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Beef Brisket Fat Cap - Completely Remove?

Discussion in 'Meat Selection and Processing' started by bobrien314, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. Hi All, 

    I have been using this site as a resource, but this is my first post, so hopefully you guys can help. 

    I have smoked a beef brisket once before on my 18.5 WSM, and it turn out great, except when we removed the fat cap it lost most of the rub, and the bark. I've read a lot of forum posts, and everyone says to trim the fat cap to 1/4" which is what I did last time. 

    This time I am debating remove most if not all of the fat cap, and putting the brisket directly over a disposable chafing dish with beef stock in it (I have a cooking rack that fits perfectly on top of a half chafing dish). I feel like as long as the brisket is marbled well, this should keep the brisket just as moist as leaving it fat cap side down. 

    Does anyone have any experience with this? I do not want to try removing the fat cap and ruin my smoke.
  2. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

  3. kathrynn

    kathrynn Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

    When I trim my briskets....I do the "hard fat" parts....and leave some of the soft fats.  I smoke with the fat side up and like for it to help "melt into" the brisket too.  Also...when I get ready to slice it....I run the blade of the knife under the fat just at the meat line....and take it off in one piece.  And....after slicing...put the fat cap back over the meat until serving....it really keeps the moisture in the slices really well.

  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Might as we'll make use of that broth and make chef JJ's Smokey Au Jus! I like to add the trimmed fat into the pan below for added flavor to the broth also.
  5. I do similar to Kat.  I trim the hard fat away and try to have an even thickness of the cap across as much as possible.  I then smoke fat side up.

    My only difference is I don't remove the cap prior to slicing.  After it melts down during cooking, I am usually left with 1/4" or so of fat cap left (started with closer to 1/2" or more).  If someone wants to remove the fat from their slice before eating, that is there choice.  But I know there are plenty that don't.
  6. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  7. Hello bobrien.  Welcome.  I see this is your first post.  Please take some time and swing over to Roll Call and introduce yourself so that we may give you a proper "Hello".  All info you can provide us with will help us answer any questions you may have.  As for your question:  Here is my opinion for what it is worth.  I only trim the hard fat as Kat stated above.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!