4 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Brisket (But Should)

Those who celebrate Passover tend to eat brisket a particular way: slowly braised with sweet onions and carrots. But a lot more people are enjoying brisket these days–with a lot more flavor profiles. Here's what to know about this flavorful meat.

Slow-cooker brisket
Photo: Phoebe_Lapine/Getty Images
01 of 04

It's a Pec Muscle…

Slow-cooker brisket
Phoebe_Lapine/Getty Images

Just like a toned bodybuilder (sort of), a cow has hefty pectoral muscles. Brisket is cut from those muscles, and it generally weighs 12 to 20 pounds.

02 of 04

…That's Exercised a Lot

This means brisket has a lot of tough connective tissue. Cook it using low heat for a long time ("low and slow") to break down that tissue for ultra-tender results.

03 of 04

It Has a Secret Deckle.

Because it's so large, brisket is usually cut into two pieces. Most grocery stores carry the first cut, also called the flat. It's leaner and slices neatly. But your butcher may have the second cut, also known as the deckle point. It's marbled with fat and falls apart when you cook it.

04 of 04

The Cut Matters.

Two familiar ways to cook brisket—smoking and braising—result in very different tastes. Smoked brisket is made with the second, fattier cut attached, so it doesn't dry out after hours in the smoker. Braised brisket is ordinarily made from only the first cut, which helps the leaner meat hold moisture. If your braised brisket tends to be dry, try using the deckle point instead. It may fall apart when you slice it, but it'll be moist and succulent.

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