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Brisket fat up or down?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by mama's smoke, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. mama's smoke

    mama's smoke Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I'll be smoking a 10 lb brisket for a family gathering next Tuesday on my MES.  Should I smoke fat side up or down?  Should I score the fat before the rub?
  2. ecto1

    ecto1 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I smoke fat side up scored before rub just like you asked.  This reminds me I have a brisket in the freezer i need to cook.
  3. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I do the same fat up and scored
  4. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I did a 13 lb. packer last weekend in the Lang. Fat was scored and placed fat side down.
  5. graywolf

    graywolf Newbie

    No ,I don't score the fat at all,  The fat is always up, because when your brisket is cooking for a long time you want the fat up to keep the meat from drying out and the fat also breaks down the meat as it cooks, to make it tender and juicy,  Just rememeber keep it low and slow.
  6. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Fat side up without scoring for me.
    magnus likes this.
  7. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What graywolf said: fat side up, unscored (probably doesn't matter too much).  Smoke at 225* to 165*, foil and take to 195* for slicing or 205* for pulling (more like falling apart, really).  Don't freak out when it stalls -- cause it will; just let it ride.  And don't forget to rest foiled & wrapped in towels in a cooler for at least an hour (2 hours is better).  I just use salt, pepper and smoke and let the meat speak for itself.  There are no such thing as leftovers when I smoke these [​IMG]   Have fun and enjoy!  And don't forget the Q-view!
    smokin jaynh likes this.
  8. smoking gun

    smoking gun Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I'm with dutch, I ALWAYS cook brisket fat side down. I'm not using a MES though so I like the fa cap as a safeguard from temp spikes. On butts I do fat up and score....Go figure... lol
  9. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm another that does fat side down I just seem to get a better bark that way.
  10. +1 for scored and up
  11. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I'm also going with the scoring for more area for the rub to stick too. Then smoke it fat up for self basting.
  12. There are "Uppers" ~~ "Downers" ~~ and "Flippers"

    "Uppers" cook fat side up so the fat will render and baste the meat...Sounds logical. If your talking about the sides and ends. ~~ On the other hand if one is talking about the fat rendering and running down through the meat...Ahmmm No. Meat is not a sponge...The fat will run down (penetrate) to a depth of 1/8th to 1/4 inch..Not much more........

    "Downers' cook fat side down to form a heat shield of sorts between the meat and heat source....(Think about the Space Shuttle) to keep the meat from drying quite so much ~~ It works well.

    "Flippers" do both. Flipping one way... then the other to obtain "more even cooking" on some BBQ pits...it has it's place at times.

    Over the decades I have drifted toward being a "Downer" ... Then again, sometimes, just for the hell of it...I flip it a time or two... always ending up in the "Downer" position.
    skorepeo likes this.
  13. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    As you can see by the variety of opinions there is no right or wrong way when it comes to good BBQ. Experimenting is the key. Find what you like and stick with it. No one way is right or wrong as long as it comes out tasting good.
  14. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    I do fat up but don't bother to score it. Just trim to 1/2" or so thick.
  15. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    you forgot about the scorchers...... i sear my scored fatcap bigtime. i dont know if i agree with the theory of having fatcap down and used as a shield like the space shuttle. your smoker is a controlled inviroment and should not have a heat issue which you need an insulation on the bottom. having the fatcap on top however, will act as an insulation on top and being heat rises will act as a blanket to maintain temps in slight downswings in temps in the smoker box which you will have in a charcoal smoker.. but thats just my opinion, i have seen many briskets made all ways which really all turn out great..... i think Dutch will agree with me there is only one factor that is key... make sure you have a left-handed brisket!!!
  16. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Oh sure, just when I thought I was starting to get a handle on the mystique of "the Brisket" and now you gotta say something about the "Left Handed Brisket".  I'm having enough difficulty trying to recognize what might or might not be a decent brisket, then you have to drop this on me........I truly hope that this is some inside poke in the ribs,.....we got another one on the ropes.......  If not, I hope somebody gives us some pictures to help confuse us more. [​IMG]

    I've never been afraid to ask the tough question.  Just don't know if I can handle the answer......
  17. So in your opinion...the fat cap on top acts a "blanky" to keep the meat warm and cozy during slight downswings in temperature in charcoal cookers...~~~ Never heard of that one!
  18. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    and here i thought it would have been the left hand brisky that would a gotcha LOL!!!

  19. I opened this thread to see how to place my treasure on the grill and boy did this answer my questions.. LOL.. [​IMG]

    I now know to put it up, down, scoured up, scoured down, flipped and this is just the right handed ways....[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  20. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dave, it's no 'inside poke'-there is truth to the left side brisket being more tender than the right side brisket. The majority of cattle lay on their right sides so when they stand, the right leg does most of the work. Sure the left front leg does some work in standing but it doesn't carry as much of the weight as the right.

    Next time I'm at the market I'll do a side by side pic of a left and right brisket