I used to be afraid to cook brisket or ribs because the few times that I did (when I was much younger)... they always were either too dry, too mushy or the flavor and texture just weren't right. After discussing this with a restaurant owner, he explained that you need to cook the meat at a low temperature for 6-8 hours and not put the glaze or sauce onto the meat until the last 20-30 minutes of baking. You also need to "tent" the meat pan and add a bowl of water or other liquid to the oven for steam. It isn't rocket science but there is a trick to creating the perfect brisket! I also recommend experimenting with a cheaper cut of meat (mock tenderloin, thick cut of flank steak, London Broil, etc) before you tackle an expensive cut of brisket. I will be honest...sometimes if I am craving brisket and it isn't on sale then I just buy a thick cut of flank steak or similar cut. It will be a little less fatty so the flavor isn't exactly the same but it is close enough and more affordable! If I am having a huge crowd over for brisket....I ALWAYS add a couple of thicker flank steaks or "mock beef tenderloin" to the brisket to stretch the meat further for a more affordable BBQ. No one has ever noticed! You can also cook a pork loin or pork tender loin the same way. If it is a really thick cut of meat then you will need to slice it in half. (Your butcher can do this for you if you ask).
I don't have a fancy smoker so I generally cook my brisket in the oven. If it is going to be really hot outside then I will cook it on my BBQ gas grill so I don't heat up my house. Just make sure you have plenty of gas in the tank before you get started! I like to put a custom seasoning rub on mine before I start cooking and then finish it off with a thin swipe of gluten free BBQ sauce that I add the last 20 minutes of cooking. You can customize the flavors however you want. There are many recipes for sauces, marinades and spice rubs. I generally stick to my own recipe because it always turns out great and we love the flavors at our house. I usually serve it with my chipotle baked beans (recipe July 2014 on my blog) and corn bread muffins (recipe Dec 2012 on my blog) or spoon bread recipe (May 2014 on my blog) and cucumber salad or spicy slaw. YUMMY!
Southern Style Brisket Recipe:
- 1-2 briskets or similar cut of meat (you can substitute thick flank steak, mock beef tenderloin, London broil or other similar cuts. Try to find cuts that have some fat running through them because the fat will give the meat extra flavor!)
- Spice rub of your choice (I use my custom blend below but feel free to use a steak rub but make sure it is gluten free!)
- BBQ sauce or finishing glaze, optional (just make sure it is gluten free!). We prefer BBQ at our house but I have had parties where I have done a peach-chipotle glaze, honey-jalapeno glaze, apricot-onion glaze or a teriyaki glaze. They are all delicious but we prefer the traditional BBQ at our house most of the time!
Line a cookie sheet that has edges with foil. (This just makes it easier for clean up later). Lay your meat down flat onto the foil lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle your spice rub onto meat. Take your freshly washed hands and press the spice rub into the meat. Cover the baking sheet with foil making a "tent" in the center. The center will "poof" up in the center. Put in 275F degree oven along with an oven-safe glass bowl or casserole dish that is filled part way with water. This will keep the oven environment moist and steamy for the cooking. You might have to check the water level part way through the cooking time to make sure that the water hasn't run dry. You don't want to crack your glass bowl! (You can put the brisket in a smoker or on your BBQ grill if you can set the temperature for about 275F). Cook for about 6-8 hours. I don't even check on the meat until usually after 7 hours (unless we are starving then I might check it at 6 hours) but it will be the most tender after 7-8 hours. I take it out of oven and check the meat with a knife. If it is pulling away in tender chunks then I put on a light coat of BBQ sauce or glaze and pop it back into the oven but without the foil tent this time. I want the sauce or glaze to get a nice cooked texture.
|My special seasoning rub (recipe below)|
|I wrap the foil around the meat to form a "tent"|
|Ready to eat! Yummy!|
|Close up view|
|It just shreds great and you can eat it sliced, on a sandwich or in a tortilla|
My Special Gluten Free Spice Rub Recipe:
- 1/4 cup paprika
- 1/8 cup black ground pepper
- 5 tbs. ground chipotle pepper (you can substitute cayenne if you don't have chipotle)
- 1/4 cup salt (I like to use finely ground sea salt but regular salt will work fine too)
- 1/8 cup garlic powder (not garlic salt!)
- 1/8 cup onion powder (not onion salt!)
- 3 tbs. ground tumeric
- 3 tbs. ground coriander
Mix all ingredients together well and store in a glass spice jar or empty jar with a lid. (If you don't have an empty jar then you can find inexpensive ones at your Dollar Store, 99cent Store or Ikea. If you have an empty jelly jar then you can just use that too. This isn't fancy!). You can use this seasoning on meat, vegetables, potatoes, popcorn or just about anything you want! I usually double the recipe and share with my son David who absolutely loves this spice. He says he uses it on everything but especially likes it on chicken. He said it reminds him of the seasoning used at Outback Steak House.
My homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe:
- 1/2 onion, chopped fine and cooked until soft (you can either cook it with the meat or in a little water in the microwave or stove top. You don't want crunchy onions in your sauce! Or you can substitute a packet of gluten free onion soup mix added to the 1 cup of water below)
- 1 cup ketchup (I used Heinz which is marked gluten free on the back of bottle)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (I used raw brown sugar today but regular will work too. Add a little less if you like it more tangy or add a little extra if you like it sweeter)
- 1/2 tsp. dry ground mustard (this is found in the spice section of your grocery store)
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder (optional. This is something I like to add because we like the smokey flavor. If you don't have it on hand, I wouldn't run out to buy it. You can also add more for extra spicy)
- 1 tbs. vinegar (I used white vinegar today but you can use apple cider vinegar)
- 2 tbs. Worcestershire sauce (I used Lea & Perrins which was labeled gluten free)
- 1 cup beef broth or water
I hope you try this super easy recipe for brisket. We have a hard time going out for dinner for brisket and ribs because they are so expensive and many times we get disappointed with the results. I like making them at home because I know they always turn out great and it is much more affordable! You just have to plan ahead. You can't rush the cooking or the flavors just don't turn out the same. I have tried boiling the brisket like people suggest but honestly...nothing beats low temperature cooking for hours. Try it...you won't be sorry. There are also a lot of great gluten free seasoning blends that are already prepared (Weber makes several and you can find them at most grocery stores including Wal-Mart, Fry's or Kroger in the spice aisle). If you don't have time to make your own or you don't cook a lot....certainly don't go out and buy all the ingredients to make your own spice rub. That can get expensive! We use the rub a lot and I buy the spices in bulk so it is affordable for us. I also give the spice rub out to friends at the holidays since they all love it and our homemade flavored sea salts. The homemade BBQ sauce is great too but there are plenty of delicious ones that you can purchase at the grocery store for your convenience. My favorites are the Rudy's gluten free BBQ sauce which our friends in Albuquerque got us hooked on. I like it because it is spicy. I believe that Baby Ray's brand is also gluten free (just read the bottles at the grocery store!).
*Please note that I do not sponsor any particular brands, I don't get paid to write this blog so therefore any of my recommendations in this blog is purely my preference on things I have tasted and used with good results.
Consider making brisket for your next BBQ for a great casual dinner. Let the oven do the work while you have time to prepare other side dishes or relax if you let others bring the side dishes! :)
Chow! (Yes....this is my hillbilly way of saying it! Hahahahaha!)
Gluten Free Casually