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I just got my cs08. I wanted to smoke brisket and went all over town to find Choice beef. I returned empty handed and went to the internet. I found a forum note (forget where) that said Sam's sells only USDA choice. Well, I telephoned and found that the Super Walmarts also have only USDA Choice and the two Sam's and the Super Walmarts in town (ABQ, NM) were the only ones with whole brisket USDA Choice. Smoked 8 hours in the cs08 to 167 degrees and 2 hours, foiled, in the oven to 199 degrees. It was super delicious and we are still eating. It was 11.73 lbs. untrimmed. Since the fat, at the most was only 1 inch, I did not trim any off. I used my New Mexican Rub with chipotle powder and Jim Campbell's (Wild & Mild) Red Savina Habanero Powder. Fantastic to combine an old obsession with a new one, a "chile 'que"
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Funny that you mention choice brisket and Sams/Super Wally. Around here, Sams doesn't carry brisket and the Super Walmart carries select. Tom, who is one of our most informed posters on this forum wrote that occasionally they get a shipment of Choice brisket. I've been watching for weeks and just the other day, they had 4 choice briskets, so I had to buy one. Like Smokin Okie says, big difference between select and choice. I smoked it along with 2 boston butts (from Sams) this past weekend. 12 hours brisket, 15 hours for the butts. Absolutely the best I've ever made.
I have to ask, why did you foil and why finish in the oven? That's what the smoker is for.
That little 008 is gonna make you soooo happy....
I foiled and finished in the oven because I was just followin what Mike Scrutchfield did for his winning brisket in a WSM. In other words, no reason at all. However, as it turned out, my internal temperature plateaued at 167 degree F and I could not get it to go up even though I turned the 008 up to 250. This was after 7 hours. At 8.5 hours I took it out and put it in the oven.That is odd about Sam's and Wally Mart. Their meat man here in ABQ said they only have Choice Meats. I'll make sure I check next time.
I have been searching and found a custom meat place that sells trimmed whole brisket, USDA Choice. He also claims (as others did) that Sam's and Wal-Mart do NOT sell USDA Choice. He says sometimes Albertsons will get USDA Choice brisket, but not very often, and they are untrimmed. So the question is, how do you smoke in the 008 a "trimmed" brisket?
Couldn't the custom place just sell you the brisket before they trim it? Sometimes our Walmart has one or two choice ones in with the ungraded, suspect the savvy customers quickly grab them up and the rest don't know or care the difference.

The other day I bought a supposed Choice eye of round from Meijer. The cryovac plastic, however, was stamped "Chairman's Reserve", not "Choice". What the heck does that mean, I wondered. Found the answer here in a list of USDA certified beef programs. Turns out it is indeed Choice or perhaps, though I doubt it, Prime. So, if you see unfamiliar grade stamps, you might be able to decipher them.
Mornin' Smokin' Gold

If you can describe the "trimmed" brisket,we can better help.

Groceries may get packers,which they remove the point for hamburger and sell an almost fatless flat for trimmed brisket.

Cook these like a flat.

A search,Brisket 101, and the archives should have plenty of good threads.

If they merely trimmed the top fat cap to 1/4 in and evened out the fat on the sides,cook it like a whole/packer.

Hope this helps a little.
I hope this may help you out a little. What you want is called a NAMP #120 which is Beef brisket, boneless, deckle off. Myself I use a #118 but the deckle i cut off myself and use for grinding in homemade frankfurters. I have had good luck with US Foods and it is possible to get what is called "no roll" which means it is not graded but their salesman has never failed to provide anything that was not less in marbling than choice. Of course no roll comes in at a much cheaper price but you really have to be able to trust your salesman and your eye. A handy book to have is "The Meatbuyers Guide By The Association Of Meat Purveryors" their address is
1920 Association Drive Suite 400
Reston, Va 22091-1547
Fax 703-758-8001
This book is the bible for meat and includes beef pork veal lamb.
I got mine in 1996 when I 1st started doing large quantity orders and it has been a life saver as you and the salesman are always on the same page (plus it makes you look smart Big Grin )
again hope this helps you
ps just remeber since 1976 the govt under jimmy carter changed all grades up one notch which means what was choice than is now prime now and that really caused a lot of problems Mad
A beef side is a "primal cut" NAMPS lists it as a #101.It defines it as a matched forequarter and hindquarter, fancy talk for 1/2 a cow.
"box beef" is just all the cuts that you can make from a primal cut. Stores love it since they don't need to pay a skilled butcher.
by the way a beef side comes in ranges from A which is 250-300lbs to 300 lbs all the way to D which is 400 lbs up!!!!
hope this helps,
SmokinOkie-I was at the Super Target at memorial and penn last night and they had one choice IBP packer cut brisket. It was around 14 lbs. I grabbed it when I saw the price - 79 cents/lb.

I don't usually shop there, so I don't know if this is the norm or not.

BTW, all of their pork was injected.


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