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The 5 Best Substitutes for Brisket

Have you ever had brisket? It’s a tough cut of meat, but it can be delicious when cooked correctly.

The key to cooking brisket is to cook it low and slow – this allows the tough connective tissue to break down, making the meat nice and tender.

There are a few different ways to cook brisket – in the oven, on the stovetop, or in a slow cooker.

In terms of flavor, brisket is pretty versatile meat – it takes on the flavors of whatever you cook it with.

For example, if you’re cooking brisket in the oven, you could add some BBQ sauce to give it a nice smoky flavor.

Texture-wise, brisket can be a bit chewy – but again, this all depends on how it’s cooked.

When cooked properly, brisket should be nice and tender, with a slight chewiness.

So why would you want to substitute brisket for another meat? Well, as we said, brisket is a tough cut of meat – so if you’re looking for something that’s going to be tender, then brisket might not be the best option.

Additionally, because brisket is a relatively fatty meat, it can be quite greasy.

So if you’re looking for something that’s going to be healthier, you might want to look for a different substitution.

In this post, we will show you five different substitutes for brisket.

So whether you’re looking for something a bit healthier or something that’s going to be tender, we’ve got you covered.

What’s Brisket?

what brisket

First things first: brisket is a cut of meat.

It comes from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal.

The area where the brisket is located is packed with tough connective tissue, which is why this cut needs to be cooked slowly over low heat to melt away that connective tissue and tenderize the meat.

When it comes to flavor, brisket is rich and beefy with a smoky taste.

The texture is also quite different from other cuts of meat because of all that tough connective tissue.

When cooked properly, the brisket will be juicy and tender with a bit of a fatty bite.

Compared to other cuts, brisket is a pretty affordable option.

It’s also one of the most popular cuts for barbecuing and smoking.

Because it can withstand long cooking times without becoming dry or tough, brisket is perfect for recipes that require low and slow cooking methods.

Some of our favorite brisket recipes include:

  • Slow Cooker Brisket with BBQ Sauce.
  • Texas brisket.
  • Smoked Brisket.
  • Slow-Cooker Braised Beef Brisket.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Brisket

For those who don’t eat beef, there are plenty of other protein-packed options that can substitute for brisket.

Here are our five favorites:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Brisket is a delicious cut of meat, but it cannot be easy to find in some areas.

If you’re looking for a good substitute, several options are available.

Each of the substitutes listed above has its unique flavor and texture.

You’ll need to consider what you’re looking for in a brisket substitute before making your final decision.

No matter which cut of meat you choose, cook it properly for the best results.

Yield: 4 Servings

The 5 Best Substitutes for Brisket

The 5 Best Substitutes for Brisket
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


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


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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