Oven-Barbecued Beef Brisket

This Oven-Barbecued Beef Brisket is so smokey, tender, and juicy. No one will ever guess it wasn’t cooked on the grill.

Oven-Barbecued Beef Brisket

We are very partial to pork in the Carolinas and I truthfully haven’t eaten a whole lot of beef brisket in my life.

But this Oven-Barbecued Beef Brisket. OMG!

Oven-Barbecued Beef Brisket recipe from Cook's Illustrated. Wrapped in bacon and slow cooked in the oven. The best brisket cooked in the oven you will ever taste!


This is a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated and it makes THE most flavorful brisket.

It is one of the most scrumptious pieces of meat I have ever tasted and I think it has the potential to create quite a few brisket lovers.

Oven-Barbecued Beef Brisket recipe from Cook's Illustrated. The best brisket cooked in the oven you will ever taste. Wrapped in bacon for smokiness and slow cooked. A few minutes under the broiler gives the outside a nice char.


The brisket is coated in a rub and completely wrapped in bacon – 1 full pound of bacon- and slow-cooked in the oven. The smokey flavor of the bacon really penetrates into the meat and all that pork fat coating the beef brisket really adds to its flavor.

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So much smokiness that it will fool most people into thinking this brisket was cooked on the grill or in a smoker.

Once the brisket has cooked fully, the bacon is removed and serves double duty as a flavoring for the BBQ sauce. The meat is then broiled to give it a nice char to complement the smokey flavor.

Oven-Barbecued Beef Brisket recipe from Cook's Illustrated. Wrapped in bacon for smokiness and slow cooked. The bacon is then used to make a sauce. Best brisket cooked in the oven you will ever taste!


A super flavorful sauce that is both sweet and spicy is made from the bacon, which is finely chopped, cider vinegar, dark brown sugar, chicken broth, ketchup, and chipotle peppers. Once cooked, you can strain the sauce and discard the bacon, or I like to strain half of the sauce and then add it back to the saucepan. This way, there’s still some bacon, but it’s not an overwhelming amount.

Leftovers heat up well and this would be a good thing to cook in advance if you are having dinner guests. If you are just feeding your family, you can get multiple meals from this Oven-Barbecued Brisket. No kidding, I usually manage to get 3 meals out of it. Leftovers can be made into Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwiches or Brisket Nachos.

Oven-Barbecued Beef Brisket recipe from Cook's Illustrated. Wrapped in bacon for smokiness. The best brisket cooked in the oven you will ever taste!


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4.91 from 10 votes
Oven-Barbecued Beef Brisket
Oven-Barbecued Beef Brisket
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
5 hr
Total Time
5 hr 20 mins

This Oven-Barbecued Beef Brisket is so smokey, tender, and juicy. No one will ever guess it wasn't cooked on the grill.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 613 kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (4-5 pounds) brisket roast – if there is a thick layer of fat trim it down to 1/4 inch
  • 1 pound bacon
  • reserved bacon from cooked brisket
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1-2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 4 teaspoons canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
  1. Make the rub. Mix all ingredients well in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Place oven rack in upper-middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees. Rub dry rub all over brisket and poke holes all over with a fork. Place half of bacon going crosswise in a broiler safe  9 by 13-inch pan (it’s best not to use glass). Put brisket fat side down on top of bacon. Lay the rest of the bacon crosswise on top of brisket, wrapping it down around the sides, and tucking any excess under. Cover pan with foil and place in oven for 4 hours.
  3. Take pan out of oven. Carefully flip brisket over, fat side up. Replace foil and return to oven. Turn off heat and leave brisket in oven 1 additional hour.
  4. Pour accumulated juices from brisket into large measuring cup or a bowl. Remove bacon from brisket and chop into pieces. Cook bacon in medium saucepan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until fat has rendered. Add onion and cook until softened, 4-5 minutes. Take off heat and add vinegar and dark brown sugar. Return to heat and simmer until reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 5 minutes.
  5. Skim fat from accumulated juices and add chicken broth to make a total of 3 cups. Add to mixture in saucepan and reduce until about 3 cups in volume, 8-10 minutes. Take off heat and add ketchup. Mix well and strain if desired. (I like to strain about half the solid pieces out and leave the rest). After straining, add chipotle peppers.
  6. Turn oven to broil. Brush brisket with 1 cup sauce and broil until top is lightly browned and fat starts to crisp. Cut brisket against the grain into 1/4-inch slices and serve with extra sauce.
Nutrition Facts
Oven-Barbecued Beef Brisket
Amount Per Serving
Calories 613
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe adapted slightly from Cook’s Illustrated.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

122 thoughts on “Oven-Barbecued Beef Brisket

  1. Hi, I am interested in making your dish, however I can only find brisket that is sealed and vacuumed in a plastic bag. I prefer to use a fresh cut of meat. Can you recommend a different cut of beef that will work well with this recipe?

