, pub-3283090343984743, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 What is Brisket? The Best Place to Buy Brisket & How to Cook It
× Backyard GrillingWeekend WarriorsAdvice from DadBeard GroomingTV Shows for Guys4x4 Off-Road CarsMens FashionSports NewsAncient Archeology World NewsPrivacy PolicyTerms And Conditions
Subscribe To Our Newsletter

What is Brisket? The Best Place to Buy Brisket & How to Cook It

Ever wonder what exactly is brisket?

Chances are, if you’re into barbecue, you’re familiar with the popular staples.

Pulled pork and smoked chicken quarters are self-explanatory, but not everyone – especially those unfamiliar with Texas barbecue – is as familiar with brisket.

If you’ve had pastrami or corned beef, you’ve eaten beef brisket.

When cooked correctly, few foods in the world yield such a rewarding and succulent result. But making that magic happen takes time, effort, and care.

This post is a one-stop shop on all things brisket. We’ll walk you through what part of the cow brisket is from, the best place to buy brisket (from your local grocery store to big box stores and online producers), and some of the best ways to cook it.

What is beef brisket?

Brisket is two overlapping muscles from beef or veal’s breast or lower chest. This muscle does all the heavy lifting to hold the cow upright.

It is one of nine beef primal cuts.

Cow diagram showing various cuts of beef

Brisket gets very dense from being a working pair of muscles and is one of the least tender parts of beef you can get.

A “packer” or whole brisket comprises a lean, flat cut and the fattier point cut.

What makes brisket special?

Brisket is a tough piece of meat.

That being said, brisket renders soft and satisfying with immense flavor when done low and slow. Cooking low and slow breaks down the collagen in the connective muscle tissues to achieve tenderness.

You can get great results cooking brisket whether you smoke, braise, or slow roast. Since we’re all about barbecue here, we will focus on how to slow-smoke your brisket to give you added depth of flavor from the wood.

What are the different cuts of brisket?

Brisket typically comes in three cuts: full packer, the flat, and the point. Each cut has its own unique features and appeals.

Full Packer 


A whole packer cut is both the flat portion and the point portion of the brisket, separated by a thick layer of fat. A whole brisket can weigh anywhere from roughly 8 to 20-plus pounds on average.

A layer of fat runs along the top. This fat is usually trimmed to a quarter of an inch in thickness before cooking.

The Flat

Texas barbecue

The flat cut is the lean, main part of the brisket. It can be referred to as the first cut or flat cut when ordering from your butcher.

It’s a highly worked muscle, resulting in its low-fat content. This is generally the cut used for corned beef and pastrami.

The Point

The point is the fatty end of the brisket. It sits atop the flat cut and has much more intramuscular fat than its counterpart.

Given its high fat content, this cut makes for a more tender and juicy part of the brisket. It’s also referred to as the second cut. 

We have a brisket point vs. flat article that compares the two in more detail.

Best place to buy brisket

Brisket has come into high demand in recent years, especially since fast-casual restaurant chains are getting in on the brisket game.

This popularity makes it easier to find in your local grocery store but also increases the price per pound. We compared the brisket price per pound to remove any guesswork. But here’s a breakdown of where to buy brisket online and locally.

Where to buy brisket locally

There are several local places where you can start searching for the best beef brisket.

1. Grocery stores

We bet your local grocery store or big box store supplies beef brisket. Depending on where you live, options include:

  • H-E-B – No surprise, the Texas company offers several beef brisket options at reasonable prices. This includes 100% natural Angus and Wagyu beef brisket from USA-born and raised cattle.
  • Costco –This is a lot of people’s first stop when buying brisket. We’ve done it before, smoking a whole-packer brisket from Costco with excellent results. Costco has USDA Select, Choice, and Prime-grade brisket options. These rank from most to least affordable but also worst to best quality. But if you have the skills, you can get a great smoked brisket from a USDA Select cut.
  • Publix – A grocery store with high-quality beef brisket. But the kicker is that it’ll cost you.
  • Sam’s Club – A great selection of USDA Choice and USDA Prime Angus beef brisket flat cuts are available from Sam’s Club. While you can go bulk, you don’t get a significant discount.
  • Walmart – Yep, big box stores like your local Walmart are typically home to some of the most affordable flat-cut brisket on the market. You can also find a reasonably-priced whole brisket here.

2. Farmer’s markets

Don’t discount your closest farmer’s market when buying brisket; you might strike gold with a local farmer. Shopping locally is good for lots of reasons.

But when it comes to beef, it means you’ll probably score high-quality, humanely raised meats that you may not otherwise get at a grocery store chain. A little legwork ahead of time can yield fantastic results and help put money back into your community. 

3. Butchers

Of course, your local butcher shop is another of the best places to buy brisket. But depending on their suppliers, their prices might be higher or lower than average.

Shop around and see what the butchers closest to you have available. You might just be surprised and find the best brisket in town.

Where to buy brisket online

If you struggle to find an excellent local brisket source, you can always order brisket online from one of these meat delivery companies. The best part is you can buy premium products like American Wagyu beef that are difficult to source locally.

1. Snake River Farms

We’ve previously shared a Snake River Farms review and why the company is our go-to when buying online brisket.

