Beef briskets are available whole, in Cryovac (called whole packer briskets)
... or you can buy just the flats. A whole brisket consists of two main
sections ... the point, and the flat. The point is a separate muscle
& is much fattier than the flat. That's not altogether a bad
thing, but it's difficult to cook a whole brisket until the point is
done ... without drying out the flat. I like to cook the brisket whole,
until internal temp is about 170º ... then I separate the two
sections & "chunk & dunk" the point to make burnt ends
... and cook the flat to 195º internal temp, then rest
& slice. I generally buy CAB briskets (Certified Angus Beef)
... Choice Grade ... and pay around $1.59-$1.89/lb for it. I could buy
regular Select Grade packers at Sam's for $1.19/lb ... but I like
Choice much better. If buying just flats, price goes up considerably
... around $4.49/lb and up.
Mike Trump's "How to Trim a Brisket" Tutorial - ChezJohn says, "Good pictorial on how to separate a packer brisket - point from flat. This guy does it before he cooks the brisket ... because he is a comp cook & can get a prettier presentation by cooking the flat separate from the point. Note that he leaves most of the fat on the flat ... which is basically the same as what you would get if you buy a whole flat in cryovac ... they generally weigh around 5-6 pounds, depending of course, on the size of the cow it was taken from."
The only other beef cut I like to smoke ... is a whole chuck roll. It weighs about 20# ... and is the cut of beef that chuck roasts is cut from. When I smoke a chuck roll, I generally cut it into 3 sections weighing approx. 6-7# apiece ... then rub it down good & smoke it just like a pork butt.
The boston butt is also simply
called: pork butt ~ and the name does not mean that it comes from the
pig's hind end. It's actually from the front shoulder. A whole shoulder
(or fresh ham) is comprised of two pieces of meat ... the butt and the shank. The butt (like the butt end of a whole ham)
is the upper portion of the shoulder, and the shank end is the lower
portion. The *pork butt* is the upper half of a fresh pork shoulder.
Most grocery stores do not have pork butts in their display cases,
because most people have no clue what to do with them. The grocery
store will, however, have cases of pork butt in the back coolers,
because that's what they cut up to make pork steaks, country-style pork
ribs ... and if they make their own sausage & brats ... this is
what they grind up to make sausage. Pork butts come packed 2 per
Cryovac bag ... and generally weigh about 6-7 lbs. each, so the package
containing 2 butts will weigh 12-14# ... bone-in. If you have smoked
your butt properly ... at such time that it begins to do the
wabba-wabba dance, and you can easily pull that bone out of the butt
... that's when it's DONE. I try to buy butts on sale for $.99/lb ...
and will pay as much as $1.29/lb. If butts are more expensive than
$1.29 ... I don't buy them.
The Cook's Thesaurus - Pork Shoulder Cuts
with questions or comments about this web site.