AskDefine | Define brisket

Dictionary Definition

brisket n : a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest especially of beef

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The chest of an animal
  2. A cut of meat taken from this area, especially from the section under the first five ribs

Extensive Definition

Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest. While all meat animals have a brisket, the term is most often used to describe beef or veal. The beef brisket is one of the eight beef primal cuts. According to the Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition, the term derives from the Middle English "brusket" which comes from the earlier Old Norse "brjōsk", meaning cartilage.
In the U.S., the whole brisket has the meat-cutting classification NAMP 120. The brisket is made up of two separate muscles, which are sometimes separated for retail cutting: the lean "first cut" or "flat cut" is NAMP 120A, while the fattier "second cut", "point", "deckel", "fat end", or "triangular cut" is NAMP 120B.

International cuisine

Brisket can be cooked many ways. Popular methods in the U.S. Southern States include smoking and marinating the meat and cooking slowly, not directly over the hot coals or wood. Additional basting of the meat is often done during the cooking process. However, most of the tenderness from this normally tougher cut of meat comes from the fat cap often left attached to the brisket. The brisket is almost always placed with the fat on top so that it slowly dissolves down into the meat as it cooks, resulting in a more juicy and tender meat. Small amounts of certain woods such as hickory or mesquite are sometimes added to the main heat source, and sometimes they make up all of the heat source, with chefs often prizing characteristics of certain woods. The smoke from these woods and from burnt dripping juices further enhances the flavor. The finished meat is a variation of barbecue. Once finished, pieces of brisket can be returned to the smoker to make burnt ends.
In traditional Jewish cooking, brisket is most often braised as a pot roast.
It is a common cut of meat for use in Vietnamese Phở soup.
Brisket is also the most popular cut for corned beef.


  • Field Guide to Meat
brisket in Korean: 양지머리
brisket in Indonesian: Sandung lamur
brisket in Japanese: ブリスケット
brisket in Chinese: 牛腩
brisket in Polish: Bryzol
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