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Unread 03-04-2013, 08:32 PM   #1
Q-Dat
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Default The Raw Brisket Flop Test For Tenderness

Legit strategy or much ado about nothing?

I suspect it makes a difference, but wanted to see what the brethren think.
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Unread 03-04-2013, 08:39 PM   #2
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I do it, but, I do have some questions about it.

For instance, if there is a fat cap of some thickness, it is less flexible. A floppy raw brisket might also mean a thin flat.
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Unread 03-04-2013, 08:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Raw Brisket Flop Test For Tenderness

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I do it, but, I do have some questions about it.

For instance, if there is a fat cap of some thickness, it is less flexible. A floppy raw brisket might also mean a thin flat.
See I have actually abandoned the flop test as of late for more of a squeeze test. In a supermarket display case of briskets you can poke or squeeze the meat and feel undeniable differences in muscle firmness and density.

Flopping can be affected as you said by fat cap thickness and the thickness of the flat. I also suspect that the tightness of the cryo pack can affect it.
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Unread 03-04-2013, 09:00 PM   #4
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I would think a tender brisket with an unusually thick flat might not pass a flop test.
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Unread 03-04-2013, 09:12 PM   #5
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Never had much success bending it while still in the cryovac.
Wound up buying basing on size, trim, and marbling.
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Unread 03-04-2013, 09:34 PM   #6
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I'm into grade. Night and day. Prime = No. Choice = Yes.

Alot of time and effort involved in my world to do a good brisket. Bigabyte has a killer thread on the subject. But to me, it all starts with the quality of the cut.

I'm sure there are folks here that can make any cut tender but I can not. Choice has the marbling as Bandit says.
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Unread 03-04-2013, 10:25 PM   #7
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In my experience I don't think it makes much difference, When I pick out my briskets I look for a blunt point and uniform thickness end to end. I will pick a choice over a select all things being equal.if the price is roughly the same. To be honest some of the best briskets I have cooked have been select. Grading on a brisket don't mean much because cows are graded between the 4th & 5th rib, the more the cow moves around the leaner the brisket is going to be(marbling) because that muscle is exercised more than the muscles where it is graded.
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Unread 03-04-2013, 11:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
I do it, but, I do have some questions about it.

For instance, if there is a fat cap of some thickness, it is less flexible. A floppy raw brisket might also mean a thin flat.
This. The test is legit, but a thick fat cap will make even a tender brisket appear rigid while in cryo. All that said however, any brisket floppy in cry is tender, guaranteed. Another "gotcha" is how tightly wrapped in cryo it is. It is possible for even a floppy brisket to appear rigid depending on the factor of how tightly "sucked in" it is. Hope that makes sense. When all is said and done though...if it is in cryo, and is floppy, it's tender. But a lot of the unfloppy ones MIGHT also be tender.

So pick the one that looks best to you. Not floppiness.

Make sense yet? Confused yet?

Good!
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Unread 03-05-2013, 12:06 AM   #9
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Default Re: The Raw Brisket Flop Test For Tenderness

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Originally Posted by bigabyte View Post
This. The test is legit, but a thick fat cap will make even a tender brisket appear rigid while in cryo. All that said however, any brisket floppy in cry is tender, guaranteed. Another "gotcha" is how tightly wrapped in cryo it is. It is possible for even a floppy brisket to appear rigid depending on the factor of how tightly "sucked in" it is. Hope that makes sense. When all is said and done though...if it is in cryo, and is floppy, it's tender. But a lot of the unfloppy ones MIGHT also be tender.

So pick the one that looks best to you. Not floppiness.

Make sense yet? Confused yet?

Good!
I do think the squeeze/poke test I mentioned above gets around some of the flaws of the flop/bend test.
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Unread 03-05-2013, 12:49 AM   #10
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I note that this is in Q-talk and not Comp. For backyard cooking I think you can choose just about any brisket and have a reasonable chance at getting a good brisket out of your efforts. To that end, I buy Choice if its there, but, it doesn't worry me to buy Select as Bludawg pointed out, the grading is not too important. If the cryovac is loose, I will do a flop test and a close visual check for a nice thick flat. If it is tight, I poke at it. In the end, it's a guess.

I will say, that the store makes a difference. Over the past two years, I feel that Cash and Carry has provided me with the better packers once the cooking is done
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Unread 03-05-2013, 11:32 AM   #11
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X2 on Cash and Carry. Smart & Final also. I think they are owned by the same parent company. But I'm not positive. Never had a bad one from either place.
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Unread 03-05-2013, 12:22 PM   #12
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Default Re: The Raw Brisket Flop Test For Tenderness

I know this. With all of the fat that I have had to trim off of packers lately, I am really questioning how much money I am actually saving vs buying trimmed packers like CAB
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Unread 03-05-2013, 02:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toast View Post
I'm into grade. Night and day. Prime = No. Choice = Yes.

Alot of time and effort involved in my world to do a good brisket. Bigabyte has a killer thread on the subject. But to me, it all starts with the quality of the cut.

I'm sure there are folks here that can make any cut tender but I can not. Choice has the marbling as Bandit says.
Prime = No? over Choice?

I guess I don't understand this if marbling matters. I've been buying some primes and man are they good! I say this even if the grade is at the ribs...seems like the chance for true marbling goes up significantly.
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Unread 03-05-2013, 02:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toast View Post
I'm into grade. Night and day. Prime = No. Choice = Yes.

Alot of time and effort involved in my world to do a good brisket. Bigabyte has a killer thread on the subject. But to me, it all starts with the quality of the cut.

I'm sure there are folks here that can make any cut tender but I can not. Choice has the marbling as Bandit says.
I never had much luck with primes either. Not even the strube brand wagyu. I like the. CAB national packers 16-18 lbs
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Unread 03-05-2013, 02:21 PM   #15
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It seems around here that all of the stores carry EXCEL brand briskets. Kroger, Publix, Star Market, Wal Mart, Sams, all carry EXCEL brand briskets. You can find Select, Choice and Prime. That being said, around here I am not sure it would make any difference where you bought one. You would have to determine what grade, and finally which brisket you feel is the best. I dont put much faith in the flop method, and I'm not sure I would put much faith in the squeeze method. Kroger freezes their briskets, and all of them might. So if you squeezed one that had not fully thawed out you might think it was firmer than one that had fully thawed. I look at the size, shape, and marble. Then I pick what I believe is the best available. If I were to cook one that I thought was questionable from the start, I would bet I would be more critical of that one.
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