  2. I made this brisket last night, and everyone loved it. I followed the recipe exactly (although my roasting pan was bigger than 9×13) but the meat was a bit dry. It was a 4.5 lb brisket. Even though the oven thermometer said 275 degrees, I’m wondering if it is cooking hotter than that and is the reason behind the meat being a bit dry. Again, flavor of sauce was great but if someone has suggestions about helping to fix the “dry meat” issue I would be eternally grateful.

  3. I am making this wonderful sounding recipe today. The brisket is in the oven as we speak. I am confused about one of the instruction steps: After 4 hours in the oven, flip brisket over; reposition bacon if necessary; and …..etc.
    Do you take up the bottom layer of bacon, as well, when you flip the brisket? Logically, it appears you would have to , but I want to be sure. Thanks for your help and for the wonderful recipe. Elaine O., Florida

  4. This was really good. My only issue was the sauce never thickened up & I followed the directions to a T. Can someone share why? Maybe too much accumulated juices – I got about 2 cups & added 1 cup of broth. I was expecting thick sauce like the kind you purchase at the grocery store but maybe my expectation was incorrect? I would love to make this again as the flavor was very good. Thank you.

    1. My sauce was the same way….I added a small amount of cornstarch and it turned out perfect. I’m making another today!

  5. I made this today, curious about the flavor the bacon would impart. Uncertain whether or not we’d like it, I stuck with a small (4 lb.) brisket….I wish now that I had used a 12 lb. brisket! Followed the recipe to the letter and I can easily say this is the best brisket I have ever had, hands down.

  6. I recently made this recipe and it is delicious! My husband isn’t much of a beef eater and even he raved about it. I loved how tender the meat came out, and the flavor was perfect.

  7. I just stumbled across this recipe. I’ve never thought to put bacon on top of the brisket, but boy does that look juicy, and you can’t go wrong adding bacon to anything!

  8. For those asking about cook time. Brisket is done at 200-210f so just check your temps while cooking. A 10 pound full brisket can start at 350 for two hours then drop to 275-300. You may want to cover for the second stretch to avoid drying it out. I’ve done a 14 lb full brisket on a smoker in 5 hours. Cook at 325-350 till 160f at thickest part then wrap in foil with either beer, apple juice or stock till 200-210 internal temperature. Smaller cuts are fine at 275 but larger would take twice as long. Check your temps and you should be fine.

    1. Walter, so your telling me that a 10 lb brisket needs to start out at the higher temp ?
      I screwed up my last brisket and it was in a bag. I’ll follow your directions as you show here. Any other tips that will make this a success???

  9. I made this tonight and it was delicious. I just so happened to have double smoked uncured bacon and it made it extra smoky. This was just as good as stuff we pay $20/lb for here in Texas.

  10. This recipe is so delicious my family just loves it. My husband could not stop eating it. I am making it a second time because the review here was astounding. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  11. Thinking of making this for a party. How long would you cook a 12-15lb brisket for using this method?

    Also would like to make in advance the night before then reheat that day. How would you go about doing this so it still is juicy and tender?

    1. I’m not sure how much longer it would take if it is in one big piece. I would cut it into 2 or 3 pieces and follow the recipe.
      Reheat in a 300 degree oven covered with aluminum foil then you can stick it under the broiler for a few minutes if you want to crisp it up.

    1. Glass is not recommended because the intense heat from the broiler can cause glass to shatter. You want it to be about 2 inches deep. There will be alot of liquid produced as it cooks and you don’t want it to overflow and make a mess in your oven.

  12. What happens with the bacon when you flip it? And after cookinb gor 4 hours and another hour after flipping it the bacon isnt already cooked and bacon rendered? Am i reading this wrong?

      1. Thanks. And it doesnt fall off? Its just tucked around it. I picture turning it and bacon all over the place. Lol. I think ill make it for my husband birthday this weekend. IT LOOKS GREAT.

  13. I modified the recipe slightly. I used jalapeno bacon and changed the sauce. I still browned up the chopped bacon and onion, but added a bottle of Jack Daniels BBQ sauce, 2 TBSP of honey, and nip of Fireball whiskey. The sweet and heat made the brisket amazing.

    1. The sauce thickened a bit and tasted good. I followed everything but I let the sauce cook for 30 minutes and had to add cornstarch to thicken. First brisket I’ve ever cooked and it was amazing!

  14. Do you suggest putting the rub on and letting it sit for a few hours first? Or just putting it right in the oven as soon as the rub is on?

