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Looking to cook up or grill a brisket for Sunday dinner or a special occasion? Got your special brisket rub ready and waiting to be used on a special piece of meat? Your best plan will be to call up a butcher shop near you and let them know exactly what you want and when.
However, not everyone has a butcher shop or even a meat department person that they know and trust. In that case, the internet has your back! From first cut, second cut, brisket for corned beef, and more, you can find sustainably raised brisket of all different sorts from producers and butchers who know exactly what they're doing.
A bit of background: Brisket is made up of a cow’s pectoral muscles. Because these muscles are heavily exercised by the animal, the meat tends to be tougher. Its tenderness is brought out by a slow braise either in the oven, on the stove, or in a slow cooker. The piece is generally split in two—the “first cut” or “flat cut” is leaner and tends to be pricier (this cut is great for corned beef). The “second cut” or “point cut” is fattier and richer. If the meat is not separated into those cuts, it’s called a “full packer.”
Here are the best places to buy brisket of all sorts online.
Best Corned Beef: Snake River Farms American Wagyu Corned Beef Brisket
In general, if you’re looking to make corned beef, you’ll want to start with a “first cut” or “flat cut” of brisket. Then, find a recipe and get going! But, if you’re looking for something that’s both easier and very next-level, go for the Corned Beef Brisket at Snake River Farms. Each weighs around 2.5 pounds and is ready to cook (smoking is highly encouraged here!) for your St. Patrick's Day feast or even just for a really killer pastrami. With the signature rich marbling of American Wagyu/Kobe beef plus Snake River’s blend of seasonings and spices, this will undoubtedly be the star of the show when you put it on the table.
Best Full Packer: Double R Ranch USDA Prime Brisket
Maybe you’re looking to feed a crowd. Maybe you’re ready to take on a new cooking challenge. Maybe you just really would like to have some leftovers to freeze. Whatever the reason you’re looking for a full packer, the Double R Ranch USDA Prime Brisket at Snake River Farms will make those dreams come true.
Weighing in at about 13 pounds each, these briskets are USDA Prime, a designation that’s based on marbling and which only 4-5 percent receive. Each comes from cattle aged in the Northwest, and is aged for 21 days or more to bring out extra beefiness and a luxurious texture. If you’re committing to that much meat, you should make sure that it’s something you’ll love. You’ll certainly love this marbled, beautiful brisket.
Best First or Flat Cut: D'Artagnan Angus Beef Brisket Flat
For more than 35 years, D’Artagnan has been an industry leader in flavorful, high-quality meat. Its beef in particular is very special—the cows live to be at least five (double the industry standard) and are raised with humane, ethical, and sustainable practices. You’ll notice the marbling in the meat tends to be a bit yellow, thanks to the grass diet of the cows.
The first cut Angus brisket, equivalent to Choice-Plus grade, is wet-aged a minimum of 21 days for maximum flavor and a lovely texture. You can get it sent frozen or fresh, and regardless it’ll be 6.5-7 pounds. If you’re looking for a first cut, it’s hard to do better than this option from D’Artagnan.
Best Second or Point Cut: Crowd Cow Brisket Point
Crowd Cow’s aim is to “create an alternative to the current meat commodity system, and to create a meaningful connection between the farmer and the customer.” They provide direct access to small, independent ranches and offer recurring shipments or one-time orders. They also offset the carbon impact of every shipment and send your meat in 100 percent recyclable and compostable materials.
There are three brisket options: pasture-raised, 100 percent grass-fed, and full-blood Wagyu. No matter which you choose, you’ll be provided with information about the producer and there are different size options for each, ranging from 3 pounds to 10 pounds. Make sure to cut this thicker, fattier end of the muscle low and slow, and prepare to have your socks knocked off.
Note: Crowd Cow does not ship to Alaska or Hawaii.
Best for Barbecue: Fossil Farms Angus Beef Brisket
Fossil Farms has offered healthy and sustainable alternatives to conventional red meat for over 20 years. The Angus Beef Brisket is meant for the utmost versatility—it’s great for barbecue, smoking, braising, or really whatever you’ve got. It comes pre-trimmed and ready to cook using your favorite rub or marinade. Each piece will be around 12 pounds.
Best for Pho: Wild Fork USDA Choice Beef Brisket Flat Cut
Wild Fork Farms sources its beef mostly from grassland-rich Nebraska and Colorado, where cold-weather beef breeds like Angus, Hereford, and Limosime thrive. Then, it’s aged for 17 days for maximum flavor and tenderness. It's perfect for a meaty stew-like Pho! Pho does take almost six hours (most of that being inactive time), but brisket isn’t exactly a quick-cooking process, either!
Flat cuts in general tend to work better for pho, thanks to their leanness and long strands of muscle. As you’re cutting the brisket, you’ll get extra tenderness if you thinly slice it against the grain of the meat. The brisket from Wild Fork Farms is blade tenderized and will be excellent in your homemade pho.
Best Already Cooked: Snow's BBQ Texas Monthly's #1 BBQ Brisket
We wouldn’t say that cooking brisket is hard, necessarily, though it does take patience and a tiny bit of technique (most of that technique being “cook it low and slow,” which really goes back to the whole patience thing). But, if you want to ensure that your brisket is absolutely perfect, you can always order the Texas Monthly's #1 BBQ Brisket from Snow’s BBQ at Goldbelly.
Texas Monthly named Snow’s BBQ, helmed by Hall of Fame Pitmaster Ms. Tootsie, the #1 Barbecue in Texas, and it’s not hard to see why when you try this brisket. It serves a crispy outside, a succulent center, and an immense amount of flavor. Ms. Tootsie has been featured on Netflix’s Chef’s Table and you can trust her with your brisket dinner. Each brisket is 4 to 5 pounds, feeding 10 to 12 people, and will maybe be the best brisket you’ve ever eaten. Sorry, Grandma!
For minimal fuss and maximum flavor, the Texas Monthly's #1 BBQ Brisket (view at Goldbelly) from Snow’s BBQ is already cooked and super delicious. For a big ol’ backyard barbecue, go for the Angus Beef Brisket (view at Fossil Farms), and if you’re shopping for corned beef purposes, go for the Corned Beef Brisket (view at Snake River Farms), or the Angus Beef Brisket Flat (view at D'Artagnan) if you don’t want it pre-seasoned..
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Writer and professional eater Christine Clark is a nationally recognized food expert and locally recognized eater of good things. She was a vegetarian in college and now refuses to live life without a steady stream of pork products. She has a cheese podcast and is a Certified Cheese Professional through the American Cheese Society.