I have to admit that I’m skeptical about this week’s first recipe. I was always taught that real barbecue is smoked for hours, and an oven is just not involved in that process in any way. however, there are two things that have made me willing to give this Oven-Barbecued Beef Brisket recipe a try. The first is the lousy weather that’s making me feel like I live in the northwest instead of South Florida. The second is our favorite barbecue joint closed down. I haven’t had barbecue in a long time, and I must be getting desperate if I’m willing to try making it myself, let alone in the oven (I don’t own a smoker).
This Oven-Barbecued Beef Brisket is so smokey, tender, and juicy. No one will ever guess it wasn’t cooked on the grill.
There are quite a few ingredients in this recipe, but they are broken down into manageable groups: the rub, brisket, and sauce.
The fact that this recipe included a rub was a big factor in why I’m trying it. Good barbecued brisket needs a spice rub. I had everything for this part of the recipe except the dry mustard, but I was able to find that at the grocery store.
The biggest, both size-wise and by cost, is the beef brisket. I found it at my local Whole Foods for $7.99 per pound, and a total cost of $45+. I had a little sticker shock, but it really was a large piece of meat.
Listed with the brisket was a pound of bacon. It’s not something I normally keep around, and I thought buying a pound of bacon would be no big deal. Wrong! Apparently, bacon is packaged in 12-ounce portions instead of 16. So I’ll have a little less bacon than what’s called for. Can’t be too bad, right?
The last group of ingredients was for the barbecue sauce. The fact that this recipe included a rub and a homemade sauce really made me willing to give it a try. Store-bought sauce just isn’t as good. I had to buy the onion and restock my ketchup for this.
So to summarize this, there weren’t many ingredients I needed to buy to make this oven-barbecued beef brisket recipe, but they were on the pricey side.
Brisket making day arrived, and I knew it would be an all-day thing. That meant getting dinner started really early! We like to eat around 5-6 p.m., so I began at 11 a.m. This is how I spent my time:
- 10 minutes to prep
- 5 hours to cook
- 40 minutes to make the sauce
- 5 hours 50 minutes total
The Spice Rub
First up was the spice rub. This part was as simple and easy as you imagine. Just mix up the ingredients and rub them all over the brisket. Then enjoy the red stains on your hands LOL (the red coloring actually washes right off).
Next up was laying down a layer of bacon in a broiler-safe 9'x13' baking pan. Since the brisket is finished under the broiler, that means no glass or Pyrex (they can shatter under high heat) and no non-stick (it can release unsafe chemicals at high heat). I only have a Pyrex pan, so I ordered a simple aluminum pan from Amazon.
I used kitchen shears to trim the long strips of bacon to fit. Then I added the brisket, fat side down. That struck me as a little odd as the fat being placed on top allows it to melt into the beef and keep it moist. But having the fatty bacon on top should do the same thing, and the brisket is flipped for the last hour of cooking. I’m going to trust in the recipe…
Lastly, I layered the remaining strips and the leftover trimmed bits of bacon over the top of the brisket. The fact that the brisket I bought wasn’t long and thin helped out here. Mine was thicker and more compact lengthwise, so I had just enough bacon. You can see below that my brisket wasn’t covered as thoroughly as the author’s, but it was mostly covered (fingers crossed!).
After four hours of anxiously waiting for my oven-barbecued beef brisket to come out of the oven, I was greeted with the picture below. I had no idea if this was good or bad, but I uncrossed my fingers, kept trusting the recipe, and flipped the brisket as instructed.
Two pairs of tongs let me gently flip the brisket without splashing the very hot drippings. The bacon fell off, of course, but the tongs were also excellent for replacing it.
After five hours of waiting and smelling what I just knew would be a yummy brisket, I was finally able to get started on the sauce. This part of the recipe went just as smoothly as the first two, but I did a couple of things differently.
First, I used a turkey baster to skim most of the oil off the drippings. There was a lot of oil, and skimming it with a spoon would have taken ages. The turkey baster got the majority very fast, and then I used a spoon to skim the last bits. That left me with two cups of drippings for the sauce.
The other thing I did was to use an immersion blender to break up the bits of bacon and onion. I did that to thicken the sauce and make it smoother. It still had some small chunks, but much, much smaller than they were straight out of the pan.
I preheated my broiler to high while the sauce was reducing, then I sauced the brisket and popped it into the oven to finish. The recipe didn’t specify, but I put it in fat side up. Five minutes under the broiler gave the brisket a nicely charred bark-like finish. It looked (and smelled) very promising!