Confusion on brisket terminology

Discussion in 'Meat Selection and Processing' started by canuck76, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. Hey SMF friends,

    I've run into an odd scenario. I went into a real butcher shop today to buy a brisket (never smoked one before but thanks to countless nights reading forums here I'm diving in!!!)
    BUT when I got there and started asking about packer and/or flat the butcher looked at me with anger in his eyes and said "no idea what you're talking about, I'll show you one" and brought this out...

    It was in one piece when I looked at it first, he cut it in half and re sealed it for me as a 15lb brisket is WAY to much for me to start with.
    So I'm assuming the chunk on the right is the flat???
    I'm going to start with it as its 6.5lbs and looks more evenly sized so I stand a chance of it turning out ok.
    Questions are:
    Are there alternate terms for these cuts of meat? Keep in mind I live in Alberta.
    What's the piece on the left called?

    I know the grading from US to Canadian is different so thought I'd ask here!
  2. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    being that he just cut it in half... he did not separate the point from the flat... so there really is no proper name for ether half (that I am aware of) ... Thinking you will still have some of each (flat, point) in both halves ... see what others have to say ...
  3. So I may have just had a cranky butcher? Because he just sliced it in the middle, more to balance the weight than anything....I think.
  4. grabber

    grabber Smoke Blower

  5. grabber

    grabber Smoke Blower

  6. grabber

    grabber Smoke Blower

  7. Thanks Grabber!

    So by cutting it the way he did I have most of a flat and a point with some flat still attached....
    Guess I should enroll in a meat cutting course!!
  8. grabber

    grabber Smoke Blower

  9. This one may help you a little more. Hard for me to tell from your pictures if that is indeed a whole packer or just a flat.
  10. redsmoke

    redsmoke Fire Starter

    It is frustrating when you get the deer in the headlight from the person who's is supposed to be the professional.

    I've done one so far and their is a noticeable fat line well at least the one I got
  11. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    This is a really good image of it. From the picture it looks like a really flat and not a whole brisket.

    Here is the flat that I cut off a whole packer recently. 

  12. I moved to Norway for a couple of years, and hauled my Pitt's and Spitt's smoker with me.  Talk about terminology issues!

    I went to one of the best butchers in Oslo and asked for Baby Back ribs and briskets.  They did not know what I was talking about.  So, I went home and printed out butchering diagrams of a pig and a cow and took them with me on the next Saturday.  I started talking to the person in the front of the store, and he quickly called out the "meat cutter" from the back of the store.  He was Finish.  He took me into the back of the shop, hauled over a half pig and we pointed and drew pictures on the pig to agree on what I wanted.  He then told me that they call that rib section "Tyger Ribs" in Norway.

    Then he pulled out a beef carcass and we went through the same exercise.  He finally understood and then told me " We never sell this cut of meat in Norway, it is very tough.  We do use it back home in Finland, but you have to cook it a very long time and very carefully to make it tender."  There was NO name for that cut of meat in Norway (I guess, since nobody buys it).  However, I was able to get a very good price on it since it was not a popular cut.

    Pictures always are a big help in these discussions!

    - Dave
  13. grabber

    grabber Smoke Blower

    Same thing with chicken wings.  People used to throw them out, now they're more expensive than the other parts.
  14. bbqwillie

    bbqwillie Smoking Fanatic

    Ain't that the truth! Back in the 60's we lived near a commercial chicken farm and my Dad use to send me to the farm to get 5 gal buckets of chicken wings for .25 cents per bucket.
  15. Yeah it's funny, back when I was a kid in the Texas panhandle,brisket went in to the trim for hamburger meat whenever we killed and put up a beef. (my family had been in the cattle business for generations) No one cooked brisket back then.
  16. wmka89

    wmka89 Newbie

    I too grew up in the Texas Panhandle and do not really remember brisket much until I visited or traveled through central Texas when I was older.  There were a few BBQ joints around but not really like we have now up there.  Plantation BBQ between Tulia and Nazareth served brisket.

    I have worked and traveled in the North and find that most meat markets which have brisket have cut off the crown and sell it as a different piece of meat.  The crown is what is called the point.

    The picture the OP had looks more like a larger cut of the flat.  Which I saw often up there.

    It is sad, because the crown is the "fat" part of the brisket and also the juiciest.  It is just not as appealing in looks as the sliced flat with the red  smoke ring.

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