Cooking times and temperatures for beef brisket will vary according to the beef brisket recipe you are preparing. In most cases, brisket is braised, or cooked slowly at a low temperature with some moisture. The reason brisket is cooked by braising is to break down the meat’s collagen which helps develop your sauce while also coaxing out the most flavor from your meat. We’d like to know which cut of brisket you have? The first cut (lean) or second (fat layered) cut. If working with a fattier cut and preparing in a pot or casserole and intending for a braised roast, then trim away some of the fat and cut away any obvious thick sinew.
The end result you are shooting for in most cases as well is a fork tender brisket, preferably with a gravy created from the braising and meat juices. Suzanne from Birmingham is making a 3 1/2 pound brisket and most recipes assume a larger cut. For a recipe at 375 degrees, Suzanne, assume you will need just around 1 hour of total cooking time. We actually do not recommend such a high heat but have seen many recipes that call for it.
First, consider browning the meat first since its a small piece and it will be easy to handle. The browning will give your dish a great caramelized flavor. After seasoning your brisket with pepper and salt, brown in vegetable oil in a large pan or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Then, place in a roasting pan and cook at low heat (325 degrees) for about 1 1/2, or until a large fork inserts easily deep into the brisket. I usually put big chunks of carrots, celery and onion in the roasting pan. Also, be sure to add some liquid (wine or beef stock) to the bottom of your roasting pan.
We have a great recipe in our database that features onions and tomato paste, and fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme. All are perfect compliments to brisket and its sauce. Click here for our recommended method and general directions for New Traditional Beef Brisket. If you use this great recipe and also want to try your hand at browning, place brisket in your roasting pan. Then, rub the tomato paste and herbs on your browned brisket. Add vegetables on top and in your roasting pan and don’t forget the wine or stock. Your total cooking time will be 1 1/2 hours.