Published July 1, 1998.
Extra-heavy-duty foil and a slow oven can turn any backyard into a barbecue pit.
The main reason it's so hard to cook brisket (which a lot of people know only in its "corned" form, as it's eaten on St. Patrick's Day) is that it starts out as a very tough cut of meat. It's also big, sometimes weighing upward of 13 pounds, which is why most butchers separate it into two cuts: the "point" (which is the fattier of the two pieces) and the "flat" (which because it is leaner is also a little tougher).
In researching recipes for barbecued brisket, we found cooks could agree on one thing: slow cooking (for as many as 6 to 12 hours) and low cooking (250 degrees was the norm) for the purpose of tenderizing. That seemed like a lot of time. We wanted to figure out a way to make cooking this potentially delicious cut of meat less daunting and less time-consuming.
We weren't able to get the total cooking time below six hours, but we were able to make the job easier on the cook. Essentially, we cheated, cooking the meat over the grill for two hours to let in those all-important smoky flavors, then moving it to the oven, where it would have to cook for three or so more hours but could be left unattended. This may not satisfy barbecue purists, but it did sate our desire for a tender and tasty piece of brisket.list of recipes