Brisket Vs Pulled Pork (Which Meat Should You Pick for Your BBQ)

Want to show off your BBQ skills and feed a crowd but don’t know which meat to pick?

The barbecue battle of these two different cuts is a hot topic among barbecue fanatics.

Which piece of meat do you prefer, pork vs. brisket?

Let’s find out, which is easier to cook and gives you more bang for your buck.

Pork shoulder smoking, so we can make pulled pork!

Brisket Vs Pulled Pork Cost Comparision

Brisket can be is three or more times the price of pork butt.  It is a huge price gap!

It will vary on the grade of beef your choose. However, it will still be quite a big difference.

You do get a different yield from raw meat.

However, studies have shown that pork butt (the best choice for pulled pork) and brisket, both shrink by to 65% of their original weight when cooked. Due mainly to the water content of the raw meat.

So you don’t get more bang for your buck with brisket.

If your having a cookout make sure you have enough for everyone.

Have a  look at how much brisket and how much pulled pork to serve per person. That way no one will go hungry!

Pulled Pork Can Be Easy to Cook

Everyone you speak with will tell you pork butt is easier to smoke than brisket.

The most common problem is the shape of the meat. The brisket has two different-sized ends.

This can make it difficult to ensure the entire is cooked to the correct temperature without drying it out.

Brisket is also more prone to experiencing the stall. Many pursuits don’t want to wrap their brisket and risk ruining bark.

If you want to know how long to smoke your brisket, there is a complete breakdown here. If you decide not to wrap it, it can take upwards of 14 hours to finish.

Pitmasters are more than happy to wrap their pork butt. It may be due to the fact they don’t strive for the bark on this cut.

Brisket 101

A brisket is composed of two muscles known as the point and the flat.

The “point” is much fattier and the “flat” is the lean portion of this cut.

Brisket typically has more collagen and fat, considering the cuts are from a heavily used part of the cow. There is inherently help develops more collagen.

Collagen when cooked correctly, breakdown into juicy gelatin. The gelatin and fat combine to create that juicy brisket we all love!

Note: Not only is there a brisket cut on beef but there is also a brisket on pork

Tips For Smoking a Delicious Beef Brisket

Brisket is considered such a feat in the world of BBQ.

Because enthusiasts are faced with the challenge of keeping the “flat” tender without it drying out and dealing with the stall.

So, even after a fifteen-hour or so smoke, the brisket may stall and either need to be wrapped or waited on for a few more hours.

Perfectly smoked brisket is no simple feat. Beef is less forgiving than pork and this makes the piece of meat more challenging to pitmasters.

Since beef is more resilient, you can hit it hard with a wood fire in the beginning and impart all that wonderful smoky flavor into the meat.

However, it is important to know when to back off and watch the internal temperature in case it starts stalling.

Starting with that tough, temperamental piece of meat is daunting but done right, you have a buttery, perfectly rendered meat.

Medium hardwoods such as oak and hickory are perfect for smoking brisket, and light woods can be added for a sweet addition to the smoky equation.

A good internal temperature to pull your beef brisket is 204°F. Just remember the internal temperature continues rising by approximately ten degrees even after being removed from the smoker.

Our Favorite Side Dishes For Brisket

  • Baked beans – compliment briskets perfectly
  • Smoked Potatoes – everyone loves this carby staple!
  • Bread – everyone loves soft fluffy bread with brisket.
  • Rice salad – a perfect mix of vegetables and starch
  • Barbecue sauce – what goes better with bbq than its own sauce?

Pulled Pork 101

With so many good cuts from pork bellies to loins to tenderloins and pork butt! Pulled pork is generally made from a smoked pork butt.

Once the pork butt has been smoked, it is shredded using bear claws, two forks, or your hands,

Since pork has a milder flavor profile it is the perfect vehicle for flavor. So once the meat is pulled. A blend of BBQ sauces is added.

Tips For Smoking Pulled Pork

You should choose a  cut with a good amount of fat.

So while the fat on the outside renders and self bastes the pork, the internal fat melts and tenderizes the meat.

You want to use a good amount of rub. This will ensure you get a good bark on your meat. There is nothing like the caramelized goodness that is the bark!

Pulled pork is best cooked with medium or lightwoods or a combination of both.

Since the meat should fall apart in the appropriate style of pulled pork, the meat should be cooked on low and slow.

Cook the pork to at least 203°F, which is the best internal temperature for pork. Make sure you use a digital thermometer and insert it into the thickest part of the meat.

Keep in mind that the internal temperature will continue to rise approximately ten degrees even after being removed from cooking and during its resting time.

Our Fav Side Dishes For Pulled Pork

  • Coleslaw – the perfect texture providing the same sour, sweet tang as potato salad.
  • Baked beans – staple side for most bbq dishes, this side will not disappoint.
  • Mac n cheese – cheesy pasta and tender meat? My mouth-watering already.
  • Tacos – great for leftovers and jam-packed with flavor.

Which Is Better?

Pulled pork and brisket are both the universally celebrated dishes of BBQ!

Pulled pork is easier to pull off in comparison to the culinary challenge of perfectly smoked beef brisket.

For some, the time, ease, and lesser expense of pulled pork make it the preferred choice.

For others, the time and extra cost of pulling off the cooking process of a flavorful brisket are just that much more rewarding.

It comes down to each individual’s approach to barbecue.

Not every barbecue expert is going to agree on which is better, it really just comes down to YOUR preferences!

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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