What Part of the Cow is Brisket? Here, We Explain

In this post, we not only answer the question above, but also explain what brisket varieties there are and tell you what it tastes like and how to cook it.
Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
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Last updated: September 13, 2023
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Do you want to capture the best BBQ flavor from your beef? If yes, then you must understand the different cuts of beef on a cow and know how to cook each cut. One of the more common cuts of beef is brisket Trusted Source Brisket - Wikipedia Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal. The beef brisket is one of the nine beef primal cuts, though the definition of the cut differs internationally. en.wikipedia.org . What part of the cow is brisket? What does it taste like? What are the varieties? How can you cook it? Well, these questions will be answered in this article.

We provide you with the most reliable ways to cook the brisket cut of beef. Read on to find out all that you need to know about beef brisket.

What is beef brisket?

What Part of the Cow is Brisket? Here, We Explain

There are eight primal beef cuts, which include:

  • Brisket
  • Ribs
  • Loin
  • Round
  • Flank
  • Plate
  • Shank
  • Chuck

Therefore, when the steer goes through the first butchering processing, brisket is one of the cuts that are made from the cow. These eight cuts are then separated into the parts like steaks, tenderloins, and so on.

The brisket in a cow refers to the triangular cut made in the bottom chest portion of the cow. Since it is cut in the chest portion, you will find that it includes the superficial and deep pectorals. The work of the brisket in a live cow is to support the weight of the cow. While other animals have collarbones that help to support the animal’s weight, cows don’t have this.

Since the brisket is responsible for plenty of support, you will find that the meat in this area is full of connective tissue.

Due to the large amount of connective tissue found here, it is recommended that the brisket be cooked extensively at low temperatures. If it is not cooked properly and for such a relatively long time, the result is bound to be stringy.

To ensure your brisket is cooked to perfection, use a reliable meat thermometer and make sure to learn how to calibrate a meat thermometer before each use. Proper calibration is key for accurately measuring the internal temperature.

Brisket varieties

What Part of the Cow is Brisket? Here, We Explain

There are two main sub-primal cuts from the brisket – the Point and the Flat. What are these? Let’s see.

The Flat

The flat of the brisket is the lean cut. It has a thin, rectangular appearance and is taken from the inside part of the brisket, which sits against the ribs of the cow.

The flat is identified by the cap, which is a layer of fat. This fat comes in handy in preparing the brisket as the drippings combine to make your meat taste wonderful. Some folks cut the cap away from the flat, but it is better to leave most of it in place.

Since the flat is lean and uniform, it is easier to carve into decorative pieces. Check out this post on the best ways to cut brisket.

The Point

The point, or deckle, is the part of the brisket that lies at the bottom. Due to the location, it is thicker than the flat. It contains most of the connective tissue.

Now, this part of the brisket does not have as much meat as the flat, but the fat that it contains tastes beefier than most other parts of the cow. No wonder, then, that it is often used in making hamburgers.

While the point and flat are the sub-primal cuts from the brisket, it is interesting to know that corned beef is a variety of brisket.

Corned beef is brisket that has been cured in a brine.

If you are cutting the brisket yourself, check out these knives that will get the job done easily.

How does it taste like?

For most people, the brisket is the beefiest part of the cow in terms of taste. Overall, though, the taste is dependent on the method of preparation.

For example, brining the brisket will give it a salted, brined flavor. On the other hand, smoking the brisket will imbue the meat with a unique flavor.

Different ways to cook beef brisket

The brisket is one of the most popular cuts of beef, and because of that, it is used in so many ways. There are loads of ways to cook beef brisket. For example, brisket is the primary meat cut that is used in BBQ, corned beef, pot roast, and classic dishes from around the world.

There are several preparation techniques that work to bring out the best qualities of brisket. For example, a popular version includes rubbing the brisket with lots of spices, then slowly smoking it over a wood fire. Traeger makes some of the best beef rubs on the market, as evidenced by several reviewers.

Another alternative to the Traeger beef rub is the Slap Yo Daddy BBQ Rub.

After cooking the brisket, small portions can be cut and smoked again to make them even smokier and crisper.

There are other ways of preparing brisket depending on where you are in the world. In parts of Europe, for example, the brisket is braised and served in gravy. The braising liquid can vary from wine to beer.

Some parts of Asia also slow-cook the brisket and include it in soups and noodles.

Below is one of the recipes.

Tips on cooking beef brisket

While the cooking methods vary, there are some tips that generally guide the cooking of beef brisket. These include:

  • Since brisket is very tough, it is best to cook it for a long time at low temperatures
  • Brisket can be prepared by braising and smoking
  • You can brine the beef brisket to turn it into corned beef
  • The crockpot is an excellent container for cooking beef brisket
  • Brisket can be grilled or cooked in the oven

How to store beef brisket

Raw brisket will last for up to eight days in the refrigerator. However, when covered and wrapped air-tight, it can last for up to a year.

Since brisket takes a long time to cook, it is better to cook it in advance, which will require storage in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it. When cooked, I can last for up to four months in a freezer and four days in a refrigerator.

Final thoughts

This article has shown what part of the cow is brisket. If you are looking for a healthy and delicious meat cut, then you should consider preparing brisket. Each cut of meat has its special properties, and understanding what brisket is will help you cook it in the best way.


Brisket - Wikipedia
Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal. The beef brisket is one of the nine beef primal cuts, though the definition of the cut differs internationally.

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