  15. I made this brisket for some friends and they absolutely loved it!! It came out great! The brisket was $70 so I was really hoping it would turn out. It was amazing! The only thing I did different was rub the brisket down with a little liquid smoke before I put the dry rub on and used double smoked bacon to really ensure that smokehouse flavor.

  16. I had never cooked a brisket before. I fixed one today using this recipe and it was beyond awsome. So tender and flavorful. Loved it and my hubby did also.

  17. I just made this for a a party of 15 with a 10 lb brisket to rave reviews. I didn’t cut the brisket in half, and I doubled the recipe. My only suggestion is to leave the heat on in the oven after the flip; the size of the meat required extra cooking time. Fabulous–just FABULOUS! Thank you for sharing!

  18. I’ve been cooking brisket like this for years with one exception – I heat my gas grill to a high heat and sear the brisket on each side for about five minutes. Then sprinkle with spices, wrap in heavy foil and bake low and slow for about an hour per 1 1/2 pounds meat. The searing helps seal the juices and gives a nice color. I’ve never tried it wrapped with bacon and your sauce recipe looks really good! I may give that a try with my next one!!

  19. I made this once in the oven (it was the best thing ever), but I’m going to make it in a crock pot today. It’s summer and I don’t want to have my oven on for hours. I think it will still turn out great!

    1. Hey christina, we also dont eat pork. Guantly brand makes a beef bacon that substitutes perfectly in any recipe. If you cant find it, i recommend using smoked paprika for the smoky flavor, or add liquid smoke to the rub and sauce for the flavor. The brisket is fatty and tender enough, it wont suffer from the lack of bacon fat.

  20. Christin,
    This looks so good and like another comment doing a trial run with a 3lb brisket. Curious , why fat side down for the first 4 hours? Being from Texas πŸ™‚ most recipes say fat side up to keep moist.

  21. This looks like a super nice recipe. I’ve bookmarked it to cook when I cant get outside to cook my brisket on the Kamado.

    Also – have you tried marinating the brisket in a touch of liquid smoke prior? This will add to the smokey flavour more so then the bacon….. helping to fool people even more! πŸ™‚

  22. This recipe is amazing!! I made it on Sunday to rave reviews. The sauce is flavor, built upon flavor, built upon flavor. Aprons off to you Christin. Thank you for sharing!!

  23. Hello Christin, all the way from down under! Perth Western Australia.
    This recipe looks wonderful, I will be trying it out on the weekend.

  24. This recipe is outstanding. A little time intensive but worth every minute. The progression of cooking steps were very clear and easy to execute. When I took my 6 lb brisket out of the oven and tasted it…… OMG…..like butter!!
    The sauce is perfect also. Thank you for this 5 star recipe and for sharing.

  25. I’ll be making this on Saturday, and I am super excited! I was wondering if I would have to make any changes if I cook it in a smoker instead of an oven?

  26. Saw this recipe about 2 weeks ago and haven’t been able to get it off my mind. I’m a half hour away from flipping this over and the house smells SO amazing. If it tastes even half as good as it smells, I’ll be in brisket heaven!

    1. OK- this was beyond good! Totally making this again many times. I could cut it with my fork – would be great on sandwiches too. Since it’s just me there are leftovers – already looking forward to those as well. Yum and thank you for the recipe! SO good!

  27. Saw this recipe about 2 weeks ago and haven’t been able to get it off my mine. I’m a half hour away from flipping this over and the house smells SO amazing. If it tastes even half as good as it smells, I’ll be in brisket heaven!

  28. Hi! First off, thank you so much for sharing this recipe!! I am planning to make this for my family as we all love BBQ Beef Brisket; however, my kids are young and can’t take spicy so I’m wondering if I could just omit the chipolet peppers in the BBQ sauce? Should I replace it with paprika? How will it affect the sauce? Bad, good…it’s OK, not the end of the world? Please advise as I have a dinner coming up and I’d like to make this and I just remembered a couple of guests coming cannot take spicy at all. Thank you in advance!!

    1. If you take some of the adobo (the sauce) from the canned chipotles in adobo without the actual chipotle (which are smoked jalapeΓ±os), you will get a great deal of the smokiness, with very little of the spiciness. Supplement that with some smoked paprika and it should be fine – both for your young children and for the adults.

  29. I bought all my ingredients and ready to go, just wondering if anyone made this in the crock pot? If not, can it be done in the crock pot and on low or high?

    1. I started this in the crockpot on low for a few hours then transferred it to the broiler for the last little bit.

  30. Hi, I am making this for Christmas dinner,for my whole family…i have a 10pound brisket! So should i double the recipe entirely? Even the cooking time? Thank you so much! Cannot wait to try this?

