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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 08-01-2013, 07:36 AM   #1
hogzgonewild
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Default Brisket Slicing

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 :)
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Unread 08-01-2013, 07:57 AM   #2
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Was this video what he does for a comp turn-in?
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Unread 08-01-2013, 08:02 AM   #3
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It was an example of what he does for a competition turn-in, yes.
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Unread 08-01-2013, 08:17 AM   #4
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I slice my brisket across the grain (90*), but I also cut on the bias.
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Unread 08-01-2013, 08:18 AM   #5
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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.
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Unread 08-01-2013, 08:34 AM   #6
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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.
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Unread 08-01-2013, 09:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wampus View Post
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
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Unread 08-01-2013, 09:22 AM   #8
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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
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Unread 08-01-2013, 10:25 PM   #9
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I got a 172 with 45* sliced brisket.
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Unread 08-02-2013, 11:11 AM   #10
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Was he slicing the point? The grain on the point is usually runs different than the flat.
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Unread 08-02-2013, 11:15 AM   #11
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We slice at 67.5 degrees to get the best of both worlds...NOT.
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Unread 08-04-2013, 12:09 AM   #12
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Makes me wonder if you've overcooked a brisket, you might cut at 45 degrees to get more pull?
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Unread 08-04-2013, 09:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlin_MacRae View Post
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.
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Unread 08-04-2013, 12:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlin_MacRae View Post
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.
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Unread 08-04-2013, 02:24 PM   #15
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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.
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