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Unread 07-01-2013, 12:02 AM   #1
aHughJassDude
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Question Brisket: Sliced or Chopped?

Recently I read in Daniel Vaughn's book (The Prophets of Smoked Meat) that chopping or making chunks out of brisket was close to a crime. I had never had brisket before so I visited a restaurant were they chopped the brisket and, honestly, I was disappointed in it. It was dry and tasted just like roast beef, barely a lick of smoke to it. I sauced it up after the first bite.

Any opinions on whether to chop or slice brisket and do you think it made a difference to the meal I had?
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Unread 07-01-2013, 12:58 AM   #2
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I prefer sliced, but, I have both had and made good chopped brisket. If the meat is cooked right, you have choices. Poorly cooked meat is often chopped to hide flaws.
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Unread 07-01-2013, 06:51 AM   #3
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It sounds like the meat you had just wasn't cooked right or with enough smoke or smoke at all! Landarc is right that chopping usually is an attempt to hide flaws and it also causes moisture loss on its own. There are so many factors involved- it could have been reheated too much, cooked too long, not cooked long enough for the fat to render properly and add moisture, etc.

I'm in Georgia (near Atlanta) and even at the places that are "known" for decent brisket here, I have been far from impressed. My last experience was like yours- no real smoke flavor on it. Time before that it was so dry the slices crumbled into bits and all you could taste was smoke and no real beefy flavor. I've only seen one decent example here, so I think I'm going to keep trying out at home instead of dropping money on it.
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Unread 07-01-2013, 07:12 AM   #4
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we still have active "lynching" laws in texas if you catch a cattle thief in the act. can imagine that chopping up brisket might would get ya the same treatment. lol j/k but yes it is a high crime imo to chop up a perfectly cooked moist and tender brisket. chopped brisket is fine for left overs though
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Unread 07-01-2013, 07:41 AM   #5
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I'm a lazy farker, so I will sometimes chop a brisket. Usually I'll slice a bunch of it, and then chop the rest. And really for leftovers makin's, chopped works better
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Unread 07-01-2013, 08:17 AM   #6
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Sliced!!! If it's chopped it wasn't cooked properly or they is serving wimins & chillerns. I slice what I need when I need it. once it is chilled a 1.5 min trip in the radioactive box and it slices just fine for the next meal followed by anther 30 sec trip in the reactor you wold never know it wasn't fresh.
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Unread 07-01-2013, 08:23 AM   #7
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Please take note there is a difference between sliced. (the flat) and what folks refer to as "burnt ends" (from the point).

One might look at those chunks that are actually sliced usually into cubes and think that it is chopped.

That said, I am in agreement that sliced is the way to go. If a brisket gets overcooked to the point the slices will not hold up without starting to fall apart then the next step to salvage the meat would be to chop or pull it.

I've screwed up a brisket or two (or half a dozen) myself where I either overcooked, rested too long and it kept cooking etc. where I had to fall back to making a lot of it chopped rather than sliced proper.

If you add enough juice back into it you can still get a tasty product, but the texture will be mostly lost.
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Unread 07-01-2013, 08:24 AM   #8
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If a brisket is cooked that day, sliced is the only way to go. The restaurant you went too might of used yesterday's brisket to make chopped brisket to try to cut back on their food cost.
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Unread 07-01-2013, 08:46 AM   #9
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At the few BBQ restaurants around here I've found that chopped brisket generally means the point and sliced brisket generally means the flat.
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Unread 07-01-2013, 09:00 AM   #10
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Brisket is for slicing, if you like chopped, the front shoulder(chuck) is cheaper and has more fat content which makes much better chopped.
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Unread 07-01-2013, 09:08 AM   #11
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I like sliced but have had seasond chopped point in a sandwich that is unbelievable. No sauce needed. As in everything. Its a preferance with really no right or wrong.
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Unread 07-01-2013, 10:52 AM   #12
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Only time I chop mine is if the left-overs are going into a huge pot of chili. ...Which I guess may be soon considering hatch chili season will be here in a bit.
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Unread 07-01-2013, 02:13 PM   #13
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The fat is primarily where the moisture comes from right? There was little to no fat in the meat I got, which explains the dryness. What flaws can you conceal by chopping the meat up?

[QUOTE=rtboswell;2534910]It sounds like the meat you had just wasn't cooked right or with enough smoke or smoke at all! Landarc is right that chopping usually is an attempt to hide flaws and it also causes moisture loss on its own. There are so many factors involved- it could have been reheated too much, cooked too long, not cooked long enough for the fat to render properly and add moisture, etc.
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Unread 07-01-2013, 02:20 PM   #14
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[quote=aHughJassDude;2535427]The fat is primarily where the moisture comes from right? There was little to no fat in the meat I got, which explains the dryness. What flaws can you conceal by chopping the meat up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtboswell View Post
It sounds like the meat you had just wasn't cooked right or with enough smoke or smoke at all! Landarc is right that chopping usually is an attempt to hide flaws and it also causes moisture loss on its own. There are so many factors involved- it could have been reheated too much, cooked too long, not cooked long enough for the fat to render properly and add moisture, etc.
The most common flaw to cover up by chopping it is overcooking. Brisket will crumble when over cooked. You can also cover up dry brisket when you chop it by putting the dripping and other liquids into the chopped meat.
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Unread 07-01-2013, 02:29 PM   #15
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If you don't see the chef chop or slice your serving how can you tell if its from the flat or burnt ends?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonjax View Post
Please take note there is a difference between sliced. (the flat) and what folks refer to as "burnt ends" (from the point).

One might look at those chunks that are actually sliced usually into cubes and think that it is chopped.

That said, I am in agreement that sliced is the way to go. If a brisket gets overcooked to the point the slices will not hold up without starting to fall apart then the next step to salvage the meat would be to chop or pull it.

I've screwed up a brisket or two (or half a dozen) myself where I either overcooked, rested too long and it kept cooking etc. where I had to fall back to making a lot of it chopped rather than sliced proper.

If you add enough juice back into it you can still get a tasty product, but the texture will be mostly lost.
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