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Brisket: Select vs. Choice vs. Prime

There are plenty of brisket threads and I see many prefer prime and who wouldn't with a steak, etc. but the only brisket I can find right now is a Select from Wal-Mart. 

So what do you do different with a Select vs. a Choice vs. a Prime, if anything other than time? 

I've got a 16 pounder to Egg for Saturday's guests of about 40, half kids and half adults with other stuff.  

I get the 'usual steps' and have been Eggin' for a couple years but there just aren't many briskets to be had around here beyond the flats at Costco.. 

And. Happy Birthday, U.S.A. ! I love this place! 

Comments

  • The Cen-Tex SmokerThe Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 11,425
    edited July 2013
    Hey Steve- I don't buy select briskets anymore but I've done a lot of them in the past. I don't have to since we can get choice or prime most of the time these days. Not much difference in the cook but select tends to have much less intramuscular fat than the fancy choice or prime briskets. That's what keeps it moist- especially in the flat. I think you'll be fine. Just keep in mind that the outer edges of the flat will dry out quicker on a select so they may not be the best part. I would just chop any of that stuff up and sauce it and eat it on sammies. Since you have a 16lber, you have a packer. That is good. That means you will have plenty of good moist meat from the fat end to dazzle everyone with your mad brisket skills.



  • Crispix49Crispix49 Posts: 190
    "Intramuscular" - like it. New word for the vocabulary! I see of I can work that into a conversation with my mother-in-law somehow.
    Atlanta suburbs
    Large & Mini owner
    UGA Alum - Go Dawgs!
  • Crispix49 said:
    "Intramuscular" - like it. New word for the vocabulary! I see of I can work that into a conversation with my mother-in-law somehow.
    carefully...............

  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,436
    I've done a ton of select. Some were great some sucked. It's real hit or miss.

    Choice is more consistent.

    Some choice has a ton of subcutaneous fat and you end up trashing several lbs. it's a small price to also get the intramuscular goodness.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • crispix49- you now have 2 ways to talk about fat with your MIL this weekend. Good luck.



  • SteveWPBFLSteveWPBFL Posts: 1,259
    Maybe . . . I should foil or braise once it hits say 160F ? Ala Travis ....

  • Maybe . . . I should foil or braise once it hits say 160F ? Ala Travis ....

    maybe........He's right here ya know. I still wouldn't but that's me. i'd rather have the traditional style and a little less moist meat. i still like dried up flat with bbq sauce on a sammy. it's kind of like a poor mans burnt end :))

    It will be great either way.



  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,550
    That stuff makes great burgers.  Not a lot of fat, so it goes a long way.  Grind up some bacon with it.  Yeah, like Travis said, hit or miss on the roast.
    ______________________________________________
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    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Austin  EggheadAustin Egghead Posts: 3,130
    Follow the GIGO principal when purchasing brisket.  Stick with choice unless they have a good price on prime.
    Eggin in SW "Keep it Weird" TX
  • tays44tays44 Posts: 82
    I sell beef for a living. I can tell you that with a brisket, the way the muscle is treated during the life of the animal it doesn't really matter amongst grades. As long as you're using a graded piece you can almost rest assured its from a nice, fat, fed animal. The brisket is abused during the life of the animal which is why low and slow is the only way to cook. You may get a better experience with a prime over select but most likely wont be able to tell a difference when it's all said and done.

    Keep in mind that these animals are graded pretty much off the marbling content between the 12th and 13th rib. Has nothing to do with the brisket.
    - EAT BEEF -
  • SteveWPBFLSteveWPBFL Posts: 1,259
    Interesting note, Tays. I'm sitting here thinking they grade each cut or something like that. Sounds like they have it down to, well, a rib! 
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 9,190
    @tays44

    Aren't they graded by a USDA inspector walking by and "shiving" the cow? That fascinates me that one poke grades a 1k+ lb beast.
  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,210

    @tays44

    Aren't they graded by a USDA inspector walking by and "shiving" the cow? That fascinates me that one poke grades a 1k+ lb beast.

    When I was a kid my mom worked for a vet and they would ultrasound the ribeye section on live cattle to get a grade assessment, it was odd but kinda cool.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,257
    Just read a thread over at eGullet this morning.

    Offers a little more detail that agrees w. @tays44 comment. Prime really only refers to certain cuts in cattle, and brisket is not one.
  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,261
    tays44 said:
    I sell beef for a living. I can tell you that with a brisket, the way the muscle is treated during the life of the animal it doesn't really matter amongst grades. As long as you're using a graded piece you can almost rest assured its from a nice, fat, fed animal. The brisket is abused during the life of the animal which is why low and slow is the only way to cook. You may get a better experience with a prime over select but most likely wont be able to tell a difference when it's all said and done. Keep in mind that these animals are graded pretty much off the marbling content between the 12th and 13th rib. Has nothing to do with the brisket.

    Appreciate your perspective -- but I do not agree. Ton of difference between a select, choice, and prime brisket.
    Cookin in Texas
  • SMITTYtheSMOKERSMITTYtheSMOKER Posts: 1,996
    boatbum said:
     

    Appreciate your perspective -- but I do not agree. Ton of difference between a select, choice, and prime brisket.
    I agree, we've cooked over a 200 briskets in last 10 years and I'm convinced that the marblelization you find in prime and wagyu are a step above.  Differnece between choice and select is not so noticable, IMO.

     

    -SMITTY     

    from SANTA CLARA, CA

  • SteveWPBFLSteveWPBFL Posts: 1,259
    It turned out wonderful! No sauce needed.
    image.jpg
    1600 x 1196 - 674K
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