Here’s everything you need to know about making perfect brisket every time. These tips were certainly an eye-opener for us!

Here Is What You Need To Look Out For… 

1. Brisket Is Brisket Is Brisket
First off, let’s get one thing straight: We’re talking about a braised brisket—not a smoked brisket or something you’d find at a Texas barbecue. Now that we’ve got that sorted out, let’s talk about where you’re sourcing your brisket. The meat, which comes from the side of a cow’s ribcage, is naturally and notoriously tough. This is not an excuse to buy the mysterious shrink-wrapped package from your supermarket’s cooler of half-price meats. “Just because it’s a hard cut to start with doesn’t mean you should make it worse,” Roman says. So do the right thing: Buy from a reputable butcher or, better yet, a farmer you know and trust.

2. Trim the Fat
If your brisket always comes out dry, with all the textural appeal of sawdust, consider the amount of fat you’re starting with. An ample layer of insulating fat will keep the brisket moist as it cooks, Saffitz says, so don’t trim too much off. Besides: Fat is flavor. You want flavor, don’t you?

3. No One Likes a Salty Brisket
Your best bet for the best brisket is to season early and to season well. A hearty shower of kosher salt and pepper will do the trick, and you can even take care of business the night before you cook it. Roman says: “It’ll only add flavor, so why not do it?”

4. I Can Just Toss It in This Crockpot!
Using a crockpot isn’t wrong, per se. It’s just not the best tool you have when cooking brisket. Why? You’re missing out on one key step: browning. Saffitz says that getting a good, dark sear on your meat is key. Not only will it help seal in the meat’s juices, it will add a deeper, richer flavor to the meat and your braising liquid. Serving a crowd? If your brisket’s too big to sear, simply cut it in half and brown it in two batches. You’ll be serving the brisket sliced, so you don’t have to worry about ruining the awe-inspiring presentation of a big, honkin’ piece of meat.

A few other mistakes you might be making: Only adding one or two vegetables in with your brisket while you’re cooking. Feel free to go beyond the traditional carrots and onions, and instead pile on the veggies — and the flavor. Also, it’s better to cook your brisket in the oven instead of on the stovetop, because in the oven the heat is more even and constant. Also, feel free to save your leftovers or even make your brisket a day ahead of time. Some people think day-old brisket loses its luster, but in reality it will be tender and easier to slice, provided you keep it in the liquid while you store it. And one last tip: Many people just drizzle some of the braising liquid on top of the meat, but we recommend straining the juice from the vegetables and other solid pieces, letting it reduce, and then adding it to your brisket for even more flavor. Now we’re cookin’!

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Brisket sounds pretty good right about now, doesn’t it? We thought so! Even if you pile on the veggies when making your brisket, feel free to pair this hearty main course with a vegetable side or maybe a dinner salad. Of course, rich and creamy mashed potatoes are the perfect complement as well. Delicious!

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