Can London broil be used in place of brisket?

Are you a fan of mouth-watering, slow-cooked meals? Then you’ve probably indulged in the succulent wonder that is brisket. Whether it’s a smoky barbecue or a comforting pot roast with root vegetables, brisket is renowned for its tender texture and rich flavor.

But what if your local grocery store doesn’t carry brisket or it’s too expensive? Fear not. There’s an often-overlooked cut of meat that can be just as delicious: London broil.

London broil is a lean beef cut that’s usually marinated and grilled or broiled to medium-rare or medium doneness. It’s commonly served as a thinly sliced, flavorful steak. While it may not have the same fat content or marbling as brisket, it has a similar robust beefy taste. Plus, it’s more affordable and easier to find in stores.

Now, the million-dollar question: can London broil replace brisket in slow-cooking or barbecuing dishes? In this blog post, we’ll delve into the key differences between these two cuts of meat and determine whether London broil can be a suitable substitute for your favorite recipes.

What is London Broil?

Have you ever tasted London Broil and wondered what makes it so unique? London Broil is not a particular cut of beef, but rather a method of preparing beef that involves marinating and grilling or broiling a lean cut of meat, such as top round steak or flank steak.

To prepare London Broil, the steak is marinated for several hours in a flavorful mixture of oil, vinegar, garlic, and other seasonings. This helps to tenderize the meat and infuse it with bold and delightful flavors. Once the steak has marinated, it is then grilled or broiled at high heat until it reaches the desired level of doneness.

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The result is a juicy, chewy, and full-flavored cut of meat that can be sliced thinly against the grain and served as an entree or in sandwiches. London Broil has a strong taste that can stand up to robust seasonings and marinades, making it a popular choice for those who relish bold flavors in their meat.

But how does London Broil compare to brisket, another popular cut of beef? While both cuts come from the lower part of the cow and require slow cooking methods to become tender, they differ in terms of fat content and texture. Brisket is much fattier and has more connective tissue than London Broil, which means it requires low and slow cooking to break down the tough muscle fibers.

Despite their differences, London Broil can be substituted for brisket in some recipes. However, it’s essential to consider the specific recipe and cooking method before making any substitutions.

London Broil is a versatile cut of beef that can be used in a variety of dishes. Whether you’re grilling it for dinner or using it in a sandwich, London Broil is sure to pack a punch of flavor and satisfy your meat cravings. Here are some ideas on how to enjoy this delicious cut of meat:

  • Slice it thinly and serve it with a side of vegetables for a quick and easy dinner.
  • Use it as a topping for salads or in wraps for a protein-packed lunch.
  • Add it to stir-fries or fajitas for an extra kick of flavor.
  • Grill it with your favorite marinade and serve it alongside roasted potatoes or grilled vegetables.

What is Brisket?

This delectable cut of beef is renowned for its rich, meaty flavor and tender texture that melts in your mouth. As an expert on all things brisket, let me walk you through everything you need to know about this beloved cut.

Brisket is derived from the breast or lower chest of a cow and boasts of a tough yet fatty nature. It is best cooked slowly over low heat to allow the connective tissue and fat to break down gradually, resulting in its signature tenderness and delicious taste.

But that’s not all – there are two parts to a brisket: the point and the flat. The point is thicker and fattier, while the flat is leaner and thinner. Depending on your desired outcome, you can cook both parts together or separately.

What’s more, brisket is incredibly versatile when it comes to seasoning and cooking methods. You can use a variety of rubs and marinades before cooking and experiment with different cooking styles such as smoking, barbecuing, braising, slow cooking, or pressure cooking. Once cooked to perfection, brisket can be sliced or chopped for use in sandwiches or tacos or served as a main dish alongside classic sides like mashed potatoes, coleslaw, or roasted vegetables.

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It’s no surprise that brisket is a popular choice for events such as weddings, holidays, and family gatherings. Its rich flavor and tender texture make it an ideal centerpiece for any feast.

