Buy Big; Save Big: Beef Brisket

Brisket-map[1]With Saint Patrick’s Day just around the corner I though it would a good time to make corned beef. Sure, you can buy it ready made, but read the list of ingredients. There are far too many chemicals in it for my liking. Making corned beef at home is not difficult—I will post a recipe soon. The best corned beef is made with brisket, a rather tough cut that nevertheless has a great flavor and which takes well to long slow cooking. And once you have made corned beef you can turn some of it into pastrami. All in all an enterprise worthy of a bit of time and effort.

The math

I bought a whole brisket at MaineSource for $2.39 a pound. At 19.51 pounds it cost me $46.63. I cut it into the usual three sub-cuts: point, middle, and plate. Trimming and squaring left me with 2 pounds of pieces for grinding and a small flat piece I will probably use for fajitas. I discarded a total of 6.25 pounds of fat for a net yield of 13.26 pounds at cost of $3.51 per pound. My local Wegman’s sells sub cuts of brisket for $3.49 per pound. But it is not the wash it might appear because I would still have to trim a fair bit of fat from the supermarket pack, driving its net cost to around $4.00 per pound.

(Steer diagram is from


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