Saturday, October 15th, 2016

Cooking Brisket: A Jewish Autumn Staple

Brisket is a fantastically delicious meat, once you know how to cook it properly. It is great year- round, cooked in many different ways, and is sure to be a crowd pleaser.


I tend to associate brisket with autumn because it is a favorite dish for the Jewish New Year or Rosh Hashanah. Certainly, eating brisket is always cause for celebration in my books. It is also a popular staple at Passover.

Brisket is remarkable for the many ways it can be cooked.

Rules for Making the Best Tasting Brisket

  1. The quality of your brisket matters. Consider kosher, organic, and/or grass fed brisket.
  1. Fat also matters to the taste and texture. You don’t want too fatty a brisket, but you also don’t want a brisket with not enough or no fat. Yes, trim the fat, but do not trim all the fat. Leave at least half-an-inch.
  1. Brown first, rendering the fat if possible. This will add some great flavor to your brisket.
  1. Cook on low temperature and slowly after browning. Best to cook brisket on low heat of 200-275 degrees, depending on your recipe and preferences, and for a minimum of four hours. The meat should be succulently tender, but not falling apart. The larger the piece, the longer it needs to cook.
  1. Try to prevent the liquid in which the brisket is cooking from boiling. If it boils, the meat will boil, which will toughen it.
  1. Best to let the brisket stand before serving. Letting the meat rest overnight will help seal in the flavors. Allow cooked brisket to cool to room temperature before putting in the fridge—and do not cut it!
  1. When preparing to serve brisket, slice it cold and against the grain. Then reheat in the sauce.
  1. Smoking brisket is delicious, but can be a serious time investment, with up to 10 hours or more in the smoker. A strategy to get that smoky flavor, while avoiding such an extended time commitment is to smoke the brisket for several hours, then transfer the meat to the oven and cook it on low for the remaining time.
  1. Slow cooked brisket is also a good strategy for making delicious, but not labor intensive brisket. Be sure to brown the meat first in separate pan, also using the same pan to create the sauce.

There many different ways to serve brisket. We offer catering services for the Greater Philadelphia Region, for every occasion, and are always happy to discuss menu ideas with you, including brisket.


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