Cheap Brisket

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Woodacresmoke2020

Newbie
Original poster
Apr 1, 2023
2
1
I have a question regarding brisket. I buy my meat at Costco, and I have never really has an issue with quality. It seems to be labeled as "choice" or Wagu. A brisket will run between $70.00 to $117.00 depending on the grade. I have only attempted brisket twice on my incredibly flimsy Brinkman offset. I now have a Smokey Joe.

There is a restaurant supply warehouse by my office. Today I went to see what their briskets look like. They are not labeled USDA anything, and they were $3.50 per lbs. $17.00 for a freaking brisket. My question is it a good idea for a novice to try this, or could no pitt master in the world make this worth eating? Thoughts? BTW, I passed......
 
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That's going to be a piece of a flat more than likely. Doable. My success has been limited on flats.

SmokinAl SmokinAl has a pretty good method for these small hunks o'flat
 
There's a Restaurant Depot near me where I get stuff, including brisket. Their current price is $4/lb, but they have full packers only, so they are much larger than what you saw. They always have at "choice" at that price point.
 
I was just at Costco in Gaithersburg, Maryland this morning looking for a whole brisket. There was a pile of them - maybe like ten or twelve, all labeled with the colorful USDA PRIME sticker and labeled as PRIME on the meat label and priced as prime. I started going through them and then I noticed the cryovac said USDA Choice in black ink. I'm glad I noticed it. Told the meat guy. He took them to the back to change the labels. Gotta pay attention! :emoji_slight_smile:
 
My advice and take it with a grain of salt is to keep doing the ones you've been doing at a cheaper cost and to get your method figured out then spend the extra money and see if you think it's worth it. If your anything like I was/am with new cuts you'll want to try different things to figure out what suits you and your family the best. Once you have that figured out then you will have your best chance of finding out if it's worth the extra.
The really good thing about all those you do perfecting it you still get to eat and most of the time they come out pretty dang good. If you should get one done that you think is a lost cause and not worth eating DON'T throw it out until you post it and I'd bet somebody on here will suggest something that will make it very edible.
 
So, what I guess I am hearing is try the cheaper cut and work on the process, and once I figure what in the heck is going on, graduate to a "better" cut of meat. Sounds reasonable enough. I now need to work with the timing.
 
So, what I guess I am hearing is try the cheaper cut and work on the process, and once I figure what in the heck is going on, graduate to a "better" cut of meat. Sounds reasonable enough. I now need to work with the timing.
Hi there and welcome!

A 5 pound brisket is likely only the Flat muscle. That is almost definitely a different experience and process than smoking a whole packer brisket.

The Flat muscle is the problem child of the 2 muscles in a whole packer brisket (flat and point).

The whole packer brisket has more fat and is likely easier to smoke because the extra fat and very forgiving point muscle helping you out.

I would smoke a flat the same way I do my chucks. That is to smoke unwrapped until at least 180F IT (I usually go to 190F) and then wrap in foil with a little bit of liquid (I use water but beer, broth, etc. would work).

Smoke until tender. I check for tenderness around 200F Internal Temp (IT). Briskets and chucks are only done when they are tender and the Flat muscle always takes longer to get tender for me... always.


SO, if you want to do that less expensive piece of brisket I see no issue BUT you can't treat it like a whole packer brisket. So its not actually like doing the same cut of meat as doing a whole packer brisket.

If you nail your brisket flats like that, you then have a source to do brisket flats at least :)
 
My advice and take it with a grain of salt is to keep doing the ones you've been doing at a cheaper cost and to get your method figured out then spend the extra money and see if you think it's worth it. If your anything like I was/am with new cuts you'll want to try different things to figure out what suits you and your family the best. Once you have that figured out then you will have your best chance of finding out if it's worth the extra.
The really good thing about all those you do perfecting it you still get to eat and most of the time they come out pretty dang good. If you should get one done that you think is a lost cause and not worth eating DON'T throw it out until you post it and I'd bet somebody on here will suggest something that will make it very edible.

Smart dude and excellent advice right there.

Chris
 
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