Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

All About Brisket

We embrace the lean, adaptable slab of brisket as a springtime favorite, but look to it year-round to inexpensively feed a crowd. You can go several ways with brisket – slow-cooked pot roast-style with root vegetables, smoked and slathered with barbecue sauce (burnt ends please!), blanketed in lemon slices and simply roasted. You really can’t go wrong with this versatile cut, but we here to make sure things go very right.

Roasted Brisket with Parsley, Mint and Thyme
Roasted Brisket with Parsley, Mint and Thyme

Choosing the Right Brisket

  • Brisket is cut from the breast of beef or veal.
  • It’s typically sold in two portions, call the flat and point cuts.
  • The flat cut is the larger of the two portions and significantly leaner.
  • The point cut tapers to a point (thus earning its name) as has additional fat marbling.
  • You may also find corned beef brisket (a Saint Patrick’s Day favorite), which has gone through a flavor-packed curing process in preparation for cooking.

Whichever cut you take home, rest easy knowing our beef is from cattle raised to meet our high quality and animal welfare standards.

  • No antibiotics and growth hormones.
  • No animal byproducts in the feed.
  • Raised without gestation or farrowing crates.
  • Certified to the Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standards.

Roasted Beef Brisket with Carrots and Tomatoes
Roasted Beef Brisket with Carrots and Tomatoes

Cooked to Perfection

Brisket is lean and tough, so a low and slow cooking time is essential to a truly delicious final product.

  • In a 325°F oven, plan on the following timeline for a perfectly cooked brisket.
  • 3-4 pound brisket = 4-5 hours
  • 5-7 pound brisket = 6-7 hours
  • 8-10 pound brisket = 7-8 hours
  • Brisket can also be rubbed with a spice mixture before cooking for added flavor. Try Lou Lambert’s Coffee Rubbed Roasted Brisket.
  • Corned beef brisket should be boiled or braised, adding extra liquid to the cooking process with no additional seasonings.
  • If you’re set on baking or roasting corned beef, carefully rinse the cured brisket and place it in a stockpot. Cover the beef with water, bring the pot to a boil and discard the water. Repeat, then proceed with the recipe.
  • Remove the brisket’s fat cap after it has cooked. The fat will flavor the meat as it roasts and protect it from drying out during the long cooking time.
  • Slice brisket across the grain of meat to ensure the most tender cut.

What’s your go-to brisket recipe? Is it a cut you find yourself using all year long?


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Ray says …

Your cooking times for brisket seem long to me. Depends on thickness, not weight. I rub dry rub on a flat cut brisket, wrap in foil or put in a covered roaster for 2 hours at 300 in the oven, then let it cool. When it's dinnertime, slather in BBQ sauce, throw on a medium hot grill, 3 minutes, turn, sauce, 3 minutes, turn, sauce, 3 minutes turn, sauce, 3 minutes, turn, 3 minutes, and it's perfect, tasty and moist all the way through with a bit of a crust and not quite fork tender, a little chew left in it, great flavor.

irma spencer says …

Brisket is a Jewish holiday favorite. I cook it on the stove top with plenty of vegs & gravy. About 2 hours.

Lynn says …

Texas brisket calls for low and slow cooking on a smoker....using a dry rub. It can be oven roasted at 200 degrees for 5-8 hours depending on thickness. A nice homemade BBQ sauce adds a finishing touch.

Leslie Baran says …

Is it possible to purchase an already cooked 3 lb. brisket if ordered in advance? OUR STORE in Michigan does that for us for special dinners.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@LESLIE - Check with your store to see if you can place a special order for this!

jhou128 says …

thank you. was watching for a brisket recipe. Want to also braise one.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JHOU128 - We have quite a few brisket recipe options on our website at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/search/brisket.

Brian says …

How much is the typical brisket cost at Whole Foods? Like a 12-14 lbs Brisket, trimmed or untrimmed?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@BRIAN - Our pricing will differ between stores. Check with your local meat department and they'll be happy to go over the prices.

John Bentley says …

Um the cooking times ate not only not long, but many real barbecuers cook their meat for two days. You'te obviouslyan amatuer. I actuall don't even like 'whole foods' but I came on here to say that they have the best cooked, ready to serve brisket in their deli section. The owner of 'whole foods' is from texas. And so am I. They also happen to have the best barbecue sauces, especially their own brand. I don't go into 'whole foods' except when I buy brisket and barbecue sauce. I actually bypass cities' 'best barbecue restaurants' for 'whole foods' ' brisket and barbecue sauce.