Texas Oven Brisket with Maple Bourbon BBQ Sauce

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Texas BBQ is all about big meat + cooking technique + good sauce. Last week I saw a big ol brisket on sale and decided to try my hand and making brisket for the first time even though I don’t have smoker or grill. Little did I know I had unknowingly stepped into a religious debate of what is The Right Way to cook brisket!

I started with advice from a friend of mine, whose dad has lots of experience with a smoker and learned about a technique of tightly wrapping up the meat for last few hours of cooking to let it “humidify”. More reading led me to learn this was called the “Texas Crutch” to ensure a juicy brisket. Then I read on about how much fat to trim, whether to cook fat up or down, what temperature to cook at, if marinating is needed… so many different things I didn’t know about!!

I was nearly caught in analysis paralysis when it was nearly time to get that baby in the oven, so I just went with my gut on all the different techniques I read:

  1. Trim the brisket to 1/4-1/8 inch fat
  2. Make a dry rub
  3. Cook it at 250 degrees about 7 hrs or around 180 internal temp
  4. Wrap it up in heavy duty foil and cook another 3-4 hours at 225 or the temp reaches at least 190 degrees
  5. Remove from heat and store in an insulated container (cooler) until ready to serve
  6. Make a badass SAUCE to go with it
  7. Slice across the grain until it starts falling apart in juicy yummy tender brisketty goodness

So, that’s what I did and it turned out sooo delicious! I learned a lot from this site: http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/beef/texas_brisket.html. Especially, the part about the “conversion temperature” where the collagen in the meat starts breaking down to bring the tenderness to the brisket.

Follow along below for the rub I threw together from whatever I had in the pantry, followed by a ridiculously tasty sauce based on this: http://blog.lesnoiracochon.com/2009/01/24/maple-bourbon-bbq-sauce.aspx

You’ll be sure to turn out a crowd pleasing meal for your guests that takes little effort but lots of patience.


  • 8-10 lb brisket
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 3 TB tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


1. Heat the oven to 250. 

2. Trim the meat down to 1/4 – 1/8 inch fat on the top of the brisket.



Check out all that fat I cut off!!! ewwww…


2. Then mix together your dry rub.


3. Drizzle some olive oil on the brisket and rub it in all over. Then rub the dry rub all over the meat.


4. Slice some onion rounds and place them in the bottom of a roasting pan


5. Place the brisket on top of the onions and place in the oven.

6. Go live your life!

7. Come back in 6-7 hours and check the temp with a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat. It’s ready if it’s around 180. IMG_8539-1

8. Grab a large sheet of heavy duty foil, or just double over regular foil. Take the brisket out of the pan and place it on the foil. Wrap that baby up nice and tight.


9. Lower the oven to 225 and place the foil wrapped meat on a pan and back in the oven for another 2-4 hours, at least until the meat internal temp hits 190.

10. Pour the drippings from the original roasting pan into a pot to be used for the bbq sauce.

11. Check the meat in a few hours and move it, still foiled up and place it in an empty cooler lined with towels until ready to eat. The meat will stay nice and hot for several hours in a basic cooler.

12. Make the bbq sauce! Put all the sauce ingredients in the pan that held the roast pan drippings and heat up to medium stirring slowly. Feel free to adjust the seasonings a bit. Add a lil more spice or vinegar as you like it! Should be ready in about 10 min of cooking & stirring.

13. When you are ready to eat, pull that brisket out and carefully unwrap it and watch your guests start drooling.



14. Make sure you cut across the grain and server up some mouthwateringly juicy, tender bbq brisket! All without a smoker too!



So, don’t let a lack of equipment or experience keep you from making a stellar Texas style brisket in your humble little oven.



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