Boing! Rubbery meat help for brisket/short ribs, please

To give you a glimpse of my cooking experience...before a couple months ago, my experience with cooking beef was pretty much limited to the pan. Then I started exploring, and I've had two meat issues that I can't figure out...I'm sure you guys can help me.

Here's what I ended up cooking:

1. A small rack of rubbery short ribs (2 hours in the oven at 200 as instructed by the Greenmarket guy who sold the meat to me)

2. 1.8 lbs of rubbery brisket (45 min at 325 and then 45 at 250 as instructed by the "marinated brisket" recipe in the food processor bible)

What's going on? I searched brisket on this site and saw that one person was instructed to cook the meat for 10 hours at 200...? If that's the way to go, what are these two hour recipes about?

I'm so mystified. Help! Tired of wasting my meat!

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