Beef brisket has long occupied the premier position among barbecue aficionados. People love its tenderness, juiciness and authentic smoky flavour. The only problem is that it can be pricey. That leads to the inevitable question: Is there anything that tastes just as good without robbing you of your entire paycheck? We found two very tasty and appealing alternatives that we’re sure you will love.
Also made of beef, chuck roll comes from the shoulder of the steer and contains a great deal of desirable connective tissue. During the slow cooking barbecue process, these tough membranes are transformed into the soft gelatin that leads to that moist, tender taste on the tongue. To accomplish the successful barbecuing of a chuck roll, first, wrap it in a double layer of heavy-duty aluminium foil. Place it in the oven and cook at 275°F for five hours. This step locks the moisture in. After removing the foil, smoke the chuck roll for an additional four hours to bring out a melt-in-your-mouth smoky flavour that can’t be beaten.
Carving chuck is a bit more challenging than carving brisket because chuck contains more muscle tissue. The key is to locate two distinct muscle bundles and then, using a sharp slicing knife, cut between them while the meat is still tied with twine. Split the roll into two halves, rotating both so that they are cut side down. Then simply cut against the grain into thin strips that are crispy and smoky on the outside and tender and flavorful on the inside.
Similar to beef brisket, its pork cousin consists of two sides. The left “lean” end comprises part of the pig’s belly and is actually quite fatty, whereas the left portion is made from the picnic (part of the pork shoulder) and is actually leaner. Cooking pork brisket involves first rubbing the meat with salt and pepper. Some people also prefer to add sugar to the rub. Then smoke the meat until it is tender enough to pull off the bone. Some of the best pork brisket cooks swear that the tenderest and juiciest result can be obtained by removing the skin before placing the meat into the smoker, still leaving a layer of fat to lock in the moisture just as you would do with the fat cap on a beef brisket. Smoke at a minimum of 250°F up until the last few minutes. Then increase the temperature to 300°F to yield the desired crispy exterior.
Cooking pork brisket is a relatively easy process, but carving can be more complicated. This cut of meat contains many more muscles than you will find in its beef counterpart. Furthermore, each cut has its own grain. Therefore, you should separate all of the cuts in order to slice against the grain. Furthermore, it is important to remove the fat that lies between the muscles to avoid laborious trimming later.
If you plan to invite a crowd of hungry people to your backyard and want to fire up the smoker but don’t have tons of coins in your pocket, do not despair. While beef brisket may be at the top of many people’s barbecue lists, it is not the only viable competitor. Offer your guests a plateful of either of these substitutes, and they are sure to go home with full bellies and nothing but praise for your mastery at the smoker.