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Meat cuts for Kosher Q (BBQ)

I'm interested in doing some kosher Q on my Weber grill in the backyard. I had some good results smoking a turkey, and not I want to try my hand at making the kind of good BBQ like you get in Texas. However, I recently priced a whole kosher brisket, and I'd rather not have to take out a loan just to have dinner, not to mention the fact that our 3 person family would take a long time to eat 10 lbs of meat.

I'd like to know if anyone has any experience using other beef cuts, I would think that a chuck roast might work well, especially if I talk the butcher into leaving the fat in so the meat can baste while it smokes, but I have some concern that it might be hard to carve into slices.

On a recent trip to Texas, someone served me a smoked "clod" roast (i.e. shoulder roast), which surprised me, as the cut is very lean and I would think it would get dried out if it sat in the smoker too long. I've used shoulder roasts for Maryland Pit Beef, but that's cooked rare and sliced thin, which it needs to be because the meat is sort of tough once it gets well done, but not stewed. This smoked clod, on the other hand was very well done, but not too tough and not dried out at all. I wonder how they did it.

Am I missing any other kosher cuts that might work out well on the BBQ that aren't as expensive (or large) as a whole brisket?

Thanks in advance,

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  1. Although asking on the kosher board makes sense since people here will know about the kashrut stuff, it might also pay to ask on the BBQ, Smoking, and Grilling board--a new board launched a week ago.

    1 Reply
    1. re: queenscook

      I find that kosher butchers often label cuts of beef very differently than non-kosher butchers, at least in America. It often makes it hard for me to follow discussions of different cuts on the non-kosher boards.

    2. Could you do part of a brisket?

      1. I don't see why you couldn't buy a 4 lb brisket and go with that.

          1. Turkey legs, lamb shanks, whole chickens, rib fingers (the strips between the rib bones, ask your butcher) are all good options, not all beef I know, but worth mentioning nonetheless. Smoked Chuck is lovely, Rib Cap, chuck deckle, naval cut, even hot dogs, sausages, salami or bolgna. Veal ribs, belly or cap also smoke wonderfully. The wood used ready dictates the flavor profile. With leaner cuts you can just raise your temp and lower your cook time. I find that sites like the BBQ Brethren are some of the best resources for these kind of curiosities. G'Luck & G'Shabbas!!!

            1. I like chuck eye roasts (that still has that fat in it), which I get pre-tied from the butcher and slice into 1.5 - 2" thick chunks. After smoking it in a pan, I let it cool and shred it, so that I can easily remove the large chunks of fat and gristle, and add a sauce made using the dripings and serve on a bun. Definitely cheaper than a whole brisket, and easier to do in smaller amounts as well.

              I also highly recommend what are often labeled beef "back" ribs, which are actually the rack of ribs you get when a butcher makes a boneless rib roast. It's a particularly forgiving cut, inexpensive (usually about $9/lbs) and does not actually have a ton of meat on it, helpful if you're not feeding an army. I got started down the path to real bbq using this recipe from the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/24/mag...

              Next, and definitely a step up in price and difficulty, are short ribs or flanken. Like a brisket it's a tough cut, so you need to treat it like brisket and cook it low and slow in order for it to be tender. While available as a roast, unlike brisket you can also bbq it in smaller sizes and portions.

              Finally, don't write off turkey; there's nothing easier than a making your own smoked turkey with the "dark meat" turkey roasts commonly available (at least in Brooklyn) in kosher supermarkets. Give it a good rub and don't dry it out, then let it cool before slicing.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Beerhound

                The beef back ribs are excellent but remember to remove the membrane found on the back of the rib - it gets very tough when grilled or smoked - also with short ribs you can get a french cut in which the rib bone is a bit longer than the standard short rib.

                Also I don;t know why everyone is recommending to shred the smoked meat - nothing is more impressive than slicing into a smoked roast and seeing the beautiful smoke ring -

              2. For a quick smoke (as opposed to the amount of hours a 10lb brisket takes) try using a Top of the Rib. This substitute for brisket when making pot roast (usually about 2-3 lbs) works well on the Weber and will suffice for your sized family. It is stringy enough to 'pull' well.

                1. Beef shanks are excellent, with plenty of collagen. They are great for pulled beef. Cooled down, they slice very nicely for smoked deli. The greatest plus is that they are about the least expensive cut of meat. Chuck roasts, the fattier the better, are excellent. Chicken, especially with white sauce, is wonderful, as is turkey and turkey breast. Boneless short rib is even better than brisket, Naval is also great.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: ganeden

                    What's in your white sauce? Most white sauces I can think of are either dairy(bechamel) or I wouldn't think to use with smoked chicken(tahini).

                    1. re: avitrek

                      My understanding of white BBQ sauce is that it's mayo- & vinegar-based. I'm sure a simple googling will net many recipes.

                      1. re: queenscook

                        Thanks, I had never heard of white BBQ sauce before. It looks to be a regional Alabama thing. Probably too heavy mayo for my tastes, but I can see the appeal.

                        1. re: avitrek

                          It's a very light sauce. In this case, it's used as a marinade as well. Dr. BBQ's Big-Time BBQ cookbook, an indispensable BBQ bible.