Brisket is a cut of beef taken from the breast section of a cow. It is the area beneath the first five ribs and behind the foreshank. Most brisket cuts are on the more economical side because they do require a bit of slow-cooking time in order to break down the collagen in the muscle tissue. There are three main cuts of brisket. The long piece cut, the flat cut, which is leaner, and a point cut which has greater flavor because of the extra fat, known as the deckle. The point cut is usually the most tender of the brisket cuts, however any of them are tasty when prepared and seasoned correctly.
Corned Beef Brisket
One of the best ways to cook a tender beef brisket is by making it into corned beef. Corned beef is mainly associated with St. Patrick's Day and Irish Traditional recipes. Corned beef briskets are a special type of brisket, and usually available for purchasing at any local butcher. To achieve a tender corned beef brisket, it should be cured in a seasoned brine and roasted slowly on a low temperature. The slower it is cooked, the more tender the brisket will be. Because the meat is usually a little tough, slow roasting the corned beef brisket will be tender and delicious.
Another one of the best ways to cook a tender brisket is to smoke it. Smoking a brisket makes a tender piece of meat because it is slow-cooked to a very tender texture. Often it will be rubbed with a marinade and left in that marinade overnight. The next morning, slow cook it over a long period of time at 225 Fahrenheit for an hour and fifteen minutes per pound. Many people like to accompany a smoked brisket with barbeque sauce and a sandwich bun because when a smoked brisket is cut against the grain, it is tender enough to eat on a sandwich and the meat literally falls apart.
Oven-roasted briskets can be made into a very tender piece of meat when cooked properly. Keeping the temperature at 350 degrees, season the brisket and put it on an oven roasting rack. Cover the brisket with a piece of tinfoil in a tent shape. Bake the brisket for two to three hours, until the brisket is tender and at the preferred temperature. Cut the brisket against the grain and serve with side dishes, a salad or on a sandwich.
Barbecue Beef Brisket
To achieve the best and most tender brisket, barbequing it is also an option. Many a pit master will tell you that to make a delicious and tender beef brisket on a barbeque requires the right combination of smoke, low heat and time measured in half days, not hours, as with most briskets. Cooking with a combination of wood chips and coal creates the right smoke.