Brisket plate?

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Apr 10, 2007
Great White North
I went to my local supermarket today for brisket. I don't know of any other place to get brisket around here, and their butcher section seems pretty good -- the butchers wear hard hats and chainmail, and they have carcasses (or part carcasses) hanging in the back, so it's not your typical supermarket deli.

I asked for the flat. The butcher didn't seem to know what I was talking about and went to ask another butcher. He came back and said they had the point, but it was the same thing. I know from reading SMF that it's not, but I wasn't about to argue with two butchers.

He brought out a cut of meat on a tray and weighed it. It was about 15 pounds. I didn't want that much, so he cut it in two and gave me the smaller of the two pieces -- about 5 pounds. The price sticker says "Beef Brisket Plate" and it was about $8.50.

From my (limited) understanding of beef, there are three sections to the cow's underside: the brisket, the plate, and the flank. So how can something be "Brisket Plate"?

Also... if I bought this Thursday morning (and the "packed on" date is Thursday), how long do I have to cook it? I've read that packaged whole cuts of fresh beef can be refrigerated for three to five days after purchase. Am I okay starting to smoke it Saturday evening?
I'm not sure the whole thing would have fit in the smoker (I'm using the MES). It's pretty consistent in thickness and doesn't seem to have a point.

Here are two pictures (one from each end)...

Maybe it's just the terminology in canada, looks like a partial flat, only bad thing is they took all the fat cap off, gonna be dry
maybe u can top with bacon, looks loke a nice piece of meat though and u got a great price
For the duration of the cook, or just at a certain point?

I was planning on getting it up to the plateau and then wrapping it in foil with some apple juice for the rest of the way.
Like Bubba said, lay some bacon over top and you should be fine. Looks like a fairly good piece. Mop it regularly and most of all be patient ... do not try to hurry it! What are you going to do with all that extra cooking space? I have suggestions if you need any!
The brisket I smoked a couple of weekends ago had been thrimmed quite a bit as well, I sprayed with apple juice about every 45 minutes and foiled at 160*, took it to 185* and it turned out just fine. But also keep in mind that the plateau on this one only lasted for about an hour or so.
Is there a fat cap on the underside? I went to the supermarlet today today looking at briskets, and the briskets i saw had a top to them that looked as clean and red as ground beef, but it looked like there was a solid fat layer on the underside. I didnt get a good look at it because it was packaged. I think if i buy brisket, im going to get the butcher to cut me one fresh from the back so i can lookat it first.
Sacrilege !!! Last time I smoked a pork loin, I cut it into smaller chunks so there would be more surface for the rub.

When the first few chunks reached temperature, I was munching away. The best part was the fat / rub layer. The liquid fat was dribbling lightly down my chin so I wiped it my finger and liked the fat off.
I'm with Chris - fat is for tenderizing not eatting! Yuk!

As for this piece of meat I think we need Dutch to identify it. To me it almost looks like a flank. It looks nice though even if it is really lean. Looks like a nice piece for sausage!

I'd inject it with something close to Italian dressing (vinegar and oil) and your rub spices and lay some bacon strips on top. As lean as it looks it probably wouldn't hurt to change your spray to Italian dressing either and keep hitting it every 45 minutes or so - so it doesn't dry out.
to me that resembles a wrongly cut, wasted bunch of fajitas-judging by the grain it's a flank, but i'm used to seeing them w/ membrane still attatched and cut into fajita strips(4-6"wide by 1-2ft long & about 1/2" thick).but on the upside i bet it would smoke slow & low & come out tender.
Some like the fat on the bottom ... some like it on top ...and some like to flip it over every time they spritz it.

I say try it anyway you want or try each way and see what works for you ...
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