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I picked up a package of "pork brisket" at the supermarket today. I have never seen it before but it was inexpensive and fatty, and looked like a good option to throw in the slow cooker. When my wife saw it, she protested (having raised pigs as a kid): "Anyone who knows about livestock knows that brisket is part of a cow, not part of a pig!"

So, what cut is this, really? Should I treat it like a beef brisket?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Serious Eats describes pork brisket this way:

Pork brisket is simply a substantial part of a boned-out picnic ham.

Although ham generally refers to a cured/cooked product, "picnic ham" here refers to the lower part of the pork shoulder:

Diagram: Cuts of a pork

Guide to Pork Cuts


Pork Picnic Shoulder This comes from the lower part of the pig's shoulder. It's usually made into smoked hams, but fresh picnic shoulder makes for very juicy barbecued pulled pork.


Pork shoulder is a very fatty cut that should be cooked "low and slow" in order to render the fat and break down tough connective tissues. Since beef brisket is also a fatty cut with lots of connective tissue, cooking methods appropriate for beef brisket should also be great for pork brisket (e.g., roasting, smoking or braising).

The US health department recommends cooking both pork and beef roasts to the same internal temperature of 145 F (63 C) with 3 minutes of resting time. So apart from the differences in texture and flavor that you would expect between pork and beef, you can probably treat these cuts as equivalent.

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