Similarities between London Broil and Brisket

As a meat aficionado, you might have heard of London broil and brisket. At first glance, they may appear quite distinct from each other, but in reality, they share several similarities that make them perfect for grilling and smoking. Let’s take a closer look at these two cuts and explore their similarities.

Firstly, both London broil and brisket come from the hindquarters of the cow, which gives them a similar texture and flavor profile – rich, beefy, and slightly chewy. They also have a lot of connective tissue that can make them tough if not cooked correctly. However, this connective tissue can also transform them into incredibly tender and flavorful meats when slow-cooked or smoked.

One more similarity between London broil and brisket is that they both benefit from marinating before cooking. Marinating helps to break down the connective tissue, infuse flavors, and tenderize the meat. Whether you’re using a simple marinade of oil, vinegar, and herbs or something more complex like a Korean BBQ marinade, marination is crucial to getting the most out of these cuts.

Despite their similarities, there are some differences between London broil and brisket. London broil is typically a leaner cut of beef with less fat marbling than brisket. As such, it can be cooked to medium-rare or medium doneness without becoming tough. On the other hand, brisket needs to be cooked low and slow for several hours to render down the fat and connective tissue.

However, even with their differences, London broil and brisket are interchangeable in many recipes. You can substitute London broil for brisket in your favorite smoked beef recipe or vice versa. The results may surprise you with their deliciousness.

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Differences between London Broil and Brisket

These cuts may have similar characteristics, but they have distinct differences that make them unique.

Let’s start with the origins of these cuts. London broil comes from either the flank or round of the cow, while brisket comes from the chest or breast area. The latter has more fat marbling, which affects both its flavor and how it’s cooked.

Speaking of flavor, these cuts have distinct taste profiles. London broil has a mild, slightly gamey flavor with a beefy undertone. Meanwhile, brisket has an intense beefy flavor that’s smoky and savory. The fat content in brisket also adds to its flavor and juiciness.

When it comes to cooking, London broil is perfect for grilling or broiling over high heat. Its coarse texture can absorb marinades and seasoning well, making it a versatile choice for quick meals. On the other hand, brisket is tough and requires a long, slow cooking process to break down connective tissues and make it tender. This cut is often used for smoking, braising, or slow cooking in a crockpot to create flavorful and juicy dishes.

But can you substitute one for the other? Although it’s possible to substitute London broil for brisket in some recipes, it’s not recommended. The lack of fat marbling and connective tissue in London broil means that it won’t have the same tenderness and flavor when cooked for a long time. Moreover, over-cooking can make it dry out and become tough.

Substituting London Broil for Brisket in Recipes

Switching from brisket to London broil can provide a fresh, exciting flavor to your dish. However, before making the substitution, it’s crucial to know the difference between these two cuts of meat.

Brisket is famous for its high fat content and connective tissue, which makes it perfect for slow-cooking methods like smoking or braising. This results in a tender, flavorful meat that falls apart easily. On the other hand, London broil is a leaner cut of meat with little marbling or fat. It is best suited for quick-cooking methods like grilling or broiling.

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So can you substitute London broil for brisket? The short answer is yes, but there are some caveats. If your recipe specifically calls for brisket and slow-cooking methods, substituting with London broil may result in a tougher, less flavorful meat. However, if the recipe allows for more flexibility or calls for quicker cooking methods, London broil can be a suitable substitute.

To ensure that your substituted recipe will still deliver the same fantastic taste, you must make some changes to the seasonings and marinades. Due to its leaner nature, London broil may require different seasoning or marinades compared to brisket. A good rule of thumb is to use acidic marinades or rubs to help break down the meat fibers and add flavor.

When substituting London broil for brisket in recipes, here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Consider the cooking method – London broil is best suited for quick-cooking methods like grilling or broiling.
  • Adjust seasoning and marinades – Use acidic marinades or rubs to help break down the meat fibers and add flavor.
  • Keep an eye on cooking time – London broil cooks faster than brisket.

