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Brisket questions

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I've read about it and done my own but how do you prefer it fat cap up or down?

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post #2 of 10

You just opened a can of worms....this is almost as bad as talking politics or religion with a stranger.  For me, I smoke mine fat cap down for several reasons...I have tried fat side up with no change in texture, flavor or end result.  Fat cap up also lends to some of your rub being knocked off while on the pit.  A myth from some, will be that the fat cap melts through the meat, not so...the fat cap is not where the juiciness of your end product comes from anyway, it's the internal marbling that makes the difference when it comes time to eat.  I do a trim on my fat cap to get it uniform so that all the meat has a fairly uniform layer underneath (for even cooking), but I leave it pretty much intact since the other reason to cook fat side down would be to use the fat as a shield between your heat source and the meat.  I cook on a reverse flow pit, so I have radiant heat coming from the plate the entire cook, if I cooked meat side down, it would seem to dry out the meat more than fat side down, I also believe that the fat cap being down will act as a bowl and hold some of the moisture and liquid that comes from the meat during the cook .  If your cooking on a direct flow pit, turn the point end towards the fire box so that now the point (higher in fat content) and the fat cap are both protecting the leaner meat of the flat section.  As far as the best route in an electric smoker, but I would still use the fat cap as a shield from the heat source.

Edited by bruno994 - 5/29/14 at 9:05am
post #3 of 10

Oh boy... This could get interesting! :icon_eek:       Everyone has their own preference & a lot of people are pretty hardcore about doing it their way. That being said...



110.gif      cheers.gif      :icon_mrgreen: 

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
I didn't mean to open Pandora's box was just curious how people are smoking their briskets. Last one I did was up but may have to try one down just to say I did

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post #5 of 10
Originally Posted by Forest walker View Post

I didn't mean to open Pandora's box was just curious how people are smoking their briskets. Last one I did was up but may have to try one down just to say I did

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Yup - best thing to do is try it out & decide for yourself which way works better for you  :beercheer:  Either way it will be good because you will be enjoying a smoked brisket  :icon_mrgreen:

post #6 of 10
I like fat side up. The fat renders down into the meat. No need to inject because it will be moist and tender. Oh, I almost forgot... In my opinion! Lol!

Pit Happens!
post #7 of 10

I have done both and prefer Fat Cap up.  I use an electric smoker so I don't know about "pit smoking"  I agree with internal marbeling being a big part of the overall juiciness but in my opinion you will get some of the fat basting the meat as it cooks down.  I do low and slow so I don't see the need for "shielding" the meat from the heat. 


Well that;s my .02 cents 110.gif  :beercheer:

post #8 of 10
I've done them both ways, personally prefer cap up ! Beer.gif
post #9 of 10
I have tried both and can't tell a real difference. That might be because I trim the fat cap down to 1/4" or so.
post #10 of 10

I've tried both ways too and haven't noticed a difference in taste or texture.


My choice whether fat cap up or down has to do with my drip pans.  I smoke medium hot n fast, usually 250-275, and always with a drip pan.  When I place the brisket on a rack in a foil lined paella pan the drip pan is so close it kind of deflects the heat.  When I do that I put the trimmed fat cap up because more fat renders out.  When I smoke directly on the grate with a drip pan on the level below the brisket, I put the fat cap down because more fat renders out that way.    


Tough cuts of meat like brisket get most of their juiciness from melted connective tissue, but the internal marbling definitely contributes to tenderness and juiciness.

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