First Brisket Sucess - but question if its worth it

Discussion in 'Beef' started by baja traveler, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. So I did my first brisket ever last weekend, and it turned out awesome. My question is - is it really worth doing a small brisket, or did I get a bad cut of meat?

    Wanted to try brisket, and searched the local supply houses for one. Smart & Final only had a huge 24 pounder, and I didn't want to spend $60 for dinner, so I picked up a 12 1/2 pounder from Costco in the vacuum sealed bag for $34. Brought it home and placed it fat side down on the cutting board, figured out the grain and notched the corner - then put on the rub, then flipped it and rubbed the top fat cap. Put it in the smoker @ 275* with pecan in the AMNPS. The smoke took 8 hours and it got pulled at 190* Internal - figured it would coast a little while in the rest stage.

    First slices were fabulous - juicy and tender, but then I discovered that the whole center of the cut had as much fat running through it as the very thick fat cap. I figure I got about 5-6 pounds of edible meat out of the 12 1/2 pounds total. And half of that was heavily fat marbled, so each slice was a good 40% fat. Because of all the fat trimming I couldn't get nice sandwich slices, but long narrow slices which I utilized by putting in Kings Hawaiian rolls. Everybody was happy with the end result, but I felt a bit ripped off.

    So did I get a lousy cut? or are all the small cuts of brisket this way?

  2. No you didn't get ripped off, that's just how it is. Some briskets are fattier than others and good meat selection helps.  Last one I did, I started with a 14.60 lb. untrimmed "choice grade" packer. Trimmed  the fat cap to 1/4" and trimmed a good bit/most of the hard fat. Net weight was then 11.50 Lbs.  Finished cooking weight was 7.50 lbs. This is  known a "shrinkage" LOL. 

    That thick fat seam in the center of the point is called the deckle. I try to cook long and slow enough to render out most of the deckle. My briskets normally finish around  200-205* IT. 

    Also. Did you slice the whole brisket the same direction?   You should slice the flat as you did, then turn the point 90 degrees,cut in half and finish slicing that direction.  Look up "How to slice a brisket" by Arron Franklin on YouTube.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    The brisket looks great to me, nice & juicy. You can also trim that thick layer of fat that separates the point & flat before you smoke it. I like to trim most of it out & put Montreal steak seasoning in there & put it back together, just don't separate it all the way & it will cook like a whole piece of meat.

  4. That's a great idea! - I'll do that next time now that I know that there is a layer of fat running down through the middle. I used Jeff's rub in this one, then followed up with a sprinkle of the Montreal Steak Seasoning. I really like that stuff, and will be using it more often now that I have it.
  5. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I also usually cut out a big chunk of the fat between the point and flat, what I can get of it without splitting the two muscles apart.

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