Meat lovers and pitmasters agree that briskets are notoriously difficult to make right, but impossible not to enjoy! Grilled or smoked, beef or pig, it’s a sure way to win over guests at your next backyard BBQ, and it all starts with the right cut.
The Right Cut For The Right Brisket Recipe
Of course, a good recipe is just as important, but different cuts need to be prepped, seasoned, and cooked in different ways. Knowing the difference, for example, between a pointcut and a flat, affects how you prep, season, and cook your meat.
If you’ve never tried it before, choosing the right cut will make your job a lot easier, and bring out the best in its natural flavor. (Haven’t found a recipe you like? Click here for some amazing recipe ideas!)
Follow the tips below to learn all you need to know about barbecue. You’ll really impress the butcher at your local meat shop next time you visit!
What Types Of Cut Are There?
There are nine prime cuts of beef, and brisket is among the toughest. Located in the breast, it also has significantly more fat than other parts of the steer. Butchers typically offer three types of cut that are great for grilling or smoking:
Considered one of the thickest parts of the steer, the pointcut or ‘deckle’ contains the most fat of any other cut. The pointcut is irregularly shaped and doesn’t sit flat. When cooked through, it has a marble finish to it and is best used in brisket sandwiches or tacos.
A flat cut is larger and leaner in fat content than the point and lays flat more easily on the grilling rack. Its rectangular shape makes it easier to cook, but it is also a tougher cut of meat. The thick layer of fat on one side, however, makes flat cut ideal for smoking low and slow.
The packer cut combines the point and flat together. This is one heavy piece of meat and can weigh as much as 16 pounds. You can usually get these untrimmed if you ask at your local butcher. This means you’ll need to trim the point carefully, without leaving gouge marks.
When trimming your packer cut, be careful not to trim away more than necessary. The fat consists of healthy cholesterol that also enriches the flavor when it melts.
How Many Briskets Should I Serve?
Half a pound per person is a sufficient serving of meat. A 12-pounder will yield somewhere between 50 – 60% of its weight in cooked meat, so you’ll have enough for 8 – 12 servings.
What Is Texas Brisket?
Widely popular, a Texas brisket refers to the large packer cut brisket that is typically smoked low and slow over a period of 8 hours. On average, a Texas brisket weighs between 10 – 13 pounds and can serve as much as 12 comfortably.
Over indirect heat at a consistent temperature of 225 degrees Fahrenheit, Texas brisket yields moist, smoke-imbued meat with a seasoned crust burnt crisp.