Brisket is a very specific cut of meat. Brisket is cut from the breast or lower chest of cattle (either beef or veal). In Asian countries like the Philippines, Vietnam, and Hong Kong, brisket is commonly used as an ingredient in noodles and soups. In many European countries, brisket is usually stewed or braised.
Another way to prepare brisket for consumption is by making smoked brisket. As the name implies, smoked brisket refers to brisket that has been smoked. When you smoke brisket, you improve the flavor. How? Smoking involves heat, and when meat like brisket is subjected to heat, its juices will drip. The juices dripping on the wood that burns and smokes the brisket helps in making the brisket more flavorful.
Smoking is an important part of processing brisket as edible meat because it has something to do not just with the taste but in tenderizing the brisket. Brisket normally comes with a lot of connective tissues, and the brisket portion in cattle makes it a tough cut of meat considering the connective tissues found here. By smoking the brisket, the parts which would be hard to swallow normally soften, making it easier to eat. This is possibly one of the main reasons why smoked brisket became popular eventually.
Hardwood, such as oak, pecan, hickory, or mesquite, is used in smoking brisket.
Smoked Brisket Trivia
- Brisket is considered the National Dish of Texas.
- In the US, smoking brisket was first practiced by Jewish immigrants in Texas.
- The origin of the term “brisket” dates back to the old Norse “brjosk” which means cartilage, making way for the Middle English term “brusket”.
- The Jewish community in Montreal makes Montreal-style smoked brisket which is similar to pastrami.
Smoked Brisket Buying Guide
Where to buy smoked brisket? Your first stop should be the supermarket or grocery. If it is not available there, look for specialty stores, butcher shops, or delicatessen selling smoked brisket. Your last option is ordering online. Ordering online is convenient, but buying from the store is still better because you can inspect the product before you pay for it.
If this is your first time eating smoked brisket, buy in small quantities first. While smoked brisket, in general, tastes good, there is still a chance you may not like the smoky flavor (and it is not unusual), and should this happen, it is a good thing you didn’t buy a lot. It is important not to be wasteful when it comes to the food we buy.
If this is your first time buying smoked brisket and you don’t know which brand to buy, ask friends for recommendations or read online reviews. Or simply read the packaging and choose the healthiest option from the items available. Read the details in the packaging and compare details like sodium content to help you decide which is a better choice for you.
Check the expiration date or best-before date. If you are planning to cook it later or stock up, make sure to buy smoked brisket with an expiration or best before date suitable to the date you are planning to cook it.
Check the packaging for signs of tampering or product safety issues. The safety and quality of the product may have been compromised during transport and handling. In any case, do not buy smoked brisket with damaged packaging. Report this to the store attendant so that it is checked, and if necessary, removed from the freezer or shelf to avoid having customers less attentive to details buy it.
Smoked Brisket Production & Farming in Texas
In Texas, smoking brisket is a very important cooking practice that was practiced by Jewish immigrants in Texas. Smoking brisket is an important American dish that is very popular in Texas. The origin of Texas smoked brisket dates back to the 1800s, when Ashkenazi Jews, Czechs, and Germans, emigrated to Texas, bringing with them brisket, which is a very important and popular food in Ashkenazi Jewish culture and cuisine since Jews have eaten brisket since the 1700s. Smoked brisket started appearing in Texas during the 1900s. Jewish deli counters Watson’s Grocery in El Paso and Naud Burnett grocery store in Greenville were among the first to sell smoked brisket in Texas. Alex and Moise Weil sold smoked brisket in 1916 in Corpus Christi. In the late 1950s, Black’s BBQ in Lockhart was considered by many as the first non-Jewish restaurant to serve smoked brisket in Texas. By the 1960s, many barbecue restaurants in Texas began selling smoked brisket.
Today, there are many commercial meat shops as well as artisanal and small-scale cottage industry local businesses that produce and sell smoked brisket.
If you are dining out, many restaurants serve smoked brisket on the menu. There are also food stalls and food trucks and other similar small-scale food businesses that sell smoked brisket or incorporate smoked brisket in the menu, like using it as filling for tacos or sandwiches.
