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Apr 25, 2013 07:58 AM

Deckle vs 2nd cut brisket

I see many people referring to the deckle as 2nd cut brisket while I see stores sell both products. What is what and why should there be such a confusion.

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  1. I believe it is the same thing.

    Deckle/2nd cut is usually smaller, about 4lbs and fattier than first cut. I happen to prefer the deckle because when I slow roast (at 250 degrees for about 6hrs) it keeps the meat moist and is really delicious. Internal temp around 190 degrees and a nice spice rub at the start.

    First cut/point cut is usually larger in size 8-10 lbs and leaner but it might dry out faster.

    18 Replies
    1. re: kosherdoc

      If you check out Prime Cut's web site as an example you will see them offering both. I am still confused.

      1. re: MartyB

        Butchers call meat plenty of different names, and there is very little of an enforced standard, especially in the kosher world. You're better off finding a butcher you trust and asking him where the deckle he is selling is coming from on the cow. If your butcher doesn't know, then it's probably time to find another butcher.

        1. re: MartyB

          It's easy to be confused, as names for cuts of beef are not standard. A London Broil may be chuck (kosher) or found in the supermarket (Top Round) treif.

          In the NY area from the 1930s on (according to my 90+ year old mother) deckle generally meant the flap or second cut of brisket (the fatty cap that covered the mammary glands of the cow).

          In the 1970s deckle roast started to show up in kosher markets that was not brisket. A common source was the cap that is over the rib eye that has a fatty strip and connective tissue. It is cooked similarly to brisket-long, slow oven, wet (braising or as pot roast).

          As rib eye got very expensive the chuck deckle appeared on the market in the mid 80s (when I was already shopping for my own home). Butchers took unappealing (to the eye) odd shaped roasts from the chuck that were both fatty and had lots of connective tissue that need a slow braise to break down and started sell 'chuck deckle roast.' Previously these odd shaped hunks would be ground for hamburger.

          My mother often made pot roast with chuck deckle but it was marketed as Top of the Rib-a true description of where in the animal it was found.

          "Beef chuck deckle — not to be confused with the grillable deckle of the rib-eye — is one term for the meat that lies on top of the ribs. It looks like a cross between flank steak and skirt steak, a flattened millefeuille of muscle and fat" Jane Sigal in the New York Times April 28, 2009

          Below is a link to an explanation of the beef deckle that sits as the cap on the ribe eye (steaks).

          1. re: bagelman01

            Not only is it easy to be confused, I am now completely confused.

            That being said. My mother used to make what she called "Brust Deckle". Loved it. It held together nicely when sliced. Which "deckle" would that be?

            1. re: MartyB

              Brust means Breast. The brisket is the breast of the cow and the 2nd cut (flap that covers the mammary gland) is the Brust deckle

              1. re: bagelman01

                I guess to play it safe I will stick to the 2nd cut brisket since that is one of the "deckle" cuts and is at least a known cut.

                1. re: MartyB

                  Just went to Gourmet Glatt. They had Breast Deckle "from the chuck" (that is want the "butcher/worker" said) for $8.99/lb and 2nd cut brisket for, I believe, $11.99/lb (interesting that 1st cut brisket was a special @$8.99/lb). They certainly looked different.

                  For shabbos I will be making the "chuck" breast deckle and see how that turns out. The bottom line is what tastes better to me.

                  My big problem now is that since I will be starting Dr Bo's Diet on Sunday, I will, for all practical purposes, be saying goodby to food for a few months. Sigh, $1,300 for the program, but if it works, worth every penny.

                  1. re: MartyB

                    if you ever do queens, deckel and 2nd cut bricket are two cuts that are very frequently on enormous sales at seasons in queens

                    i think we paid 5.49 and 6.99 this week and last

                    1. re: shoelace

                      I almost only buy my meats from Seasons of Lawrence. Problem now is that they are closed for renovations. Hopefully they will open soon since the other 5 towns stores meat prices are out of line.

                      $12/lb for 2nd cut brisket is excessive.

                    2. re: MartyB

                      I hope you enjoy your meal.
                      That said the employee at Gourmet Glatt was either ignorant or being deceitful.
                      There is no such thing as breast deckle from the chuck. Breast is Brisket. The brisket is a primal cut of beef that is found below the chuck.

                      I have attached a beef primal cut chart, please see the forequarter.

                      But you are correct, ity's all about taste and personal preference.

                2. re: MartyB

                  One of the reason you are confused is that if you ask the employee in the meat department of your local kosher store:
                  Is it Brisket (2nd Cut) Deckle?
                  Is it Rib Eye Cap (Chuck deckle)?
                  Is it Top of the Rib (not the rib eye) Chuck Deckle?

                  The employee will have NO CLUE.


                  The change to boxed beef from the super processors (like that in Postville, Iowa.
                  Beef doesn't arrive at your local kosher butcher hanging on the hoof and is not broken down there. The employee never sees where the sub primal cuts come from, they just open a cryovac bag and pack on foam trays.

                  You almost never deal with a butcher, just meat cutters and packers who are NOT trained in the natomy of the animal.

                  On the treif boards there is a long running thread about why butchers don't butcher. Today, we call meat department employees butchers, and they are NOT butchers.

