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How does Caplansky's smoked meat compare with Goldin's?

I'm sure some of you will wonder why I'd want to compare a deli with a product you cook at home, but I'm curious how they compare as from what I read, Caplansky's runs out quite often so I have not made it over there yet. I really enjoy the Goldin's product but don't like the long drive to pick it up.

When I read about the supply problems at Caplansky's started wondering how these two smoked meats compare. Has anyone tried both?

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  1. They are very different. Goldin's is less smoky and spiced differently. Both are good. I want Goldin to succeed also, but he is an actor and writer. Goldin's Smoked Meat still seems to be a "hobby" kind of business, and his supply is not reliable.

    1. I have had both.. Caplansky's alot more times than Goldin's but I have had goldin's a few times now too

      In my books, Goldin's is my favorite of the two for sure..

      the deckle is particularly amazing.. so much moister than Caplansky's although I do like the smokey aspect of Caplansky's sometimes as well.. the marbling in the Goldin's product is like webbing.. it just melts away it seems like.. so good.
      Not to mention I find the Caplansky's sandwiches to be too small, a problem you'll never have with Goldin's

      I am very interested in trying the DUNN's whole Briskets at Costco, but you can't boil-in-the-bag like Goldin's and I don't really have a steamer :(

      edit: also one very important part i left out is how well it refrigerates or freezes... in which case Goldin's is excellent cold or reheated whereas Caplansky's is very unappealing once it cools down.. i bought a lb. for take-home once and once it cools down it becomes very salty for some reason and much chewier.. even careful attempts to reheat didn't really work so well, where as with Goldin's the pamphlet that comes with it even says its great for freezing or refrigerating

      only my opinion of course

      5 Replies
      1. re: duckdown

        Here is Dunn's cooking instruction. http://www.dunnsfamous.com/en_cooking...
        Frankly, I don't see why boil in bag would not work, for about 2 hr. simmering.
        I doubt if you can reliably get the fatty, marbled deckle; this may be something Goldin holds back for people who ask.

        Although I rarely go too far west, the only place with this is the Ajax warehouse.

        1. re: jayt90

          I'd like to try the Dunn's meat also as the price you once mentioned was good, why would only one location have it?

          1. re: foodyDudey

            There may be others. I have been in Downsview, Scarboro, and Ajax recently.

            1. re: jayt90

              We should have a smoked meat shoot-out with Caplansky's, Goldin's and Dunn's. Just have to find a location.

        2. re: duckdown

          I've emailed Dunn's to ask where we can purchase their meat, and I have also pointed them at this thread.

        3. For those who don't already know, be aware that you will not get the Dunn's smoked meat under discussion at a "Dunn's" restaurant in the GTA. This is packaged product from Quebec. The Dunn's restaurants here share only the name. Their smoked meat is not good.

          1. Goldin's for the win....

            I am a fan of both but Goldin wins by a fair margin. It is unfortunately a bit far for me, and requires planning. Can't really satisfy an on the spot craving, that is where Caplansky's comes in.

            The marbling on the deckle is indeed heavenly, everything said about it is true.

            1 Reply
            1. re: aser

              For an on the spot craving there is nothing better than the box of Dunn's (Montreal) pouches at Costco.
              At first I thought they would be mediocre, like the pouches of pastrami or corned beef Shopsy's sold at one time. But this is the real deal, a smoked meat sandwich at home in 5 minutes.

            2. I googled Goldin's but I could not find their address. Can you help? Thanks

              1 Reply
              1. re: lamaranthe

                You can reach Alex at: smokedmeat1@gmail.com

              2. someone i know on another forum, another foodie has told me that they sell the dunn's whole brisket at the queensway costco, and he says it is very very good.. i really want to know what it like compared to caplanskys and goldins..

                i will check those cooking instructions jayt90


                2 Replies
                1. re: duckdown

                  I haven't had Goldin's yet, but it is special if you can get the fat-laced deckle part. We could ask for this at Caplansky's, too.
                  It's strange that the Dunn's is not more widespread. I suspect the store managers are not in sync with the buyers.

                  1. re: jayt90

                    If you pick through the cryovac packages of Dunn's you can occasionally find a piece with much of the point/deckle attached. I haven't seen one containing only the point, I'm assuming they get picked through first. Either way, they are a very solid product. Very tender if you slice it thin even without steaming it first.

                    My fiancee has made some awesome reubens using Viking rye the past few months.

                    Piled high on one of those Costco triangular ciabatta bun with yellow mustard is very good too.

                2. For those of us (and I when I say us I'm including me ) who are not sure what a brisket, deckle and point are I found this. It may be as much help to others as me. Click on the pictures to expand them.


                  1. I received the following information from Dunns. Kelly S supplied the following information. I have altered her telephone numbers by adding (xxx) in the middle so they will not be harvested.

