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Brisket Test Prime vs Angus Choice

I prepped and loaded 2 prime and one angus choice briskets into the smoker at 8PM last night.  I have been disappointed in the quality of big box prime briskets for the last few years and I haven’t smoked a choice in years.  A local grocery store had angus choice briskets on sale for $2.99 so a perfect opportunity to test using my current method and the big gravity unit with a side by side test.  Wrapped at 7AM, more to come later.


Southeast Louisiana
2 Larges, 1 XL, Rockin W Smokers gravity fed unit, KBQ 
Go Tigahas!!!

Comments

  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 9,416
    Looking forward to this.  This is a question that has run through my mind as well.

    XXL BGE, Karebecue, Klose BYC, Chargiller Akorn Kamado, Weber Smokey Mountain, Grand Turbo gasser, Weber Smoky Joe, and the wheelbarrow that my grandfather used to cook steaks from his cattle

    San Antonio, TX

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 27,659
    Standing by as the protein variable is the challenge regardless of labeling.  
    Around here of late Costco has only been carrying choice packers.  Prior to a few months ago it was always prime for the packers and choice for the flats.  Not sure the reason for the change.  
    And their selection and butchering have definitely taken a down turn.  
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • GoldenQGoldenQ Posts: 497
    After trying both I like the Angus Choice.     May just be the taste of Angus vs others
    I XL  and 1 Weber Kettle  And 1 Weber Q220       Outside Alvin, TX-- South of Houston
  • I have found 4 different brands of prime briskets at local grocery and big box stores.  My preferences are ranked below, I haven’t done any research on their sourcing or practices just my observations on cooking what is available locally without resorting to mail order.  The flats are getting thinner to where it is a rare exception to find a prime brisket with a decent flat.  The 2 primes I am cooking now are Excel since that is all I could find locally.  I have no affiliation to any of these brands, these are just my observations cooking a good many briskets.

    IBP Tyson Foods
    Swift
    Excel
    National Beef. 

    Southeast Louisiana
    2 Larges, 1 XL, Rockin W Smokers gravity fed unit, KBQ 
    Go Tigahas!!!
  • ThatgrimguyThatgrimguy Posts: 4,610
    edited September 25
    I have found 4 different brands of prime briskets at local grocery and big box stores.  My preferences are ranked below, I haven’t done any research on their sourcing or practices just my observations on cooking what is available locally without resorting to mail order.  The flats are getting thinner to where it is a rare exception to find a prime brisket with a decent flat.  The 2 primes I am cooking now are Excel since that is all I could find locally.  I have no affiliation to any of these brands, these are just my observations cooking a good many briskets.

    IBP Tyson Foods
    Swift
    Excel
    National Beef. 

    I'd slide CAB in above swift, never had IBP. Past that I agree!
    XL, Small, Mini & Mini Max Green Egg, Shirley Fab Trailer, 6 gal and 2.5 gal Cajun Fryers, BlueStar 60" Range, 48" Lonestar Grillz Santa Maria, Alto Shaam 1200s, Gozney Dome, Gateway 55g Drum
  • Well the verdict is in.  The choice was excellent but the prime was far more juicy.  The choice was $2.99lb and the prime was $4.29.  I would be perfectly happy with the choice since there isn’t enough difference to justify the cost differential.


    Southeast Louisiana
    2 Larges, 1 XL, Rockin W Smokers gravity fed unit, KBQ 
    Go Tigahas!!!
  • BotchBotch Posts: 13,705
    edited September 26
    Just a past experience, FWIW.  This was before I got an Egg, using a water smoker.
     
    I cooked two briskets for an office party.  Bought them both at the Commissary at the same time.  They looked identical to me, but No I did not notice if one was Choice and one Prime (honestly don't think the Commissary ever stocked Prime).
    They were cooked side-by-side, and treated identical.  It became apparent while I was slicing them up that they were two completely different pieces of meat: texture, juiciness, and especially taste (they looked the same).  
    So, the cow drives the cook.  No idea if this was one cow.  Again, FWIW.  
     
