Trimming fat off of a whole brisket

Discussion in 'Beef' started by ignatius, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. ignatius

    ignatius Newbie

    OK, tomorrow I'm taking my first crack at a whole brisket. Actually, two of them. How much fat should I trim from it? I know there is a pocket of fat between the cap and the flat. I started trimming that out and it pretty much looks like a botched seventh grade science project at this point. If that analogy doesn't work, then imagine the first fish you've ever cleaned–that's what it looks like. Anyhow, I got this piece of meat on sale, but jiminy Christmas, I have a bucket-o-fat sitting in my garbage can. I'm beginning to wonder if I took too much out. I thought I read somewhere that you should try to leave a quarter inch which, in my opinion, is basically impossible. I just hope I don't end up with a glorified piece of jerky when this thing is done. There are still patches of fat on it, but I would say that I likely took at least a pound or two of fat off of each one. So, could I just have avoided all of this and just left it as is? It's all sitting on top of the garbage can, so if I didn't need to trim the fat, I could just grab the pile and shove it back in I suppose. I'm not a health nut, but there was a ton of cholesterol surrounding my brisket. It's been a couple of years since I've done brisket, but I just don't remember all that much fat. Thanks.

  2. fishawn

    fishawn Smoking Fanatic

    RELAX............Your going to be just fine. I have read a lot on the fat thickness as well & 1/4" seems to be the rule of thumb. I just trimmed a whole one the other night & it had way more fat on it than the previous one I did. They are all different. I personally, try to shoot for less than 1/4" of fat & also end up with the "science project" look at times where there is exposed meat, then some fat, then a spot of exposed meat, but after its smoked nobody knows the difference it all comes out good. Just go for it! It will be fine. Are you going to foil it to finish?
  3. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You may want to look at my post here it may help. The pics aren't good as that was from my cell phone, but it should give you an idea what to expect. Also this was my first.
    Good luck, and don't be dissapointed it will work out fine. I felt the same way in the beginning but was very pleased in the end result!
  4. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I rarely trim a brisket before smoking but I've heard both ways so who knows
  5. ignatius

    ignatius Newbie

    I don't know yet...I'm about an hour and a half into it and things are looking fine. I have an off-barrel (side barrel) smoker so I will be rotating the two briskets shortly. I'm sure the foil would help keep the moisture since most of the fat is in the waste basket. But then again, I like that crusty outside part too. Maybe I'll foil one and not the other? What stinks is that I don't get to eat this until next week since this will be my family reunion contribution. Who knows though, if this tastes as good as it smells, I may need to do another one before next weekend. Just trying to get ahead of the game for once.

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