Slow smoking barbecue is one of the popular ways to produce smoked brisket in Texas.
Pesticides, Additives, and Chemicals:
Smoking is preserving the meat, which is why it is common to see smoked brisket with a label that says “no artificial additives or preservatives” on the packaging. However, according to the article entitled Smoked food and cancer published in the Bibliotheca Nutritio et Dieta and written by researchers Fritz and Soós, “smoking is a well-known source of food” that is contaminated which is “caused by carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.”
Smoked brisket is found in different parts of the world because people all around the world practice smoking meat. However, smoked brisket is not as ubiquitous in Britain as it is in the US; nonetheless, interest in smoked brisket is growing here. The popular way of cooking brisket in Britain is by braising or stewing it. Braising is also a popular method of cooking brisket in Germany. Here, brisket is braised in dark German beer and cooked with different vegetables, spices, and herbs.
It is common to find smoked brisket wrapped in either foil or butcher paper. Of the two, butcher paper is the best when it comes to keeping the brisket moist. Dry smoked brisket is less appealing to eat. You can also buy smoked brisket in vacuum-sealed plastic packaging.
Enjoying Smoked Briskets
Smoked brisket is cooked meat, so you can eat it already. Smoked brisket is delicious, tender, easy to chew and swallow, and pairs well with different foods and drinks. Smoked brisket is very versatile, and you can use it the same way you use regular beef on a variety of dishes. It is a great meat substitute not just for beef but for pork or even chicken or fish, and it is tastier too because it is smoked.
You can have a few slices along with plain or fried rice, or any other side dish, or put it in a bowl of noodles (beef brisket noodles is a popular and common type of noodle dish in many Asian countries). You can use it as filling for tacos or quesadillas, or as a topping for arepas or pizzas, or make a smoked brisket sandwich with it. What’s better? Grilled cheese sandwich with smoked brisket. Have it for breakfast with eggs and potatoes. Use smoked brisket when cooking chili. For lunch, make smoked brisket soup or casserole, or even a smoked brisket shepherd’s pie. Use it as a meat ingredient for your pasta dishes. Cook it with baked beans or use it to stuff baked peppers.
When eating smoked brisket, it is a common practice in Texas to pair it with pickles, onions, and toast.
You can refrigerate leftover smoked brisket, or freeze it if you want it to last longer. However, there are important considerations when it comes to smoked brisket storage. First is the deterioration of the bark or the smoked brisket’s tough exterior. Reheating smoked brisket will soften the bark, which means the experience of eating reheated smoked brisket is different from eating freshly-cooked or freshly-smoked brisket. Another thing when reheating smoked brisket is making it very dry. Make sure to avoid reheating it for too long that it has gone dry.
To store smoked brisket, make sure it is placed inside a sealed container or sealed plastic packaging. This way, it will not absorb the smell inside the refrigerator especially if there are other foods stored there with a strong or powerful smell. If the smoked brisket absorbs the smell of the other foods inside the refrigerator, it will affect how the smoked brisket tastes.
Make your own Smoked Brisket Breakfast Skillet
There are days when we just need a hearty breakfast to start the day to prepare us for the things we need to do for the rest of the day. A good breakfast can put us in a good mood too. A quick, filling, and enjoyable food to have in the morning is a breakfast skillet, and you can use leftover smoked brisket to make an excellent smoked brisket breakfast skillet.
This recipe serves four
- 1 cup of smoked brisket, cut into cubes
- 2 cups of potatoes, sliced into small cubes
- 5 eggs
- 1/2 cup onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons of Chipotle Puree
- 1 tablespoon of chives, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- salt, pepper, and seasoning to taste according to your preference.
Step 1. Preheat the cast iron pan with olive oil. Once hot, add potatoes and season it how you want it to taste. Cook until potatoes are soft.
Step 2. Add onions, bell peppers, and garlic and cook for one minute. Add smoked brisket and chipotle puree. Mix thoroughly and cook for one minute.
Step 3. Whisk the eggs, pour them on the cast iron pan, and mix everything. Cook depending on how you want the eggs cooked.