What Is Brisket? Where to Buy and How to Cook It?

Beef brisket is a relatively tough type of meat extracted from a cow’s chest. It’s one of the best kinds of meat and people’s favorite when cooked right. It comprises two muscles that carry the weight of the cow. Being a tough piece of meat, it requires lots of patience while preparing and cooking it.

Beef briskets need time and low steady heat for them to produce a perfect tender juicy steak. Some of the best methods for cooking such types of steak are braising and smoking.

Where To Get Beef Brisket

You can find beef brisket in any available butchery or nearest grocery store in the meat section. They’re not hard to find since several restaurants have begun embracing them in their menus. You can also look for farmers who rear cattle and butcher them before supplying them to local butcheries. If you come by any of them, you have a higher chance of getting high-quality fresh meat from cows that are well-bred and eat healthy grass. It may cost you more effort, but the results are rewarding.

You can also order your piece of American Wagyu brisket online from Snake River Farms.

When buying a beef brisket, be sure to take a larger size than you would like. For example, if you’d like to prepare 2 pounds of brisket for a family of six, buy 3 pounds of raw brisket. This is because beef brisket after cooking tends to shrink. Moreover, when the butcher is cutting out a piece for you, tell him to give you a portion that has more marbled meat.

Preparing Beef Brisket

As mentioned earlier, cooking beef brisket may require tremendous patience if you want great results. Here’s a simple guide on how to prepare and smoke your brisket.

  1. Preheat your smoker – Turn on your smoker by adding some fuel, i.e. charcoal, wooden chips, or any suitable fuel source you have. Let the smoker heat to a temperature of about 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Shed off excess fat from the meat by trimming
  3. Season the brisket with kosher salt and coarse black pepper. You can also add spices of your choice to spike up its flavors.
  4. Smoke it. This is the first stage of cooking your brisket where you place it directly on your smoker’s rack. Let the fatty side face upwards. Allow the brisket smoke for about 3 to 4 hours with the cooker closed. The brisket will then begin forming a crusty bark due to the seasoning layer rubbed on it.
  5. For the next 5 to 7 hours, keep spritzing the brisket at one-hour intervals. This procedure, however, is optional. But if you’d like your brisket well moisturized throughout the smoking process, do this. Spritzing will also enhance in-depth flavor absorption from the smoke and prevent charring. You can use apple juice, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, or Andria’s Original Steak Sauce.
  6. Take out the brisket, wrap it in butcher paper or aluminum foil then put it back on the smoker.
  7. Let the brisket smoke again until the temperature reaches 200 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. This is an indication that your brisket is almost ready.
  8. Remove the brisket from the smoker then allow it to cool for another one hour. To keep it from getting too cold for serving, place it in an insulated cooler. This will help maintain a good temperature for hot food convenient for serving.

Do you know that it matters how you cut the brisket? Read more on this topic and learn which is the best way to cut brisket.

More Brisket Recipes

You can try out many other brisket recipes at home. Here are just a few to try.

1. Texas-style Smoked Brisket

Texas-style-Smoked-Brisket
Photo credit: bonappetit.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 Trimmed beef brisket
  • Paprika (5 tablespoons)
  • Kosher salt (3 teaspoons)
  • Garlic powder ( (2 tablespoons)
  • Onion powder (2 tablespoons)
  • Black pepper (1 tablespoon)
  • Dried parsley (1 tablespoon)
  • Cayenne pepper (2 teaspoons)
  • Ground cumin (2 teaspoons)
  • Ground coriander (1 teaspoon)
  • Hot chili powder (¼ teaspoon)
  • Dried oregano (1 teaspoon)
  • Brown sugar (½ cup)

Instructions

Mix all dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. These include paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, dried parsley, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander, chili powder, dried oregano, and brown sugar (optional).

Use a paper towel to pat dry the piece of brisket then rub it whole with the mixed dried ingredients. Spread it evenly throughout the surface of the steak until it’s fully covered with the spices.

Place the marinated brisket in the refrigerator and leave it for about 24 hours to fully absorb the ingredients.

Afterward, cook it as you desire. You can cook it, smoke it, or grill using a charcoal grill and smoker combo.

Related: A comprehensive guide on how to smoke brisket in an electric smoker

2. Corned Beef Brisket

Corned-Beef-Brisket
Photo credit: keviniscooking.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 piece of freshly cut beef brisket
  • Water (1 gallon)
  • Kosher salt (1 ½ cup)
  • Brown sugar (1 ½ cup)
  • Mixed dry spices (¼ cup)
  • Minced garlic cloves (4)
  • Pink curing salt (4 teaspoons)
  • 2 large carrots (chopped)
  • Chopped medium-size onions (2)
  • Chopped Celery ribs (2)

Instructions:

In a large cooking pot, add 1 gallon of water then add the whole mix of spices, salt, and brown sugar. Simmer the mixture so the salt and sugar may completely dissolve. Let the brine cool down to room temperature then place it in the refrigerator until it’s chilled.

Next, take out a few oven-roasting bags and tuck them together in successive layers. Place the beef brisket in the innermost layer then carefully pour the chilled brine into the bag. Seal the bags. Try removing all air from the bags before sealing. To evenly coat the meat, turn it over a few times then put it in the refrigerator. Let the brine-soaked brisket stay in the refrigerator for 10 days. This will allow the brisket to soak in the flavored spices.

After 10 days, remove the mixture from the refrigerator. Remove the brisket from the brine and thoroughly rinse it with water. If necessary, cut it into two pieces so it can fit into your cooking pot.

Finally, add some water into the cooking pot with the brisket. Season it with chopped carrots and celeries. Put in the excess pickling spices and let the mixture heat to boiling point. Afterward, reduce the amount of heat, cover the stew then let it cook under the low steady heat for about 3 hours till the meat is tender.

Serve the corned beef when hot! You can cut it in slices, mix it with steamed vegetables and make a sandwich. Enjoy your serving!

You can try other brisket recipes like the Instant-Pot Korean chili brisket and the Red wine braised brisket.

How to Store Your Beef Brisket

Raw brisket can stay in good condition for about 5 to 8 days in a refrigerator. When wrapped properly and airtight, it can stay good for 6 to 12 months when frozen. In case you froze your brisket and would love to cook it, allow it to first thaw in the refrigerator for a few days. It takes time but your patience will pay once you start cooking it.

If you have leftover briskets after a good meal, store them in your refrigerator. It can remain in good condition for up to 4 days and can stay in the freezer for up to 2 months when wrapped appropriately, in an airtight container.

Nutritional Benefits of Beef Brisket

Apart from enjoying delicious and juicy recipes of beef brisket, you also get its nutritional benefit while consuming it. Beef briskets are a high source of protein just like any other type of meat. For every 3-ounce serving of brisket, you get 28g of protein.

Briskets also contain healthy vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B, zinc, selenium, iron, and phosphorus. They are a good source of oleic acid which is essential for controlling cholesterol levels in the body system. They are also rich in healthy fats with every 3-ounce serving having 16 grams of fat.

Conclusion

Even though beef briskets are a tough kind of meat, they can make great recipes when prepared right and with a lot of patience. Nowadays you can find them in several restaurants. This is unlike before when they were rare. You can also order a piece from Snake River Farms and prepare a sumptuous meal from any of the above beef brisket recipes.

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