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Apr 30, 2014 06:49 AM

Seeking prime or choice brisket

Is it possible to get prime or choice brisket somewhere in the NY metro area? Ideally somewhere that's not absurdly expensive. I'd like to possibly attempt smoking a brisket and was advised to get prime brisket, and if prime wasn't available, then choice.

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  1. I don't believe any kosher meat gets USDA graded. But if you ask at Prime Butcher, Fischer Bros, or Kosher Marketplace they can probably give you something that has the marbling equivalent of prime or choice.

    4 Replies
    1. re: avitrek

      All kosher meat sold in the US is USDA graded. Most of supermarket or butcher shop is probably choice, a smaller amount prime. I doubt if there is much or any retail market for select.

      1. re: susiejane

        Incorrect. USDA grading is voluntary. There's a reason you don't see USDA grading on most kosher beef. Kosher beef is expensive enough as it is.

        1. re: CWY

          Sorry, I was misinformed. USDA inspection is mandatory, while grading is optional and the cost charged to the processor.

          1. re: susiejane

            you are further misinformed. Only meat that is going to be sold/shipped interstate requires USDA inspection. There is still local meat slaughtering/processing done in the USA that is only under state inspection.

            I buy live animals from a local farmer, and have an old time shochet slaughter at a state inspected/supervised facility. My non-Jewish neighbor gets the hindquarters and I get the forequarters. I do the same with geese and ducks (but keep the entire bird). I then take the meat home and have to dress/break down and kasher it myself. At the time of the slaughter, the meat is inspected and stamped by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture inspector.
            When I was in my teens and twenties, there were a number of Connecticut kosher slaughter operations under state inspection. This was before the advent of the agriprocessors who put all the local kosher operators out of business and drove up prices and provided inferior product and less variety.

    2. I get prime beef from my butcher in Brooklyn. They deliver.1 718-851-7342 it's part of Meissner's and the butchers name is Beninfeld

      2 Replies
      1. re: ettilou

        Thanks! Just did a quick search and it looks like Meissner's is a caterer who also has take-out food. This address is listed for take out: 2924 Avenue I Brooklyn NY 11210. Is that the address I would go to to purchase raw meat? I don't live in Brooklyn, so I doubt they would deliver to me.

        1. re: dckosher

          No they are in Boro Park, on New Utrecht. I live in the 5 towns and they deliver to me. Call him, he might deliver to you. He's really really accommodating.

      2. Restaurant Depot carries whole packers under the label Superior Angus Beef, which is choice. There's a location on College Point in Queens.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Low_Fat

          Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that beef is certified kosher. (This the the kosher board.)

          1. re: dckosher

            R-Depot is great...but alas no-not kosher. Yes, there is absolutely USDA graded meats in the kosher world. I recommend speaking to your local butcher or meat purveyor and ask for a whole packer - untrimmed (that's 1st and 2nd cut combined) Personally, I prefer USDA CHOICE over PRIME when smoking as I believe the marbling to be better suited to the long low and slow process (I smoke roughly 1200lbs a week). If you are not feeding an army, but instead looking for a 3-5lb slab, I always recommend going with the 2nd cut /point as it is far more "bullet-proof" and will give you a ton more wiggle room with your cook temp and times. Best of luck, let us know where how it turns out. BTW, I'd call any of the FAIRWAYs and ask to speak with the kosher meat departments. I bet they'd hook you up and for 1/2 the price of any of the UWS or UES butchers. Here is an example of a good CHOICE 2nd cut brisket. Look for plenty of fat and ask the butcher NOT to trim your brisket no matter what size you get. Good Luck and have fun smoking!

        2. Not sure why you'd need a prime brisket for smoking. I smoke brisket frequently and rarely seek out anything beyond what's generally available (mostly select). I tried a Rosenblatt American "Wagyu" brisket once and didn't notice any difference.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ferret

            I've played with wagyu a few times and they have always cooked much faster. Faster to the stall and faster pushing through it... Give me that for tartar anytime. Pulled, sliced or even burnt ends, a solid domestic choice cut loved tenderly and you are good as gold. It's my favorite cut to smoke full stop... oh and the mod-gods would smoke my butt if I didn't mention then I do this for a living.

            1. re: gotcholent

              Ari, I believe that's because fat conducts heat better than meat.

              And your brisket is amazing.

            2. re: ferret

              I agree. The benefits of extra marbling is probably lost over a multi-hour smoking process.

            3. in Brooklyn, try I & D on Avenue P and East 7th (or so), Kings Highway Glatt on Kings Highway and East 2nd (or so), Pomegranate or Glatt Mart. In Manhattan, try Prime Butcher Baker or Park East