Choosing a good brisket

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Original poster
Jul 26, 2005
League City, Texas
This may be a stupid question but what do you look for when choosing the right brisket to buy. Do you want a trimmed brisket or one that has alot of fat?
When I am picking out a brisket I look for about a quarter inch of nice white fat and a weight of less than 10 pounds.

That fat cap will keep the brisket moist during that long, long smoke.

I also like to balance the brisket on the side of my hand and see how much it flexes.. the one with the most flex is my pick because it will end up the most tender.
great tip tulsajeff!

I never knew that about identifying the most tender brisket out of the bunch.

Jeff, when you are choosing your brisket, most of the time here anyway it is wrapped and on the bottom there's a styrofoam plate. How then can you get it to flex? I bet you have your own favorite butcher, Huh? Most times I'm at Costco or Albertsons.
The briskets I buy are vacuum wrapped only in thin plastic.. no foam plate below it. I buy them from a local beef company.
I like the flats from Costco.

Since it is one cut ( I believe the packer is 2 cuts in one cryo) I get consistent results.

But thats just cuz I don't know packers. There's a whole school of thought on removing the point from the flat at X time or temp, and point in chili or beans or overcooked for additional burnt ends.

I just never learned any of this, so I don't know how to cook packers.

But flats! Give me an 8 pound flat from Costco and I can turn it into heaven.

I mentioned in another thread, but to reiterate: turbinado (sp) sugar I add to the rub.

In your grocer "Sugar In The Raw" is what its called.

Higher burn point than processed sugars, so you get sweet, without burn. Sweet barky goodness
Hi Larry,

In answer to your question, Yes, the packer cut refers to the flat and point together in one cryovac package. They can sometimes be difficult to locate. There is a local wholesale club called BJ's near me that carries packers, but here at least, the Sams Club and Wally-World stock flats only.

Yep, that's a Packer's brisket. Some come as trimmed and some are untrimmed. The untrimmed one may be cheaper pound wise but you are also paying for a lot of waste. The timmed Packer as had most of the waste fat trimmed away and you pay a little more for it.
I always use Excel Packer Briskets and have excellent results. If your feeding a small group, it's probably too much and you should go with a Flat or Point. When looking for a Full Packet Brisket, pick it up and bend it in half, end to end. It should do this with relative ease, if it doesn't, leave in the Meat case.

Fat Cap DOWN, people! :lol:

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