The best recipe for brisket in the oven! Learn how to make a juicy, tender beef brisket without a smoker or grill. This slow cooked brisket is cooked overnight and yields a perfectly shredded cut of meat for sandwiches or BBQ.
For this brisket and many other meats, I use my homemade dry rub recipe. It’s easy to whip up and slather it on chicken, beef, pork, fish, and more.
What is brisket?
Beef brisket is a tough cut of meat, which is why it’s best to cook on a low temperature for a long period of time, which gives the connective tissue time to break down and gelatinize into a tender result.
Brisket is a cut of meat from the lower chest portion of the animal, under the first five ribs. It’s a large cut that is sold boneless, usually weighing about 8-20 pounds.
In my experience, this cut of meat has a fair amount of fat which needs to be trimmed during the prep process.
Buying Brisket & Different Cuts
For those who don’t want such a large cut of meat, you can purchase a point cut or a flat cut. Both of these cuts come from a whole brisket.
- Whole Brisket – This is the entire brisket, including the flat and the point.
- Flat Cut – This cut has less fat, in a single layer on the bottom. It’s usually a little more expensive and easier to slice.
- Point Cut – This cut is more flavorful than the flat cut, but has more fat running through the meat rather than in a single layer, like the flat cut. This is shaped a bit like a triangle and is great for shredding.
How much brisket should I buy per person?
Since this method uses a whole brisket, I estimate 1 pound of brisket per person when I am purchasing the meat. This means fat and all!
During the process, you’ll trim back some of the fat, then the rest will gelatinize during cooking. Essentially, the end result will come out to be a little less than 1 pound per person. It’s better to have leftovers than not enough!
How to Cook Brisket in the Oven
Step 1: Trim and Prepare the Meat
Be prepared to start this process about 2 days ahead of time.
Working with a defrosted whole brisket, trim the fat cap down until you have about ¼ inch of fat remaining. The fat cap is the thick layer of fat on the meat.
You can leave the fat intact; however, it may prolong the cooking time.
Then, place the meat in a large pan. I use an oversized lasagna pan from Costco. You can use a disposable aluminum pan for easy clean up or a roasting pan (without the rack).
Step 2: Season the meat
About 24 hours before cooking, apply the dry rub to all sides of the meat. You can use your preferred rub or my homemade dry rub.
With the brisket fat-side up, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours to marinate and absorb flavors.
Step 3: Cook the Brisket Overnight
Remove the pan from the fridge and place in a preheated oven at 275°F for about 1 hour per pound. Leave the pan covered with foil.
The brisket will be perfectly tender and ready to shred when the internal temperature reaches 200°F degrees with an in-oven meat thermometer. It’s ok for the brisket to cook beyond 200 degrees internally, within reason.
Since the meat cooks in its own juices, the meat will be incredibly tender and should fall right apart when shredded.
Step 4: Serving the Brisket
When the brisket has reached 200°F degrees internally, remove from the oven and allow the meat to rest undisturbed at room temperature for about an hour. Keep the brisket covered during this time.
How long should I rest brisket? Learn more about the science behind resting a brisket, best internal temperature, and more brisket tips.
Using BBQ shredding claws or two large forks, shred the meat right in the cooking container and serve on a bun or by itself.
FAQ and Tips for Overnight Brisket in the Oven
How do you keep a brisket moist in the oven?
Always cook brisket fat side up.
As the fat melts during cooking, it will baste the meat and keep it tender and juicy.
Allow the meat to rest.
Shredding brisket immediately after cooking will be harder to do and will result in a less juicy product. Resting allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it even more tender.
You can read more about resting brisket here.
Trimming the Brisket.
Many stores will label brisket as “pre-trimmed”. Buying a pre-trimmed brisket isn’t necessary. In fact, I usually trim more off before applying the seasoning.
My best advice is to take a look at the fat cap that is on the meat before purchasing. If it’s too thin, the meat will likely dry out.
Choose a cut with a fat cap of about 1/4 inch or so. Also, keep in mind that the fat is factored into the price, so don’t choose a brisket that is overly fatty.
Should I cover my brisket in the oven?
To avoid drying out the brisket, cover the pan with foil before putting in the oven. This will lock in moisture and prevent what’s called the “stall” – when the moisture evaporates and “stalls” the cooking time.
What is the best temperature to slow cook a brisket?
How long does it take to cook a brisket in the oven at 275°F? 250°F? 200°F? 325°F? 350°F?
Cooking in the oven: A general rule of thumb is to plan 1 hour per pound. For example, a 20 pound brisket will take between 15-20 hours. The entire process from trimming, marinating, slow cooking, and resting will take about 24 hours.
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time for the entire process.
Can you leave a brisket in the oven overnight?
Yes! As long as you have followed the instructions of this recipe, and accounted for the size of the cut and the time needed, an overnight cook in the oven is perfectly safe. Double-check the oven temperature and your meat thermometer for extra assurance.
What is the best cooking method for brisket?
No matter if you are smoking a brisket or cooking it in the oven, low and slow is the best method. Brisket is a tough cut (and expensive) that can be quite unpleasant if not prepared properly. Allowing plenty of time for marinating, cooking, and resting will ensure a delicious juicy, moist, tender brisket.
Resist the urge to rush the cooking process. Build in a few hours so you can be flexible.
How to Cook Brisket in the Oven
- 1 whole beef brisket
- homemade dry rub
- Trim the fat cap of the brisket to 1/4 inch thick. Place brisket in a large roasting pan or disposable pan.
- Season brisket with homemade dry rub on all sides
- Cover with foil and marinate in refrigerator for 12 hours or overnight.
- Place in a 275 degree oven for 1 hour per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Shred and serve on a bun or by itself with sides.