Does Brisket Taste Like Roast Beef? We Find Out

Cooking brisket is a bit of an art form, we aren’t going to lie. It needs longer than other meats which means it has the potential to dry out. However, with so many people raving about this chunk of meat, it can’t be that difficult to prepare correctly, surely? With a bit of practice and without missing out on any of the preparation steps, you too can master this succulent meat dish.

If you have previously been left disappointed with the taste of your brisket then keep reading. Many people liken the taste of brisket to roast beef and accept the two are similar. We take a look at possible reasons your brisket tastes like roast beef. We also share tips on preparing the perfect brisket so that it meets your expectations in both taste and texture.

Brisket may taste like roast beef depending on how you have prepared and cooked it. If you want to avoid it tasting like roast beef then you will want to smoke it on the grill. Choosing a good quality cut of meat and using a brisket rub will both help optimise that end result.

What is Brisket Supposed to Taste Like when you Prepare it Right?

First things first, let’s discuss what brisket should actually taste like when it has been prepared right. The most important aspect of brisket is that it should almost melt in your mouth. If you take a bite and it is tender then you have nailed the cooking process. In the event yours was dry or tough, then you missed out on some important steps during preparation or cooking.

As for how brisket will taste, this will ultimately depend on your chosen preparation and cooking technique. Should you opt for the smoking method, you will achieve the sought-after authentic smoky brisket flavors. It will be crispy on the outside and tender in the middle with divine barbecue vibes.

You can opt to braise your brisket and again, this will change the flavors dramatically. Braised brisket takes on a stewed effect with beefy flavors. The texture will be chewy and will take on the taste of the juices it has been cooked in.

Much of the finished taste of brisket will come down to any marinades you prepared or herbs you rubbed in. It also depends largely on how you smoke your cut of brisket which we will explore in more detail shortly. The quality of your preferred cut will also influence the overall taste.

Is Brisket Similar to Roast Beef?

To answer this question, we need to consider where the cut of meat comes from in relation to the carcass. A roast cut of meat is considered so if it has been taken from anywhere between the shoulder and the rump. A cow carcass is divided into 9 primal sections where cuts are taken. Features such as tendons, connective tissue, and muscles will determine how tender the meat cut is.

Brisket is cut from the breast of the cow and contains more muscle than any other section. This is because this part of the cow supports the weight of the animal so more muscle is required.

  • Chuck roasts come from the upper shoulder of the carcass. This meat is perfect for stews and pot roasts.
  • The rib and short loins sections are ideal for T-bone steaks and are a very moist section so marinading is not required.
  • Rump roasts come from the outer back legs of the animal. They are great for roast beef and are relatively inexpensive too.

Brisket is similar to roast beef in terms of texture due to all the connective tissue. However, generally speaking, this is where the similarities end.

Key Differences Between Brisket and Roast Beef

We’ve summarized the main differences between these two cuts of meat.

  • Roast beef can be taken from any part of the cow, it doesn’t need to come from one particular section.
  • Brisket is taken from the breast of the cow.
  • Roast beef is popular in the US due to it not needing as long in the oven as other cuts.
  • To tenderize brisket requires a specific cooking method (slow-cooked or smoked).
  • Roast beef has fewer connective tissues so it is, in general, more tender meat than brisket.
Beef cuts

How to Keep Brisket from Tasting like Roast Beef?

You need to cook your brisket in a very specific way if you wish it to not taste like roast beef. Most people who enjoy brisket swear by smoking it on the grill so it locks in the smokey, barbecued taste. If you opt to cook your brisket in the oven then it will taste similar to roast beef. It also comes down to the seasoning you have used – sometimes it is a matter of finding what works for you.

BBQ enthusiasts swear by leaving the meat to rest, unwrapped on the grill for a few minutes at the end of the cooking process. This really lets the smells of the BBQ nestle inside the meat before you slice it. Using a special Brisket Rub can help with those sensational flavors too.

How to Choose the Best Tasting Brisket

Cooking the perfect beef brisket starts with the butcher when purchasing your cut. If knowing a good piece of meat isn’t your thing then don’t be afraid to ask the butcher for their advice. You do not need to focus on grass-fed beef when it comes to brisket, this doesn’t impact the quality.

There are two parts to a brisket: the flat and the point. The flat gives those idyllic slices that everyone drools over. The point gives you all those crispy bits that are great for tacos or sandwiches. When cooking for a number of guests it is wise to choose an entire brisket so that you get the flat and the point.

Ideally, it would help if you also focused on the visible fat on your piece of meat. You don’t really want more than 1″ of fat as the fat content impacts the weight, which rides up the cost. Plus, any more than 1″ you will need to trim off anyway. Try choosing a brisket with the largest area of flat.

It is also worth paying attention to the marbling pattern on your brisket. This is caused by the fat and the collagen within the meat. This fat and collagen are important elements to getting the most taste from your brisket.

Related Questions

What is so Special about brisket?

Brisket comes from the most supportive part of the cow. Therefore, this section of meat contains a lot of connective tissue. Grilling this meat on the barbecue breaks the tissue down, leaving you with an extremely tender meal. It is also inexpensive and goes a long way.

What is Poor Man’s Brisket?

Poor man’s brisket refers to a cheaper alternative to brisket which is called chuck roast. Chuck is taken from beside the brisket so although not as marbled, it is still flavorsome. It is great if you are on a budget. Those in the know swear by asking for the piece of chuck closest to the 13th rib. This piece is the tenderest and can be cooked fast and at a high temperature.