Any grill master will tell you for free that smoking brisket is a marathon activity. Brisket is a tough meat cut that has to be slow cooked on very low heat to be tender and delicious. Depending on the size of brisket, you can spend anything from 12 to 24 hours smoking it. Such a long cook means you spare a full day because you are likely to spend time outside checking the meat. It also means you will use a lot of charcoal, wood pellets or gas.
Cooking brisket sounds like chore, but does that mean you only get to eat it once a year? Definitely not. You can finish your brisket in the oven and spend less time cooking while saving on energy. Smoking and grilling purists would discourage you from doing this but you can actually get fantastic results. This article has all the information about finishing your brisket in the oven including the pros and cons and the popular methods to try.
Contrary to purists’ opinion, finishing a brisket in the oven does not affect its flavor. Once the brisket is wrapped tightly in a foil, the smoke can’t get to it. In the last stage of cooking, heat is all that matters to get it to its well-cooked state. In fact, there aren’t many disadvantages of finishing your brisket in the oven except the oven heating up your house in the summer.
There are a couple of reasons why finishing brisket in the oven is a wonderful idea worth embracing. They include:
Time saving- This is the most obvious reason why anyone would like to finish the last stage of their brisket in the oven. Smoking brisket until it is tenderly cooked is a whole day affair. You can easily finish it in the oven and end up with that mouth-watering smoky flavor in less time.
Bad weather- There are days you will crave brisket and the weatherman will be wrong. If it starts raining in the middle of the brisket smoking process and you don’t have a patio or adequate space for your grill, you can simply transfer it to the oven.
Energy saving- If you have to spend 12 to 24 hours smoking brisket, you are definitely going to use a lot of fuel. Whether you are using a charcoal grill, gas grill or an electric smoker, you will consume a lot of energy. Finishing the last stage of your brisket cooking in the oven will save you some pocket change.
Space for other foods- If you are hosting a barbecue party or you have a family and friends dinner, you could use the space on the grill for other foods that you intend to serve.
For you to cook brisket on a grill and finish it in the oven, you need the same ingredients and tools that you would use for a full smoking process. The essential tools include:
There are a couple of ways of finishing brisket in the oven. The one you choose will depend on your preferences, the amount of time you can spare, and the equipment you have.
Here is the first (most common) method to finish brisket in the oven:
Trim the excess fat from your brisket. Leave about ¼ inch of the fat to keep the meat moist throughout the entire cooking process. Pat the brisket dry then rub the barbecue rub all over it. Put it in a cooler or fridge then proceed to light the smoker.
Prepare the smoker by spraying its racks with non-stick cooking spray and pre-heating it to 225 degrees F. Add some wood chips to the bottom rack. If you are using a charcoal grill, fill it with charcoal and light it up.
Place the brisket at the center of the smoker/grill with the fat side facing up. Use a thermometer to monitor the grill’s temperature. It should be maintained at 225 degrees. You can open the vents to let in air if it gets too hot. Turn the brisket after 3 or 4 hours. You can spray it with a liquid like apple juice then leave it to cook until its internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F.
When the brisket cooks up to 170 degrees, remove it from the smoker and wrap it tightly in 2 layers of foil. Insert a thermometer probe then put the wrapped meat in an oven at 300 degrees F. Leave the brisket to cook until its internal temperature reaches 205 degrees. It will take about 1 hour and 40 minutes.
When the brisket is done, remove it from the oven then let it rest for 30 minutes before unwrapping it. Slice across the grain and serve with barbecue sauce.
This method is a bit quicker:
Follow the procedure above to prepare the brisket then smoke it for 2 hours. R
Remove the brisket from the smoker and let it sit for a while. Chop and simmer onions in olive oil in a Dutch oven for about 3 minutes until soft.
Add the brisket to the Dutch oven with the fat side facing down. Simmer it uncovered for half an hour then cover. Cook until the meat reaches 300 degrees F. this will take about 3 hours.
This is another way of starting off brisket on the smoker and finishing it in the oven. It is perfect for anyone looking to eat delicious brisket and a good night sleep:
Prepare and smoke the brisket for 5 to 6 hours in the afternoon then remove it from the smoker, wrap it in foil and put it in the oven at 220 degrees F.
Let the brisket cook in the oven overnight for about 9 hours then vent it for 15 to 30 minutes. Put it back in warm oven until it’s time to serve.
If you want a less smoky version, you can reduce the smoking time to about 3 hours before wrapping it in foil and putting in the oven.
This method involves smoking brisket halfway then refrigerating it. You can smoke it until it gets to 160 degrees F before wrapping it in foil and keeping it in the fridge.
When you are ready to finish the brisket, heat it in the oven until it reaches the desire temperature. The only downside to this method is that it may no probe smoothly like a brisket on a continuous cooking process.
You have more to gain than lose by finishing brisket in the oven. You save on time and money unless you are willing to spend a chunk of your day cooking a slab of meat. There are multiple ways of going about it that are super easy, provided you know how to prepare and smoke meat and you have an oven, plus all the other tools required.
The brisket’s flavor is not compromised in any way if you finish the last stage of cooking in the oven. Purists argue that the smoky flavor seeps through the wrapped meat in the oven, but that is untrue unless you wrap the meat with butcher paper. You are supposed to double wrap it in high-quality foil. Whichever method you choose to finish your brisket in the oven, be rest assured that the smoky flavor will prevail.