Is Brisket Beef or Pork?


Do you like grilling brisket and don’t know if it is beef or pork? This might be among your concerns if you don’t eat either beef or pork. So, is brisket beef or pork?

Traditionally the barbecue brisket would be beef and is derived from the breast section. However, you will find pork brisket at the butcher’s office, which has become popular over the years. You may not see the cut in the grocery store and the restaurant, but you may ask if you want to buy the pork brisket.

In this article, you will finally know the difference between beef and pork brisket.

What Animal Does Brisket Come From?

Initially, the brisket was derived from the cow’s breast section. The steer has two briskets on both front legs on the breast section. The steer is neutered to be docile and prevent reproduction; they are young bulls between three and six months.

If the steer were left without neutering, they would be a matured bull ready for reproduction. Neutered bulls lack testosterone, a reproduction hormone. The lack of this crucial hormone causes tenderness and fat deposits, which improve marbling.

You would value the brisket from the steer as it gives the beefy taste and is tender. However, if you are not experienced with the meat cuts, you will quickly order the brisket cut from the cow, but your butcher will cut the brisket from the steer.

The cow is a female animal that has been birthed, and its breast meat might not be desirable for beef brisket as it is matured and might not be tender like the traditional brisket.

The cow brisket has two cuts; the first is sometimes called the flat cut and is uniform and large. The cut has a thin, flat layer on one side and is perfect for braising and cooking in the oven due to the lean piece. You can quickly chop the flat-cut brisket into small pieces and substitute it for corned beef.

The second cut is the deckle point, which might be less uniform and marbling fat. Thus, it is high in fat and would be ideal for smoking and eliminates the worry of drying out food while cooking. Therefore, you would season the brisket and let it sit before grilling it.

Related: What Part of the Cow is Brisket?

What Is Pork Brisket?

The pork brisket is the new BBQ trend that has emerged in the past years. Butchers might have noticed a gap in the meat sector among people who prefer pork over beef. Moreover, this might have been a marketing strategy to sell pork meat to barbecue lovers who enjoyed the cow brisket already.

Although it is easy for innovations in the barbecue sector to catch up with the trends, the pork brisket might not become as popular as the cow’s brisket. Most brisket lovers might prefer the cow brisket over the pork brisket. You may not find the pork brisket in the grocery store or restaurant, but in the butcher and online stores, you will find it.

The pork brisket is similar to cow brisket, except it is derived from a pig. They consist of two pieces which include lean and fatty ends. The lean end of the pork brisket is derived from the pig’s belly and is fatty, thus having the marbling effect you would find in the cow’s brisket.

The pork brisket might weigh about one and four pounds. It tastes different from the cow brisket and has a notable fat difference.

What is the Difference Between Pulled Pork and Brisket?

ComparisonPork BrisketCow Brisket
The animalThe pulled pork has derived from a pig.The brisket is derived from a steer’s breast.
Connective tissuesThe brisket is tender and has a high-fat content and fewer connective tissues.It has more connective tissues as they are part of the muscles the cow uses for movement.
Cooking timeIt takes less time to cook the food. The brisket has fewer connective tissues and is tenderer than the cow’s brisket.It takes more time to cook the cow’s brisket as it has more connective tissues.
The cutThe meat is derived from the pig’s belly.It is derived from the cow’s breast.

Is Brisket Healthy?

The cow brisket is healthy as it is lean meat that is ideal for people on a strict diet, and you may incorporate the brisket into your daily meal plan. The ground brisket might contain high oleic acid levels, increasing the HDL levels responsible for good cholesterol.

Moreover, the cow brisket has lower caloric and fat value than the pork brisket, and you may consider opting for the steer’s brisket.

The cow’s brisket contains clean muscles resulting from the cow’s front legs; thus does not have so much fat. Less fat content means less saturated fats, which are associated with health complications. You may choose this cut over other beef cuts, as it is ideal for people on a diet.

Moreover, some people who don’t like the pork brisket due to health concerns and religious beliefs can opt for the cow’s brisket

How to Smoke a Brisket on a Propane Grill?

The propane grill is easy to control as it has internal temperature probes, which lets a chef know if they are cooking the food at the right temperature. Thus the grill would be ideal for smoking the brisket as the brisket might require a specific temperature and time to cook effectively.

Most propane gas grills will have wood pellet hoppers, making it possible to infuse the smoky flavors into your brisket.

You may need to find the best quality brisket from your butcher or trusted online stores and ensure the meat is fresh for the best results.

You could ask for an even thick brisket which is said to work with; the butcher should trim the fat to ¼ thickness as it protects the meat during cooking.

Start by seasoning the cow’s brisket an hour before you start cooking your meat. You can place the brisket on the rimmed baking sheet and mix it with salt and your desired spices that don’t overpower the beefy taste. The best seasoning might look like sand stuck to wet skin but should not look cakey. You may let your brisket relax for one hour before cooking; this will let the spices sink deep into the inner brisket layers leading to a better outcome.

