This slow cooked BBQ Beef Brisket recipe is made in the oven or crock pot for the most tender and juicy meat ever, with a sweet & smoky barbecue sauce! I'm sharing all my best tips for how to cook brisket for a crowd, since this is a great choice for large dinner parties. It's so good, no one will care the meat wasn't smoked for hours!

For some other delicious oven roasted recipes, be sure to try our Rosemary and Garlic Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb, Garlic Herb Butter Beef Tenderloin Roast, Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Pomegranate Apricot Glaze, and Dutch Oven Pot Roast!

A large brisket made in the oven and sliced into pieces then topped with bbq sauce.

When I was growing up, my family usually had either Chicken Cordon Bleu or this easy, oven roasted BBQ Beef Brisket recipe for dinner on special occasions and holidays like Christmas.

My mom taught me how to cook brisket in the oven using this easy beef brisket recipe that she got at church when we were living in St. Louis back when I was a kid. It's foolproof and always one of my most requested recipes, so I knew it was one I needed to share on this blog.

Why this Recipe Works

  • It skips a brisket marinade in favor of simply moistening with worcestershire sauce and rubbing it with a simple brisket rub, then letting it sit overnight to draw out moisture before repeating it in the morning and sticking the brisket in the oven.
  • Total prep is all of 10 minutes, then the oven or slow cooker does the rest of the work in this easy-as-it-gets juicy brisket recipe.
  • You don't need a smoker to get great barbecue-tasting results. True, it's not the same as a Texas Smoked Brisket, but it can definitely be appreciated on its own merits, which are many.

Ingredient Notes

  • Brisket: This large cut of meat requires long, slow cooking to break down the fibers for a succulent, melt-in-your-mouth result but it's totally worth it. It's one of my very favorite cuts of beef with incredible flavor.
  • BBQ sauce: You can use any bbq sauce you like, but I'm partially to the hickory & brown sugar kind by Sweet Baby Ray's for this brisket recipe. It sweet and smoky notes are perfect with the savory, tender mouthwatering bites of meat.
  • Brisket rub: I make a super simple brisket rub to season the meat by combining salt, celery salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and sugar. That's it!
Ingredients for making beef brisket in the oven.

How to Cook Brisket in the Oven

Here is the thing about brisket: it needs to be cooked slowly, at a very low temperature over the course of many hours in order to dissolve the tough connective tissues of the meat. Do that and the meat will be so tender that is should practically fall apart when you cut it.

There is no need to be intimidated by the big piece of meat as you really can't go wrong with this type of approach. You don't even need to sear the thing beforehand! The most important thing to know is how much the brisket weighs because that tell you how long to cook it for perfect results.

Start by trimming most of the fat off the brisket, if it didn't already come that way from the store. I like to leave a ¼-inch fat cap on for flavor, and you can certainly leave more if you enjoy it, but any hard, thick areas of fat should be removed with a sharp knife.

Moisten the meat by dousing it with some worcestershire sauce. Then sprinkle it evenly on both sides with a brisket rub made from salt, celery salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and a little sugar.

Making a simple brisket rub with garlic powder, onion powder, celery salt, sugar, and salt.

We always stick the brisket in the fridge overnight at this point to let the salt draw some of the moisture out of the brisket. You can skip this step if you are pressed for time and forgot to do it the night before, but I really do think it's worth the little bit of extra effort. It also means your brisket it trimmed and pretty much ready to go in the oven the next morning.

On the day you plan to serve the brisket, douse it once more with additional worcestershire sauce and finish sprinkling with the remaining rub. Then cover it with foil and stick it in the oven to cook low and slow.

The rule of thumb when cooking brisket is to plan on 1 hour for every pound of brisket, then add an extra 30-60 minutes to finish the sauce. It's better to err on the side of starting your brisket too early since you can always wait to slice it and instead just cover with foil and it will stay hot for a long time than to start late and have hungry family members who can't wait and end up stuffing themselves with rolls.

Once the brisket has been cooking for the right amount of time (say, 5 hours for 5 pounds of brisket), pull it out of the oven and cover it generously with your favorite bbq sauce mixed with brown sugar. Even if I'm using a brown sugar bbq sauce I always add the extra brown sugar because I love the contrast of sweet, salty, and savory in this dish.

Let it cook, uncovered, for another 30-60 minutes until the sauce it hot and bubbly and the brown sugar has had a chance to caramelize.

