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Steaks And GameThe Grill BlogRecent PostsThe Best Braising Cuts

The Best Braising Cuts

The Best Braising Cuts

Well into the middle of Fall and rounding the corner towards Winter, if you haven’t familiarized yourself with the art of braising yet, now is the time! The ideal cooking method for chilly fall evenings and dark winter days, braising is a transformative technique, that at once, both maximizes the flavor AND the texture of whatever you’re cooking. While braising is synonymous with tough cuts of meat, it works wonders on tender foods too, and everything from cabbages to leeks can benefit from its transformative powers. There are, however, certain cuts that lend themselves particularly well to braising. So, if you don’t have a lot of experience under your belt, try these portions first, and we guarantee you’ll be a braising convert in no time!

braised pork shoulder

So What is Braising Anyway?

At its most fundamental, braising can be broken down into three basic steps: Seasoning and flouring the meat (or vegetable), searing it in a small amount of fat, and finally, cooking it in a flavorful liquid until it’s fall-apart tender and totally delicious! A kind of alchemy, braising does so much more than just heat your food; it virtually transforms it, making it a favorite for tough cuts and the ideal way to take a cheap and not so desirable portion and make it the centerpiece of your menu.

Because braising is a notoriously time-consuming method, many avoid it or try to use instant pots and pressure cookers to “hack” the dishes and make them quicker to complete. Unfortunately, by trying to speed their way through the process, the impatient cook loses half the enjoyment of cooking. Braising should be reserved for a long weekend or a day off when you can bask in the delightful smells that will fill your home and revel in anticipation of the tasty meal to come. While braising is admittedly an all-day affair, it’s also exceptionally easy and takes only the smallest amount of preparation and oversight.

braised osso buco

Short Ribs

First on the list is, of course, short ribs! When it comes to braising up a great meal, you can’t go wrong with this versatile piece. Containing generous hunks of rich, juicy meat and veins of creamy marbling, it provides both flavor and moisture. An exceptional portion, short ribs are too often passed over for the more popular pork ribs, but these beefy counterparts offer just as much bold meaty flavor and are generally cheaper!

Boneless or bone-in, braised short ribs remain one of the high points of cooking. Slow-cooked in wine, broth, or any flavorful liquid, short ribs, are rendered one of the most delectable dishes after hours of gentle braising. Try serving over a bed of polenta for a heartwarming dinner everyone will love.

Osso Bucco (Shanks)

In the world of slow-cooked meats, there are few portions as coveted as Osso Bucco. While Osso Bucco can be made with any variety of meat (classically, it’s made with veal), we prefer more intensely flavored game meats, think venison, wild boar or even lamb. The gentle cooking mellows their flavors and renders traditionally tough lean meat succulent and juicy. The signature bone in the center adds tons of flavor to the dish that makes its way into the cooking liquid and serves as a tasty finishing sauce.

braised brisket


Big and beefy both in its proportions and its taste, brisket is an excellent option when it comes to braising. When the weather starts getting a little colder, and you’d rather stay warm indoors than shiver over the barbecue in your backyard, look to the braising pot instead of the smoker to transform this notoriously tough cut into something moist and tender. When done right, there is perhaps no better portion for braising than brisket. Flavorful and easy to slice, its long cooking time reduces the liquid to a tasty jus that makes the perfect finishing sauce or gravy. Excellent for entertaining, you’ll find yourself reaching for the brisket when preparing the main for your next dinner party or family holiday.

Pork Shoulder

Truly a thing of beauty, deliciously tender shredded pork is one of the tastiest and most versatile forms meat can take. And one of the easiest and most efficient ways to produce that tender shredded pork is by braising it! By a low, slow braise, you can easily transform a large tough Boston butt (yes, it’s from the shoulder) into flavorful, pull apart meat that can serve as an impressive centerpiece. We love the sweetness of cider for bringing out the inherent flavors of pork or a simple combination of salt and sugar to make a classic bo ssam. No matter how you choose to prepare this portion, we’re certain you and your guests will love the results.

braised ribs

As mentioned above, there are not many foods that do not benefit from the act of braising. While starting with our list of favorites will ensure some truly delicious results don’t end with them. Vegetables, bone-in poultry, and so many other options offer a host of different yet delightful dishes that are ready and waiting to be transformed by the delicious cooking method that is braising.

This entry was posted in Recent Posts, The Grill Blog and View All Posts on October 18, 2021 by

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