Perfectly seasoned with a homemade spice rub, and topped with your favourite sauce, Oven Baked Barbecue Brisket is the easiest and most rewarding way to prepare this cut of beef.
MY INTRODUCTION TO BRISKET
The very first time I had brisket was in 2002. I was on a business trip in Texas. It made such an impression, I can still remember it to this day. It was a million degrees outside. I was literally melting. But, my air conditioned hotel room wasn’t enough to keep me away from a hole-in-the-wall barbecue shack.
I remember lining up to order and being handed one of those rectangular plastic cafeteria trays. The brisket was thinly sliced and piled high on a paper plate. It was served with baked beans, coleslaw, corn, and a dinner roll.
One taste and I was in heaven! It was a very hot heaven, which is the complete opposite of what I believe heaven to be, but I was there anyway! There were no tables inside, but a line of old, weather beaten picnic tables outside. Of course they sat in direct sunlight. There wasn’t even the smallest tree to throw some shade.
But, I ate that brisket greedily with the sweat running down my back. Once I finished, I walked a few feet down the block and lit up a cigarette. After a few puffs, I tossed it out and went back to get more brisket to go. I took a taxi back to the hotel and ate the cold brisket for dinner.
Fast forward to 2014. Yes, that’s 12 years later! That was the second time I had brisket. We had taken a road trip from Toronto to Hershey, Pennsylvania. McKenna was still young enough to want to spend a day or two at Hershey Park. On the way there, we stopped for a bite to eat.
I remember we were driving down this steep hill in Pennsylvania with a dead end at the bottom. There was an option to turn left of right onto the highway. But, right at the bottom of that intersection was another barbecue restaurant. We decided it was time to eat.
Luckily, they had vegetarian options for John.e, but I got the brisket, of course. Wow! It was even better than I remembered it to be! It might not have been better, in fact. After 12 years, I couldn’t remember the exact taste of the brisket in Texas. With a full belly, we were on our way, and my love of brisket had been solidified.
A couple years later, we drove though Pennsylvania again and saw that exact same restaurant. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to stop, because this time we were on a road trip to Washington and our scheduled stop was a few hours ahead. On the way back from that road trip, we took an alternate route, so there was no second chance.
COOKING BRISKET FOR MYSELF!
The only thing left to do was to prepare the brisket for myself. You see, Dear Reader, barbecue restaurants are not as popular here in Canada. And the ones that are here can be a hit and miss. I’ve tried a few that I didn’t like at all. Even bad barbecue is good, but this particular barbecue was beyond bad.
I tried making brisket a few times. It was edible; it was good, but it wasn’t great. You see, I was under the impression that brisket needed to be grilled in order to get that smoky flavour. I was wrong.
Earlier this year, I found a recipe for an oven baked brisket from a fellow food blogger, Sara. With brisket in hand, I gave it a go. I have made a few of Sara’s recipes over the years, so I knew I could trust her to convince me that brisket can be prepared in an oven. The result was absolute perfection!
PREPARING A BRISKET DRY RUB
Preparing a dry rub is so easy. Since all of the ingredients are dry, it’s just a matter of dumping them all into a bowl and whisking them together. I have found that with dry rubs, there is room for change and adaptation though. So, if there’s something you don’t have, you can find an easy substitute. Additionally, if there’s something you don’t like, you can most likely omit it completely.
A perfect example of this is when Sara’s recipe needs both paprika and smoked paprika. I didn’t have any smoked paprika on hand, so I just used an equal amount of regular paprika.
I prepared this recipe at the house and my dry mustard was back at our apartment in the city. So, I left the dry mustard out of the rub mixture and added a bit of yellow mustard to my sauce. Unlike baking, you can make do with most cooking.
PATIENCE IS IMPORTANT – NO HIGH TEMPERATURES!
This brisket recipe takes time. You cannot rush a good thing. I’m sure you’ve heard that expression before! All good things in life takes time, right? This brisket is no exception to the rule.
Once the brisket has been all dressed for the oven, the baking time is almost a full four hours! I know it’s long, but it’s certainly worth it. The fact that you don’t need to babysit this makes it better. You put it in the oven and that’s pretty much it. Trust me, you can go about your day.
Your house will smell so good too! I think that was the hardest part of preparing this recipe. The wait was horrible, because I could smell the brisket baking throughout the house. Once I was able to slice into it though, the reward was so much greater than the long wait time!
Oven Baked Barbecue Brisket
- 4 pounds beef brisket
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups barbecue sauce
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
Spice Rub Mixture
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons paprika
- 3 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 teaspoons onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Whisk together the spice rub mixture and set aside.
- Wash the brisket under cold running water and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Place the brisket on a large sheet pan with the fat side down. Using half of the spice rub mixture, rub the the mixture into the top and sides of the brisket.
- Flip the brisket over and use the remaining spice mixture to rub into the beef.
- Pour the water into a large roasting pan. Set the brisket into the pan with the fat side facing up.
- Whisk together the barbecue sauce and yellow mustard. Brush the top of the brisket with half of the sauce.
- Cover the roasting pan with foil. Bake for 3 hours and 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Remove and foil and discard. Top the brisket with the remaining sauce.
- Place brisket under the broiler for 3-5 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent the sauce from burning.
- Once browned, remove from oven and allow brisket to rest for five minutes.
- Slice thinly and serve.