    1. I would double the recipe. If you’re cooking it as one piece, I might add 30 minutes or so to the cooking time. Or you could cut it in half and cook it in 2 different pans and keep the cooking time the same. Hope everyone enjoys it and Merry Christmas!

  31. Hi – I made this on Saturday. It was delicious! We loved the heat from the peppers in the bbq sauce. My husband devoured it! Thanks!

  32. Will it make a difference if I use turkey bacon?? Going to make for thanksgiving and have one set of friends who don’t eat pork, πŸ™

  33. What do you do with the accumulated juices from the brisket set aside in a bowl? Does it also go in the sauce pan containing the bacon, onions, cider vinegar, chicken stock, etc? Or does it get discarded and not even used in the sauce? Directions above don’t say what to do with the accumulated juices. Please clarify. . . .Thank you.

  34. Made this today with my small, 2 lb, brisket. Cooked it for the same amount of time as the recipe said – it was fantastic!!!! Thank you!!!

  35. Hi Christin,

    I am making a test run of this recipe tomorrow (before I make a huge batch for a family get together) and was wondering:
    I bought a 2 lb brisket (since it is just for myself and my husband on the trial run) – do I still cook it for 4 hours? Or would it be better to just cook it for 2 since it is half the size of the one in the recipe? I’m hoping for a quick reply..



    1. I would still cook it a pretty long time as I think it’s the long cooking time that really helps make it tender and the heat is very low so you don’t really have to worry too much about overcooking it. Maybe give it a test after 3 hours.

    2. I cooked for 4 hours and let sit for an hour and it was not quiet done. Put the left overs into the crock pot with the sauce on low for several hours and it was amazing. Better the next day!

  36. I made this 8/1/15 for a family party at the lake. I received rave reviews and there was barely any left over! Thank you!!! We did not have time to make the BBQ sauce, so we used bottled and added the chopped/crisped bacon to it. Also my broiler wasn’t working πŸ™ so I didn’t get to brown the top… it was still wonderful. Our brisket was 12 pounds so we cooked it for 6 hours plus an hour after turning it over. It was so tender it fell apart when I tried to slice it. So, I just shredded it more like a pulled-beef. I’m sure it would have been delicious on buns too. We loved that it didn’t take much tending like cooking on a grill or pit. We were able to put it in before our guests arrived and enjoy their company until it was ready. This could definitely be made ahead and warmed. If you’re lucky enough to have left-overs they would easily freeze.

      1. We have frozen brisket after cooking and it works well. When my husband cooks on the pit it is a day long process. So he makes extra and we freeze it in meal sized portions.

        1. Hi Teresa,

          When you freeze your brisket, what is the best way to reheat it so that it is still moist? I am making a large amount for an upcoming anniversary party and am planning to freeze it until the day before the party. I thought I could thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat it. Would you do the reheating in an oven on low temp? Should I add any liquid?


          1. I haven’t frozen it before, but I think defrosting in the refrigerator and reheating in the oven ( i would maybe do 325) would work best. I don’t think you would need to add liquid, but you could add a little extra sauce on top before you put it in the oven.

  37. $15/lb for the bacon from the Farmer’s Market, $10/lb for the brisket. Reaction from the family: absolutely priceless! Now I don’t need to go to the Caronlinas to try their bbq. This is really really good.

    1. Wow! Brisket in Texas is less than $2 a pound. I got a 10.66 brisket for $20.91! I guess it pays to live in cattle country where the beef is raised! This is the very first brisket I have ever cooked (as my father is the master BBQ’er of the family… (I’m 40!) So I feel quite “grown up” lol… This is the BEST BRISKET EVER… And I’ve had more brisket in the past year than most do in a lifetime! I’m about to proudly package some up to take to my father tomorrow. I know he will be proud. I followed recipe ALMOST exactly…I increased black pepper to a tablespoon and red pepper to a teaspoon and shook some liquid smoke over my cheap Walmart brand bacon ($2.98/lb!) So for around $26 TOTAL I HAVE 10 Pounds of BBQ BRISKET that tastes like $30/lb BBQ that is amazing! THANK YOU for sharing and anyone contemplating this… DO IT… You won’t be disappointment… Unless you hate BBQ… EVEN THEN- you still may find yourself licking the sauce off your fingers when no one is looking! I served sliced as stand alone main dish AND also chopped with sauce and red onion and sliced Dill pickles on Hawaiian rolls (BBQ SLIDERS) that I brushed the inside of rolls with melted real butter and chopped garlic before placing face down on skillet heated on medium high to “toast” the the little buns so that they didn’t get to soggy from this incredibly juicy beef and lots of sauce! I can’t wait for Christmas because I’m going to get rave reviews from this recipe!

  38. Looks like an awesome beef brisket recipe! Definitely going to have to treat myself to this sometime soon – thanks so much for sharing!

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