                    Dear Sir,

                    Our smoked meat pouches are sold 6 x 175 gram in the refrigerated section in all Costco's across Canada as well as all of the Costco Food Courts.
                    In addition we sell our half brisket in the gourmet deli's (open counters) at the following Costco's in Ontario:

                    Ajax, London (Westminister), Etobicoke, Windsor, Peterborough, and all Ottawa locations.

                    Hope this info helps. Feel free to contact me for more details.


                    Kelly Sullivan
                    450-671-(XXX)-5514 (TEL)
                    450-671-(XXX)-5515 (FAX)
                    514-635-(XXX)-6006 (E-FAX)
                    514-898-(XXX)-3634 (CELL)

                    27 Replies
                    1. re: Paulustrious

                      Thanks for the clarification. They are not really very wise in keeping the half briskets out of Downsview, Vaughan, Markham or Scarboro, but that may be a corporate decision.
                      . To get a taste, anyone can visit the food court without a membership.

                      1. re: jayt90

                        jayt90 i would like you to try the goldin's one so you can tell me how it is vs. the Dunn's whole brisket.. keep goldin's in mind next time you feel like a deli sandwich!

                        1. re: duckdown

                          I have a Goldin's to pick up at the Chowmeet next Saturday.
                          Meantime, I roasted a Dunn's in foil in a slow charcoal kettle today, and it was melt in your mouth. This is the end piece. I'll be having good lunches this week.

                          1. re: jayt90

                            Actually I just renewed my Costco membership a week or two ago on my last UFC night and we had my remaining Goldins piece (medium) as well as a piece of Dunn's prepared in a steamer for roughly 2 hours (it needs less time than Goldins)

                            The dunn's was decent but I would have to say certainly not as good as the Goldin's and probably not as good as Caplansky's, but better than Katz's Pastrami or Steeles Deli smoked meat.

                            2nd or 3rd best in Toronto though, definitely the best product readily available for take-home on any given day of the week..

                            The method in your foil sounds excellent -- when the Dunn's was steamed at my house it lacked the melt-in-mouth feel that Goldin's is famous for


                            1. re: duckdown

                              Well, Dunn's is another source, half the price of Goldin's, and it responds well to slow foil roasting, about 2.5 hrs @280F. I have steamed a couple of Dunn's, but wrapping in foil and slow roasting retains more succulence. When I steamed, a lot was released into the water.
                              For me the real test is getting a meltingly tender sandwich without gristle, or stringy meat. When it is slow cooked that way, the spicing becomes secondary.
                              Any reports of gristle or toughness in this thread will relate to too quick steaming.

                              1. re: jayt90

                                Well, indeed, mine was not melt in your mouth tender like the Goldin's product is.. Goldin's takes 3 hours whereas when I follow the Dunn's link on how to prepare their brisket, they claim it only takes 1.5-2hrs.. So I went with 2 hours and still it didn't seem to break down as nicely.. It was tasty but not perfect.. You're including any liquid in the foil when you're doing the slow roasted method? I haven't done this before.. I have the other half of the dunn's brisket wrapped up nicely in the freezer for me to take out any time


                                1. re: duckdown

                                  I believe Dunn's is already fully cooked and you are just rehydrating it. Goldin's is smoked, but is not fully cooked.

                                  My current best method: put the meat on a rack in a roasting pan, OVER a couple of inches of liquid on the bottom. Seal tightly with foil and put it in a 200 F oven. Leave it alone. It can stay in there for hours.

                                  When I pull a pastrami out of the smoker (after 3-4 hours), it goes into the oven for 6-8 hours, sealed, at 200 F. A fully cooked brisket needs much less time. The meat is NEVER allowed to reach the boiling point.

                                  Yes, this differs from the method I used a couple of years back.

                                  1. re: embee

                                    Thanks for the information; may I ask, what kind of liquid are you using in the roasting pan? I was thinking beer might be tasty

                                    1. re: duckdown

                                      I use plain water. The spice intensity (remember, this is my own very potent curing formula) would overwhelm any taste contribution from the liquid. Generally, though, beer would be fine.

                                2. re: jayt90

                                  A couple questions:

                                  You might have already said, but sorry I can't recall where you bought the Dunn's @ which Costco? I usually go to the Warden one and have never seen it there (which btw I found out this Costco "sucks", thank you Davwud).

                                  Can you please describe how exactly you cook the Dunn's? Do you just wrap in foil DRY and cook or is there any sort of liquid in there?

                                  1. re: Restaurant Dish

                                    Yes, it was dry cooked in two layers of foil. It comes out moist and a bit crusty on the side near the coals, but embee's slow oven method is similar, and more controlled.

                                    Paulustrious found the locations, in a post above: Etobicoke (Queensway@Royal York), and Ajax are the only GTA locations for the half brisket slabs in cryovac. They are 1.5 to 2kg each, at $11 per kg. Some are well marbled at one end or even all the way back; others are lean.

