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Brisket & Fat Trimming

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm fairly new to smoking (a couple briskets, ribs and pork butt so far).

I did 2 brisket (full packers) and a couple fatties yesterday for a family party - sorry, no Q pix...

This was the first time I agressively trimmed the fat down to 1/8-1/4" on the flat hoping most of it would melt away leaving the rub bark next to the meat. Unfortunately, there was still enough fat left that I felt I needed to remove it (along w/all that nice bark) before slicing and serving.

Should I have trimmed it even thinner or do most of you just figure on having a little extra fat to remove after cooking?

BTW - there were 10 adults at the family party and 10 young kids (6-12 yrs). We had chicken for the kids assuming they wouldn't appreciate the brisket. HA! All of them tried some brisket and many came back for 2nds and 3rds. The Brisket was a hit from the young to the old - I was mighty pleased :)
post #2 of 5
The fat renders but doesn't completely melt away but I like to leave about 1/8" for basting and flavoring.
You could also try smoking fat side down and more of it should melt away or you could completely trim it all the way down if you wanted but I would spritz often if smoking it with no fat on top.
post #3 of 5
I typically leave a nice lair of fat on. When im done, theres usually about 1/8th inch of fat left on and i leave it. I eat it myself, and a lot of other people do. If they dont like it, that is what knives are for! lol
post #4 of 5
Hmm...I've only done 1 brisket with a fat cap, and wasn't very impressed. That was over a year ago. We don't eat much fat on our meats here...get enough fats in our diet from bacon wrapped ABTs, etc.

Since the first one, I've trimmed all of them lean and separated the point/flat before smoking. Nice crust with all the rub to go with it, and we really like them this way.

EDIT: I bag and freeze my fat trimmings for sausage grinds...you can never seem to have enough fat on hand for sausage.

post #5 of 5
It depends on what end result I am going for on how I trim my briskets. If pulling then I leave a 1/8 fat cap. If I am going for slicing then I will try to get it down to a 1/16 or so some places bare. Remember also when slicing people can either take it off if they want or leave it on.
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