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hogzgonewild
08-01-2013, 07:36 AM
Ever since I've started cooking briskets, I've always cut my slices at 90* perpendicular to the grain, which is usually running diagonally across the brisket.

I recently watched a video of a prominent pitmaster, cutting his brisket slices from side-to-side of the brisket, essentially at a 45* cut to the grain of the brisket, and it dumbfounded me. I thought everyone cut at a 90* to the grain.

So I pose the question, does anyone else out there cut at a 45* or am I normal :)

loco_engr
08-01-2013, 07:57 AM
Was this video what he does for a comp turn-in?

hogzgonewild
08-01-2013, 08:02 AM
It was an example of what he does for a competition turn-in, yes.

BBQBeaver
08-01-2013, 08:17 AM
I slice my brisket across the grain (90*), but I also cut on the bias.

loco_engr
08-01-2013, 08:18 AM
I am just a backyard person, and like yourself, I always
thought straight across the grain was the norm.
But, it does make me wonder if that approach
would be easier for the pull test.

Wampus
08-01-2013, 08:34 AM
We do that too. It's still "across the grain", but we find that it doesn't change the texture or tenderness any, but allows us to get better slices that way. So, we can slice based upon the shape of the flat since, like you said, the grain typically runs diagonal to the length of the flat.

It's not that we always make a point to slice that way, but we're just not limited to slicing ONLY at exactly 90 degrees to the grain.

sweetracks
08-01-2013, 09:18 AM
We do that too. It's still "across the grain", but we find that it doesn't change the texture or tenderness any, but allows us to get better slices that way. So, we can slice based upon the shape of the flat since, like you said, the grain typically runs diagonal to the length of the flat.

It's not that we always make a point to slice that way, but we're just not limited to slicing ONLY at exactly 90 degrees to the grain.

Interesting...I might have to give it a whirl on my next practice...if it's good enough for Wampus :hail:

mobow
08-01-2013, 09:22 AM
When you do your slice at something other than 90 degrees your pull test will seperate at something other than 90 degrees to the face of slice. Pull test can still be done but it will look a little different than a 90 degree slice. I have seen this on occasion while judging but it is not very common from my experience. Keith

Q-Dat
08-01-2013, 10:25 PM
I got a 172 with 45* sliced brisket.

EarlyBird
08-02-2013, 11:11 AM
Was he slicing the point? The grain on the point is usually runs different than the flat.

Teamfour
08-02-2013, 11:15 AM
We slice at 67.5 degrees to get the best of both worlds...NOT.

Arlin_MacRae
08-04-2013, 12:09 AM
Makes me wonder if you've overcooked a brisket, you might cut at 45 degrees to get more pull?

Q-Dat
08-04-2013, 09:27 AM
Makes me wonder if you've overcooked a brisket, you might cut at 45 degrees to get more pull?

If the the taste and texture are good sliced at a 45* angle isn't that all that matters? Not being a wiseguy. Just asking.

Vince RnQ
08-04-2013, 12:42 PM
Makes me wonder if you've overcooked a brisket, you might cut at 45 degrees to get more pull?

Like Q-Dat, not trying to be a wise guy...

I don't recall anything in the CBJ instructions or class that advise, instruct or recommend that a judge try to figure out why a cook presented their food in any particular manner only to judge it for appearance, taste and tenderness.

Trying to determine why a cook would slice a brisket in a particular fashion and then incorporate that into a score is no different than altering a score because a cook decided to turn in pulled chicken instead of meat on the bone or white meat instead of dark.

Judge the entry as presented is the only job at hand.

Southern Home Boy
08-04-2013, 02:24 PM
I agree that as a judge, I don't care what angle the meat is cut on. I judge tenderness by feel in two ways: mouth feel and the resistance I feel in my fingers when I do a pull test.

