Brisket is a juicy, tantalizing, melt-in-your-mouth hunk of meat that seems to have been created by the gods. There’s no question why it’s a favorite cut among many carnivores. Learn more about brisket, and how to cook the perfect one, below.
Why is Brisket so Decadent?
We’re glad you asked. As we have established earlier, brisket sure is something special. To break down the connective tissues, this cut of beef needs to be cooked slowly. A unique feature of this cut of beef is that it can be slow-cooked so that it becomes fork-tender but still slices easily. Additionally, it is well known to have a more “beefy” taste than other slow-cooked beef cuts, such as chuck, meaning you get tons of juicy, tender, flavorful goodness in every bite.
Which Brisket Cut is Best?
The brisket is the cow’s chest muscle, located near its front legs. The chest muscle gets a good workout when the cow stands and walks around, making its meat tough and flavorful. Due to its size, a full brisket is typically halved for commercial sale, resulting in two distinct cuts: the flat and point cut.
In general, the flat cut makes up the majority of the brisket. Because the surface of the meat is covered with a thick layer of fat, it protects the meat from drying out during cooking. Most likely you will find this cut in your local supermarket, and it’s the better of the two for slicing.
A point cut is thicker, smaller, and contains more fat and connective tissue than a flat cut. This extra fat provides more flavor, but less meat, which is why it is usually ground into hamburger meat or shredded for sandwiches.
Each cut has advantages and disadvantages, so it is best to choose the right cut specifically for the type of recipe and outcome you are going for.
Be Careful Not to Overcook It!
Just like any cut of beef, brisket can become tough or dry if under or overcooked. Many people think that because brisket is smoked for a long time that it cannot be overcooked, but to unlock all the amazing flavors of the cut, it has to be cooked over low, consistent heat for several hours.
The general rule is to smoke the brisket at 225°F, for 1.5 hours per pound. So if your brisket is 8 pounds, it should sit in the smoker for 12 hours to fully cook. However, depending on your smoker and cut of meat, this time can vary so make sure to check the internal temperature. Once the brisket reaches an internal temperature of 185°F it is ready!
For more brisket information, such as how to choose the best brisket, or how to season and load your cut into the smoker, check out our Brisket 101 Guide.
Ready to create the most mouth-watering brisket of your life? Check out some of our favorite recipes:
At Cookshack Inc. you’ll find everything you need for smoking the perfect brisket, including an award-winning, made-in-the USA line of smokers and grills. Contact us today for more information on all our products.