But all you need to know is Snake River Farms specializes in American Wagyu beef. Thanks to its intense marbling, everyone from Michelin-starred restaurants to competitive barbecue teams use this premium product. Snake River Farms also supplies USDA Prime-grade brisket.

We have no complaints with Snake River Farms’s shipping and delivery. But it also offers fresh shipping. This means your brisket is packed in ice and shipped overnight, so there’s no need for freezing. So, when you want to buy brisket online, Snake River Farms should be your first stop.

Snake River Farms Wagyu Brisket
  • Welled marbled American Wagyu makes for super juicy, tender brisket
  • Choose from 9-20+lbs
  • Excellent consistency
  • Expensive
CHeck price Read Our Review

2. Porter Road

Porter Road is another great online butcher we love to support. Check out our Porter Road delivery review for a thorough breakdown.

The company sources all its meat from local farms, where it’s pasture-raised without additional hormones or antibiotics. It’s then processed and hand-cut at Porter Road’s Kentucky facility.

3. Crowd Cow

Crowd Cow is working to be environmentally friendly from beginning to end. It partners with ethical farms and producers worldwide to source sustainable and high-quality meat.

Your grass-fed or Wagyu beef brisket then gets frozen at peak freshness and shipped to you in a 100% recyclable package with compostable insulation.

4. D’Artagnan

Another place to buy brisket online is D’Artagnan, which has been an industry leader for 35-plus years. Its high-quality beef has a rich flavor, thanks to the company’s strict humane, ethical, and sustainable protocols. In fact, its cattle live to be at least five, which is double the industry standard.

D’Artagnan’s top brisket is an Angus beef brisket flat. The cattle are pasture-raised on a 100% vegetarian diet, with zero antibiotics, hormones, or steroids.

How much brisket per person?

You’ll need to know how much you need before buying brisket. We have a comprehensive guide on how much brisket per person and all the factors to consider before landing on a number. But the basic answer is ½ to ⅓ of a pound of cooked brisket per person.

Smoking your brisket

When you get down to it, smoking a brisket is pretty straightforward. Below is a brief overview of the process. See our guide for smoking your first brisket for a more in-depth look.

  1. Prep your smoker to 225 – 250 degrees. Use hardwoods like oak, hickory, or whatever is native and accessible to your region.
  2. Trim your brisket – Check out HeyGrillHey’s guide on how to trim brisket.
From Our Shop
Smoke Kitchen 6.5 Boning Knife

Trim the fat cap off a brisket or square up a rack of ribs in seconds.

  • FREE USA Shipping & Returns
  • 45 Day Money-Back Guarantee
  1. Season or rub the brisket – This can be as simple as kosher salt and coarse ground pepper or as complex as adding a binder like mustard with a more complex rub blend.
  2. Smoke your brisket – For this initial stage, place your brisket on the rack fat side up, and do not open the cooker. Keep it closed and steady for 3 to 4 hours to really let the bark form from your seasoning or rub.
  3. Spritz your brisket – Once an hour for the next 5 to 7 hours. This is an optional step but is recommended to keep the surface from charring, add moisture, and add a subtle depth of flavor if you use a liquid like apple juice or Worcestershire sauce.
  4. Wrap your brisket – Then place it back on the smoker. Check out our guide for wrapping brisket.
  5. Keep smoking – you know you’re close to done when the internal temperature of the meat reads 200 – 205 degrees in the thickest part.
  6. Rest your brisket – Pull your smoked brisket and let it rest for at least 1 hour to reabsorb the juices. You can let it rest in an insulated cooler for hot holding until you’re ready to serve your guests.
  7. Slice and serve – Check our guide to slicing brisket.
From Our Shop
Smoke Kitchen 12" Meat Slicing Knife

Make perfect cuts every time you're slicing brisket or any larger cut of meat

  • FREE USA Shipping & Returns
  • 45 Day Money-Back Guarantee

Other brisket recipes

There are plenty of other methods for cooking brisket, not just smoking.

Let’s explore some other tried and true good brisket recipes:

If you want to take it up a notch and get into the curing game, check out these recipes below:

  • Corned beef brisket – Beef brisket that’s been preserved through a brine curing process similar to pickling. Traditionally from Irish and Jewish cuisine.
  • Pastrami – Cured similarly to corned beef but cooked on a smoker, adding another layer of flavor to the final product.

Storing your brisket

Raw brisket can be stored in its packaging in your refrigerator for 5 to 8 days.

Brisket can be frozen anywhere from 6 to 12 months if wrapped airtight.

If frozen, let it thaw in the refrigerator ahead of time. This generally takes a few days, so plan accordingly.

Once cooked, brisket can be wrapped and stored in your refrigerator safely for 4 days or frozen for up to 2 months when wrapped and packaged in an airtight container.

Now you know brisket

Now you know the ins and outs and the best place to buy brisket near you; you can feel confident in taking the next steps on your barbecue journey.

Get out there and practice! Play with fire, and let the meat do its thing. The more you cook brisket, the better you get at it, and the more you will learn the nuances of the cut.

If you want to try smoked brisket, check out our hot and fast brisket recipe, and we’ll show you how to get smoky, tender brisket without the 12+ hour wait time.

Let us know in the comments if you’re ready to take on this piece of meat! Feel free to share this article with a training pitmaster; we’ll be here if you need any taste testers. 

Did you miss our previous article...