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Finding a whole brisket in the Valley

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I've been grilling steaks/chicken and bbqing tri-tip for a few years, and I'm ready to tackle a low and slow smoked brisket.

Any idea where I can get a good quality, decently priced whole brisket (untrimmed) in the valley? I'm guessing a kosher butcher would do the trick.

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  1. be aware, kosher meat is treated with salt before sale as part of the koshering process.

    1. Smart & Final has whole briskets.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Burger Boy

        I've always gotten my brisket's at Jim's Gourmet Meats on Fallbrook in West Hills, not cheap but a nice piece of meat.

        BTW, we had a wonderful smoked brisket at a friends last week and I asked where she got it and she said S&F! I think the person cooking it made all the difference!! It was really WOW!!!

        1. re: LesThePress

          I always go to Costco for mine. If you look around you may often be able to beat the price.

          1. re: SIMIHOUND

            I have never seen a whole brisket at Costco. You are right about the cook making a difference. Brisket is a cheap tough cut, why pay a premium price for it, you need to cook it low and slow, maybe 10-14 hours, depends on the size. Your seasoning also makes a difference.

            1. re: Burger Boy

              Absolutely BB. I'll be getting mine from S&F from now on. I know she cooked it for 12 hours but I'm going to find out what kind of rub and wood she used.
              It was just like the Brisket's on the Food Channel BBQ cometitioins, heavy dark (black) bark, juicy and tender inside with the most wonderful flavor. I've never had brisket like that in any restaurant of even that I've made at home.

            2. re: SIMIHOUND

              Costco usually carries the flat cut of brisket, but very occasionally, I'll see whole packer cut brisket. It seems to be a seasonal item (from St Pat's day through Passover-ish) when briskets are in higher general demand.

              Smart & Final briskets will work in a pinch, but they're usually not as high quality as from other sources. By this, I mean it's USDA Select at best, never anything higher grade, and not the best specimens of Select either. If you can find a local butcher (if LesthePress says Jim's is a good source, I'd feel good about that rec), see if they'll bring in a USDA Choice grade brisket for you.

              I'd hate to disagree with the esteemed BurgerBoy, but there's a difference between Select and Choice, even in a cheap cut like brisket. One of my competition BBQ buddies pays through the nose for Wagyu briskets and the difference in quality is remarkable. I personally stick to Choice and like the results. Incidentally, I buy my briskets at the wholesale-only Restaurant Depot, but that's not accesible for folks without a business license or a nonprofit credential.

              1. re: Professor Salt

                picked up a packer whole brisket today at S & F. USDA CHOICE !! @ $1.99 per lb. 12 pounds. Will go on the smoker on Wed mmmmmmmmmmm

                1. re: sdv231

                  choice? nice, i'm gonna check out my local s&f this week. woohoo.

              2. re: SIMIHOUND

                My wife always gets a brisket for passover, and always from Costco. Occasionally we'll also make it around christmas, and she's never had a problem finding it.

            3. re: Burger Boy

              yep, smart and final is where i get brisket sfor my bbq's. and the price is right......roughly $1.79lb.

              1. re: wilafur

                "good quality, decently priced " add fresh to that -- Smart & Final!

            4. order one from snake river farms online

              3 Replies
              1. re: budlit

                What does that cost?

                1. re: Burger Boy

                  I can't remember what it cost. It was about 25# american wagyu beef brisket, we smoked it for 36 hours, and it was amazing. Check their website.

                  1. re: budlit

                    Have not done any smoking in a long time and our briskets were smaller than 25 lbs, but damn that seems like a long time, was it a temperature thin or the type of meat, I have never done anything with Wagyu. How did you season it, bbq rub or salt & pepper?

              2. I just thought of this. Check with the butchers at Hows, the carry only choice and prime and i have had some great tri tip, rib-eyes and prime ribs from them. The are very accomdating people at Hows.

                1. We split a tangent about how to slow smoke a brisket. It's on the Home Cooking board, where our BBQ experts are asked to share tips and tricks:

                  Please help us keep this thread focused on local sources for ingredients.

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/617990

                  1. The best brisket I've ever eaten was one I cooked at home and bought from Ventura Kosher Meats in Tarzana. It was a tad expensive, but really worth it.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Golem

                      I get my briskets at Ventura Kosher Meat too but I wish that they had a little more fat on htem.

                    2. For real BBQ we always buy the whole brisket at Smart & Final. You need that fat later, and you can't beat the price. Costco briskets are too lean IMO