Making a giant, roasted brisket for your family or friends is basically the best way to say “I love you” through a dish. It’s so comforting, and it’s a showstopper that’s actually ridiculously simple to make. That can be our secret, though.
While the process is simple, there are a lot of ways to screw things up. Make sure to follow these steps and you’ll end up with a beautifully tender piece of meat (and hopefully, lots of leftovers for sandwiches or hash!) every time.
Season early and season well.
The only “ingredients” in this brisket are salt and pepper, so you want to make sure they do their job. Go for kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (no shakers here!) to maximize flavor. Take your brisket out of the fridge, season generously on all sides, and leave it out until it gets to room temperature to begin the tenderizing process. Think dry brine, but easier.
Choose the right roasting pan.
Grab your largest, heaviest, high-sided pan. Basically, the pan you only use once a year to roast your turkey on Thanksgiving. A disposable pan is okay if it’s all you’ve got, but a heavy duty one will ensure even cooking and caramelization.
Fat is your friend.
Always roast fat-side-up. When you do that, the fat acts as a self-baster, dripping onto the brisket itself and the potatoes, allowing everything to braise. You don’t want too much fat, though, or things could get greasy. If you have more than ⅛ inch of fat, trim it.
Nail the timing.
Our foolproof ratio is 18 minutes per pound. Stick to that and you’ll be golden. Ovens can vary, though, so to really be sure your brisket is cooked through and tender, check with a fork towards the end. Poke it into the middle—the fork should go through the meat easily, with no resistance.
Make it ahead of time.
If you can, try to roast your brisket a day ahead of when you plan to serve it. After roasting, let it sit and cool slightly, then slice against the grain and place back into its juices. Letting it sit in that liquid allows the brisket to really soak up all those delicious flavors. You know how chicken soup is always better the day after you make it? Yeah, it’s like that. Then, reheat at a low temperature before you’re ready to serve.