Remove the brisket to a cutting board and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing against the grain into finger-width strips. I like to pour the caramelized bbq sauce into a gravy boat or small serving pitcher to drizzle over the sliced brisket and serve the extras on the side for anyone who wants it.

You can present your oven cooked beef brisket on a serving platter, or take a more rustic approach and return the sliced meat to the pan it was cooked in (my personal preference).

Recipe FAQ's

How many hours does it take to cook a brisket?

The general rule is that you need to cook your brisket for 1 hour for every pound of meat, although with this recipe I always give it an extra 30 minutes to an hour after adding the barbecue sauce so that the sauce can heat up and combine with some of the juices coming off the meat.

So if you are cooking a 5-pound brisket (like the one in these photos), you need to plan on 5 hours of cooking time for the brisket plus a little extra time at the end for heating up the sauce. But it works just as well with a 12-pound brisket that would take 12 hours to cook.

How do you use up leftover brisket?

One of my favorite things about BBQ beef brisket are the leftovers! I love to chop up the leftover meat and use it to make some extreme BBQ beef brisket nachos or quesadillas or serve it on a crusty bun with some extra BBQ sauce for a brisket sandwich. That sandwich is even more incredible if you take the extra minute or two to butter the insides of the crusty bun and grill the buttered sides on a hot pan for a bit before adding your meat to it!

What do you serve with beef brisket?

My favorite side with BBQ beef brisket is my copycat Costco mac and cheese, although I also really love serving it with twice baked potatoes or creamy potluck potatoes. But you could serve it with baked beans, coleslaw, cornbread, baked potatoes, cold macaroni salad or any other Southern sides you like! I'm also partial to green beans with it, either the plain steamed variety or these amazing green beans with bacon & pine nuts!

What is brisket?

Brisket comes from the breast area or pectoral muscles of a cow, so it's worked pretty hard and made up of lots of tough connective tissues that can only be dissolved by slow cooking. A full brisket (the ones you see at Costco) are called a "packer cut" and can be 10-14 pounds! You can use this recipe on a full packer brisket as long as you have a large sheet pan and make sure to start it with plenty of time to cook all the way through. But it works just as well on smaller half cuts of brisket (what you see here in these pics). We like it best for the "flat" cut, which is what you often find trimmed for you and neatly packaged in the grocery store.

Tangy bbq sauce poured over tender sliced brisket.

Recipe Tips

  • Storage: Keep leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container and reheat in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes or in the microwave for a couple of minutes before serving.
  • Freezing: You can freezing the leftover meat for 2-3 months. Just thaw and reheat before adding to things like nachos or one of the ideas mentioned above.
  • Cut against the grain: If you look at the meat you will notice that the tissues run in one direction. You want to slice perpendicular to those lines, called cutting against the grain, for the most tender bites of meat.
  • Plan ahead: The best tip you can have for cooking brisket in the oven is to give yourself plenty of time. Don't forget to check your packaging for weight before throwing it out so you know just how long to cook it for!
  • Fat cap on top or on bottom: I always make this brisket recipe with the fat cap on bottom. Some people swear by having the fat cap on top so the fat can melt down into the meat. I like that approach when smoking brisket, but for brisket in the oven I like the fat cap on bottom so the meat on top can dry out a bit more and develop more of a crust. It's really just personal preference though and I don't think there is really a wrong way, despite what others might say.
  • Brisket for a crowd: I love this recipe for big groups because the results are always reliable, it's practically foolproof, and everybody loves it. I have done this for church Christmas dinners where I needed to cook 120 pounds of brisket for 300-350 people and I just farmed out individual briskets and ingredients to a few friends with double ovens, large electric roasters, or slow cookers who could start the meat first thing in the morning so they could roast all day and be tender and ready for slicing that night at the party.

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Oven BBQ Beef Brisket Recipe

4.78 from 118 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 10 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
This slow roasted BBQ Beef Brisket recipe is made in the oven or slow cooker for the most tender and juicy meat ever, with a sweet & smoky barbecue sauce! I'm sharing all my best tips for how to cook brisket for a crowd, since this is a great choice for large dinner parties. It's so good, no one will care the meat wasn't smoked for hours!

