Beef Brisket Beef Brisket The beef brisket is located beneath the primal chuck on the front half of the beef carcass. The primal accounts for approximately eight percent of carcass weight. This primal consist of the steer's breast (the brisket), which contains also the ribs and breast bone, and its arm the (foreshank), which contains only the shank bone. The ribs and breast bone are always removed from the brisket before purchase or preparing. The boneless brisket is very tough and contains a substantial percentage of fat, both intermuscular and subcutaneous. It is well suited for moist-heat and combination cooking methods such as simmering, braising, or slow smoking. Soon after slaughter, the beef carcass stiffen due to chemical changes in the flesh (green meat). This stiffness is called rigor mortis, gradually disappears. Softening is a process that take three to four days for beef. This softening is caused by enzymes in the flesh. Enzymes are naturally present in meat. They break down some connective tissue and other proteins as meat ages. These enzymes are inactive at freezing temperatures, slow acting under refrigeration, active at room temperature, and destroyed by heat above 140 degrees F (60 degrees C). Green meat is meat that has not had enough time to soften. It is tough and relatively flavorless. Because it takes several days for meat to reach the kitchen from the slaughter house (process plants). Green meat is seldom a problem except when meat is frozen while still green. When purchasing a brisket have a understanding that the cut is a less tender because the connective tissue develops primarily in the more frequently exercised muscles (chest muscle). Therefore, cuts of meat from the upper chest and shoulder tends to be tougher than those from the back muscles (also known as the loin), which are used less frequently. As an animal ages, the collagen present within the muscles and becomes more resistant to breaking down through low heat smoking or moist heat cooking. Therefore, the meat of an older animal tends to be more tougher than that of a younger one. Generally, the tougher the meat, the more flavorful it is. When storing beef brisket, or any cuts of meat are highly perishable, so temperature control is the most important thing to remember when storing meats. Fresh meats should be stored at temperatures between 30 degrees F and 35 degrees F (-1 degrees C to 2 degrees C). Vacuum - packed meats should be left in their packaging until they are needed. under proper refrigeration, vacuum - packed meats with unbroken seals have a shelf life of three to four weeks if the product is at it raw state. If the seal is broken, shelf life is reduced to only a few days. Meats that are not vacuum packed should be loosely wrapped or wrapped in air-permeable paper. Do not wrap meat tightly in plastic wrap as this creates a good breeding ground for bacteria and will significantly shorten a meat's shelf life. Always store meats on trays and away from other foods to prevent cross - contamination. Beef brisket (all meats) freeze at about 28 degrees F (2 degrees C). When freezing meats, the faster the better, slow freezing produces large ice crystals that tend to rupture the muscle tissue, allowing water and nutrients to drip out when the meat is thawed. The ideal temperature for maintaining frozen meat is -50 degrees F (-45 degrees C). Frozen brisket meat should not be maintained at any temperature warmer than 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C). Moisture - and vapor proof packaging will help prevent freezer burn. The length of frozen storage life varies with the spices and type of meat. As a general rule, properly handled meat can be frozen for six months. Frozen meats should be thawed at refrigerator temperatures, not at room temperature or in warm water. Andy Ashley is the owner of Exquisite Cuisine Gourmet Meats in Kansas City Missouri he specialize in gourmet meat delivery, catering, and service as a personal chef. Mouthwatering Gourmet Meats Delivery For Meats Delivery Click Here!