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In Search of Brisket

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I'm planning on smoking a brisket on the grill this weekend--good old Texas style. Anyone have suggestions as to where I can pick up a brisket? So far I've heard that BJ's/Costco is a best bet.

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  1. Don't go to Whole Foods if you want a tender brisket. I've also found this to be true at the area markets, including Somerville Market Basket. These are fine for oven baked and braised, but there is almost no fat cap so the smoked brisket may well be dry (I learned the hard way). I'm guessing you could give a call to DeWar's or Savenor's if BJ's or Costco don't work out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bear

      Ditto on their baby back ribs. I had to toss out $45 worth of WF's Niman Ranch ribs after my standard smoking process petrified them.

      If you want good kosher briskets, you can buy them whole at The Butcherie in Brookline.

      -----
      Butcherie
      428 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446

    2. River Rock Farms has excellent brisket - http://www.riverrockfarm.com/

      1 Reply
      1. re: cambridgejen

        Butcher boy in North andover has good brisket.

      2. Costco brisket is flavorful but it could use a little more fat left on for long cooking.

        1. I'll bet McKinnons in Davis Square would have what you need. But, I would recommend a phone call before heading out.

          2 Replies
          1. re: smtucker

            Wherever you call, ask if they have UNTRIMMED brisket . Many supermarkets get it this way, then they trim off the fat cap before packaging it . You want at least a half inch of fat on top . Most will render off during cooking .

            1. re: Msample

              McKinnon's had it a few weeks ago. Still vacuum sealed in plastic, and with a huge fat cap. After ten hours in the smoker it was quite nice :)

          2. Thanks for the replies. I got one from Savenor's in Cambridge. It looks pretty good--untrimmed--but a little on the small side, about 7lbs. Oh yeah and $3.99 a pound for brisket, that must be the New England markup because in TX they are at most half of that!

            4 Replies
            1. re: GULawKA

              That's not NE markup...that's Savenor's markup. I wonder if their brisket is of higher quality than your standard issue ones. You'll probably pay half that at McKinnon's or Costco. Enjoy.

              1. re: jackal

                If you want a whole untrimmed brisket, you can ask for a packer's cut which not all meat purveyors understand. Ask for the primal cut or croyvac or whole brisket if they look weird. Although you want to buy an untrimmed, you may want to trim the fat some. Also I would try to get a smaller, whole brisket or if you can't, go with a point cut and maybe use the texas crutch.

                McKinnon's can certain provide it, but you are safer if you call ahead for a whole brisket and specify the weight. I have also bought brisket (and more frequently ribs) from Lord Jeffs in Newmarket, although one other hound was very vocal about a bad brisket there. In town, Blackstone usually has primal cuts and is inexpensive.

              2. re: GULawKA

                Please report back after you do your smoking. I've been a little brisket gun-shy since my stringy, leathery disaster and have stuck to pork and St. Louis ribs. I do love a good smoked brisket.

                1. re: bear

                  second the recommendations to spend a little more on a kosher untrimmed brisket at the butcherie - second choice is river rock but asked for it untrimmed or it will be too lean.

              3. I got back from WF a little while ago, pleased that I had found a brisket, vacuum-sealed and with a healthy fatcap. I remembered this thread, and thought I'd check it out for ideas. Imagine my surprise to see that the Savenor brisket is considered expensive at $3.99/lb. Aargh! I paid $5.99/lb. Just wanted to warn unsuspecting brisket lovers.

                Probably the same sealed brisket I could have gotten at McKinnons for about 1/4 the price.