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Briskets are incredible-perhaps the most flavorful of all cuts-if cooked at low temperatures for a long time. A tightly covered cooking container is a must, or frequent basting on the grill as moist heat methods are always used. We use a very large Dutch oven. You can also place the brisket in a glass baking dish and cover tightly with aluminum foil (be careful to not allow the foil to touch the meat). We have cooked briskets for as long as 9-12 hours to allow full breakdown of all of the structure of the meat. If protected from drying, the longer the better, as a wonderful blend of flavors occurs when cooking for a long time. We recommend searing the brisket first. This can be done on high heat on the grill, in a heavy fry pan or Dutch oven on the stovetop, or by placing in a 500 degree oven for 15 minutes. Sear until the outside is well-browned, but don’t cook the meat. The actual cooking of the brisket should be done at low temperatures.
If you don’t have 9 hours, you can cook briskets at higher temperatures for shorter time. We will cook short-term briskets at 300-350 for 3 hours, checking moisture in the Dutch, and adding water or wine if necessary to prevent drying. Most of the recipes given below describe the fast way to cook the brisket. All can be adapted to longer slow cooking.
On the grill, cook a brisket very slowly, turning about every 15 minutes, and basting as it cooks. A good grilled brisket might take 3 hours (minimum) or more to cook. We recommend basting often to prevent the grilled meat from drying out. Some folks will grill it for as much as 8 or 9 hours, wrapped in foil to preserve moisture and adding moisturizers like dark beer.
Brisket should be cut across the grain on an angle. They are excellent served cold on sandwiches, too!