How to marinate a beef brisket

A beef brisket contains meat from the lower chest and breast. Before preparing beef brisket, it needs to be marinated. Marinades infuse a beef brisket with flavour. Liquid marinades contain acid and help tenderise the meat, while dry rub marinades coat the meat to enhance the flavours. Select a marinade recipe that suits your tastes or experiment with ingredients to make your own.

Remove the brisket from the packaging. Place it in a colander to drain for 5 minutes. Remove the excess fat, leaving at least 1/2 inch of it intact; this helps to keep the meat moist.

Combine the liquid marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Select an acidic marinade because it will penetrate the meat. Create a quick marinade by combining 1 1/2 cups red wine, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp cayenne pepper and 1 tsp garlic powder in a non-reactive bowl such as stainless steel or glass.

Place the brisket in a large baking pan, plastic storage bag or bowl. Pour the marinade over the beef brisket. Place the beef brisket in the refrigerator. Turn it over every 2 to 3 hours if you cannot submerge it in the liquid marinade completely. Marinate the brisket overnight in the refrigerator.

Remove the beef brisket from the marinade when you are ready to prepare it. Place it in a colander to drain the excess liquid.

Allow the brisket to drain for 5 minutes in a colander. Cut off the excess fat, leaving 1/2 inch intact. Pat the beef brisket dry with paper towels.

Combine the dry rub ingredients in a bowl. Add your favourite ingredients or make a rub by mixing 1/2 cup paprika, 1/4 cup black pepper, 3 tbsp chilli powder, 2 tsp salt and 1 tbsp garlic powder.

Rub the entire brisket with the spices to cover the meat completely.

Wrap the brisket with clear cling film. Place it in a pan and refrigerate the meat overnight.

Remove the cling film from the brisket. Cook the meat using your preferred method.


Refrigerate the beef brisket for up to 6 hours if you are short on time. The longer the brisket sits in the marinade, the more flavourful and tender it will be.


Always wash your hands before and after handling raw brisket to prevent the risk of a food-borne illness. Avoid using leftover marinade after the raw beef brisket soaks in it because it contains dangerous bacteria.

Things You'll Need

  • Colander
  • Knife
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Stainless steel or glass bowl
  • Large baking pan, storage bag or bowl
  • Paper towels
  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 3 tbsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • Clear cling film
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About the Author

Angela LaFollette holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising with a minor in political science from Marshall University. LaFollette found her passion for writing during an internship as a reporter for "The West Virginia Standard" in 2007. She has more than six years of writing experience and specializes in topics in garden and pets.