What Colour Is Brisket

What Colour Is Brisket?- 4 Types to Know!

Who doesn’t love to have brisket on special occasions? The flavour of brisket can make the ambience of your house better. Anyways, you can cook briskets in many ways.

You can guess the freshness of the brisket from its colour. Also, the temperature at which you are cooking your brisket can also change the colour.

So, what colour is brisket?

There are many colours of brisket. The colour of the raw fresh brisket is grey and raw corned beef is pink. When you cook it, within 120 to 140 degrees F, it becomes red. If you increase the temperature, it becomes darker red with a black crust. The smoke of bbq, it becomes darker like black.

Well, that’s not all. That’s just a quick overview. To know more in detail, go through the article.

Let’s get started.

4 Types of Colored Brisket to Know

You can cook your brisket on a stove, on a slow cooker, even on a bread baking oven, etc. In all ways, you cook a tasty brisket. 

But there is much confusion about the colour of the brisket. People don’t know clearly what the colour of the brisket should be. That’s why they become confused while cooking and buying them. 

You can judge your brisket from its colour whether their brisket is fresh or old or uncooked or overcooked. Because there are different colours for cooked brisket depending on the temperature you have cooked it.

That’s why knowing the colour of brisket is important if you want to cook it the way you love it.

Is brisket supposed to be pink? What colour is brisket supposed to be?

Here I have explained all the details that you should know about the colour of brisket. Go through it to know about them.

It’s time to make a start.

Pink Brisket

There are two types of raw brisket. One is corned beef brisket and another one is fresh brisket. Corned beef brisket looks brighter than fresh brisket. 

What colour is corned beef brisket when fully cooked? The Corned beef brisket becomes pink coloured when you fully cook them. Many people get confused with the colour. 

Source: smokergrillgirl.com

You may also think that the brisket may not be fully cooked. But that’s not the truth! Even after you have cooked them fully, they remain pink. But why?


The corned beef brisket is a brined brisket. They are also cured briskets. For this, people use salt water. They can also use sodium nitrite mixture to brine them.

For these chemicals, the brisket gets pink coloured even when you have fully cooked them. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service has given this clarification about the colour. 

Here are some tips about Corned beef brisket. You can store a corned beef brisket up to 7 days from its sell-by date. The Corned beef brisket is a tough piece of meat. That’s why it takes a long time to cook a corned beef brisket.

When the internal temperature of corned beef brisket is 145 degrees F, then it is safe to eat.

Red Brisket

There are some fresh briskets around the market. You can buy them and cook them in some methods if you prefer to get a red brisket. 

You can get a red brisket if you cook them in a smoker and you will get them in smoke flavour. You can get rid of that smokey flavour if you want as well. And you need to cook them slowly and slowly. 

Normally a smoked brisket needs around 200 degrees F to be fully cooked. To get a red brisket, you need to cook them up to the temperature of 120 to 135 degrees F.

It will not be so tender and have the touch of raw meat too. There are many people who prefer it this way. It will only happen to the slow cooked brisket

If you increase the temperature up to 160 to 170 degrees F, then it will look dark reddish brown. But why does it happen only in smokers?

Source: thedailymeal.com


Because smoke contains many kinds of different chemicals like carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, etc. All these chemicals are a part of the reason for the brisket being red.

When you cook the brisket in a smoker, it will come in contact with those chemicals. The chemicals react with the surface of the brisket. As you need to cook the brisket for a long time, the reactions will also happen for a long time. 

After a long reaction for a long time, the smoke fixes the colour of the surface of the brisket to red. That’s why the brisket remains red even after you cook them up to 120 to 135 degrees F.

Black Brisket

Do you love to have BBQ smoked brisket? If you do, then do you love to have a black brisket? Yes, you can get a black brisket, by cooking them on the BBQ smoker.

It is a choice of many people as they become so tender when anyone cooks them. And the black part of the brisket is the crust of the brisket. People like this kind of brisket for the crust too.

Source: smokeygoodness.com

Can brisket be pink in the middle? Yes, it can be. If you cut a black brisket, then you can notice pink in the middle which looks like a ring. It can happen when you fully cook the brisket.


Now let us know why the brisket is black. When you cook the brisket in a barbeque, some charcoal ashes appear in the cooking process. If the brisket gets in touch with those ashes, then it becomes black. So, the charcoal ashes are the main reason for a brisket to have a black crust.

Grey Brisket

You can find a grey brisket in some supermarkets. These briskets are in the raw form. They are Grey corned beef brisket. Along with the other Corned beef brisket, people love to buy them too. But why are they grey?


They are grey because people don’t sell them by curing them with nitrite like another Corned beef brisket. So they naturally get this colour as they brine with salt water.

That’s all. You know now all the meaning of the colour of the briskets.

Source: finedininglovers.com

Here is a tip for you. You can check brisket tenderness with fork. If you can pull out the fork from the brisket easily after inserting it, then it is tender enough. You can also check it through a meat thermometer.

Here I have recommended some meat thermometers for you.

These thermometers will get you an accurate reading of your meat’s temperature.


Is wrapping necessary for the cooking of a brisket?

Yes, wrapping a brisket is necessary if you want to cook it in a better way. You can wrap the brisket in aluminium foil or in butcher paper. Doing this, it will make the cooking process more speedy and this will also prevent the stall in a brisket during the evaporation from the surface.

Should you let a brisket rest before cooking?

Yes, resting period’s important before cooking the brisket. You should at least let the brisket rest for one hour before cooking. You should do this after seasoning. As a result, that’ll make the flavour spread thoroughly throughout the brisket. And you should do this at the room temperature of the house. 

Can I inject a brisket before cooking?

Yes, you can inject a brisket. This will add more flavours to the brisket. The flavour can be butter, olive oil, wine, sauce, or anything else in the liquid form. This will make the brisket tastier. This can make the brisket moisture and prevent it from drying out. You should do it before cooking.

Wrapping up

Hoping that you know now about “what colour is brisket”. So you can cook your brisket according to the colour you like.

Never buy a dull-coloured brisket. It means that the brisket is old.

Enjoy your delicious brisket!

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