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Oct 5, 2007 02:17 PM

where to buy brisket

Is brisket a cut of meat that I can get at a grocery chain or will I have to go to a butcher for it?

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  1. My go-to place isn't particularly chowy, but it is reliable. European meats in Kensington.

    2 Replies
    1. re: xtal

      Me too, xtal. I don't think 'chowy' has to mean expensive. European meats is quite reasonable. After reading the rest of this thread, I realize that they are usually doubles (not that I would have known the difference, since I wasn't brought up on brisket).

      1. re: xtal

        I second European for brisket.

      2. I was at Longo's today (York Mills location), they had some.

        9 Replies
        1. re: obstructionist

          The problem with supermarket brisket, is, that they stock only the first cut.
          Not very fatty, nor does it have the grain of the second cut,(which is used for corned beef as well).
          The second cut is much thicker, and much tastier, unless you want lean...then the first cut would be O.K.
          I sometimes luck out at SLM, otherwise I order it from Cumbrae.
          Was able to get a beautiful second cut from Cumbrae, some time ago.
          Last minute thought, and they had it in stock, but not in their showcase..
          Unfortunately many, many butchers attempt to pass of a little thicker cut of first as second cut.

          1. re: erly

            sorry I forgot to add that Longos sells only first cut.

            1. re: erly

              Is there a way to tell the difference by looking at it?

              1. re: pescatarian

                Nortown has doubles only very occasionally.
                The last time I was there they attempted to sell me a single telling me it was a double from a smaller cow.
                A double has two layers and a layer of fat between the layers.
                A double is very thick, the thicker the better.
                Smallest four inches thick, and even better if it is 5 - 6" or more.
                .They will give you a cut any size you want at Cumbrae,
                This is true brisket.
                You may like the taste of single, as some do.
                I personally would not touch it.

                1. re: erly

                  Yes erly, I did a buy once at Nortown for a very inadequate brisket. have been frequenting European Meats with much satisfaction for decades. Only went to Nortown as could not get so far south and the small convenience was less convenient!

                  1. re: erly

                    I have bought a double at Costco.


                2. re: erly

                  Agree. Cumbrae's provides a very nice brisket - a little pricier but I can really taste the difference. This year, we decided to be more budget conscious for putting on the seder for husband's family and bought a Costco brisket. It was good but I definitely missed the Cumbrae cut and quality.

                  1636 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                  1. re: Mitzimouse

                    Depends on the use, I guess. If it's for low and slow BBQ, cheaper stuff is fine. European meats, T&T (if you are lucky) and a few other places regularly stock it at $2.99-$3.99 a pound.

                    Aside from quality, Cumbrae's also addresses the "how is it raised" ethical issues, which is another matter.

                    1636 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                    1. re: grandgourmand

                      How does Jerry's do for Brisket? I have been really happy with everything else I have picked up from them.

              2. Nortown butcher at York Mills and Bayview is where I purchased my last brisket. Really nice cuts, always plenty in stock.

                1. The Healthy Butcher is the Best!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bitetoeat

                    The Healthy Butcher is an exceptional shop, stocking many interesting cuts not found elsewhere. However, when they first opened, they tried to charge me $11.99/lb for a brisket. I couldn't spend over a $100 for a brisket, not matter how good the meat was.

                    Cumbrae's charges $5.99/lb, which is a deal for the quality they offer. Like several people have noted, old school/European style butchers usually offer them at very reasonable prices.

                    Cattlemen's in Parkdale is good. Not so crazy about European meats.

                    There's a small butcher in Kensington Market (forget the name, but it's the one on Kensington Ave) that has supplied some really nice ones. To demonstrate how confusing terminoligy can be, I went in and asked for a whole brisket, by which I meant the point, not just the flat (I guess this is the double to some?). The woman took me to the freezer and explained that to them, the whole cut included quite a bit of the rib cage. It was probably around 20lbs or more!

                  2. Adding some Places links for these places.

                    European Quality Meats
                    176 Baldwin St, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

                    Nortown Meats
                    303 York Mills Rd, Toronto, ON M2L, CA

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                      My Loblaws (Christie & Dupont) has been carrying them of late (perhaps for the Jewish Holidays) I actually bought a 'double' last week, weighed about 8-9 pounds, it was great, I cooked it very slowly (325 oven) and it was one of the best I have had in a long time. I normally buy the 'single' cut....there is simply no comparison...I will buy a 'double' from now on.....Call Loblaws to make sure they have it in stock.

                      1. re: pearlD

                        As I have said the single is like a different cut entirely.
                        I have never seen a double, or for that matter any real brisket at any Loblaws.
                        I am going to call they to see if they will be carrying them, or if it was just a one time thing.
                        Thanks Pearl for the info.

                        1. re: erly

                          How much is everyone paying per pound for their briskets?

                          I am used to a different terminology as well. I call the leaner cut the flat cut and the fattier portion the point. A whole brisket is called a packer because it comes that way from the meat packing plant....

                          I have picked up a few at a Super WalMart in Buffalo recently and they sell for $1.68 per pound.