View Full Version : How to choose a good brisket?

05-03-2015, 04:30 PM
What to look for in choosing

Big George's BBQ
05-03-2015, 04:49 PM
If doing a whole packer you want the flat fairly thick and you want it to be flexible Lay it over your wrist/ edge of hand You wand to see a bend in the brisket even if cryovac

05-03-2015, 05:01 PM
you want it to be flexible
My 1st word was: FLOPPY.
Then check everything else, thick flat is helpful.

05-03-2015, 05:08 PM
Bend Test......& fat flat....


Fuzzy photo....I go into a meat frenzy early on these things....


05-03-2015, 06:08 PM
I look first at the thickness of the tail of the flat if it thinner than 1" at any point I reject it
Then I look at the marbling in the flat
If its floppy fine if not I'm good with it some briskets are packed to tight or are to short or thick for a good bend and cook up just fine.

05-03-2015, 06:09 PM
Bludawg has it right, floppy does not mean tender. A thick, even flat is much more important.

05-03-2015, 06:11 PM
i look for a thick, uniform flat.

Happy Hapgood
05-03-2015, 06:12 PM
Aaron Franklin has a good take on that in his book.

05-03-2015, 06:40 PM
Aaron Franklin has a good take on that in his book.

yeah he does. goes into great detail.

I bought a packer last week at Rest Depot after reading it.

I grabbed 4 packers I thought looked good, laid them all out on the flatbed cart I had. Looked, prodded, flipped, felt them. Stared at them for a few mins.

after doing this with his thoughts in mind it was obvious to me which one to get.

ended up being a great choice, I probably would have picked that one without his knowledge but them again maybe not.

05-03-2015, 07:24 PM
If its floppy fine if not I'm good with it some briskets are packed to tight or are to short or thick for a good bend and cook up just fine.

Thank you. I think this is the most overrated part of brisket in determining which one to get. Lack of floppiness could mean it is just cryovac'd tightly, or even that it was just recently thawed and hasn't lost all its "give" just yet. Either way, lack of flop doesn't automatically mean it gets tossed back.

In addition to thickness, I also look for uniform thickness throughout the flat. If your tail end is much thinner compared to the rest of the flat, by the time the thicker part probes tender the thinner part is sometimes too dried out to be eaten as slices and gets thrown in the "to be used in chili" pile.

05-03-2015, 08:16 PM
I also do not buy into the floppy part. Too me not being floppy means the hard fat may have been left too thick. You may be paying a little extra for fat that you will just trim and throw away. After trimming they are all floppy. Look for uniform thickness of the flat and marbling. I have better luck with choice or better but you can get a good select if you look hard enough.

smoke ninja
05-03-2015, 09:05 PM
Not being floppy doesn't mean its bad but if it is floppy is a really good chance it is good.

Its not so much as floppy as it is soft But floppyness is a fun word

05-03-2015, 09:47 PM
Floppyness......yeah, floppyness............and a thick flat....uniform flat, yes those are things to watch for.......but you can tell something about it if it's real pliable.....

That's always helped ever since I saw somebody say that's a thing to watch.....maybe I drank the kool-aid, but it's really good kool-aid....

Ones I've got that are thick & nice & even, but not so floppy just don't come out all that good.......like to think it's an indicator of decent fat / marbling & maybe some to do with wet aging, but again, maybe I drank the kool-aid............

I don't do these much, so I really do whatever I can to make it happen when one fires up.....