If you’ve been to Texas for visiting a friend or family member, for a meeting, or generally, you might have heard or tried Texas brisket. The tender and juicy meat cut is a delight to have and is mostly grilled for serving.
However, the term brisket is not a commonly used word for meat. Therefore, many people get confused about which meat brisket is made of. There is a trend of eating grilled brisket, but it also adds flavors to different dishes in boiled or fried form.
We have attempted to answer the most asked question about brisket that says ‘is brisket beef or pork?’ Not only this question, but this blog post has also summed up everything you need to know about brisket, from its description to variations, and buying to cooking or storing.
However, it is also important to solve the mystery of which meat-type brisket is. So without any further ado, let’s get right into the information you’re looking for.
Is Brisket Beef Or Pork?
Before even we dig deep into what brisket is, let’s answer the burning question.
Brisket is a slice of meat obtained from a cow. Therefore, it is 100% beef and not pork. Similar meat from pork is called pork shoulder. Therefore, next time you’re considering eating brisket, you will know what meat it is. Besides, you can also help people question themselves about which type of meat brisket is.
After formally answering about the meat type of brisket, let’s get into the main content covering everything about brisket.
What Is Brisket?
The next question that might pop up is which part of cow brisket is obtained from? Brisket, as you know, is a slice of meat obtained from a cow. Therefore, it falls in the broader category of beef meat.
Here is the answer to the question: which part of cow brisket is obtained from?
Beef brisket is one of the 9 primal cuts of the cow. The primal cuts include ribs, plates, flank, loin, chuck, round, shank, and neck, and the ninth primal cut is brisket.
The brisket is the lower breast region of the cow that is full of connective tissues. The lower breast region is also referred to as pectoral muscles, and these are fully-developed muscles due to a lot of exercises. The abundance of connective tissues makes this meat cut tougher than others. Therefore, brisket is usually preferred and reserved for slow cooking processes where meat can get fully tender.
Cuts Of Brisket
Once cooked, brisket is as tender as it is falling apart. Now let’s understand the inner texture and cuts of brisket. The brisket region of the cow consists of two overlapping muscles that are pronounced as the cuts of the brisket. Here are the two muscles or brisket cuts:
First/ Flat Cut
The large, uniform, flat, and thinner part of the brisket is referred to as the first cut or flat cut. Most part of the brisket is comprised of a flat cut. It stays juicy when cooked due to the top fat layer. These pieces are easy to cut and usually preferred when making corned beef. Due to its thinness, you can easily cook the cut in the oven. Due to less fatty texture, the flat cut has more beef flavor in it.
Second Cut/ Deckle Point
The second cut or deckle point is the fatty part of the brisket. It is a smaller and thicker part of the brisket with abundant fatty tectures and connective tissues. Although you get an exotic flavor due to fat, the tastes vary from other meat parts. The deckle point meat is usually well-suited with hamburgers, grounded beef, or shredded in sandwiches.
Is Pork Belly The Same As Brisket?
We have already answered that brisket is beef and not pork. Pork is referred to as meat obtained from the pig. The pork belly also has two sides, like brisket. Therefore, the pork shoulder and picnic roast are considered equivalent to the beef brisket. Pork belly is also a mix of fatty and leaner meat cuts of pig. However, the two cannot be considered as same. Both have different flavors, meat types, cooking methods, etc. so, the answer is No. Pork belly is not the same as brisket beef.
Buying And Storing Brisket
Buying it becomes quite easy once you know the different cuts and textures of brisket meat. However, we will guide you about which cut to buy for different dishes, storing the brisket, and how much meat is enough to prepare a dish.
The weight of the average brisket is around 14 pounds. As discussed earlier, most part of the brisket is first cut or flat cut. So, the average grocery store sells both cuts separately. One cut is usually enough if you’re going to make a dish, shred the meat, use it in hamburgers, etc. One serving of brisket is around ½ pounds. So, you know how much meat do you need according to your requirements.
However, here are three tips on how to buy brisket based on the above-shared information:
- Always be informed which cut do you want when visiting a grocery store. In most dishes, flat cut is used. If you know nothing, it is safe to choose the flat cut.
- Choose the right size according to your requirements. As you know now that each serving is around ½ pound, you will need 3 pounds for six people.
- The first cut and the second cut differ in texture and fat marbling. There is no relation between brisket marbling with the juiciness and flavor of brisket. So, you don’t have to worry about marbling. Instead, look for deep, rich red color and clean-looking cut.
As for storing brisket, you can keep cooked brisket without gravy for four days in the fridge. However, the freezer can keep it edible for up to 2 months. If you want to store brisket with gravy, it can be kept in the fridge for two days and up to 3 months in the freezer. Whichever type you are storing, make sure to keep it in an airtight container.
You can store the raw brisket meat too. Choose the coldest part of your refrigerator where the temperature is 35 to 45 F. You can keep the brisket in the fridge for up to 5 days before cooking. However, if you choose the fridge section with a temperature below 34F, it can survive for 8 days.
Different Regional Variations Of Brisket
There are different regional variations of brisket worldwide. We will talk about some of the notable ones.
Besides Texas, other regions of the US also share the love of brisket. The history of brisket is long in the US. Brisket is the most favorite food in Texas for barbecue. There is a common perception that brisket is the National Food of Texas.
Brisket is generally boiled with root vegetables and spices to make a brisket dish with gravy in the UK. Stewed beef is also very common among people of Great Britain.
Different Asian countries, especially Southeast Asian countries, use brisket in different dishes differently. In the Indian subcontinent(Pakistan, India, Bangladesh), nihari is a popular dish made from beef brisket. Suea Rong hai is a popular dish made in Thailand that is basically grilled brisket. Korean cuisine also adds beef brisket to the culinary in different soups, gravies, and boiled forms. In Hong Kong, brisket boiled with spices is served with noodles.
In Jewish culture, it is common to braise brisket as a pot roast as the main course on holidays. There are several dishes of brisket served in the Jewish community across the world.
Germany adds flavors to brisket by braising meat in dark beer. Afterward, it is cooked with carrots, onions, bay leaves, and thymes.
New Zealand cuisine adds brisket by boiling it with green vegetables, potatoes, etc.
You can enjoy brisket beef as a bollito misto in Northern Italy, specifically and around Italy generally.
Are briskets leaner than pork shoulder?
We have discussed that brisket has two cuts: leaner and fatty one. Most part is leaner in brisket. When compared with the leaner part of pork shoulder, brisket is leaner than pork.
Is Texas brisket pork or cow?
Texas brisket is 100% cow and obtained from one of the 9 cuts from beef. Texas brisket is usually grilled beef.
Can you smoke brisket and pork shoulder at the same time?
It is possible to smoke both brisket and pork shoulder simultaneously. However, the important fact is that both should be evenly apart in the smoker. This practice will ensure that both cuts receive the appropriate amount of smoke flavor.
Is brisket halal?
Brisket is 100% halal since it has been obtained from the cow’s meat.
Which one among brisket and pork shoulder tastes better?
It’s a no-brainer. Brisket is obviously more diverse in flavor than the pork shoulder. Besides, the brisket has an amazing protein to fat ratio.