concentrate.  It is actually made from hickory (or applewood or mesquite depending on the type you buy) wood that is burned inside a chamber. As the smoke rises it is captured in a condenser and it cools. The cooled smoke forms water droplets (condensation). These droplets are then collected and filtered.  That's it. No other additives (which is one of the reasons I prefer the Wright's brand - there are other brands and they typically have additives).


This needs to sit overnight, so start the DAY BEFORE you want to cook the brisket:
  1. Take the brisket out and put on a cutting board or in a large pan
    This was an 11 lb whole brisket. The point was removed,
    leaving a 7 lb flat cut that went in the oven
  2. Thoroughly rub one side of the brisket with one tbsp olive oil
    Rub thoroughly with olive oil
  3. Generously sprinkle the rub over the entire side of the brisket and rub it into the meat
    I only put the rub on one half so you could see the difference.
    You want to put the rub on the entire thing though, not just one half.
  4. Rub the rub thoroughly into the meat (sounds a bit redundant, doesn't it?  You get the idea though)
    After being rubbed into the meat - again, do the entire thing, not just half
  5. Flip the brisket over and repeat the process on the second side, making certain to get the sides and ends coated with the rub as well
    The second side after being rubbed with oil.
    Notice this side looks very different - no fat.
  6. Put the brisket into a large pan, fat side up, and sprinkle the celery seeds over the top
  7. Pour the entire bottle of liquid smoke into the pan, then cover the pan (aluminum foil works fine) and put in the refrigerator overnight
    With the celery seeds and liquid smoke added

When ready to cook:

  1. Preheat oven to 225
  2. If you have a meat thermometer, place it in the thickest part of the brisket
  3. Put the brisket (covered) in the oven
  4. Bake until the internal temperature is at least 195. How long this takes is going to depend on the size of your brisket (the seven pound one I just cooked took about five hours).
    Cook to an internal temperature of 195.  If you cook it over that you won't hurt anything.
    My mother actually prefers to cook it a bit longer and prefers it that way
  5. When ready, remove the cover, flip it over (the fatty side should now be down) and coat with your favorite BBQ sauce
    Coated with BBQ sauce
  6. Turn the oven up to 400 degrees and cook for another 20 minutes (cover removed)
    Out of the oven and ready to sit for a few minutes before slicing
  7. Remove from the oven and let sit for fifteen minutes
  8. Slice thin (very important to slice AGAINST the grain not with the grain), pour on your favorite sauce and enjoy!

Ready to eat!!


  1. Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write ups thanks once again.

    Easy smoked Brisket Recipe

  2. Thanks for share. One question , farenheit degrees or C°

    Best regards.