As a competitor, I will adjust the angle of my cut depending on the nature of the flat (i.e. how overdone/underdone it is). The closer to 90* the cut is made, the shorter the fascicles of the muscle are and thus the more tender the slice. If a piece is overcooked, then slicing on the bias (in any direction) lengthens the fascicles thus increasing the amount of inter-fascicle connective tissue within the slice and in turn reducing the "crumble factor". Underdone flats are cut on a 90* angle and as thin as possible.

Also as a judge, I will actually bump a score UP a notch if I see a cook take those pains to present the perfect tenderness slice. To me, it shows a level of understanding of the process that exceeds the norm. It shows a lot more effort, planning and dedication. I provide scoring bonuses for that.

landarc
08-04-2013, 02:30 PM
If I have overcooked a brisket, regardless if for comps or home, I will slice on the bias, so I do not have to slice thicker. If you are just a little overdone, by slicing on the bias, you can get the right width slice, with enough texture that the slice will stay in one piece. I am not a huge fan of the pull test, I prefer to test if something is edible by eating it, who cares it is can resist a pull with my fingers. But, that is the standard.

Arlin_MacRae
08-04-2013, 07:39 PM
If the the taste and texture are good sliced at a 45* angle isn't that all that matters? Not being a wiseguy. Just asking.

Like Q-Dat, not trying to be a wise guy...

I don't recall anything in the CBJ instructions or class that advise, instruct or recommend that a judge try to figure out why a cook presented their food in any particular manner only to judge it for appearance, taste and tenderness.

Trying to determine why a cook would slice a brisket in a particular fashion and then incorporate that into a score is no different than altering a score because a cook decided to turn in pulled chicken instead of meat on the bone or white meat instead of dark.

Judge the entry as presented is the only job at hand.
Guys, chill out! Did I say anything about a judge trying to determine the angle the meat was cut at? Do you think I've never cooked at a comp?
To be clear, I was wondering if you/me/we as cooks could salvage an overcooked brisket by cutting it at 45 degrees. That's all. Quit being so combative, we'd all do better together!

bbqbull
08-04-2013, 07:52 PM
I was taught by David Klose to slice the first slice of the flat at a 45 angle. Similar to a miter cut on trim wood or a picture frame. I am referring to an angle similar to this / at this angle but straight across the flat at a straight line or angle of 90 degrees.
Does this make sense? If not please let me know.

landarc
08-04-2013, 07:55 PM
you slice the first slice like that but, don't continue?

Arlin_MacRae
08-04-2013, 08:00 PM
So are we talking about bias-cut or leaning the knife more towards the line of the grain? That was my question.

Q-Dat
08-04-2013, 08:23 PM
Guys, chill out! Did I say anything about a judge trying to determine the angle the meat was cut at? Do you think I've never cooked at a comp?
To be clear, I was wondering if you/me/we as cooks could salvage an overcooked brisket by cutting it at 45 degrees. That's all. Quit being so combative, we'd all do better together!

Hey, my apologies. I don't believe that either of us were being combative. Its apparent to me now that we did not understand your post. It came across to me, the way that Vince described in his post. No combativeness or aggression here. Just a misinterpretation.

bbqbull
08-04-2013, 08:49 PM
Bias cut at 45 degrees to make the slices look a bit bigger.

Vince RnQ
08-04-2013, 11:31 PM
Quit being so combative, we'd all do better together!

Arlin, I don't think either of us were being combative but rather pointing out that things like why a cook does what he/she does shouldn't have anything to do with the score given. We both qualified our comments as being non-combative (not being wiseguys).

Vince RnQ
08-04-2013, 11:34 PM
So are we talking about bias-cut or leaning the knife more towards the line of the grain? That was my question.

I've been reading and interpreting the comments here as being only with regard to the angle of the slice relative to the grain but with the slices still being at 90 to the cutting surface.

DawgPhan
08-05-2013, 07:19 AM
uesd to do that until I heard a judge say that they notice when cooks do it, and then several other judges chimed in about noticing it as well. they didnt really say that they did or didnt like it or anything like that, but I figured better to not do things that they "notice".

but yeah it makes getting prettier slices easier.