Oven Baked Brisket

I had prepared a brisket for smoking, over the past few days. This was using a recipe given to me by a friend, first brined for 2 days, then dried and a rub applied for 12 hours before cooking.

The interesting thing is that the “brine” is actually coca-cola based, with herbs and spices added. It sounds strange, but coke is actually quite acidic, which helps with the breakdown of muscle tissue. The rub was heavy in paprika, with salt, garlic powder and a little brown sugar added (too much brown sugar has a tendancy to burn).

The problem was that after preparing this for cooking for 3 days, on the day I intended to smoke it (today), it was a small blizzard outside. I reckoned it would be a battle to balance the smoker temperature with the extreme cold outside, so I decided to cook it in my oven, on the lowest setting, instead.

My current oven (soon to be replaced) doesn’t have a 1/2 or 1/4 setting – the lowest setting is Gas Mark 1, which is higher than my smoker’s “smoke” setting. As a result, the brisket cooked quicker than in my smoker. It took only 5 hours to get to 185 F, then I wrapped it in foil and towels and put it in an insulated box to sit for a few hours.

When I opened it at tea time, I was suprised to see it was beautifully cooked. Not smoked, of course, but it was very tasty, and the paprika rub was good. I sliced some hot for tea, and rewrapped the rest in clean foil and refridgerated it. If I can resist the urge to pick, it will make a nice cold cut for Boxing Day tea.

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