Ingredients
  

Brisket

  • 5-6 pounds brisket
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 teaspoons table salt
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Sauce

  • 20 ounces hickory-flavored barbecue sauce (Sweet Baby Ray's is my favorite)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar

Instructions
 

  • The night before you plan to cook and serve the brisket, combine the salt, celery salt, garlic powder, onion powder and sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Place the brisket in a large roasting pan and trim the fat if it is thick, but leave at least a ¼" layer. Moisten the brisket with all of the Worcestershire sauce, then sprinkle the top and bottom of the brisket with half of the mixed seasonings, reserving the other half. Cover tightly with foil and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  • The next day, preheat the oven to 250°F. Remove the brisket from the fridge and uncover. Sprinkle it with the remaining seasonings, then cover it with foil again and place it in the oven to roast for 5-6 hours (plan on approximately 1 hour per pound of meat).
  • Remove the brisket from the oven and remove the aluminum foil. Pour off the fat. In a medium bowl, stir together the brown sugar and barbecue sauce, then pour it over the brisket. Increase the oven temperature to 350°F, then return the brisket to the oven, uncovered, and roast an additional 30 minutes to an hour, or until the sauce is hot and the meat is tender. Remove from the oven and let the meat rest for 15 minutes, then slice into finger-width strips against the grain or chop and serve.

Video

Notes

  • Storage: Keep leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container and reheat in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes or in the microwave for a couple of minutes before serving.
  • Freezing: You can freezing the leftover meat for 2-3 months. Just thaw and reheat before adding to things like nachos or one of the ideas mentioned above.
  • Cut against the grain: If you look at the meat you will notice that the tissues run in one direction. You want to slice perpendicular to those lines, called cutting against the grain, for the most tender bites of meat.
  • Plan ahead: The best tip you can have for cooking brisket in the oven is to give yourself plenty of time. Don't forget to check your packaging for weight before throwing it out so you know just how long to cook it for!
  • Fat cap on top or on bottom: I always make this brisket recipe with the fat cap on bottom. Some people swear by having the fat cap on top so the fat can melt down into the meat. I like that approach when smoking brisket, but for brisket in the oven I like the fat cap on bottom so the meat on top can dry out a bit more and develop more of a crust. It's really just personal preference though and I don't think there is really a wrong way, despite what others might say.
  • Brisket for a crowd: I love this recipe for big groups because the results are always reliable, it's practically foolproof, and everybody loves it. I have done this for church Christmas dinners where I needed to cook 120 pounds of brisket for 300-350 people and I just farmed out individual briskets and ingredients to a few friends with double ovens, large electric roasters, or slow cookers who could start the meat first thing in the morning so they could roast all day and be tender and ready for slicing that night at the party.

Nutrition

Calories: 868kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 79g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 234mg | Sodium: 3299mg | Potassium: 1581mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 60g | Vitamin A: 218IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 9mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

This post was originally published in December, 2016. The photos and content were updated in December, 2021.

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. Hi, I’m going to be making this tomorrow but just a few questions. Do you add any liquid to the bottom of the pan so that it doesn’t dry out? Also could I add some liquid smoke to it?

    1. No you don't need to add any liquid to the bottom of the pan. But yes, you could use liquid smoke if you like.

  2. I'm using this oven barbecue brisket for the first. Cooking it for Mother's Day dinner. I hope it comes out ok, because for the first hour and a half I was cooking it on 325 degrees, before I realized it should have been 225 degrees. I quickly made the adjustments. We'll see how it comes out!
    Thanks for the recipe.

  3. We made this recipe today due to cold, and severely windy conditions in our area. It came out juicy and perfect! We had already gotten our rub on the meat when our weather took a turn. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. I’ve made this twice and everyone loved it and wanted the recipe. Someone who has brisket for all their big family meals said it was the best brisket they’ve ever had!! Made it as the recipe said and put it in the fridge with the seasoning overnight.

    1. Yes, it's in steps 2 and 3. You roast it really low and slow at 250 degrees F for a long time and then finish it off at 350 degrees F for the last hour.

  5. Can’t wait to try this
    Can the meat be seared first for more flavour/crust ?
    Also I have a small family.
    What changes if any do you recommend for a smaller roast such as 2-3 pounds?
    For a change can other flavoured BBQ sauces be used?
    Thank you

    1. To be honest, I don't even bother searing. Ha ha. The flavor is still great and the meat cooks great without searing it. But go for it if you want to! You can buy whatever size of brisket you would like for your family. The rule of thumb when cooking brisket is to plan on 1 hour for every pound of brisket, then add an extra 30-60 minutes to finish the sauce. And yes! Use any sauce you like! It's fun to mix it up! I hope you enjoy!

    1. Hi Richie! I'm not sure I understand your first question - the measurements are listed in the recipe card. The amounts given are for about 5-6 pounds of brisket. If your brisket is larger you might want to 1.5x or double the amount of the other ingredients.