One of the best breakfast options in America is corned beef, which is frequently served with hash browns and eggs. The point cut and the flat cut of brisket can both be used to prepare this hearty dish. But what distinguishes corned beef from flat cut and point cut?
Continue reading to discover how to separate these two brisket cuts and where to purchase them. Additionally, we’ll demonstrate how to cook them correctly so they become flavorful and tender.
Point Cut Brisket
A point cut has a lot of extra fat running through it, which is why it is called a point cut; when you cook it, it turns out juicy and tender. This is a good option if you intend to shred the cooked meat afterward. This cut has much less fat, but it’s still enough to keep the meat moist.
Flat Cut Brisket
The rectangular shape reveals that it is a flat cut. A flat cut is significantly leaner than a point cut. To keep the meat moist, it still has a substantial layer of fat on the bottom. Given that it looks more appealing than a point cut, this is the cut you will most frequently find in supermarkets.
The flat cut is your best option if you want brisket that will slice up nicely.
Which Is Best?
It just depends on what you are going to do. Point cut is slightly more tender and better for shredding (flat cut will also shred). But for corned beef I recommend the flat cut.
In the Good Eats episode “Pickled Pink”, Alton Brown choose a flat cut to make his own corned beef. I believe as he does that the flat cut is the best cut for corned beef. I prefer the flat cut as the point cut is too fatty for my tastes. I tend to get heartburn from really fatty cuts of beef.
At the supermarket, flat cut is more typical. Its nicer looking. There are many stores that sell both flat cut and point cut, but if they only sell one cut, it will probably be flat cut. If both cuts weigh the same, the flat cut will yield more usable meat because it contains less fat.
Did you know that in addition to brisket, round can also be used to make corned beef? Although I believe it has a more beefy flavor, brisket produces tender corned beef, which is why I choose it. Check out our post Corned Beef Brisket vs. Round to learn more.
Whichever cut you select, the cooking time remains constant. There are several ways to cook corned beef. Most of these are slow-cooking methods.
|Cook on low heat for 8 hours
|Simmer for 3 hours
|Instant Pot [See our recipe]
|Cook at high pressure for 1 hour 25 minutes
|Sous Vide [See our recipe]
|24 hours at 152 degrees
Quick Brine Corned Beef
If your type of brisket doesn’t already come pre-brined, you’ll need to cure or brine it to get the flavor you desire. This can be done quickly (overnight or in 24 hours) using a dry rub that uses some dry aging techniques and a meat tenderizer. See my article on How to Quickly Brine Corned Beef.
Although it’s not the same as purchasing already cured corned beef, it still results in a tasty product.
Where to Buy Prime Brisket
I’ve noticed that Costco frequently sells prime beef brisket. I highlighted it in one of my posts about Costco food finds.
If you really want to splurge on some high quality brisket, I recommend checking out Porter Road. Top of the line, dry aged, pasture raised meat. Let them be your local butcher that delivers to your door! They also have the uncommon Pork Brisket cut. Its the pig equivalent and can be cooked low and slow like beef brisket.
Curing Your Own Corned Beef
The following are some items you might want to consider purchasing if you plan to cure your own corned beef.
- Pickling Spices: You can probably just make your own spice blend if you have a well-stocked pantry. However, if you don’t and are looking for a good blend, try this Boston Spice picking spice blend. You must get your spices for corned beef from the East Coast, right?
- Pink Curing Salt: You can use a pink curing salt to give your corned beef the traditional pink color.
- Using a blade meat tenderizer will help your meat tenderize and break down more quickly, especially if you need to perform a quick cure. This is not the hammer your grandma uses. You push down on the device’s tiny blades into the meat.
I have answers to more of your corned beef-related queries, but I won’t say they aren’t corny.
To make ideal slices for corned beef sandwiches, try the Instant Pot method. One of my preferred recipes to prepare with corned beef is this
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