June 21, 2021

Barbecued Beef Brisket

Brisket is a great-tasting cut of beef. The surrounding fat and bone give the meat tremendous flavor. I marinate it overnight and cook it long and slow on a smoky-covered barbecue – it's definitely worth the wait. Pair with a deep and smokey New Zealand Syrah or Cabernet. 


  • 8 to 10-pounds untrimmed brisket

For the marinade

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • ½ lemon, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar 
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dried mustard powder
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce


Note: I marinate my brisket at least overnight, sometimes up to 48 hours

  1. For the marinade, heat the olive oil over low heat in a large, heavy-based pan. Fry the onion for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the ginger, cumin, coriander, paprika, and chili and fry gently for about 5 minutes or until fragrant. Don’t let the spices brown and burn (tip: add a little water and cover if the spices look like they are burning).

  2. Add the other marinade ingredients, season with salt and pepper, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. If the pan becomes too dry, add a tablespoon of water as necessary.

  3. Rub half of the mixture over the beef and marinate overnight (or longer if time allows). 

  4. Cover the brisket with foil and cook over very low heat on a charcoal barbecue for 6-8 hours or until the meat is tender. Checking the heat and baste with a touch of the marinade as you go. You want some smokiness, and the outsides will turn dark, but be careful not to burn it as the sugars in the sauce can taste a bit acrid if burnt – the insides will still taste great, though. Alternatively, preheat the oven to 100°C and cook in a deep roasting pan for at least 8 hours.

  5. Any remaining marinade will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 month, or you can freeze it.

  6. Carve the meat and serve with a salad, potatoes, and a bottle of New Zealand Cabernet or Syrah.