Over the last couple of years, I've smoked hundreds of pounds of meat in my backyard barbeque pits. One of the hardest cuts to learn how to do was brisket, so I would be lying if I said my first couple of those didn't come out a little dry. However, after taking time to listen to other backyard cooks and watch some helpful YouTube videos from Chuds BBQ and Mad Scientist BBQ, my results have improved drastically. Now, one other well-known chef has released his go-to brisket method, and it could be a game changer.

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When it comes to cooking whole beef brisket, everyone has their own way of going about the process. For me, I prefer to cook brisket in an offset smoker using oak or hickory. Usually, I'll trim and season it the night before using just salt, pepper, and garlic. I will then get up about 5 a.m. the next morning to start my fire before smoking the brisket at about 225 degrees for the remainder of the day. After it reaches about 170 degrees of internal temperature, I'll wrap it in butcher paper and set it back on the smoker until the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees. Once it's done, I'll take it off the pit and let it rest for about an hour before slicing.

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As much as I love my backyard smokers, they require a lot of work to prepare a single meal, so I've been looking for a great oven-baked brisket recipe for when I don't want to get up before dawn. If you are too, there is good news. American chef, writer, and Bizarre Foods star Andrew Zimmern recently unveiled his method for cooking the perfect brisket. According to Parade Magazine, the recipe is a longstanding tradition in the Zimmern family, which Andrew learned from his grandmother, with a few tweaks added over the years. (Luckily, that doesn't include any weird bugs or bizarre creations you might have seen on the Travel Channel.) Let's take a look at the process.

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1 - Get the Right Cut of Meat

Zimmern says there are a couple of options when shopping for brisket. You can buy just the "flat," which is the leaner portion of a whole brisket, or you can buy the "point," which is the fattier, thicker portion of the brisket. Zimmern, like me, prefers to buy a whole brisket, and if you do as well, it is recommended that you purchase one no bigger than 15 pounds untrimmed.

2 - Let Your Brisket Come to Room Temperature

Just like cooking a nice ribeye steak, you want your brisket to set out a bit after removing it from the refrigerator. Zimmern says that if you don't, it will take much longer for the meat to become tender. This is also the perfect time to preheat your oven. Zimmern recommends a temperature of 275 degrees, but you can cook at 300 degrees if you want to speed up the cooking time.

3 - Fat is Good

Zimmern says that you should avoid trimming too much fat off, as the fat will melt into the brisket as it cooks, creating a very tasty end result. That said, you will still need to trim off some of the hard fat that won't render during the cooking process. I usually try to leave a fat cap of at least 1/4 inch.

4 - Preseason

When it comes to seasoning, there are a lot of options. Zimmern told Parade Magazine that he changes up his brisket methods about every ten years, but right now he's in his "herbes de Provence" era, which is a spice blend of dried rosemary, tarragon, marjoram, and thyme. If you don't have all those those herbs, Zimmern suggests using at least a mix of thyme, rosemary, a generous amount of kosher salt, and black pepper.

5 - Sear & Deglaze

After a good season, Zimmern instructs at-home cooks to sear their brisket in a roasting pan over two burners using high-temperature oil. After that, he recommends deglazing your cut of beef with a good helping of red wine.

6 - Into the Oven

The final step in the process is placing your brisket into your preheated oven at your desired temperature. The pan should be covered with foil and should remain in the oven until your brisket reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees, which is much lower than a finished smoked brisket. This process can vary in length due to your chosen temperature and weight of brisket, but your cooking time will likely be an average of around 6 hours.

7 - Rest Before Slicing

Zimmern notes that you should let your brisket rest for at least one hour before serving. Longer is usually better, but after smelling brisket all day, an hour is normally all I can muster before diving into dinner. When slicing, it's important to mention that you should separate the flat and the point if you cooked a whole brisket. Both have differing protein strands and need to be sliced at different angles. I learned to slice brisket from the above video by Jeremy Yoder at Mad Scientist BBQ.

Overall, this doesn't look like a super complicated process, and you could probably skip the sear and deglaze if you really didn't want to put in that much effort. Personally, I can't wait to give this recipe a try, as it looks to be much easier than a 12-hour grilling session. Additionally, one won't have to worry about managing a fire or reflilling grill pellets (if your pellet grill guru). What do you think of Andrew Zimmern's brisket method?

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