                                3. re: duckdown

                                  A friend of mine bought a box of the pre-sliced Dunn's for me last week, and today I made a sandwich on Silverstein's rye. (actually I made two, one with regular rye and one with caraway rye). It's nowhere near as good as Goldin's in my opinion, but I guess it's OK for a quick lunch. I added a bit of French's "Bold and Spicy" Deli mustard to each, just as I do with the sandwiches I make with Goldin's smoked meat.

                                  The Dunn's pre-sliced meat has almost no fat, and I feel it's just too lean. Also, I can't even notice any smoke flavour so I'm not sure why it's called smoked meat. Summary: Dunn's may be much cheaper but I much prefer Goldin's. I usually have to go cut a few pieces more off the Goldin's product after finishing my meal but after eating my two sandwiches I had no compelling reason to eat any more as it wasn't as tasty.

                                  1. re: foodyDudey

                                    Is the pre-sliced stuff brisket? A lot of deli counter pastrami or MSM is made with eye of round. Blech.

                                    1. re: grandgourmand

                                      I'm sure it's brisket. It's not deli counter stuff, it's pouches of 185 grams that you heat in the bag. Well I wasn't missing anything and would not buy it again.

                                      1. re: foodyDudey

                                        All this brisket talk has made me hungry. I'm going to make some corned beef or something.

                                        1. re: grandgourmand

                                          Just buy some Goldin's, have you tried it? I picked up two briskets and two deckles on Sunday. I just put a deckle on to cook and came back up to the PC.

                                          1. re: foodyDudey

                                            I've got a deckle in the freezer and I'm cooking it up on Sunday for guests. Yeah, smoked meat sandwiches for guests, but they are ex-Montrealers and it's that good. Smoked meat sandwiches, roasted potatoes, and a greek salad. Go to go.

                                        2. re: foodyDudey

                                          This (Dunn's pouches) is a snack product. I've had it many times for lunch, heated in microwave, and half the time it is fatty and has some spices on the bread. The rest of the time it is lean, and there is no way to predict. It is commercially steamed, machine sliced , and shrink wrapped. A good quick lunch product, but nothing like their half brisket slabs. Those can be very well marbled, if you choose among two dozen available.

                                          Does Goldin offer this choice?

                                          I would like to address the smoke issue: Smoky brisket (really lip smacking smoky) is available from B.R. but it is not cured. Goldin's is apparently smoked, and I'll have one to check next week. Caplansky's is nicely smoked, but nowhere near B.R.'s briskets.
                                          MSM and New York deli meats are barely smoked at all, or fired with bland coals. This is a way to get away from Euro tradition, but there is no nod to southern U.S. smoking.
                                          I'll look forward to trying Goldin's product next week, but I am disappointed at the price point, the ordering, and the lack of transparency about the product.

                                          1. re: jayt90

                                            I didn't realise that the pre-sliced meat in pouches is much different from the whole brisket, I would have expected that it was similar.

                                            Alex said he hope to go more mainstream in the future, mainly by having it available in sandwich form at some delis.
                                            What did you mean by lack of transparency, I didn't follow what you meant in this case.

                                            1. re: foodyDudey

                                              Lack of transparency refers to origin of the meat (not that anyone else is disclosing!), type of brining or rubbing, and smoking, Plus health provisions, i.e. does it get inspected? It is all very secretive, unlike B.R. who is upfront..
                                              The Dunn's packages have a plant and inspection number printed on the cryovavc.

                                              1. re: jayt90

                                                If you ask, Alex will divulge some of his info. I wasn't aware that BR or any deli in town puts the origin of the meat, type of brining or rubbing and smoking, on their shop window, on their menu, and in their promotional material. Why would you expect this from Alex? If Alex's product doesn't appeal to you because of price or lack of transparency or whatever, don't buy it.

                                                1. re: acd123

                                                  The photos of Goldin's on this board show the meat in a foodsaver shrink wrap. We found out earlier that the meat supplier (one who can do a commercial brining) is Corsetti. Goldin adds value by hand rubbing and smoking but there is considerable mark up, and for me, it's a bit like buying a Rolex on the street. However, I'm looking forward to getting a deckle piece in a few days.

                                                  1. re: jayt90

                                                    I understand your point but you've repeated this many a times. I think it's better to just try it before commenting further.

                                                    The markup is significant, just like eating at Splendido or Canoe, but that is a personal choice. A lot of posters have deemed it to be acceptable because it tastes goddamn good.

                                                    88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

                              2. re: jayt90

                                Are you sure? I tried to go to a Costco to try the Dunns MSM but was turned away becuase I didn't have a membership. It was a few months ago, so I can't remember which one it was.

                                1. re: OTFOODIE

                                  I thought they let anyone in for food court, and free refills at the soda fountain. In any case they have to let you in to go to the pharmacy, and a side trip to FC would be OK.

                                  1. re: OTFOODIE

                                    Just tell them you're going to talk to the membership desk and slip past for a quick bite. I've done it in the past when I didn't feel like flashing my card at the exit. ;)