    EDIT:  Oh, and I wanted to ask: is the judgement between Choice and Prime, done visually, or by testing?  If the former, then we shouldn't even pay attention to the label; look thru the cellophane.  
    ____________________________________________

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  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 9,416
    Any taste difference?

    XXL BGE, Karebecue, Klose BYC, Chargiller Akorn Kamado, Weber Smokey Mountain, Grand Turbo gasser, Weber Smoky Joe, and the wheelbarrow that my grandfather used to cook steaks from his cattle

    San Antonio, TX

  • Never cooked a “prime” brisket.   100% of the local packing plant packers local to me are Angus Choice.  And everyone of those have turned out awesome on my cookers. Never paid more than $2.99/lb for an Angus choice full packer here.
  • ThatgrimguyThatgrimguy Posts: 4,610
    Botch said:
    Just a past experience, FWIW.  This was before I got an Egg, using a water smoker.
     
    I cooked two briskets for an office party.  Bought them both at the Commissary at the same time.  They looked identical to me, but No I did not notice if one was Choice and one Prime (honestly don't think the Commissary ever stocked Prime).
    They were cooked side-by-side, and treated identical.  It became apparent while I was slicing them up that they were two completely different pieces of meat: texture, juiciness, and especially taste (they looked the same).  
    So, the cow drives the cook.  No idea if this was one cow.  Again, FWIW.  
     
    EDIT:  Oh, and I wanted to ask: is the judgement between Choice and Prime, done visually, or by testing?  If the former, then we shouldn't even pay attention to the label; look thru the cellophane.  
    I’ve cooked 4-5 briskets at once probably 25+ times now and with exact pieces of meat in exact conditions they have come out wildly different.  

    That’s one thing that kills me about YouTube comparisons.
    XL, Small, Mini & Mini Max Green Egg, Shirley Fab Trailer, 6 gal and 2.5 gal Cajun Fryers, BlueStar 60" Range, 48" Lonestar Grillz Santa Maria, Alto Shaam 1200s, Gozney Dome, Gateway 55g Drum
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 9,410
    Botch said:
    Just a past experience, FWIW.  This was before I got an Egg, using a water smoker.
     
    I cooked two briskets for an office party.  Bought them both at the Commissary at the same time.  They looked identical to me, but No I did not notice if one was Choice and one Prime (honestly don't think the Commissary ever stocked Prime).
    They were cooked side-by-side, and treated identical.  It became apparent while I was slicing them up that they were two completely different pieces of meat: texture, juiciness, and especially taste (they looked the same).  
    So, the cow drives the cook.  No idea if this was one cow.  Again, FWIW.  
     
    EDIT:  Oh, and I wanted to ask: is the judgement between Choice and Prime, done visually, or by testing?  If the former, then we shouldn't even pay attention to the label; look thru the cellophane.  
    I’ve cooked 4-5 briskets at once probably 25+ times now and with exact pieces of meat in exact conditions they have come out wildly different.  

    That’s one thing that kills me about YouTube comparisons.
    True this @Thatgrimguy ......
    Visalia, CaLGBE- Pit's by Klose Trailer -Stumps XL Stretch - Custom Santa Maria- FatStack Smoker FS120 FatStack 600- Blackstone 36 Blackstone 22 - Custom Cold Smoke House and a lonely Brinkman Vertical SmokerInstagram @lkapigian
  • @Foghorn Not a notable difference in taste.  The only real difference I noticed the prime was remarkably more juicy to actually filling the drip ring on the cutting board with aujus.  I cook over foil pans and wrap the entire brisket and pan so I get incredible aujus.  I wound up with over a quart of liquid gold after skimming and straining the liquid from the 3 briskets.  It’s magical.  I smoked the third prime for a friend, I didn’t cut into it so I don’t have any data on it.
    Southeast Louisiana
    2 Larges, 1 XL, Rockin W Smokers gravity fed unit, KBQ 
    Go Tigahas!!!
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 9,410
    “ Jus” 
    Visalia, CaLGBE- Pit's by Klose Trailer -Stumps XL Stretch - Custom Santa Maria- FatStack Smoker FS120 FatStack 600- Blackstone 36 Blackstone 22 - Custom Cold Smoke House and a lonely Brinkman Vertical SmokerInstagram @lkapigian
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