Texas-Style Oven Brisket

This peppery brisket from Louie Mueller Barbecue, a 2006 America’s Classics Award winner, may be made in the oven, but trust us: it’s just as good as bona fide ‘cue. Start roasting your meat in the morning in order for it to be ready by dinnertime.


  • 1 cup coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 5 to 6 pounds brisket, trimmed, with a layer of fat at least ¼-inch-thick, choice grade or higher  


Move the oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 275°F. In a small bowl, stir together the pepper and salt. Spread the pepper mixture evenly across a large baking sheet.

Remove the brisket from its packaging. Dampen a kitchen towel and rub the wet towel over the entire brisket. Place the brisket, fat cap down, on the pepper mixture to thoroughly coat with a thick layer. Using clean hands, press the pepper mixture over all sides of the brisket. Flip the brisket over so the fat cap is faceup; make sure that the entire fat cap is covered with the pepper mixture.

Put the brisket in a roasting pan large enough to hold it without the brisket touching any sides of the pan. (Always use a pan with sides that are at least 3 inches high.) Place the brisket in the oven and roast, uncovered, for 5½ hours, basting with grease from the pan every hour.

Remove the brisket from the pan and place on a cutting board or other large, flat surface. Immediately wrap the brisket in plastic wrap, making sure no surface is left exposed. Over that, thoroughly wrap the brisket with newspaper, a paper bag, or butcher paper. Place the brisket in a small, empty, insulated ice chest or cooler that is at room temperature. (A microwave oven can also be used in place of an ice chest.) Allow the brisket to rest in the container, undisturbed, for 1 hour. Remove the brisket from the ice chest or microwave and discard all of its wrapping.

Set the brisket on a carving board, with the point to your left and the flat facing right. Begin carving the brisket, against the grain, on the flat (right) side, moving right to left as you carve. Once you reach the midpoint of the brisket, turn the brisket 90 degrees to the right so that the point is facing away from you and the exposed (cut) end of the brisket is facing you. Begin carving from the right side and continue carving from right to left until the entire point is carved. (Carving the brisket this way will enable you to cut across the grain of both muscle masses, so the meat is as tender as possible.) Serve warm.

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Serves 12 to 14