BBQ & Butchery

One of the issues of trying to cook American style BBQ in the UK, is getting the right cuts of meat.

American and UK butchery are very different in many ways, and when trying to source American cuts from a British butcher, you are faced with two things: unfamiliarity with the cuts required; and reluctance to butcher in a non-traditional (British) way. I quite understand this, as changing how a shoulder joint is cut also affects the surrounding joints, and unless you are prepared to buy the whole animal (or one side, at least), why should a butcher compromise the other bits he can sell?

As it happens, bone-in (blade) pork shoulder is becoming more available – once a traditional cut, it seemed to be replaced by boned and rolled pork shoulder, but I am seeing it again more often. It is not quite the same shape as a Boston Butt (the traditional joint for pulled pork), but close enough. However, the one thing I have had trouble in getting is a proper beef brisket. Here in the UK, it is rare to find brisket that hasn’t been cut up and rolled into family sized joints. The one time I tried to order one from my local butcher, it was a bit of a disaster. This is what led me to abandon brisket for a while, and hone my pulled pork skills. However, much as I love my pulled pork, I feel I need to try something a bit different.

packer_lrg_1I have been hearing very good things about Turner & George, so I have just ordered a Packer Cut Brisket from them – British beef, but cut in the American style. It should be with me Wednesday.

At 6KG, I’m not entirely sure that it will fit in my small Davy Crockett grill, and my larger Traeger currently has no temperature control. But I am on holiday for the next two weeks, so have time to fiddle with the Traeger. I did have an Arduino controller working fairly well, a while back, so I am going to did that out, and see what I can do.

Otherwise, I’ll simply cut the brisket into two bits, and try two different cooking methods, for fun.

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