Recipe: Cook All Night BBQ Brisket

by Cate on February 26, 2009

Beef BrisketGrowing up, I loved diners.  I gravitated towards the old school jukebox stainless steel kind (and still do), and for many years, I dreamed of opening my own place up.  Now the dream has shifted, but I still live out my diner love when I watch Food Network‘s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  Hosted by Guy Fieri, his constant road trips introduce viewers to little hole-in-the-wall type places that serve fabulous food.  Even though he put out a cookbook late last year with some of the recipes featured from restaurants that he’s visited, it’s not enough.  I literally watch the show with a notebook and pen, jotting down ingredients of the dishes they’re highlighting on each episode.

Brisket is one of those things that has been on my to-try list forever and a day, yet I hadn’t gotten around to it, but after catching a recent episode with brisket that looked so good, my mouth was watering, I was done for.  This is one of those recipes that you’ll thank me for later, and it’s barely a recipe at all.  You can commit it to memory in about 30 seconds, and you really only need one ingredient past a few pantry basics.  It cooks for 12 hours in the oven, but trust me when I tell you … it’s worth it to figure out your schedule so you can make this.

The recipe?  Buy brisket.  Put garlic powder, salt and pepper all over it.  Put it in a baking dish and bake at 225 for 12 hours.  See?  That’s it.  I ended up putting it into the oven after dinner, and then The Husband took it out in the morning when he left for work.  Within only two hours of cooking, it smelled amazing, and my mouth is watering again now, just thinking about the leftovers (hello lunch!).

The meat is fall apart good and is juicy and tender, and everything it should be after cooking for 12 hours.  And for a 30-second recipe, what better reward?

BBQ Brisket SandwichWhen the diner owner made it, he didn’t elaborate on how they served it, so I had to put my thinking cap on.  Truth be told, you can just slice it and serve it with some traditional BBQ sides (see the comments here for some great suggestions) and just call it a day.  But instead, I dug out one of my BBQ cookbooks, Legends of a Texas BBQ, and looked up a brisket BBQ sauce.  While I was getting dinner ready, I made the barbecue sauce, and then I put the sliced brisket in the sauce to warm it up.  The cookbook also had a suggestion for a brisket sandwich, and I followed that idea, serving the now-sauced meat on a toasted roll with sliced raw onion and pickles.

To produce something that is close to OMG good for as little effort as this took is a wonderful reward indeed.  I sent a sandwich over to one of our neighbors, and she came back asking for the meat and BBQ sauce recipe.  One of the easiest recipes I have on this site so far, yet one of the most delicious… enjoy!

Cook All Night BBQ Beef Brisket
Recipe courtesy of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

garlic powder
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 225.  Sprinkle garlic powder, salt and pepper all over the brisket and put in baking dish.  Bake for 12 hours.  When serving, you can slice meat and serve with your favorite BBQ sides, or put the meat in the below BBQ sauce and serve as a sandwich (toasted roll, raw sliced onion, pickles).

Ancho Barbecue Sauce
Recipe courtesy of Legends of a Texas Barbecue Cookbook

3 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded (I skipped)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups diced onion
7 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1-1/2 tablespoons mustard
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

Soak the anchos in hot water for 30 minutes or until soft.  In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes, or until they begin to wilt. Add the ketchup and anchos and saute for 4 minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients and simmer gently for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool. Place in a blender or food processor and puree. (I skipped that step)  Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 3 weeks. Reheat before serving.

Makes about 4 cups (I halved recipe)

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

maris February 26, 2009 at 10:04 pm

I love Guy Fieri! I think I want his job,

mariss last blog post..Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Bars


paula February 27, 2009 at 10:49 am

I love that show and I love the cookbook although I agree that it doesn’t have enough recipes. The ones I’ve tried have been awesome though. I have Aunt Nancy’s coleslaw for lunch today. I’ve made it three times already. The pork butt, meat loaf and inside-out burger were also all very good.

paulas last blog post..Not a healthy oatmeal cookie but a healthier oatmeal cookie


Nate February 27, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Guy is starting to get to me. He’s kind of annoying. But the show is helpful in showcasing different joints out there serving exceptional food.

I have that Legends of Texas cookbook. It is great not only for the recipes but also descriptions of some barbecue greats. I want to do a whole Texas BBQ crawl one day.

Your brisket looks great! Being oven baked, you don’t get the smoke flavor of real, wood fired barbecue. But the ancho sauce should compensate for that.


darla February 27, 2009 at 3:40 pm

I have a question… the brisket covered while cooking? Thanks!


Cate February 27, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Darla – no, I didn’t cover it.

Nate – I can see how his slightly over-the-top personality can get to someone after awhile, but so far, I’m too into the show’s content to notice. Hopefully he’ll stop shy of Rachael Ray and her see-her-face-everywhere endorsements. :) I totally agree that doing the brisket on a wood-fired barbecue would send it to a whole ‘nother taste level.

Paula – will definitely bookmark those. I love meatloaf sandwiches, toasted white bread, a little bit of mayo and ketchup … mmmm.

