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What to Look For When Buying Brisket for BBQ

by Isabella Hickle marketing

Are you planning a big BBQ party with your family and friends? Brisket is a classic choice that never disappoints among the various meats to grill. But how do you choose the best one when you're faced with multiple options at your local butcher or warehouse store? Don't worry, we've got you covered.

In this post, we'll discuss what to look for when buying brisket for BBQ so that you can impress your guests with a perfectly cooked, juicy, and tender brisket. Let's get to it!

What grades of brisket are suited for BBQ?

When it comes to buying brisket for BBQ, understanding the different grades of beef is crucial. The amount of marbling in a cut of beef can directly impact its flavor and tenderness.

The USDA recognizes eight different grades of beef, but you'll typically only find three at your local grocery store: select, choice, and prime. Select-grade beef has the least amount of marbling, while prime-grade beef has the most abundant marbling, making it a great choice for BBQ.

Additionally, many competitive pitmasters opt for heavily marbled A9 briskets. Remember, the more marbling a cut of beef has, the more flavorful and tender it will be.

Choose the right size.

When it comes to buying brisket for barbecue, size matters. According to expert butchers, it's best to choose a brisket that is not significantly thinner on one side than the other, as this can cause uneven cooking.

Additionally, you should consider how much brisket you'll actually need- larger briskets are great for feeding a crowd but can be overwhelming for smaller gatherings. A general rule of thumb is to buy a half-pound of brisket for every person you plan to feed, leaving room for leftovers. As Brent Young, co-owner and butcher at New York City's The Meat Hook, explains, "Chances are, even for a large dinner gathering, you don't need that big of a piece of brisket."

Check overall texture

Remember to check the overall texture when buying a brisket for your BBQ. A floppier texture is a good indicator of a more tender brisket. However, remember that factors such as how tight the cryo bag is or whether it's frozen can also affect the texture, so use your judgment. As Brent Young, co-owner of The Meat Hook in New York City, advises, "You're paying more to be there, so don't be shy about asking questions." If you're unsure how to choose the right brisket, don't hesitate to ask your local butcher for advice.

Opt for narrower, thicker brisket.

When buying brisket for BBQ, it's important to opt for a narrower, thicker cut. This type of brisket will take a bit longer to cook, but it's easier to get it tender and juicy. According to Complete Carnivore, "A thick brisket will probably take a bit longer to cook than a flatter one, but I think it is easier to get it tender and juicy." Look for a flat about an inch thick at the thinnest spot. While thinner flats may be available, they will be tougher to cook and keep moist. A thicker flat will also result in better flavor and texture.

Thick flat for better cook

When it comes to choosing a brisket for BBQ, one factor that can greatly affect the quality of your cook is the thickness of the flat. A thicker flat can result in a better cook, allowing for more even heat distribution and helping prevent overcooking or drying out.

As barbecue expert and author Steven Raichlen puts it, "The thicker the brisket, the less likely it is to dry out during the long cooking time required for a traditional barbecue." When selecting a brisket, examine the flat's thickness and opt for a cut that is at least one inch thick. This will help ensure a delicious, tender, and juicy final product.

What Temp To Pull Brisket

According to Wyman Brooks, co-owner of Tired Texan BBQ in Omaha, "the ideal temperature range to pull brisket off the smoker is between 195°F to 205°F. However, some prefer to pull theirs at 180°F or wrap it at 185°F to 195°F." It's important to avoid cooking the brisket past 210°F to prevent it from becoming dry and tough. When determining when to pull the brisket, relying on cooking time alone is not recommended, as various factors such as size and cooking temperature can impact the rate of smoking. Instead, a leave-in instant-read thermometer is best for monitoring the brisket's internal temperature to prevent under or overcooking.

Cooking brisket at 225°F is suggested for achieving optimal results. The brisket's internal temperature should range between 195°F to 204°F to allow the connective tissue to break down and create a juicy and succulent texture.

Should you opt for a bone-in or boneless brisket for BBQ?

When choosing between a bone-in or boneless brisket for BBQ, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. However, it's important to note that the original brisket was a bone-in cut, and some pitmasters still believe that this yields a better flavor due to the proximity of the bone to the meat.

On the other hand, boneless brisket is more common and easier to find in stores. As barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn explains, "the boneless brisket - IMPS 120 as opposed to the bone-in IMPS 118 - is so commonplace that it surprises some barbecue lovers to learn that a brisket ever had bones attached to it." Ultimately, the decision will depend on your preferences and what is available to you.

How can you tell if a brisket is fresh?

You can tell if brisket is fresh by following these tips from Brent Young, co-owner and butcher at New York City's The Meat Hook:

- Check the color: A fresh brisket should be a deep, rich red.

- Look for clean, white fat: The fat should be free of discoloration or off-putting smells.

- Don't worry about marbling: Unlike other cuts of meat, brisket doesn't show much marbling. Instead, focus on the color and cleanliness of the meat.

Remember, when purchasing brisket, it's important to ask questions and ensure you're getting the right cut for you. As Young says, "You're paying more to be there, so don't be shy about asking questions."

Should you look for a dry or wet brisket for BBQ?

When buying brisket for BBQ, one question that often comes up is whether to look for a dry or wet brisket. It's important to know that there isn't necessarily a right or wrong answer to this question, as it ultimately depends on personal preference. However, there are a few things to consider when making your decision.

If you're looking for a brisket that will be less work to prepare, a wet brisket may be the way to go. Wet briskets have already been injected with a solution, typically containing water, salt, and other flavorings. This can result in a more tender and flavorful brisket but may also result in a less "pure" flavor.

On the other hand, a dry brisket is the way to go if you're looking for a more traditional, authentic brisket experience. Dry briskets are simply seasoned with salt and pepper, allowing the meat to speak for itself. While this may result in a slightly tougher brisket, it also means you'll get a more natural and unadulterated flavor.

Ultimately, the choice between a dry or wet brisket comes down to personal preference. As barbecue expert Aaron Franklin says, "It's like asking if you like your steak rare or well-done. It's up to you." So whether you prefer a wet, flavorful brisket or a dry, authentic one, just follow proper BBQ techniques to ensure a delicious result.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, buying brisket for BBQ can be overwhelming, but with these tips, you'll be able to purchase the perfect cut of meat for your next gathering. Remember to choose the right size brisket, as buying a larger brisket can always result in delicious leftovers. It's also important to choose the best grade of meat, with American, Australian, and Japanese wagyu being considered higher quality due to their marbling.

When picking the brisket, look for dark, purpleish meat with a thick fat cap and streaks of glossy white fat. Whether you choose whole-packer brisket or just the point or flat, enjoy the flavor and tenderness of this delicious cut of meat at your next BBQ.


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About Isabella Hickle Junior   marketing

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Joined APSense since, October 31st, 2022, From Chicago, United States.

Created on Jun 7th 2023 04:05. Viewed 83 times.

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