Make a smokey brisket without a smoker

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Indoor smoky brisket recipe

Beef brisket is a favorite cut for many of us and this easy stovetop recipe will have your home smelling as good as this brisket tastes! This easy recipe comes together fast once you put all the ingredients in the pot and let it cook for a few hours while you go about your day.

When brisket is on sale I buy it in large quantities and freeze it in portions of about 2-3 lb cuts. Then I can whip up this easy flavorful pot of smokey brisket that satisfies like nothing else. I love how easy it is to make.

If you don't have access to a smoker (I don't nor do I intend to get one) this is your recipe! I figured out two decades ago how to get that flavor in my kitchen ON THE STOVE. I love it so much I haven't changed how I make it in all these years. I always get rave reviews from my guests when I make it.

The smell of smokey brisket lures them in and then when it's time to serve it, the applause can be heard throughout the home. I used to love when I would get applause when I did dinner parties for clients. Now it seems I just get it at home when I make smokey brisket! ha!

Hack: Get smokey flavor into your brisket without a smoker

Yes, I did work as a professional chef for 10 years. NOT a grill master or bbq expert. I don't care about a "smoke ring" on my meat. I simply want that added complexity of flavor combined with other flavor components that marry together for a satisfying taste. As you do. I am here for corner-cutting as long as I get a tasty final result.

I use an enameled cast iron pot like this one.

Woman holding red small enameled dutch oven

What you’ll need:

  • beef brisket cut/size/weight to fit your cooking vessel (or fit your vessel to your cut as the case may be). Pick a baking dish/pan with deep sides to hold 3” of liquid plus any fat runoff. A heavy dutch oven or slow cooker. I don’t recommend cutting away too much of the fat . cook times are for approximately 3-3.5 lbs of brisket
  • equal parts of light beer (very little hops flavor like miller light) and low sodium beef broth to halfway cover your brisket in the vessel of choice
  • liquid smoke
  • sliced yellow or white onions
  • 3-6 garlic cloves (to taste)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • favorite bbq sauce if desired

Without browning, place your trimmed brisket into your roasting pan, dutch oven or slow cooker. Pour over beer and beef broth (you will reduce the cooking liquid at the end of braising). Add at least one medium sliced onion, two if you have a larger brisket (over 4 lbs), peeled garlic cloves, bay leaves and 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke for every 3 cups of liquid.

Cook time by cooking method:

Slow cooker: Slow cook on high for 4 hours, low for 6 hours.

Oven braise: 325F oven. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 4 hours.

Dutch oven (stovetop): Simmer covered on medium low heat for 3 to 3.5 hours. if you're cooking a brisket that is 4-5 lbs instead of 3 ish lbs, go for a full 4 hours.

You may also like this low carb cider braised pork shoulder recipe

Brisket simmering with onions

Drain away rendered fat and make sauce

Defat the cooking liquid by pouring most of it (leaving some for the meat to rest in or it will become dry and tough as it cools) into a liquid measuring cup or gravy separator. Place defatted liquid into a saucepan and simmer on medium high until it reduces by half (or more if the flavor has not concentrated enough).

Add your favorite bbq sauce to taste if you like. I leave the aromatics in (remove bay leaves) but you can strain them out with a mesh strainer , or puree them into the jus with an immersion blender or regular blender if you prefer. Alternatively, you can push them through a wider strainer to thicken the sauce.

If you want more of a crusty brown fat cap on your brisket put it 12” away from the broiler and let render and get crispy before serving.

Always cool braised meats in their cooking liquid or they will dry out in the cooling process.

brisket with mashed potatoes

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