Maris – you’ll have to fight me for it! :)


Farmgirl Susan February 28, 2009 at 2:05 pm

This sounds fantastic. I’ve been wanting to make brisket for years but have been (obviously foolishly) intimidated by it. No more! : )

Farmgirl Susans last blog post..Saturday Farm Photo: Heart Installation


Stacey March 1, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Another question: what cut of brisket did you use? or was it a whole brisket? Roughlyl how much did it weigh ?It does sound amazing.


jan March 3, 2009 at 11:46 am

it’s been a while since I bought one of these. When I get one, I have to try remembering whether it’s ‘point cut’ or ‘flat cut’ that’s better (there IS a difference). Then there’s checking to see the layer of fat (how much will I need to cut away and waste?)


Magda March 3, 2009 at 1:51 pm

I am using this recipe for my son’s family picnic at school. Thanks for posting!


Cate March 3, 2009 at 4:31 pm

Jan – hmm, I thought the flat/point cuts were more for corned beef cuts, but I am no expert in meat cuts, for sure. The one I used was marked thin cut.

Stacey – I used a thin cut brisket, and it was about 4.5-5 lbs or so.

Susan – Exactly. I think the “cook all day” part is what puts everyone off. Cook all day doesn’t mean it has to be hard.


debbie April 6, 2009 at 7:29 pm

I made this over the weekend and you’re right, it couldn’t be easier! Or yummier. But mine came out pretty dry & crusty. *I’m* not complaining, since I actually like it that way–but some of the people I served it to were less than thrilled, and we ended up with more waste than I’d like since the bottom was so hard you couldn’t even cut it.

It was a 4.5 lb brisket, and I trimmed away a good deal of the fat before putting it in the oven. I also put it in the pan fat-side down. Now I’m thinking that with such a long cooking process, perhaps I should’ve trimmed less and put it in fat-side up. How did you do it?

debbies last blog post..Parents Need to Eat, Too: Cooking for New Parents


magda April 6, 2009 at 11:28 pm

debbie – I made this also and it came out GREAT and I hate dry overcooked meat. I think your mistake was #1 cutting off the fat and #2 putting the fat side down…I did not cut the fat and I cooked it fat side up so the juices could cook into the meat making it juicy. Correct me if I am wrong Cate…!


Susan November 21, 2009 at 9:36 am

Good Morning Everbody! Tried this recipe, was a little worried at first, but it’s only 8:00am and I’ve just tried the meat , made it my breakfast with some fried ‘taters ‘n onions–absolutely wonderful! I did not trim any fat, used a 6lb briskit, and cooked it fat side up. There’s plenty of grease in the bottom of the pan so I I got rid of that . Gonna make up the bar-bque sauce recipe, and make some sandwiches – one to take over to my butcher for his lunch. Thanks so much for this awesome recipe. I am afraid of brisket no longer!


Cate January 14, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Debbie – Magda is right. I think the mistake was trimming the fat and cooking it fat side down. I know they didn’t trim it on the show, and the fat keeps it juicy and tender since it’s cooking for so long. That being said, when it comes out, it *will* look burned, because the top creates a crispy-ish coating. Pitmaster call that the bark. Hope that helps!

Susan – so glad you liked it!


Rick January 28, 2010 at 11:47 am

What’s up with Guy Fieri and Diners, Drive-ins and Dives not visiting Colorado yet? He’s

been to Alaska and Hawaii so maybe he’s got a beef with Colorado or something. Either way,

the show keeps small business going so keep up the good work my man.


Busch May 8, 2010 at 11:21 am

Hey y’all, just a note, Do not cut the fat off, thats flavor and will help the meat stay moist. Fat side up always. Now at 225 for 12 hours I would imagine that was melt in you mouth good, to be a bit more specifice, if you use a meat themometer, my experiance is that at 190 degrees the colegen breaks down, thats the conective tissue that holds the meat fibers together. the fat will be melted away and your meat will rock. IF you have a bbq grill, even gas, use some miquite chips and smoke this meat off the fire for a couple hours to start it and then put it in the oven to finnish, personally, after a few hours in the smoker I do wrap the meat or cover it to help seal in all the juices and flavor but thats just my choise, if ya want it a bit dryer certainlt uncovered will be the way to go. Sauce is great if ya like it, the one you had on here I may well try but I love the taste of good meat and I use very little of the sauce for the same reason I put no ketchup on my steaks. Everyone have a blessed day


gerry January 2, 2011 at 9:52 am

Adding to the noise a bit (from a brisket smoker)…
1. Unless there’s more fat than lean, leave it in place and let it self-marinate the meat.
2. Fat goes up, for the same reason.
3. In the oven, you could add a smoker box and some wood chips, but at 225, they won’t put out a lot of smoke. If you get the wood chips going good, and have them in at the start of the cooking process, you will get a bit of smoke ring — and the flavor — that a completely oven-roasted brisket lacks.
4. If you were to add a bit of smoked paprika, some coumin and perhaps ground, toasted coriander to your rub, I don’t think you’d need… or want… sauce. Good brisket shouldn’t need a sauce.
5. I tend to go 18 hours for a brisket on my smoker, at 225 degrees. I do wrap mine to finish cooking at the 8-10 hour part, which helps keep it moist. Don’t forget to rest the meat for 15 min or so between taking it off the heat, and serving.


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