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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Brisket

Brisket’s off the menu tonight, and yeah, we’re bummed too. Good news?

We’ve got the next best things that’ll make you forget all about it.

These swaps are goldmines for any dish that calls for that tender, juicy cut.

Think of us as your culinary wingmen, stepping in with alternatives that keep the party going. No brisket? No problem.

Chuck roast slides right into that spot with its rich flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Pork shoulder? Oh, it’s more than just for pulled pork sandwiches.

Then there’s the underdog, beef cheek, packing a punch in the flavor department.

Ready to turn a “what now?” into a “heck, yes”? Stick with us.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Brisket

Brisket is a popular cut of meat known for its rich flavor and tender texture when cooked low and slow.

However, if you are unable to find brisket or simply want to explore alternative options, there are several substitutes available.

In this guide, we will compare the top 5 substitutes for brisket, discussing their key characteristics and suggesting proper ratios to help you achieve similar results in your recipes.

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
Pork ShoulderCut from the shoulder of a pig; offers a tender and juicy meat that can be seasoned and slow-cookedUse an equal amount of pork shoulder as a substitute for brisket
Chuck RoastCut from the shoulder of a cow; has a good marbling of fat, resulting in tender, flavorful meatUse an equal amount of chuck roast as a substitute for brisket
Short RibsBeef ribs with generous marbling and connective tissue; can be slow-cooked to achieve tender resultsUse an equal amount of short ribs as a substitute for brisket
Beef ClodsLarge, tough cut of beef that benefits from slow cooking; offers well-marbled meat with rich flavorUse an equal amount of beef clods as a substitute for brisket
Lamb RoastBoneless lamb roast with a tender texture and mild flavor; can be slow-roasted for succulent resultsUse an equal amount of lamb roast as a substitute for brisket

Now let’s delve into each substitute in more detail:

1 – Pork Shoulder

pork shoulder

If you’re looking for a good substitute for brisket, pork shoulder is an excellent option.

This cut comes from the shoulder of the pig and is a relatively affordable option.

The pork shoulder has a fair amount of marbling which means it’s juicy and flavorful.

It also has a fair amount of connective tissue, which will help to keep the meat moist and tender when cooked properly.

Pork shoulder is a popular cut for barbecuing and smoking, so it’s a great option if you’re looking for a similar flavor profile to brisket.

It can be cooked in several ways, including braising, roasting, or smoking.

Depending on the recipe, pork shoulder can be a bit fatty, so you may want to trim some of the excess fat before cooking.

When substituting pork shoulder for brisket, keep in mind that this cut is a bit smaller, so you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

  • Key Characteristics: Pork shoulder is cut from the shoulder of a pig. It offers a tender and juicy meat that can be seasoned and slow-cooked, resulting in a flavorful alternative to brisket.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of pork shoulder as a substitute for brisket. Adjust the cooking time based on the size and thickness of the cut.

2 – Chuck Roast

chuck roast

Chuck roast is a great substitute for brisket for a slightly different flavor profile.

This cut comes from the shoulder and neck of the cow and is one of the most affordable beef cuts available.

It’s also packed with connective tissue, which means it’s juicy and tender when cooked properly.

In terms of flavor, the chuck roast is slightly sweeter than brisket and has a more pronounced beef flavor.

The texture is also different, as the chuck roast is not as fatty as the brisket.

When substituting chuck roast for brisket, you’ll need to cook it for a bit longer to break down the tough connective tissue.

This results in a more flavorful and tender final product.

  • Key Characteristics: Chuck roast is cut from the shoulder of a cow. It has a good marbling of fat, which contributes to its tenderness and flavor when slow-cooked. This makes it a suitable substitute for brisket.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of chuck roast as a substitute for brisket. Adjust the cooking time based on the size and thickness of the cut.

3 – Short Ribs

short ribs

If you’re looking for a substitution that will be just as juicy and delicious as brisket, then you want to go with short ribs.

Short ribs are a great option because they have a lot of the same flavors as brisket, but they are also a little bit more tender.

One thing to keep in mind with short ribs is that they can be a bit more expensive than brisket, so if you’re on a budget, you might want to consider something else.

Texture-wise, short ribs are going to be significantly more tender than brisket.

Once again, this is because they are a little bit fattier.

If you’re looking for something with a similar texture to brisket, then you might want to consider another option.

One of the great things about short ribs is that they are relatively easy to find.

You should find them at most butcher shops or even some supermarkets.

  • Key Characteristics: Short ribs are beef ribs with generous marbling and connective tissue. When slow-cooked, they become tender and flavorful, making them a delicious alternative to brisket.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of short ribs as a substitute for brisket. Adjust the cooking time based on the size and thickness of the ribs.

4 – Beef Clods

beef clods

Another cut of beef that can be used as a brisket substitute is the beef clod.

The beef clod comes from the shoulder area and is a tougher cut of meat.

However, when cooked properly, it can be very tender and flavorful.

When cooking beef clods, one thing to keep in mind is that they will need to be cooked for a longer period than brisket.

Beef clods can be cooked in various ways, including braising, roasting, or stewing.

They are typically best when cooked slowly over low heat.

When cooked properly, beef clods will have a rich and beefy flavor that is perfect for Texas-style barbecue.

Depending on where you live, beef clods may be difficult to find.

However, they can typically be ordered from a local butcher or meat supplier.

  • Key Characteristics: Beef clods are large cuts of beef that benefit from slow cooking. They offer well-marbled meat with a rich flavor profile, making them a suitable substitute for brisket.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of beef clods as a substitute for brisket. Adjust the cooking time based on the size and thickness of the cut.

5 – Lamb Roast

lamb roast

One final option for a brisket substitute is a lamb roast.

A lamb roast is a cut of meat that comes from the leg of a lamb.

It is usually a very thin and tender piece of meat.

Lamb roasts can be cooked in various ways, but they are typically best when roasted or grilled.

Lamb roasts have a delicate, sweet flavor and are a little bit earthy.

They are perfect for dishes that require slow cooking, such as lamb shanks or stews.

Lamb roasts can be difficult to find in some areas, but they can usually be ordered from a local butcher or meat supplier.

If you decide to use a lamb roast as a brisket substitute, keep in mind that the cooking time will be shorter than for brisket.

Lamb roasts are typically best when cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Key Characteristics: Lamb roast, typically boneless, offers a tender texture and mild flavor. Slow-roasting the lamb can result in succulent meat that provides an interesting twist as a substitute for brisket.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of lamb roast as a substitute for brisket. Adjust the cooking time based on the size and thickness of the roast.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Brisket

Searching for the perfect brisket substitute? Your quest ends here! Explore our curated list of the 5 best alternatives that seamlessly replace brisket, ensuring a flavorful and satisfying culinary experience.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • Pork Shoulder
  • Chuck Roast
  • Short Ribs
  • Beef Clods
  • Lamb Roast

Instructions
 

  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for brisket
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