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Brisket Trimming

Discussion in 'Beef' started by bobcats110, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. bobcats110

    bobcats110 Smoke Blower

    I'm on a team of guys who, for church events, break out my buddy's big trailer smoker that can hold about 20 full size briskets.  We had an open house last weekend and while cutting everything up, and dealing with a lot of what seemed to be leftover fat that really didn't melt down, started wondering if we should trim them down before smoking.  Trying to describe the cuts we get, there's the main brisket part that you recognize as the rectangular shaped slices, then there is a ribbon of fat, then the top part of the brisket is a mix of fat and some meat.  I think we ended up using a fair amount of that top part for chopped, but wanted to see what y'all thought about us trimming that top part off (maybe not all, but most of the fat) so we get more smoke into the full, rectangular part.

    A little info on the prep.  We pretty much take them out of the package, rub with a "secret recipe" rub, and then start the smoker around 6:30 the night before and run all night to about 6:00 when we stop feeding the fire and let them rest, in the smoker, for another 2 hours or so, then take them out and rest another 1/2 hour before slicing.  They are still steaming at this point, and of course we're sampling them along the way.

  2. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    The rectangular part is the flat and the part that has more fat is the point. I trim the hard cap fat off the flat .leave 1/4 to 1/2" of fat on the flat.

     i dont seperate the point from the flat till after it is done . then cube the point into 1" cubes place in foil pan dust w/ some more rub and dump on some sauce.  mix well and back on the smoker for another 2 hours (3 if ya can stand it).  Resulting in burnt ends, aka meat candy.
  3. ryanhoelzer

    ryanhoelzer Smoking Fanatic

    I've separated the point and flat on a few briskets and had pretty good results.  It's tougher to keep them moist but I'd definitely recommend trying it.  You can also take the trimmed fat and put it on top of the pieces or on a rack above if available to drip down on them while cooking.

    The fat in the point renders down alot more with them separated and I like it quite a bit more than when they're not separated.

    Your cooking times should decrease too.

    Here's a great tutorial on separating and search here for "separate brisket"

  4. bobcats110

    bobcats110 Smoke Blower

    "meat candy" - love that term...will have to try it.

    Ryan - good ideas too.  On your time suggestion, I'm not really the one in charge, and have wondered why we do it for so long.  However, as I typed this, I think you meant that after trimming, our times would decrease, which makes sense.  Thanks for the link as well.
  5. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Methods really vary according to your smoker and your taste. When I do a packer or a butt in a coal or stick burner I don't trim any fat until after I smoke it. If I'm using the MES I take the fat cap off of brisket and butt, but... I like to leave it on when I'm doing pastrami. If you trim the fat off of the pastrami after it has smoked and then fry it up like bacon... man... it is excellent to spice up a baked potato or salad. I just did 3 full packers in a charcoal burner and they were excellent... so juicy and moist. No trimming. Took them out of the package, rubbed them down and slammed them on the smoker. I will leave them on the smoker resting to a point. If they are on too long past 200 degrees they start takin on a different texture.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2010
  6. ryanhoelzer

    ryanhoelzer Smoking Fanatic

    Yep, that's what I meant.  By creating smaller, thinner pieces the cook time will decrease.