Need a Substitute for Brisket? (Here Are 8 Tasty Alternatives)

Are you looking for a substitute for brisket? At the moment brisket is in hot demand!

For a cut that used to be considered “cheap”, it is now one of the most expensive at the butcher or supermarket.

Usually, meat that is full of connective tissue and fat (that gives it extra flavor) is considered a tough cut and therefore cheap.

Brisket is packed full that connective tissue (that is why it has too cooked low and slow!)

However, due to its rise in popularity, it can be hard to find as well as expensive. So if you can’t find any brisket or you just can’t afford it, you might be wondering if there is anything similar?

Continue to read on to find out all about the brisket alternatives available out on the market so you don’t have to spend a fortune!

4 types of brisket substitutes on my kitchen bench

The 8 Best Brisket Substitutes

Sometimes you really can’t get brisket at the supermarket or your local butchers (or maybe its really expensive)

It’s a little bit of a bummer, but it does happen sometimes. But you don’t have to worry about it, because we have quite a few suggestions of other beef cuts you can use instead. 

Beef Shanks.

Beef shanks are a fantastic substitute for brisket. Similar to briskets, they shine in stews and soups, offering rich flavors. Moreover, beef shanks are relatively inexpensive compared to other beef cuts, making them a budget-friendly choice.

To achieve the best results with beef shanks, it’s important to cook them on low heat for an extended period. This slow cooking method guarantees exceptionally tender and flavourful results that will leave you satisfied.

Beef Cut Tri-Tip Roast.

If you had planned to cook brisket more conventionally then this is the cut for you.

Many pitmasters have debated tri-tip vs.brisket for years.

Many think they are very similar in taste and texture!

The only real difference it has from a brisket is that it has a faster cooking time. This means that you should always keep an eye on it during the entire cook.

If you are not sure what to serve with it here are some tri tip dinner ideas, one of my favorites is the chili.

Tri-tip is also a good substitute for chuck roast. They are similar in price and texture.

tri tip is a beef brisket substitute cut

Short Ribs.

Short ribs make a fantastic alternative to brisket for several reasons. Firstly, they offer a similar rich and beefy flavor profile that is highly sought after in slow-cooked dishes.

Secondly, short ribs are incredibly tender and succulent when cooked low and slow, just like brisket. They have a good amount of marbling, which adds to their flavor and ensures a moist texture.

Additionally, short ribs are often more affordable than brisket, making them a budget-friendly option without compromising on taste or quality.

Their smaller size and individual portions also make them easier to handle and cook. Whether braised, smoked, or grilled, short ribs deliver a delightful eating experience and can be a worthy substitute for brisket in various recipes.

beef ribs is a brisket alternative cuts

Chuck Roast.

This is a cut of beef that has very nice marbling and is a good substitute for brisket.

Firstly, it shares a similar rich and beefy flavor profile that is highly desirable in slow-cooked dishes. Like brisket, chuck roast has abundant marbling, resulting in a tender and moist texture when cooked low and slow.

Additionally, chuck roast is often more readily available and more affordable compared to brisket, making it a budget-friendly option without compromising on taste or quality.

Its versatility allows for various cooking methods, such as braising, roasting, or smoking, yielding delicious and satisfying results. With its generous fat content and robust flavor, chuck roast stands as a remarkable substitute for brisket.


Are They Any Brisket Substitutes?

Yes, of course! Different cuts of meat can substitute for brisket.

And if you don’t eat beef, then there are other meat options out there like chicken, turkey, lamb, pork, and even vegetarian options!

What Should You Look For in a Good Brisket Substitute?

Some of the factors that you should make sure to consider include:

  • What type of meat do you prefer to use?
  • Your chosen cooking method
  • What can you afford?
  • What is available in your butcher/ supermarket?
  • What recipe have you decided to go with?

The best-cooked brisket substitute would include meat that’s tough and has some marbling. Another thing that you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for is meats that are known for having connective tissue.

Brisket Can Be Expensive

Another reason why you’re looking for an alternative to beef brisket could be because it can be a little too pricey.

That’s completely okay and understandable.

After all, a whole packer brisket can easily cost up to $100 — it’s a very expensive piece of meat. 

Cheaper beef alternatives would include beef clods or chuck roast.

Beef Chuck roast is a very excellent substitute if you were intending to make brisket roast. 

Another meat replacement option is poultry.

We would personally suggest turkey thigh, duck thigh, or even chicken thigh meat.

The thigh offers much firmer meat that is kind of similar to the substantial texture of brisket meat. You can see more about this in the next section

What if You Prefer Not to Eat Beef?

We completely understand that not every person likes beef or can eat beef.

You might have dietary restrictions or cultural reasons against consuming this type of meat.

If so, we have some suggestions for other alternative meats you could try. 


The lamb shoulder is great if you’re looking for an alternative similar to the brisket point.

This is because it consists of quite a lot of fat and connective tissues. 

And if you intend to use the cooking methods of grilling or smoking, then you should opt for lamb chops.

But you’re looking to do a roast or stew, then lamb leg is the cut you should use.


Pork brisket is very similar to beef brisket.

So, this is the cut of meat that we would highly recommend to those looking for a very similar texture and taste experience.

An interesting fact is that many of the dry rub brisket recipes found online also suggest for you to use them on pork briskets.

Pork briskets are also great because they are less expensive and they’re excellent for smoking on the barbecue.


If you’re a fan of turkey and you’re looking for a brisket roast substitute, then you definitely can’t go wrong with turkey thigh meat.

The texture is tough enough to replicate brisket meat.


Chicken thighs are by far the cheapest option. plus, there’s lots of fat on this cut of meat.

This is what makes it so good for slow cooking at low temperatures.

Can You Use Corned Beef Brisket As A Substitute?

The short answer is ‘yes. Sure, corned beef brisket is a lot easier to find in supermarkets compared to normal fresh briskets.

But it is meat that has already brined and is covered in spices.

If your smoking a corned beef brisket it will taste a bit different if you were to prepare it like you would a normal brisket. 

If you want to use it as a replacement for ordinary brisket, then go right ahead.

But we would suggest that you soak it in some warm water first. This process will take a few hours to get rid of some of the extra spices.

Are There Any Good Vegetarian Substitutes For Brisket?

Believe it or not, you can use tofu, nut roast, jackfruit, or seitan as a vegetarian or vegan alternative for brisket.

Seitan is a good option, It’s one of the most popular vegan or vegetarian meat substitutes available.

It’s has a convincing texture and taste experience of cooked meat.. You can make it at home by washing flour until all your left is the pure form of gluten.

However, this can take a little time and can be costly if you’re not a fan of wasting precious water.

Thankfully, you can buy seitan at the shops too.

Jackfruit, on the other hand, is a tropical fruit. It has quite a unique texture and it’s great to enjoy on its own as a fruit.

However, you can also prepare it and cook it in a way so that it functions as a very nice meat substitute.

It also works well as a pulled pork alternative, due to its texture.

Jackfruit is also a good vegetarian substitute for tri tip, As it can be sliced like tri tip.

jackfruit is a substitute for brisket

Sure, none of these substitutions will taste exactly like true, authentic beef brisket.

But not everyone can either get their hands on or consume beef briskets.

In those cases, what we’ve suggested in this article function as great alternatives that provide for a ‘brisket-like experience.

Smoke On!


Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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