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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 05-13-2011, 10:21 PM   #1
sincitydisciple01
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Default Brisket prep

When trimming brisket, does anyone actually trim down the sides to ensure that the brisket slices will never be wider than the turn in box? We have done 4 events over the past 2 years and so we are still feeling the process out. But one thing that we have noticed, is that every once in a while, we get slices that are longer than the box is wide. So, instead of trimming after the fact to make the slices fit in the box, we were wondering if it's better to trim it down before cooking. At the very least, the trimmed off pieces might make for some good burnt ends! Found a pic on Google of an uncooked brisket. Crude white lines on pic below representing where we would trim prior to cooking. Thoughts??? thanks!

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Unread 05-13-2011, 11:13 PM   #2
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Trim parallel to the grain before.....use the point for the burnt ends
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Unread 05-14-2011, 12:06 AM   #3
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I've seen entries in many forms now . . . some trimmed down, some untrimmed.

In each case, I've judged the meat and how appetizing or appealing it is.

An orderly arrangement is always nice - but not absolutely required. Ever seen an Andy Warhol print? Neatness and symmetry don't always mean great. But it helps.

Luckyduck is right - how you slice across the grain is probably more important.
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Unread 05-14-2011, 12:29 AM   #4
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Pre-trim and get the burnt ends from the center of the point.
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Unread 05-14-2011, 01:11 AM   #5
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I pre-trim parallel to the grain so the slices will fit in the box and save the trimmings and grind into brisket burgers. Since I use a full packer, I use the middle of the point for burnt ends, but only if they come out great - if mediocre or poor, I leave them out of the box - no sense in bringing the scores down.
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Unread 05-14-2011, 01:21 AM   #6
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What measurements are you guys using? I assume you will need to compensate for shrinkage right?
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Unread 05-14-2011, 08:20 AM   #7
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I trim those sides up a little just to get a more uniform shape, not neccesariy to fit the box. I find it also helps me ID the direction of the grain without having to cut into it after it is cooked and all barked up on the outside.

Like the others said get your "burnt ends" from the point if you want to use them.
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Unread 05-14-2011, 08:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarleyEarl View Post
I pre-trim parallel to the grain so the slices will fit in the box and save the trimmings and grind into brisket burgers. Since I use a full packer, I use the middle of the point for burnt ends, but only if they come out great - if mediocre or poor, I leave them out of the box - no sense in bringing the scores down.
I agree about leaving bad burnt ends out of the box...overall the hit is less. I am now convinced that if you leave burnt ends out though your appearance score drops roughly by 1 point.
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Unread 05-14-2011, 08:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokesman View Post
I agree about leaving bad burnt ends out of the box...overall the hit is less. I am now convinced that if you leave burnt ends out though your appearance score drops roughly by 1 point.
Not necessarily, the last contest I cooked brisket and couldn't use the burnt ends, presentation scores were 9,9,8,9,7,8 but at the contests prior to that with burnt end the scores were 8,8,8,9,9,9; 9,9,9,8,9,9; & 9,9,7,7,7,9 (very low CBJ percentage at this one though). All the boxes looked pretty much identical, with the exception of missing the burnt ends in one. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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Unread 05-14-2011, 07:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by q-dat View Post
what measurements are you guys using? I assume you will need to compensate for shrinkage right?
8 -8 1/2 ", not much shrinkage side to side, but lengthwise is a different story.
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Unread 05-14-2011, 07:49 PM   #11
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I use my trusty stanley fat max tape measure , measure and make a cut 3/4 of the way thru the meat . Ask vinny, i still laugh when i i think of the look on his face when he seen me do it at a contest

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Unread 05-14-2011, 09:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I use my trusty stanley fat max tape measure , measure and make a cut 3/4 of the way thru the meat . Ask vinny, i still laugh when i i think of the look on his face when he seen me do it at a contest
just remember, measure twice...cut once!

this is exactly what i do too, but you can see from my boxes why i'm not a carpenter.

although i'm a dewalt fan myself.
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