What’s the best brisket substitute or alternative?

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You want a change, or want to save some money? We get it, briskets are expensive and sometimes it can be challenging to find a decent alternative.  Before we look at an alternative let’s define what we are looking for. 

Briskets are slow cooked at low temperatures. They belong to the roast category as the meat cut is meant to feed many people.

So, some similar cuts are chuck roasts, top round roasts, bottom round roasts, and eye round roasts. 

Why is Brisket so expensive?

Brisket cuts used to be cheap and delicious, and workers most preferably eat this cut of meat. However, with its growing popularity, there comes more demand for meat. Many restaurants in the U.S started to include brisket in their menu. 

Also, advanced barbeque technology has made everything easier to cook. This makes people go crazy on this particular cut of meat, making it more expensive than ever before. Today briskets can range on an average $4 to $5 a pound and cost much higher, about $20 a pound.

 Brisket has attracted many customers over time, and stores are running low in supply for this meat cut. This means the more you have to pay to lay your hands on this prime cut of meat. 

Read also: best electric smoker for brisket

Best Brisket substitute for a slow cook

You can substitute Brisket with any cheap roast. Here are some cuts of roast which are budget-friendly and are packed with good flavors when slow cook.

Chuck roast: 

Also known as pot roast is a budget-friendly cut from an animal’s shoulder and neck. Chuck roast is a boneless cut that has more fat content than a brisket. Chuck roast has a richer taste but has higher saturated fats and is best enjoyed when slow cooked.

This roast is the best substitute for Brisket because it is cheaper, has a similar texture, fat content, and a good amount of marbling, making it a top contender for Brisket.

Ribs roast: 

Ribs roast is one of the juiciest options to substitute Brisket that you will find in the market. This cut of meat is a little more expensive than a chuck roast. However, it is a very good-tasting roast and a bang for your bug as the meat has lots of fat, marbling, less connective tissue, and is not tough at all. You can also cook a rib roast slightly faster than briskets. 

Pork roast: 

It is also one of the best options to get as an alternative to Brisket. Pork cuts can be large enough and can feed many people at a single time. They are relatively much cheaper than other cuts of beef. If you are looking for some best and juiciest meat for slow cooking, try different pork roasts like the Boston butt roast, pork rib roast, pork sirloin roast, and pork top loin roast. 

Lamb roast: 

One of the alternatives you can use instead of Brisket. Many people may not prefer lamb because of the gamey taste that comes from the meat. However, those who are into lamb will definitely prefer lamb against beef. The lamb’s meat is very tender and juicy; those who love lamb are an absolute treat for them.

A good lamb cut comes from the ribs, also known as lamb chops, and roast lamb leg. These are big cuts, which are cooked slowly to get the best tasting results. 

Top round roast: 

Also known as, inside round is a humble cut from inside the animal’s back leg, which has a tiny amount of fat and has lots of flavors. This cut is delicious when slow cooked in an oven or smoker; with good seasoning at the right temperature, this cut will give pull-apart tenderness. 

Bottom round roast: 

This cut is also budget-friendly as super delicious. It is a cut from outside the back leg of an animal and has excellent marbling of fats more than the top round. This roast can be a good substitute for Brisket.

Is chuck roast similar to Brisket?

Yes, chuck roast is similar to that of briskets and is often used as a brisket substitute as it is cheaper, has identical fat content, and is packed with rich, intense flavor. Chuck roast contains many different muscles and connective tissues. 

However, chuck roast is relatively leaner than any roast cut. Briskets and chucks are located one below the other in an animal, which makes them quite similar. Both cuts are suitable for low, slow cooking and can be prepared the same way. Chuck roast is relatively much cheaper than briskets; therefore, it is also called the ‘Poor Man’s Brisket.’

Read also: best electric smoker for a restaurant

How to perfectly cook a Poor Man’s Brisket?

Here are some instructions on how to cook chuck roast as an alternative for Brisket. 

  • Chuck roast has lots of fat cap and marbling of fat in between the meat. So, always remember to trim off excess fat as it can render down and ruin your seasonings on the meat. 
  • Be generous with the seasoning you put on a chuck roast. Remember to season on all sides and edges of the meat. 
  • Set your smoker to 225◦F and cooked the meat fat side down. Doing this will allow the fat to melt from below, avoiding the risk of washing the seasoning. This will also give a good presentation of the meat.
  • Slow cook your meat and let it reach the internal temperature of 170◦F. After which, wrap the meat in butcher paper or aluminum foil and set the smoker’s temperature to 275◦F.
  • Probe the meat to check the tenderness by letting it reached the internal temperature of 200◦F. This is when you know your chuck roast is cooked to perfection. 
  • Remove the roast from the smoker and let it rest for an hour. This will lock the meat juice together, making it more juicy, tender, and flavorful.

There are many alternatives of meat you can use other than Brisket. You can also check out Briskets and Roasts to get more brisket alternatives for any occasion. You should choose what has the best tastes and flavor, budget-friendly, and a bang for your bug.

About The Author

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James is a writer who is a self-confessed kitchenware and coffee nerd and a strong advocate of Sundays, good butter, and warm sourdough.