We all know brisket comes from a cow, and pulled pork is from a hog. But did you know they are often cooked similarly? But how similar are they?
Well, today, I hope to share with you the differences between brisket and pulled pork.
If you’re a meat lover, you know there’s nothing like a slow-cooked, tender cut of beef or pork. Two of the most popular options for barbecue lovers are brisket and pulled pork.
And while both of these meats are delicious, they are a bit different in terms of taste, texture, and the way they are cooked.
In this post, I am going to dive into the key differences between brisket and pulled pork and how to make the most out of these meats.
If you get through this article and feel like I may have left pertinent information out, please comment below, and I will do my best to add it.
Brief History of Brisket vs Pulled Pork
Brisket and pulled pork have been popular meats for centuries, each with its own unique history. Brisket is a beef cut that comes from the lower chest of the cow.
It was first introduced to the US by European immigrants and has since become a staple in Texas-style barbecue.
Pulled pork, on the other hand, is said to have originated in the southern parts of the US. The dish was initially served in taverns and street vendors, whereas now it can be found in nearly any household with a barbeque pit or smoker.
Taste, Texture, and Affordability
As far as texture goes, brisket is going to be a tad denser meat with more marbling. The taste of it also has more of an intense flavor, similar to a beef roast, but fattier.
When it comes to price, brisket is always more expensive, pound for pound, compared to pork shoulder. That may not be so in some parts of the world, but here in the Midwest, that has been my experience.
Pulled Pork Shoulder
Alright, pulled pork shoulder. So, pulled pork is going to be a lot softer than brisket. Perhaps a better way to describe it would be juicy?
The flavor is also a bit milder and is it more forgiving regardless of the cooking method chosen.
The price for a pork shoulder? Well, that depends on where you live, but it’s generally pretty inexpensive, making it affordable for more people.
What are the best cooking techniques for brisket and Pulled pork
The cooking process for brisket and pulled pork are pretty much interchangeable with one exception: cook time.
Brisket is best cooked low and slow in the oven, slow cooker, or smoker. You’ll want to plan ahead before making brisket in the smoker as a 12-hour cook time is not all that unheard of.
Pulled pork, on the other hand, is a bit more flexible when it comes to cooking temperatures, sometimes taking half the time it takes to cook a brisket. Adding liquid helps keep the meat tender and moist.
Additionally, pulled pork can be made on the smoker, barbeque pit, oven, or slow cooker.
How about some popular recipes?
How to Serve Each of These Meats:
Both brisket and pulled pork are great served as a main dish, but the serving techniques vary based on the cut.
Brisket is often sliced and served on a plate with sides ranging from coleslaw to baked potatoes.
Pulled pork, on the other hand, is typically shredded and served on a bun with barbecue sauce and a side of baked beans or potato salad.
Frequently asked questions
Is pulled pork or brisket easier to cook? While both these cuts share similar cooking methods, pulled pork is much more forgiving, whereas brisket can dry out or become tough if not cooked properly.
Is pork or beef brisket better? As far as taste goes, it comes down to personal preference. I will say beef brisket can be a bit chewier though.
Can you pull apart brisket like you would pulled pork? Yes! It’s more common to slice brisket into thin slices, but if it’s cooked low and slow, It can easily be pulled apart with two forks.
To wrap this post up, I think it’s safe to say that both brisket and pulled pork are delicious options whether you are looking to barbeque, slow cook or bake your meat.
Both these meats benefit from a slow cook, and ultimately, the choice between brisket and pulled pork comes down to personal preference and what you plan to use it for.
Regardless of which meat you choose, brisket and pulled pork remain popular choices for cooking enthusiasts everywhere.