What can I use instead of beef brisket? The best substitutes for beef brisket include cuts of beef with a similar composition and flavor profile, such as short ribs, beef shanks, chuck steaks, tri-tip roasts, and beef clods. Non-beef alternatives include a delectable lamb roast or simple and affordable poultry thighs and pork roasts.
From Italian ragu, Irish corned beef, and Jewish pot roast to a Texas-style barbeque, beef brisket is the humble, inexpensive, incredibly delicious, and globally-adored cut of meat that will impress and feed a crowd. If brisket is unavailable, you dislike beef, or you’re pressed for time, here are 8 tasty alternatives:
The Best Substitutes For Beef Brisket
Short ribs make an incredibly tasty and one of the most succulent alternatives to brisket.
This popular and highly versatile meat cut comes from various regions of the animal, including the plate, rib, brisket, and chuck.
Short ribs contain meat, fat, and bone- a stellar combination that offers rich, beefy flavor and amazing juiciness.
Fondly known as ‘brisket on a stick,’ short ribs are the ideal brisket replacement for braising, wholesome roasts, Texas-style barbeques, and Sunday slow-cooker meals.
Swap brisket for shredded short ribs as a mouth-watering filling for tacos and sandwiches.
Remember that short ribs tend to be very tough, but with adequate time, proper preparation and patience, you will have delectably succulent and fall-off-the-bone tender meat. For best results, marinate before cooking.
Short ribs have a higher fat content, but the meat isn’t as stringy as brisket. Boneless short ribs are more convenient and can replace brisket in equal quantities.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly cut of beef that will feed a crowd, look no further than chuck steak.
Chuck steak is very similar to beef brisket in terms of texture and flavor, and it is generally more affordable than brisket, making it an excellent substitute.
As with brisket, chuck steak contains a substantial amount of collagen and connective tissue.
As a result, it’s initially a tougher cut of meat, but when cooked low and slow, it becomes delicious, juicy, and tender.
While brisket comes from the cow’s breast or lower chest region, chuck is cut form the neck and shoulder.
There are various cuts of chuck, but the closest alternative to brisket is chuck roast (also known as ‘Poor Man’s Brisket’).
Like brisket, it is a large, boneless portion perfect for pot roasts, stewing, smoking, or braising until succulent and flavorful.
You can opt for tri-tip roast when you’re short on time, but want a similar taste, texture and application to brisket. This meat offers maximum flavor at a reasonable price.
Tri-tip roast is highly favored for its rich flavor and is a great option when you require meat that feeds a crowd and cooks slightly quicker than brisket.
Swap brisket for tri-tip when roasting, grilling, or smoking. Despite its lean nature, this cut of beef offers decent marbling, a luscious texture and a caramelized crust- yum!
Staying with beef, shanks are another suitable substitute for brisket.
Shanks are cut from the cow’s leg muscle, either the upper thigh or around the knee joint. They are usually sold with a single bone or deboned and sliced.
Since the shank is derived from the cattle’s working, weight-bearing muscle group, you can expect the meat to have a lower fat content and a fairly dry, tough, and sinewy texture.
As a result, there is a lower demand for this cut of meat, so it is easily accessible and cheaper than brisket.
Beef shanks require moist-heat cooking methods to yield fork-tender, flavorful meat.
This feature makes it a fantastic and affordable alternative to brisket for braising, slow-cooker recipes, pot roasts, stews, and soups.
Beef clods are a straightforward and practical substitute for brisket since they also require low and slow cooking techniques to yield the best results.
‘Clod’ is an old English word that means lumpy mass, which describes the appearance of this meat cut.
Beef clods come from the shoulder (chuck) region, and a choice of three cuts are available for purchase, which includes the top blade, the shoulder, and the clod heart (the heart of the shoulder).
Considering how hard-working the shoulder is, beef clods tend to have a high amount of collagen and connective tissue, which results in a tougher cut of meat.
Slow and moist-heat cooking methods like braising, grill roasting, or stewing ensure tender meat and maximum flavor.
Beef clods should always be marinated before cooking.
The low, slow heat exposure will continue to break down the collagen and connective tissue, allowing the fat to penetrate the meat and achieve melting tenderness.
Chicken, Duck Or Turkey Thighs
If you ‘have a beef’ with beef, you can always turn to poultry. In this case, chicken, duck, or turkey thighs will provide a tasty, meaty, and succulent swap for beef brisket.
Despite a completely different taste and texture to beef brisket, poultry thighs appeal to a broader and more diverse range of cuisines and diets.
While beef brisket tends to be slightly costly, time-consuming, and intimidating to cook, poultry is preferred as a budget-friendly, quick and tasty alternative.
Turkey thighs are delicious when roasted or braised and offer enough meat to feed a crowd. A classic family favorite, chicken thighs taste amazing no matter how they are prepared.
Try duck thighs for a richer flavor and something that closely resembles red meat.
Poultry thighs are a more forgiving and adaptable bird cut, and they can easily replace brisket in most recipes. However, meat lovers will miss brisket’s irresistible beefy flavor and meaty texture.
If you cannot source brisket or are not interested in beef, you can use lamb instead. As with brisket, lamb roast is an absolute crowd-pleaser that does not require much effort to produce amazing results.
There are various cuts of lamb to suit your budget, dish, and cooking technique. Lamb shoulder and leg are hard-working parts of the animal- so the meat will be full of flavor.
These cuts are delicious when slow-roasted whole on the bone until the meat is easy to shred- a perfect replacement for pulled brisket recipes.
Lamb shank is a more affordable cut and, like brisket, requires slow cooking to render, giving the meat a rich flavor and melting tenderness. Shanks are excellent for stews, roasts, and braises.
The flavor of lamb is more intense than beef, but it is considerably softer and less complicated to prepare than beef brisket.
Pork is one of the most economical, easily accessible, and highly versatile types of meat, making it an excellent stand-in for beef brisket.
Several pork cuts make suitable substitutes for brisket. You will need to select a cut that’s an appropriate fit for your particular recipe and needs.
Pork shoulder, loin and cheek are great options for slow cooking methods like roasts. Pork belly can handle a roast, stew, or slow-cook. Pork ribs are always best when marinated and grilled.
Pork has a distinct flavor profile compared to beef brisket.
However, it still offers incredibly tasty, tender, and succulent meat that works well in brisket dishes such as slow-roasts, Texas-style barbeques, pulled-meat sandwiches and tacos, and stews.
While you might miss out on the beefy flavor of brisket, you will enjoy how delicious, simple and forgiving pork is to prepare and enjoy.