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How Many Briskets per Cow?

How Many Briskets per Cow?

There’s nothing quite like a perfectly cooked, moist, and delicious slice of brisket.

Many meat-lovers, including myself, love learning about the food they eat and learning about how many briskets are there per cow is right up my alley.

What Part of the Cow Is a Brisket?

If you are looking at the brisket head-on, the brisket would be the space between the animals for legs. In short, brisket sits beneath the neck and between the foreshanks. The brisket wraps around the bottom part of the chest area much like a bumper wraps around a car. 

Brisket is often known for its tough texture that needs a lot of TLC to transform into a tender cut of meat. Brisket’s toughness comes from the fact that steers do not have any collarbones. 

Collarbones help hold up the animal. Therefore the job of supporting a 1200-1400 pound steer has been passed on to the brisket. 

60% percent of the steer’s weight consists of dense and tough muscles. This is why brisket is largely made up of connective tissue, and it must be smoked for hours in an offset smoker. 

How Many Briskets Per Cow?

Although there is some confusion about whether brisket comes from pork or beef, in this case, we are talking about beef brisket.

The brisket is fabricated from the breast portion of the steer. As for how many briskets there are per cow, the answer is none. 

A cow is actually a female animal that has given birth to calves. Briskets are not fabricated from the cow; they are fabricated from steers.

Steers are castrated young male calves.

Upon their birth, make calves are called bull calves. When the male calves reach 3-6 months, they are castrated. If not, the bull calves become bulls.

Castrating the steers makes inhibits reproductions and makes them more compliant. 

In addition to this, the loss of testosterone which in turn boosts the levels of intramuscular fat and improves the tenderness of the smoked brisket. 

The notion of how many briskets per steer can be a bit confusing because the brisket consists of 2 muscles: the flat and the point.

Brisket sold in grocery stores is often separated into the flat and the point leading people to believe that the steer has more brisket than it actually does.

In addition to this, all primal cuts of beef will have different weights. Essentially, every steer has a different weight at the time they are slaughtered.

The average beef brisket fabricated from an unchilled steer after it is slaughtered is 30 pounds.

However, the processed brisket will weigh between 8-20 pounds because the deckle and bones are removed from the brisket.

Ultimately, each steer has two briskets that can weigh between 8-20 pounds. The brisket can be broken down into 2 flat cuts and 2 point cuts.

Because the flat makes up most of the brisket, it can weigh between 3-and 10 pounds.

Which Brisket Is More Tender Left or Right?

Just like the shoulder roast vs. chuck roasts, tri tip vs. brisket, and parchment paper vs. butcher paper, there is also a debate about which side of the brisket is more tender.

Most people assert that the left brisket is more tender than the right side.

This is because the steer rests on its left side. The steer uses its right leg to stand up, which causes the right brisket to work harder.

However, the truth is this assumption doesn’t hold any weight. In essence, all steers do not lie on their left side.

While some steers rest on their left side, some rest on their right side.

Therefore there is no better side to the brisket. Both the left and right sides of the steer are the same. 

Final Thoughts

Remember, there are no briskets in a cow. There are, however, 2 briskets in each steer.

Each brisket is broken down into the point and the flat resulting in two point cuts and two flat cuts.