The 5 Best Brisket Substitutes

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There are a lot of great recipes that call for brisket but the truth of the matter is that brisket can be expensive and it can take significant time to prep and prepare for use.

If you’re wanting to make sliders or some other dish but don’t want to mess with preparing a brisket first, you’ve got to have options, right? 

So, what is the best brisket substitute? The best substitute for brisket is chuck roast, due to their similar texture and flavor. Both of these cuts come from the forequarters of the cow which also explains why they can often be substituted for one another.

In this guide, we will share with you the 5 best brisket substitutes to choose from.

Whether you’re looking for something juicy and tender or you just want to spend a little less, we’ve got you covered! There are some really great options out there to choose from! 

Stick with us to learn about the 5 best brisket substitutes and more! 

Choosing A Brisket Substitute

Before you choose a brisket substitute, you should consider a few things. There are certain aspects that very well might alter your decision on whatever cut of meat you are going to end up with besides a brisket. 

Why Do You Need A Substitute? 

We know that brisket can be pricy and hard to find so sometimes you just have no option but to find an alternative, right?

Regardless of what your reason is for finding a substitute, you need to be familiar with why you need something else and then understand how that brisket would be used

You want to choose an alternative that is truly going to work well for your intended purposes. It won’t do you any good to purchase a substitute for tacos that won’t shred up nicely for your tacos, right? 

Consider all of the details such as how you plan to prepare the meat, what the recipe is, what your cooking method for the meat will be, and even your own preferences for meat in the end. 

Do You Want Beef? 

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are a lot of beef alternatives for brisket but there are also other types of meat that you can depend on instead as well.

If you aren’t a fan of beef or you’re simply looking for something other than beef this time, you still have options. 

Whether you’re avoiding red meat or just want to change it up, you will find that there are both pork and lamb options that can be substituted nicely.

We are only sharing 5 substitutes here so you may not see every possible alternative out there. This is simply something to keep in mind! 

The 5 Best Brisket Substitutes Around

Now, let’s get down to business! There are several really great options that you can use to replace beef.

Here, we are just covering your top 5 options but you should be aware that if you feel none of these will work for you, this isn’t an all-inclusive list. 

We simply took what we felt were the best alternatives and came here to share those details with you.

In fact, there are even some vegetarian substitutes for brisket, like seitan or jackfruit that can get you pretty close when you cook them right! 

Below, you will find our top choices for the 5 best brisket substitutes around. 

1. Chuck Roast

The chuck roast is probably our top pick for a substitute for brisket. You’re probably already familiar with the chuck roast and maybe you have enjoyed many pot roasts with potatoes, gravy, and carrots at your dinner table. 

The nice thing about chuck roast is that it can be pretty versatile. In terms of both flavor and texture, it is incredibly similar to brisket, which is why it makes such a great substitute when you need one

Chuck roast can be bought in a variety of sizes and isn’t usually too pricy. It has a rich and hearty flavor that stands out and it shreds up nicely, much like brisket does.

You do want to make sure that you accommodate the different cut but flavoring it well and adding some liquid to get your tastes right but it should come out tender and flavorful. 

2. Short Ribs

Next up, short ribs make a really great option as well. The reason short ribs can be nice is because they get so juicy when you cook them so they have prominent flavors that can be used for a lot of different purposes. 

Short ribs are distinctly different as far as overall looks and design of the meat. These cook similarly to brisket but they simply come from a different part of the animal.

Be aware that short ribs can be tough so you will want to cook them properly and prepare for that. 

In addition, short ribs are known to have quite a bit of fat and bone in the meat. You can cook them until they are juicy and tender and the flavors will be an excellent alternative. They taste amazing smoked as well!

These may take a bit of extra work with the bones but they make a great solution! 

3. Beef Clods

Beef clods are great if you plan to slow cook the meat. These always turn out best when slow-cooked because they are naturally fatty and tough in nature.

However, if you cook them slowly and have them marinated, they will be absolutely delicious

Beef clods are very similar to beef shanks and you could actually use beef shanks instead if you prefer. In this substitute option, you could get away with either one and you would have similar results. 

One of the best things about beef clods is they are incredibly affordable.

If purchasing a brisket simply isn’t in your budget or you want to produce something similar with a tight budget, this could be an excellent option and you certainly will not be disappointed with the results. 

Just remember that beef clods need to be marinated well and cooked slowly to help make them juicy and tender!

4. Lamb Roast

If you’re trying to stay away from beef, you could go for a nice lamb roast. You could also use a pork roast for a similar alternative if that is more to your liking.

Both of these will work nicely when you don’t want beef, for whatever reason that may be. 

Lamb is known for having a strong flavor so a little bit goes a long way.

It will have a more intense flavor than traditional brisket so if you want something not as heavy just be sure to use a strong marinade or even soak it with herbs and wine prior to cooking.

This will help tone down the lamb flavor a bit. 

The cut of lamb you use will really depend on what you are doing with the meat.

Forequarter cuts are the most similar to brisket but lamb chops and shoulder chops can also be pretty great as well if you are simply wanting to grill up or some up some meat to enjoy.

Leg of lamb is also really good roasted so that is another option to keep in mind. 

5. Tri-Tip Roast

All of these meats take quite some time to prepare and there really isn’t a great way to get around that. However, a tri-tip roast might be a good solution if you’re looking for something that will cook slightly faster

While it will still take some time, it takes less time than brisket. This type of beef can be grilled, smoked, or roasted and the textures and flavors will be very similar to brisket no matter how you make it. 

This meat is known for its hearty flavor and it can serve quite a few people with a small amount. It makes a great alternative for something nearly identical in overall design but cooks up just a little faster. 

Related Questions

We hope that you find this guide to choosing a substitute for brisket to be helpful and informative. We invite you to take a look at the question and answer section for some additional details as well. 

Can I substitute corned beef brisket for brisket? 

Corned beef brisket is brisket but it has been cured with a special solution to change the flavor.

This particular option typically has a lot of different spices and a lot of fat on the cut of meat. While the texture of the meat will be the same, the flavor will be vastly different

What is a good vegetarian substitute for brisket? 

Both seitan and jackfruit can make a great substitute for brisket for a vegetarian dish. While you probably will use these as part of a specific recipe, they make a great meatless alternative when you need one. 

Does brisket have to be beef?

While beef is the traditional form of brisket, you can now find brisket from other types of meat as well. It’s actually sometimes very easy to find brisket from lamb, buffalo, and veal as well now, although it is not as common. 

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