Have you ever tried to cook foil-wrapped brisket in the oven? This inexpensive cut of meat can feed a large crowd and tastes delicious. Although it might take a little extra time to prepare, it's worth the wait.
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The best way to cook a brisket in the oven is slow and low. This delicious cut becomes tender and juicy when braised or roasted at a low temperature over several hours.
What Is Beef Brisket?
Beef brisket is often the go-to choice for pot roasts and casseroles. However, it tastes just as great when cooked in the oven or on the stovetop.
This boldly flavored cut comes from the animal's breast and has a tough texture. It consists of two parts, namely the brisket flat half and the point half. The flat half is leaner and can be easily shredded or sliced and used in a multitude of recipes. It's ideal for roasting and baking as well as for braising.
The brisket point half is tougher and higher in fat, reports the Cattlemen's Beef Board and National Cattlemen's Beef Association. It's also higher in calories than the flat half. A 3-ounce serving (cooked) has 200 calories, 24 grams of protein and 12 grams of fat. The same amount of cooked brisket flat half provides only 170 calories, nearly 30 grams of lean protein and 6 grams of fat.
Read more: 15 of the Best Lean Animal Proteins
Both cuts are rich in vitamin B12, zinc, iron, potassium, selenium and choline. According to a review published in Scientific Reports in May 2016, beef supplies high doses of lysine, histidine, leucine, valine, tyrosine and other amino acids. Your body needs these nutrients to make proteins, break down food and repair damaged tissues, notes the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Leucine, for instance, plays a key role in protein synthesis, energy production and metabolic health.
Cooking a Brisket in the Oven
This juicy piece of meat is easy to cook, but arm yourself with patience. Due to its tough consistency, it should be cooked at low temperatures for a long time. Brining, smoking and braising are all excellent choices. When you slow cook a brisket in the oven, it becomes tender because its connective tissues break down.
Read more: Middle-Eastern Spiced Brisket
For best results, use whole, untrimmed briskets with an even fat cap. Ideally, leave it attached to the meat during cooking to prevent it from over-drying. The brisket should have a dark pink color, a thick white fat cap and no gray areas. Once cooked, it will weigh less, so make sure you have enough for everyone.
Remove any visible fat before you slow cook a brisket in the oven or prior to serving it. Rub the meat with salt, pepper, cumin, chili flakes, garlic and other spices. Another option is to marinate it overnight to enhance its tenderness.
If you're planning to cook foil-wrapped brisket in the oven, cover the meat with several layers of aluminum foil after seasoning it. Cookbook author Ronnie Fein says that it's best to cook this juicy cut of meat at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. If you braise it, set the oven temperature at 325 F for a 3- to 4-ounce brisket, recommends the USDA.
The brisket will be ready as soon as its internal temperature reaches 145 F. Allow it to rest three minutes so that its juices can settle into the meat. The longer you wait, the better it gets. Next, slice it across the grain and serve it with our delicious Portobello Mushroom and White Bean Salad, sautéed vegetables, roasted sweet potatoes or rice pilaf.
Read more: How to Reheat a Brisket
For inspiration, try our hearty Slow-Cooker Brisket recipe. It requires just a few ingredients that you might already have in the kitchen. Plus, it has fewer than 200 calories per serving.
- Cattlemen's Beef Board and National Cattlemen's Beef Association: "Brisket Flat Half"
- Cattlemen's Beef Board and National Cattlemen's Beef Association: "Brisket Point Half"
- Scientific Reports: "Essential Amino Acids: Master Regulators of Nutrition and Environmental Footprint?"
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Amino Acids"
- Nutrients: "Reviewing the Effects of l-Leucine Supplementation in the Regulation of Food Intake, Energy Balance, and Glucose Homeostasis"
- Jamie Geller: "How to Cook a Brisket in the Oven Overnight"
- USDA: "Beef From Farm to Table"