Most cuts of meat taste delicious when they are pan-fried. However, brisket is a tough cut of meat.
It takes time to cook thoroughly. So, can you pan-fry brisket?
Best Ways to Cook Brisket
Brisket is meat that comes from the breast section of the cow. This area is rich in connective tissue.
So, the meat is not tender, and it doesn’t cook easily.
Pan-frying is not the ideal way to cook brisket because it takes time to soften. The brisket needs slow cooking on low heat to soften completely. However, you can pan-fry brisket as the first step before cooking it in a slow cooker or oven.
Let’s now look at the best ways to cook this tough cut of meat.
How to Cook Brisket?
Brisket isn’t the easiest cut of meat to cook.
It’s a tough red meat that needs a long time to cook and become tender.
Nonetheless, it tastes delicious and meaty when cooked properly.
Here are some of the best ways to cook brisket to bring out its best flavors.
One of the best ways to bring out the rich and intense beefy flavors of brisket is to cook it in an oven.
Cooking brisket in the oven is the same as braising it. You don’t need any special equipment.
You can prepare the brisket for braising by cleaning it. After washing the meat, pat it dry and season it.
An additional step that some recipes suggest is to pan-fry it first. However, it’s optional.
Your brisket will cook well even if you skip this step.
To oven-cook the brisket, you need enough liquid to cover it completely.
Place the brisket in a Dutch oven or deep baking pan and submerge it in the braising liquid.
Cover and bake at 325°F for three to four hours, until the beef is cooked.
Allow the meat to stand for at least fifteen minutes before cutting and serving it.
2. Braising on The Stovetop
Cooking brisket on the stove produces similar results to baking it in the oven.
You can start by washing and patting the meat dry.
Then, season it with salt and pepper. Simultaneously prepare the liquid for braising.
You can use different recipes for the braising liquid, with wine, herbs, sauces, or even broth.
The main purpose of the liquid is to keep the meat moist during cooking.
However, the beef will turn out extra-flavorful when you use wine or herbs to flavor the cooking liquid.
Place the beef in a Dutch oven or deep pan on the stove and cover it with liquid.
Use a tight-fitting liquid to seal the contents.
Once the liquid boils, reduce the heat and let it simmer.
Leave the beef to cook for three to four hours on low heat till it’s tender and falls off the bone.
3. Slow Cooking
Cooking brisket is very convenient because it’s mostly hands-off.
Nonetheless, you would have to stick around when cooking it on the stove.
If you prefer to step away, it’s better to choose the slow cooker method.
Here, only the equipment is different.
The rest of the technique is the same as cooking it in the oven or on the stovetop.
Place the beef brisket after seasoning inside a slow cooker. Cover it with enough liquid.
Then, switch on the slow cooker and let the meat cook slowly for ten to twelve hours.
You can also add vegetables alongside the meat if you prefer.
They will cook and infuse their flavors into the beef.
You can serve them with brisket for a wholesome and balanced meal.
4. Smoking on The Grill
Another way to cook brisket is to smoke it on the grill. Interestingly, cooking it on the grill isn’t too complicated.
It’s also one of the best ways to add a distinct smoky flavor to the meat.
One important factor to consider while smoking brisket is that you should stick around during the process.
The meat will need regular turning and moving. It may burn if you step away for too long.
You can make brisket on both gas and charcoal grills. The process is similar for both.
Once you fire up the grill and it’s hot, you can grill the brisket.
For a charcoal grill, place the brisket facing downward on a grill rack.
Cover the grill and allow the meat to cook for four to five hours.
Flip the meat halfway through to cook it evenly. You can turn it a few more times if you prefer.
Take it off when the meat is juicy and tender.
In the case of a gas grill, place the brisket on a roasting tray and set the heat to medium. Cover the grill.
Let the brisket cook for four to five hours.
Allow grilled brisket to stand for at least fifteen minutes before serving. Cover it with foil after taking it off the grill.
Then, slice and serve.
5. Brining and Smoking
The concept of brining brisket is very old.
It was a popular practice when refrigerators weren’t available, and other methods were used to preserve meat.
Apart from preserving meat, brining adds unique and delicious flavors. It also keeps the beef moist and delicious.
To brine brisket, prepare a solution of salt and water by boiling two cups each of water for one cup of salt.
You can add seasonings of your choice, like peppercorns, bay leaf, and garlic, to the brining solution.
Prepare enough solution to cover the meat.
Additionally, you will also need a container that is large enough to hold the brisket.
Once the brining solution has cooled, place the brisket in the container and fill it with the liquid.
Then, place it in the refrigerator for several hours.
A general rule to calculate how much time is needed is 1 hour per pound of meat.
After the required time has elapsed, remove the meat from the solution and rinse it under cold water to get rid of the salt on the surface.
It’s now ready for use.
You can smoke the brisket as usual just before serving it.
The advantage of brining it before smoking is that the meat will be tender and cook faster.
You can also rub the brisket with a herb mix to impart more flavor.
Avoid adding any salt to the herb mix since the meat is already salty.
6. Dry Brining
The dry brining of beef brisket eliminates the need for a container to submerge the brisket.
For this method, you will need roughly ½ tsp of kosher salt per pound of meat.
After patting the meat dry, set it on a work surface. Rub it thoroughly with salt.
Make sure salt enters all the crevices, and the meat is saturated with it.
Next, place the brisket on a wire rack and wait for some time.
Any excess juices in the meat will come off the surface and be caught in the tray.
Leave the brisket undisturbed for several hours, preferably overnight or longer.
Then, put the brisket in the refrigerator. You can smoke the brisket as usual when it’s time to cook it.