Have patience like your grandma does and go low and slow with this beef dish that’s traditionally served at Hanukkah and other special occasions. But make yours even better. Set tradition aside, at least in the details, and infuse your brisket with some not-so classic flavor. Or try an innovative technique. 

Brisket used to be an inexpensive cut of beef, which was part of its appeal, but climbing meat prices don’t make that necessarily true anymore. The tough meat becomes tender after hours and hours in the oven, and with your help, has a flavor that’s easy to love — like grandma. (Awww.)

First, make sure to brown your brisket to get that nice, slightly crispy outer coating. Then the long and low heating begins. It’s best to use a Dutch oven with this dish, or anything that allows you to brown it on the stovetop and then cook it in the oven.

Try some of these recipes and be the judge.

1. Chinese Brisket and Turnip Stew


Ginger, garlic, scallions, and chu hou paste (made with soybeans, sesame, and garlic) transform this cut of meat into something new, at least for those not accustomed to Chinese-style brisket. The daikon radish is more traditional for this classic Chinese dish, but you can use turnips too. You’ll need at least four hours to make this brisket. Get our Chinese Brisket and Turnip Stew recipe.

2. Spice and Herb Oven-Braised Brisket


Hungarian paprika lends a smoky-sweet essence to this slow-cooked brisket, also flavored with garlic, caramelized onions, tomatoes, brown sugar, rosemary, and bay leaf. You do most of the work the day before, refrigerating it overnight. Get our Spice and Herb Oven-Braised Brisket recipe.

3. Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket


This fork-tender meat is meant to be shredded and piled high between potato bun slices and savored by hand. It’s a classic barbecue dish that you make in your Crock Pot over the course of 10 hours or longer. Get our Easy  Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket recipe.

4. Braised Brisket with Beans and Anchovies

Rub some Latin flavors into your brisket with this recipe, which calls for ancho chiles, dried epazote, carrots, tomatoes, cumin, and cilantro. Get our Braised Brisket with Beans and Anchovies recipe.

5. Onion-Braised Beef Brisket

Once Upon a Chef

Once Upon a Chef blogger and trained Chef Jenn Segal tweaked a found recipe a bit, adding more carrots and cooking them along with the meat and adding water to deglaze the pan of onions. Before Segal, the recipe comes from Nach Waxman, owner of Kitchen Arts & Letters, a popular NYC cookbook shop. And Waxman found it in The Silver Palette New Basics Cookbook. It’s supposedly the world’s most Googled brisket recipe. Get the recipe.

6. Grandma Irma’s “California” Brisket

OK, we’re including one bubbe-inspired recipe. Irma Zigas passed along the recipe she taught her grandson Caleb, in which “California” means quick-cooking with prepackaged spices. That includes Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Salt or Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, red wine, Hungarian paprika, creamed horseradish, and cranberry sauce. Get our Grandma Irma’s “California” Brisket recipe.

7. Smoked Brisket with Citrus Marinade

Civilized Caveman Cooking

George Bryant of Civilized Caveman Cooking never marinated his brisket before smoking it, but now he can’t ever do it any other way. If you don’t have a grill (or it’s too cold!), he included instructions for the oven too. Get the recipe.

8. Better Than Sex Brisket

Grill Girl

Most likely suited best for warm climates this time of year because it’s made in a smoker, the Better Than Sex Brisket created by Robyn Lindars got its name when her husband had fourths of it the first time she made it. The recipe has a rub and a glaze, but it also has a wrap sauce she calls The Texas Crunch. Give it ago. Get the recipe.

9. Shortcut BBQ Brisket

Make your brisket like the professionals and inject flavor into the meat with a syringe, like the suggestion in this recipe. The serum is simply Worcestershire sauce, onion powder and other familiar ingredients, but injecting it is a shortcut trick that’s become popular lately on the barbecue circuit. Get our Shortcut BBQ Brisket recipe.

10. Sous Vide Smoked Brisket

Serious Eats

Official food-science nerd and cookbook author J. Kenji Lopez-Alt does it again with this recipe that your grandma probably didn’t do. His brisket requires a sous vide precision cooker, and then you either finish it on the grill or the oven. Get the recipe.

11. Savory Slow Cooker Brisket

Tori Avey

The key to cooking for a crowd is making oven space a priority. Use it for other dishes while your brisket cooks in the slow cooker. Tori Avey’s way is flavorful, fork-tender, and juicy. Get the recipe.

— Head image: Joy of Kosher.


Amy Sowder is a writer and editor based in NYC, covering food and wellness in publications such as Bon Appétit, Women's Health, Eat This, Not That!, Upworthy/GOOD, Brooklyn Magazine, and Westchester Magazine. She loves to run races, but her favorite finish lines are gelato shops. Learn more at AmySowder.com.
See more articles