                  Until we return to some local slaighterhouses and kosher butcher shops, NOT self service meat makets or departments you will not generally get the information you need or the cuts you desire.

                  Turning the kosher meat processing business into duopoly ruined it for the ch type kosher consumer.

                  I wouldn't buy something marked "ground beef" I want to know what cuts are being ground, or preferably choose the meat to have the butcher grind while I wait. Mom taught me to NEVER accept the ground meat that was in the case (more than 50 years ago, So, I grind my own. I also have a local shochet who will kill local anaimals for me and a non-Jewish neighbor who takes the hind quarters. AND I still will kasher my own meat. It's no big deal, Jews did it for millenia, only since the big operation such as Agriprocessors did kosher meat become available ONLY pre kashered.
                  I think the old way was better.

                  I know I'm ranting, but I have a legitimate beef about this

                  1. re: MartyB

                    As was mentioned, every butcher in every town has a different name for each cut of meat.
                    I also remember Brust Deckel but it was from near the neck and not from the Brisket. It is about 1 or 2 inches thick, very stringy and not a really good cut. many tie it up so it has a nice slice after cooking. The one from the rib is called Top rib. also flat and thin, stringy and very similar cut to a first cut brisket, but not as good a piece of meat. The second cut brisket is much thicker, fatter, very stringy and best for dishes such as Cholent. The fat adds a great taste to the cholent and keeps it moist and tender all night.
                    All very different cuts of beef.

              2. re: kosherdoc

                I asked the butcher here in Chicago when I was buying a deckl for my mother because I had choice - chuck deckl *what my mom wanted) and brisket deckl - and I was told the chuck deckl as the name implies is form the chuck roast - has more connective tissue and fat and makes a juicier corned beef. The brisket deckl is the first cut and as others have said will be drier - also here in chicgao the chuck deckl is substanially cheaper by $4 per poind

                1. re: weinstein5

                  First time I am hearing someone refer the deckle as the 1st cut brisket!

                  This topic has been touched on in this Chowhound posting. You will see the confusion at play.


                  1. re: weinstein5

                    I am completely confused and at a loss of words by this post and the information you received.....there are three terms for brisket that are relevant. ....Flat, Point and Whole Packer. The Point Cut and Whole Packer will include the Deckle.

                    1. re: fourunder

                      The three terms you cite are quite common in the treif world, in the kosher world it is most often:
                      First Cut (Flat)
                      Second Cut or Deckle (Point)
                      Whole Untrimmed (Packer)

                  2. re: kosherdoc

                    kosherdoc said:
                    "Deckle/2nd cut is usually smaller.....
                    First cut/point cut is usually larger..."

                    I've often heard the terms "deckle" and "point" used interchangeably, as opposed to the "flat". I'm with fourunder and bagelman01 on this.

                    As an aside, when ordering (treif, sorry) BBQ brisket, I usually ask for the point. Although fattier, it's more moist and tasty.

                    1. re: Steve Green

                      Deckle is the 2nd cut or point. It is the flap that covers the mamary gland and it comes to a point, much like the flap on an envelope, hence the name in English: Point Cut

                      The First Cut is NOT a point cut. It is a large usually rectangular FLAT cut, common name in English: Flat Cut. The second cut is not a uniform thickness, and does not make for pretty, even slices.

                  3. According to my butcher, deckle is not quite as tender as second cut, and I have found this to be true in my own experience. It's somewhere between first and second cut.

                    I never buy first cut. It's much less fatty (OK, I get why people might want that) but the leanness makes it much tougher, and it's more expensive.

                    If someone knows more about this, I'm interested.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: helou

                      I would never buy first cut to make as a roast, pot or BBQ. However, I sometimes will buy a small first cut to grind in with chuck for hamburgers, adding a little different texture and sweetness. 2nd cut is too fatty for hamburgers -IMHO.

                      Off topic-my favorite mix to grind for hamburgers is neck and skirt.

                    2. I thought deckle was the top edge of the prime rib roast?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Jerseygirl111

                        That would be the rib eye cap.

                        Deckle has been used to describe three differnt kosher cuts that are fatty and full of connective tisuue as explained above

                        1. re: Jerseygirl111

                          Yes, that browner, about inch-wide half-circle that surrounds the solid red eye of the prime rib roast. At least that is how a hot Charleston, SC restaurant described it when offering it as a special. They called it a deckle.

                          1. What the deckle? There are 3 deckles.
                            Give me the rib cap any day.

                            And yes this is confusing.
                            Maybe why the beef industry is renaming 350 meat cuts.
                            Now we will finally have a clear understanding of what cut of meat we will be eating. (rolleyes)

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: scubadoo97

                              Would the rib cap deckle be labeled as such? I have seen only chuck deckle, breast deckle and plain deckle unless rib cap deckle is the same as top of the rib which I do see.

                              1. re: MartyB

                                a terrible answer, but one that is accurate:
                                It DEPENDS on your butcher/meat retailer.

                                Rib cap is the top of the rib eye, Top of the rib is probably what you and your supplier call chuck deckle.

                                1. re: bagelman01

                                  And to confuse things more, Costco's kosher section sells a cap roast. it is a rolled and netted roast, which I assume is the rib cap, but who knows. I have not bought it.