How to Steam a Brisket of Beef

by Jackie Lohrey

Although steaming is a less-common way to cook beef brisket, it is one of the healthiest methods of preparation. Like braising and stewing, steaming uses low to moderate temperatures and moist heat during cooking. However, because the brisket sits above -- rather than in -- the cooking liquid, steaming does not require additional ingredients that increase the fat and/or sodium content of your meat. In addition, nutrients remain in the meat instead of leaching into the cooking liquid.

Slice the brisket across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices with a sharp kitchen knife.

Arrange the brisket slices in a single layer on a steamer rack. You can use a traditional steamer, or if you are steaming a large quantity of brisket slices, use a small grilling rack that fits inside a canning or stock pot.

Fill the steamer or stock pot with water to a depth of at least 3 inches. Bring the water to a full boil over high heat on your stove.

Set the rack inside the pot, making sure that the boiling water does not touch the rack. Cover the pan and set your stove burner to "Medium-High" heat.

Steam the meat for two hours or until it is no longer pink, checking the level of the water every 30 to 45 minutes. Pour in additional, boiling water as necessary.

Transfer the brisket slices from the steamer rack to a serving platter, using tongs to avoid piercing the meat.


  • To prepare a beef brisket for steaming, trim any excess fat to a depth of 1/8 inch. Dry the surface of the meat with paper towels and season it with 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of black pepper. Enhance the flavor of the meat by browning it in a skillet on your stove. Heat 2 to 3 tsp. of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat, add the brisket and brown it for five to seven minutes on each side.

    Fill a second saucepan with water, bring it to a boil and use it to add water to the steamer as necessary during steaming.


Photo Credits

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About the Author

Based in Green Bay, Wisc., Jackie Lohrey has been writing professionally since 2009. In addition to writing web content and training manuals for small business clients and nonprofit organizations, including ERA Realtors and the Bay Area Humane Society, Lohrey also works as a finance data analyst for a global business outsourcing company.