The Brisket

written by

Haylee Goulet

posted on

January 16, 2024

Beef Cuts


The brisket is the essential cut of beef you love to grill, smoke, or compete with. Do you know how the brisket became so popular? 


This now popular primal cut started as a Jewish cuisine. With-in the Ashkenazi Jewish community in Central and Eastern Europe. It's cooked at the celebrations of Rosh Hashanah, Passover, Hanukkah, and Shabbat. 

This cut is kosher because of its location from the breast, lower chest, or pectorals of the cow, located in the front above the front legs, below the chuck. Since this cut is tough, muscular, and has many connective tissues, it made this a very reasonable cut of beef. Families learned to marinate the cut for long periods of time and let it slowly cook over low heat. Jewish people brought their culture and recipes when they fled to the United States. As they settled in Texas, ranchers and Jewish immigrants worked together to create a new smoking process. 

From the 20th century, the smoked brisket became a staple. In 1950, when a restaurant exclusively offered brisket, this cut took off and gained its popularity. Boneless brisket has been the most popular meat purchase since the 1970s.

As brisket became popular in the United States, it was cooked worldwide, including in Vietnam, Korea, Pakistan, Italy, and more. Each country has its tradition of cooking and enjoying the brisket in its own way. In the US, brisket is now most commonly known and enjoyed by all who smoke meat. 


The brisket is a primal cut. Brisket can be purchased whole/ packer brisket, point, flat or deckle.

Beef Brisket Whole, Boneless- Flat and Point pectorals

Beef Brisket Flat Half, Boneless -deep pectoral

    Other names: Middle Cut, Center Cut, Front Cut, Nose Cut, First Cut

Beef Brisket Point Half, Boneless - superficial pectoral

    Other names: Second Cut, Deckle cut

Ethnic cuts

Beef Brisket Deckle-Style Strips, Boneless

    The deckle is the hard fat cap and intercostal meat on the briskets inside surface, separating the two sections.

Cooking Methods

Cured -Corned Beef or Pastrami (See below for the differences)




Pot Roast - slow cooking

Pot Roast Sandwiches

Burnt Ends

Brisket is delicious and cut thin for hearty stew, noodle soups, and barbecue sandwiches. 

How to cook a brisket

How to Cook Brisket (

How to Cook Brisket 4 Ways for Flavorful, Tender Meat Every Time | McCormick

Share your favorite Brisket recipe with us. We would love to try it! 

Difference between Corned Beef and Pastrami

  • Corned beef is made from beef brisket that’s brined in salt and pickling spices (like bay leaves, mustard seeds, and peppercorns) and then boiled.
  • Pastrami is made from one of several cuts of beef, including brisket or the navel or deckle cuts. After being brined and boiled, pastrami is then rubbed with a mix of spices before being cooked again, often smoked for a day or more, and finally steamed before serving.

More from the blog

Sides Of Beef

Buying  A Sides Of Beef Working for Calvin, a farmer, and working at a custom butcher shop, a common question is often asked: "What side of beef am I getting?" For me, this question gets asked because they have purchased 1/4 or smaller. The customer often wants to ensure they get the back half of the beef. They want some excellent homegrown steaks. Although, if you are a griller, you may want the front half. Why is this question still asked? Sometimes, the farmer or butcher will offer the front or the back half when ordering a 1/2 of beef. This makes the question valid. "What side of beef am I getting?" To cut to the chase, when ordering from Calvin, you get beef from the front or forequarter and the back half or hindquarter. Let's get into it. A beef carcass has two matched sides containing the forequarter and the hindquarter. A side of beef is half a carcass, split down the back. Sometimes, beef is sold as a forequarter or hindquarter cut. This means that a side of beef has been cut into two sections, separated between the 12th and 13th ribs. If you are looking for this type of cut, call Calvin. This would be a special order with our butcher. The forequarter contains the following primal sections: chuck, rib, brisket, foreshank, and plate. The hindquarters contain the following primal sections: loin, sirloin, round, flank, and the hind shank. From these primal sections, our desired cuts are made. From the primal cuts, they are further processed into more manageable parts called subprimal. Subprimals are smaller and more cost-effective to handle. Subprimal cuts can also be sold as block or tray-ready. Open the bag, cut it to your liking, and tray it. When ordering from Calvin, you get precisely what you want. You get beef cuts from the forequarter and the hindquarter. Never missing out. Buying directly from a farmer ensures the beef you're consuming was raised in a way that aligns with your values, the marbling you desire, and keeping a small family farm alive. Don't forget the family-owned butcher shop.  The total cost of a side of beef can vary greatly depending on where you live, the farmer's practices, and the butchering options you choose. With bulk beef, you pay one price for every pound, whether it's made into ground beef or ribeye's, so while your price may be comparable on ground beef, it's outstanding on steaks and other whole cuts. It's convenient! Having a freezer full of beef that is easily accessible for all your meals. You won't need to compare prices or seek out weekly sales at the grocery store. One order and you are done! My suggestion. Think about order a whole, half or quarter of beef. You will love the variety of cuts you get from both sides.