St. Patrick’s Day is fast approaching and the most commonly served meal on that day (at least in America) is corned beef. Where does corn beef come from? The answer is the brisket. The part of the cow brisket is located is in the front of the cow, toward the bottom, near the cow’s front legs. Since the cow uses that area a lot this is a tough cut of beef, so a slow cooking method must be used. Yet it is worth your time because it is a flavorful cut.

When choosing a brisket, unless you buy the entire brisket, you will have to choose between a flat cut and a point cut. It is very easy to tell the difference by just looking at the cuts.

Point Cut Brisket

A point cut comes to a point at one end. The point cut has a lot of fat running through it, so when you cook it, it comes out nice and juicy. This cut is harder to find in supermarkets, as it isn’t as attractive of a cut as the flat. This is a good choice if you plan on shredding the meat when finished cooking.

Flat Cut Brisket

The flat cut is a much leaner cut than the point. However it still has a layer of fat on the bottom, that will keep the meat moist. This is the cut you will most often find in supermarkets, as it looks more appealing the the point cut. If you are looking for brisket that will slice up nicely, this is your best bet. It is also the cut used most often when you buy packaged corned beef.

Which is Brisket Cut is Better: Flat or Point

It just depends on what you are going to do. Point Cut is good for shredding, but for corned beef opt for the flat cut. In the Good Eats episode “Pickled Pink”, Alton Brown choose a flat cut to make his own corned beef. I prefer the flat cut as the point cut is too fatty for my tastes.

How to Quickly Cure/Brine Your Own Corned Beef

Once you have choosen your type of brisket you will need to cure or brine it to get the flavor you want, unless it comes already pre-brined. I have come up with a method to do this fast (overnight or 24 hours) – it’s a dry rub that employs some dry aging methods. Check out my post – How Can I Quickly Brine Corned Beef

Answers to Other Corned Beef Questions

Why Do We Eat Corned Beef on St. Patrick’s Day?
Why Is It Called “Corned” Beef?
What is Uncured Corned Beef?

Corned Beef Pizza

St. Patrick’s Day Recipes

Roasted Cream of Turnip Soup
Chocolate Mint Shamrock Cookies
Corned Beef & Cabbage with Boxty Cakes & Mustard Sauce
Corned Beef & Cabbage Pizza
Irish Style Bangers & Mash [try it with this sausage]

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Comments for This Post

  1. Richard Paradise February 8, 2016, 7:04 pm

    For every St. Patty’s, for my Irish relatives and friends, I always buy the Flat Cut Corned Beef. I cook it in my Rival Crock Pot with potatoes, onions, carrots and cabbage.
    Following the directions I got with my crock pot, I always get a perfect St. Patty’s Day dinner. Delicious!

  2. Eric Samuelson February 9, 2016, 2:28 am

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  3. James d March 17, 2016, 2:49 am

    Honestly, if you can cook beef correctly, either is just a meat cutter, I am learning what cuts are more tender no matter what and what cuts just need more love. Every customer at my store is buying the flat cuts. There r 5 times more flat cuts sold than point cuts. I myself had always preferred the flat cut but tonight I’ve realized that there really isn’t a big difference since I’ve just totally enjoyed the Point cut. Just cook things either longer or use more chicken broth and beer. I just had a point cut that I cooked in crock pot on high for 5 hours with broth and water….amazing! Also amazing is when I slow roast a flat in oven with guiness. To me, no more difference between the two when done right.

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I'm Eric. I live in Ann Arbor, MI with my wife, 3 kids, and a flock of ducks. I love grocery shopping, trying new fruits, farmer's market, and traveling.

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