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SweetBlue 08-23-2013 03:53 PM

Choice vs Prime Brisket - Is there a difference
Hey All,

I saw a prime packer brisket at Sam's today for 2.58 a lb. I went ahead and picked it up and plan on smoking tomorrow.

Is there much of a difference in tast/texture/ or cooking method between prime and choice brisket?


JS-TX 08-23-2013 04:10 PM

Most of the time - yes. Primes are generally more juicy due to their marbling. They are more consistent than choice IMO. I don't notice too much of a difference in cooking times between the 2. Either way pull when probe tender and enjoy!

Garrett 08-23-2013 04:20 PM

Yep, only difference if it really is prime is it should be juicier. Everything else should be the same.

Big Country BBQ 08-23-2013 04:44 PM

Primes get tender at a higher temp compared to choice IMO but has great Marbling compared to choice!

Al Czervik 08-23-2013 04:51 PM

The biggest difference for me would have been how many prime briskets I would have bought at $2.58/lb when I pay that for choice around here. :mrgreen:

SmittyJonz 08-23-2013 04:52 PM

I've read a few places Prime is not so good for Hot n Fast because of more fat to render?

wmarkw 08-23-2013 05:44 PM

Damn I picked up a select packer at Kroger today for $2.49/lb. oh well.

RX2006JE 08-23-2013 06:47 PM

I cook prime hot and fast all the time with no problems but will agree that they will finish at a slightly higher temp to get probe tender.

PappaOscar 08-24-2013 12:50 PM

Does anyone go to a butcher anymore, or are the big box stores just as good.

aawa 08-24-2013 01:06 PM


Originally Posted by SmittyJonz (Post 2599411)
I've read a few places Prime is not so good for Hot n Fast because of more fat to render?

Prime grade briskets are perfectly fine for doing hot and fast cooks with. Here is one that I did and it turned out great (flat slices on the left, point slices on the right)

What I did find with a prime grade brisket is that I didn't have to worry about the edges scorching since the fat content kept it nice and moist. Taste and tenderness wise was the same thing as a choice grade brisket to me.

Now if I could get prime grade brisket at $2.58/lb I would be all over it in a heartbeat, but around this area prime grade brisket runs $5.00+/lb and that isn't worth it to me.

Wampus 08-24-2013 01:47 PM

As I understand it, cattle is graded ONLY on the ribeye.
So, if there's enough marbling in the ribeye (rib roast) to be graded prime, then the entire animal is graded prime. If the ribeye is graded select, then the whole animal is graded select.

How this matters is that there is a definite possibility that the brisket on a certain animal that's graded select or choice COULD be the same or better brisket than the brisket on another animal that's graded prime, since they don't consider the brisket when grading beef.

I'm not sure why a brisket would have a lot more marbled fat than the ribeye on the same animal, but I do know that just because a brisket is graded as "choice" doesn't mean it won't have "prime-like" brisket fat marbling.

But....GENERALLY.....a prime brisket will have better marbling than a choice or select one and that means better flavor and moisture.

SweetBlue 08-24-2013 01:48 PM

Thanks all for the responses. It's been smoking sfor about 4 hours now at 250-275. We'll see how it turns out!

PappaOscar - When it comes to butchers, that's defintely my first choice. I have a local butcher that I go to for all my hamburger, porkbutt, and steak needs. As much as I hate to say it when it comes to brisket it seems as though the big box stores have an advantage. In my opinion the cheaper commodity beef is better for long slow cooks as the fat content is typically higher thanks to grain fed beef. Again - just my opinion and experience.

LoneStarMojo 08-25-2013 01:22 AM

I buy all my prime briskets at Sam's in Columbia or KC...Same price as yours. Love em. Doing 2 tommorrow Hot n Fast (as allways) and we can compare notes. GL on the cook!

captndan 08-25-2013 09:40 AM

At that price don't ask questions and buy more.:grin:

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