Prepare the propane grill by soaking six cups of preferred wood chips in water overnight or at least 30 minutes before you start grilling your brisket.

You can light one propane grill burner to medium and ensure the drip tray is empty and clean as it is prone to flares, leading to smoke and unfavorable flavors in your meat. You can place the smoker box under the burner, add half a cup of the soaked wood chips, and adjust the heat to about 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Related: Best Wood for Smoking Brisket

You may use a stand-alone thermometer as it gives the most accurate results. However, if the internal thermometer works well, you would rely on it to read the internal temperatures. You may stick the temperature probe between the lids and grill base for the best temperature control.

Once you start heating the propane grill, the wet wood chips will release a steady stream of smoke; the smoke will last for as long as the wood chips are wet. You may add a few dry wood chips into the holding box as it increases the heat and smoke produced by the propane grill.

You will need to maintain the heat for the gas grill and place your brisket with the fatty side facing up on the grill grates. You will keep the brisket away from the burner and ensure effective heat distribution on the gas grills. Without the proper heat distribution, you may have one side of the brisket getting well done while the other is not properly cooked.

You can close the propane gas grill after placing the brisket and avoid the temptations to open it. Closing the grill ensures you can trap the smoke which infuses the smoky flavors into the brisket and maintain the internal grill temperature.

You would need to adjust the grill temperature if it keeps fluctuating and ensure it stays at about 225 degrees Fahrenheit; ensure the internal meat temperatures are at 135 degrees Fahrenheit. You would cook the brisket for about three hours and check for doneness before removing it from the gas grill.

During the cooking process, you may need to adjust the vents to control the amount of smoke in the propane grill and the internal temperatures. You would check the wood pellets to ensure your grill provides adequate smoke for the brisket. You can refill the wood pellets to maintain the appropriate smoky flavor.

You will know your brisket is done by checking with a fork; the furl should cut through the tender brisket without any issues. However, it will be ready to eat if you keep smoking the brisket for three hours on a propane grill while flipping. You can keep it on the grill until the meat on the brisket is tender but not falling apart.

You may insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the brisket and ensure it is at about 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 hours.

You may serve the brisket with coleslaw, pinto beans, and potato salad when cooked well. After transferring the brisket from the grill, you will let it cool for about 30 minutes and slice it against the grain at 1/2″ thick. You may slice the brisket into smaller parts to serve a larger group as the brisket can feed many people as it is a large cut.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chili’s Brisket Beef or Pork?

The Chili’s brisket is beef and is thinly sliced, drizzled with barbecue sauce, and slices of buttered Texas toast. The meat is smoky and offers the best beefy taste, and you may consider buying your brisket from Chili’s.

Is Texas Brisket Beef or Pork?

The Texas brisket is beef made from a smoker grill that infuses the spices and the smoky flavors. The Texas brisket is among the famous briskets derived from a steer, and they are tender and have the marbling effect, which results in a beefy taste.

Is Arby’s Brisket Beef or Pork?

Arby’s brisket is slow-smoked beef brisket with infused spices and smoky flavor. The brisket is smoked with cheese, crispy onions, and BBQ sauce.

Is Chipotle Brisket Beef or Pork?

Chipotle brisket is smoked beef seasoned with spices, BBQ sauce, and Mexican peppers. However, you may ask for the pork brisket from the store, as they would source the meat from the butcher to meet the customers’ needs.

How to Choose a Brisket to Smoke?

You may opt for the brisket with the thickest and most uniform layer as it results in even cooking and drying, and there will be no watered meat during the cooking process. The flat should be about one inch thick at the end.

The grade might help you find the appropriate brisket which matches your price. You may choose one with the best marbling as it gives the beefy flavor. It is appropriate to buy the brisket from the butcher, but you should ask for the photo gallery when buying it from online vendors.

Is Brisket Healthy For Weight Loss?

The brisket is healthy for weight loss, does not have high calories compared to other meat cuts, and is tender and lean. The cut is lean since it is derived from the front legs, holds half of the cow’s weight, and aids in movement.

Moreover, the brisket promotes good cholesterol and thus is good for the heart and does not lead to other health complications.


Choosing one brisket over the other is challenging as many people would opt for the cow’s brisket over pork brisket. However, the briskets offer a choice for people abstaining from either beef or pork. Traditionally, the brisket would be derived from a steer, but now innovation in BBQ has resulted in the formulation of pork brisket, which is derived from a pig’s belly.

You may need to specify the brisket you want to the buyer at the butcher shop or online meat stores. Good luck finding the brisket which meets your BBQ needs.

Bobby Johnson

When he's not writing about barbecue, you can find Bobby smoking meat for friends and family. He's been a backyard pitmaster for roughly half his life, and has worked with nearly every cut of meat. Not everyone has a hands-on guide to teach them BBQ, but that's what Bobby hopes to do with Electric Smoker HQ. He wants to help people create amazing food that they can be proud of.