If you’re adventurous on the grill, you may want to try something new with an old favorite. Maybe you know that an inexpensive cut of meat can give great value as well as great taste. In both cases, cutting a beef brisket into steaks probably sounds appealing to you. So be a brisket hero: slice a beef brisket into steaks!
Can Beef Brisket Be Cut Into Steaks?
Beef brisket can be cut into steaks. Sliced against the grain will give the best results; using the first cut of brisket will give better-looking steaks. Using the second cut will have more flavor. Brisket steaks are best prepared at low temperatures and slow-cooked to tenderize the meat.
If you have very fond memories of a delicious beef brisket roasted whole in the oven, cutting it into steaks and grilling each one may seem like a terrible idea.
But, you may say, the whole brisket has been slow-cooked in the oven for generations, so why change it now? But, if it is prepared in the right way, this cut of meat can make great steaks.
Why Brisket Makes Good Steaks
Brisket has a great deal of fat, especially on the pointed end. Some fat is trimmed away while slicing brisket steaks, but this marbling is one of the qualities that give the beef brisket a rich flavor and juicy texture, so it should be celebrated rather than lamented.
Because beef brisket comprises two different muscles, a point muscle and a flat muscle separated by a layer of fat, it gives good flavor and can be cut in a few ways. This gives you different options depending on your needs. Flavor and versatility make a great combination.
Brisket is also a large cut of meat, usually weighing anything between 10 and 16 pounds. This means it is usually a long piece of meat, great for slicing into steaks. The size of the cut means it will easily cut into about a dozen steaks.
Which Brisket Part Is The Best For Steaks?
Brisket is usually a large cut of meat, usually between 10-16 pounds, which means it is often cut into two halves: the ‘first cut’ and the ‘second cut.’ Cutting it this way is sometimes for packaging convenience or easier portioning.
Whatever the reason for the two cuts, you may have heard them referred to by different names. For example, you may hear people refer to the first cut as the center cut, flat cut, or thin cut.
In some parts, the second cut is often referred to as the pointcut or deckle. Whatever they are called, they are still from the same primal cut of meat and share many of the same characteristics.
Steaks cut from both the first and second cut will require the same long cooking time, so choosing which half of the brisket to cut your steaks from shouldn’t be based on cooking time. Neither cut will grill like a ‘traditional’ steak by searing at high heat for a short time.
When choosing which part – the first cut or the second cut – to cut steaks from, there are two considerations to make: Is there a higher preference for the look of it, or will the steak be for the flavor?
The first cut usually has a neat shape to it and will often cut into better-looking steaks. The deckle, however, has a higher fat content, and steaks cut from here will be juicier, have more flavor, and will shred well, but it may not look as neat as a traditional steak.
Whichever is your preference, the first cut of the brisket or the second cut, the proper preparation and some love in the cooking of it you will have delicious steaks from the brisket.
Brisket Steaks Need To Be Cooked Slowly
Beef brisket is the cut of beef taken from the breast section of the cow. The brisket is cut beneath the first five ribs, behind the foreshank.
Because brisket comes from a portion of the cow that supports up to 60% of the cow’s body weight, the cut will be naturally chewy and tough because of the high collagen levels in the brisket.
To tenderize the meat to a soft and juicy steak. It needs to be cooked at lower temperatures and slowly.
The longer cooking time breaks down this collagen to make the meat tender. Cooking brisket steaks too fast will not break down the collagen sufficiently and leaves the meat tough and less flavorful.
Professional pitmasters will tell you to expect a brisket to cook about 30-60 minutes of cook time per pound of meat. For example, a one-and-a-half-pound brisket steak cooked at about 250 degrees Fahrenheit will take between 1 and 1.5 hours.
But it’s best to have a handheld thermometer on hand to make sure you don’t overcook or undercook it.
Tips For Cutting Brisket Steaks
- The best way to cut any brisket is to slice against the grain. This will give you the best results. The meat will be chewy and tough if you carve the steaks along the grain.
- When carving the steaks, lay the brisket on the counter fat side up. Trim away the exposed fat cap. If you would like, leave about 1/4 inch of fat on the steak to enhance the flavor when cooking.
- Once the fat is properly trimmed, by using a sharp knife. Use the fat seam on the opposite side that connects the point to the flat and use it as a guide to slice in half.
- Again, trim the excess fat at the edges to your preference for each of these pieces.
- The center segment can be divided into about 4 to 6 steaks. The other segments can then be divided up according to their size.
- Steaks of 1 to 1.5 pounds each will take a reasonable time to cook until tender.
Because of the long cooking time, it’s evident that grilling or smoking a brisket steak is one of the best ways to do it.
It doesn’t take a pitmaster to get it right either; grilling or smoking brisket steaks on an outdoor appliance allows for a controlled temperature and adds that unique grilled flavor to the steaks.
Check out my step-by-step guide on smoking a beef brisket (flat) on the Pit Boss pellet grill.
Brisket Steaks Are Better
If you are still unsure about cutting a brisket into steaks, here is one last thing that may convince you: unlike other steak cuts, brisket steaks are hard to get wrong.
Some beef cuts can go from juicy one minute to dry and overdone the next. A brisket, however, is much less touchy as you have a lot more time on your hands to inspect and test the meat as you go.
If there is one thing to remember and keep repeating to yourself while preparing the brisket steaks, it’s that time is the key to tender and tasty brisket steaks. Your patience will reward you with a delicious and hearty steak.
How To Store Extra Steaks
Because a primal cut of brisket is often quite large, you may have extras that need to be stored. Raw brisket steaks can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for a few days or frozen in airtight wrapping for up to six months to a year, ready-cut for the next grill.
As is the case with most leftovers, brisket steaks that are already cooked can be put in the fridge for about three to four days, but the time and effort put into cooking them will probably mean they will be eaten and shared as soon as possible!
Be adventurous or get the most value out of an inexpensive cut of meat: slice a beef brisket into steaks! Beef brisket can be cut into steaks and is an excellent alternative to traditional steak cuts.
Best slow-cooked at low temperatures to tenderize the meat, the reward for the extra time taken will be in the flavor and eating. Always slice the steaks against the grain for the best results.
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