The best way to cook breast in the oven.  How To Get The Texas Flavor Without The Smoker

The best way to cook breast in the oven. How To Get The Texas Flavor Without The Smoker

When you think of Texas brisket, most people envision outdoor kitchens the size of a truck with plumes of smoke that can suffocate the neighborhood. But the reality is that you can get a pretty good brisket out of your home oven, and many of the techniques used by restaurants and competitive barbecue cooks can be easily replicated in the kitchen.

Brisket has a long tradition of being cooked indoors and treated more like a roast. It is extremely popular in Jewish cuisine, and the baked brisket featured in the first season of the Amazon series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” has dozens of Internet knockoffs.

But this is Texas, damn it, and here at Food Shack, we primarily deal with grilled beef.

Now, there are some obvious differences between the end results of baked brisket and traditional smoked brisket. The brisket from the oven will not form a smoke ring or give off big smoke flavor hits, because you really can’t burn wood inside your home without risking carbon monoxide poisoning.

Oven cooked brisket is sliced ​​at Chuck's Food Shack.

Oven cooked brisket is sliced ​​at Chuck’s Food Shack.

William Luther / Staff Photographer

What you can get, however, is incredibly tender meat with a flavorful crust that is strikingly similar to what comes out of a traditional pit. You just have to incorporate a few tricks.

Since actual smoke is not an option, you have to rely on liquid smoke, which is made from the condensation of burning piles of wood, along with a few additional ingredients like vinegar, soy, and Worcestershire sauce. It comes in a variety of grocery store wood brands and flavors. And while liquid smoke is almost universally hated in the barbecue community, its roots go back to the late 1800s and it has its merits.

If you open a bottle and smell it, it smells like the inside of a traditional hole, making it an essential ingredient for a Texas-style oven-baked brisket. Liquid mesquite smoke is a good choice because it is one of the most powerful wood smokes and since it will be in an oven, that potency is a good thing.

The other trick is to add barbecue sauce. Now I fully understand the line of “a good barbecue does not need sauce”, but with the absence of real smoke, you have to do everything possible to inject more flavor. Also, adding sauce to the brisket at the end of cooking is a common practice in competitive barbecue, because it tastes so good. If you don’t have a favorite sauce yet, opt for a bold, smoky ketchup-based sauce.

For a 4 pound brisket, expect the cook to take about 5 ½ hours. Here’s how to do it.

Place your brisket on a raised rack on a baking sheet. Give it an olive oil paint to use as a binder, then generously add your favorite barbecue sauce (about ½ cup) and let it sit for about an hour at room temperature. The rub can be as simple as an equally mixed mixture of kosher or sea salt with coarsely ground black pepper.

The ingredients used to cook a brisket in the oven include barbecue sauce, beef broth, salt, olive oil, liquid smoke, and barbecue sauce.

The ingredients used to cook a brisket in the oven include barbecue sauce, beef broth, salt, olive oil, liquid smoke, and barbecue sauce.

William Luther / Staff Photographer

Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke with 1 cup of beef broth and inject it into the meat with a meat syringe. Then add 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke to 2 cups of beef broth and pour it into the bottom of the baking dish.

Set your oven to 275 degrees. Make sure the brisket is on the rack with the fat cap on the bottom. The heat source for most ovens is at the bottom and the grease cap provides a good buffer to prevent the meat from overcooking.

Place the roasting pan on the lower rack of the oven and cook for about five hours, until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees.

Scoop out the brisket and brush all over with a barbecue sauce glaze. Put it back in the oven for another 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and let stand uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing for serving.

In general, I will always prefer to cook my breasts outdoors, but there were no complaints with the brisket from the oven, and it is proof that there is always a way with barbecue.

Next week, Food Shack will continue the brisket theme, and I’ll tell you how to use leftover brisket in Mexican breakfast dishes. | Twitter: @chuck_blount | Instagram: @bbqdiver

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