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Pros and Cons of Substituting London Broil for Brisket

Here, we will explore the pros and cons of substituting London broil for brisket so that you can make an informed decision.

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Firstly, let’s talk about the advantages of using London broil instead of brisket. One major advantage is its affordability. London broil is less expensive than brisket, which makes it a budget-friendly option for those who want to grill up a delicious meal without breaking the bank. Additionally, London broil is a leaner cut of meat than brisket, making it a healthier choice for those who are watching their fat intake.

However, there are some drawbacks to consider when substituting London broil for brisket. One significant difference between the two cuts is their texture. Brisket is known for its tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture, while London broil can be tougher and chewier. This means that if you’re looking to recreate the classic flavor and texture of a slow-cooked brisket, using London broil may not give you the same results.

Another factor to keep in mind is cooking time. Brisket requires a long cooking time to break down its tough fibers and become tender. London broil cooks much faster and may not benefit from such a lengthy cooking process. If you’re substituting London broil for brisket in a recipe that calls for a long cooking time, you may need to adjust your cooking time and temperature accordingly.

Tips for Cooking London Broil as a Substitute for Brisket

London broil might just be the answer. While this cut of beef may require some adjustments to your cooking technique and seasoning, it can still make for a delicious substitute in your favorite recipes. Here are some tips for cooking London broil as a substitute for brisket:

Tip #1: Marinate the Meat for Extra Flavor

London broil is a lean cut of meat that can become dry if not cooked properly. One way to avoid this is by marinating the London broil for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight. A marinade made with acidic ingredients like vinegar or citrus juice can help break down the muscle fibers and make the meat more tender. You can also add herbs and spices to create your desired flavor profile.

Tip #2: Use Low and Slow Cooking Methods

Like brisket, London broil benefits from low and slow cooking methods such as smoking or braising. Smoking the meat over low heat for several hours will help infuse it with flavor and keep it moist. Braising the meat in a flavorful liquid like beef broth or red wine can also help keep it moist and tender. These methods will help ensure that your London broil is tender and succulent.

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Tip #3: Let the Meat Rest Before Slicing

After cooking London broil, it’s essential to let it rest for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing it against the grain. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it more tender and juicy. Slicing it too soon can cause all the juices to flow out, leaving your meat dry and tough.

Tip #4: Slice Against the Grain for Tender Meat

To ensure that your London broil is as tender as possible, it’s crucial to slice it against the grain. This means cutting perpendicular to the direction of the muscle fibers, which helps break up any tough connective tissues and makes the meat easier to chew. Slicing against the grain will give you tender, melt-in-your-mouth meat that you won’t be able to resist.

Tip #5: Experiment with Seasoning for Unique Flavors

London broil can take on a variety of flavors depending on your preference. A classic rub of salt, pepper, and garlic powder works well, but you can also experiment with different herbs and spices such as rosemary or paprika. Adding a sweet element like brown sugar or honey can also balance out any bitterness in the meat. The possibilities are endless, so feel free to get creative.


To sum up, London broil can indeed stand in for brisket in some recipes, but it’s crucial to keep a few things in mind before making the switch. While both cuts hail from the lower part of the cow and require slow cooking methods to reach their full potential, they differ in terms of fat content and texture. Brisket boasts more marbling and connective tissue than London broil, making it a prime candidate for low and slow cooking.

In contrast, London broil is a leaner cut that’s often marinated and grilled or broiled to medium-rare or medium doneness. It’s known for its robust beefy flavor and tender texture when sliced against the grain. Although it may not have as much fat as brisket, it can still be used to add depth of flavor to dishes like salads, wraps, stir-fries, fajitas or grilled with your favorite marinade alongside roasted potatoes or vegetables.

If you do decide to swap out brisket for London broil in your recipe, be sure to adjust seasoning and marinades accordingly and keep an eye on cooking time.

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