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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 04-06-2010, 08:09 PM   #1
Cigarbque
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Default Trimming brisket to box size before cooking

How many folks trim their brisket to box size before cooking? Any pros or cons to doing this? Thanks.
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Unread 04-06-2010, 08:44 PM   #2
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I think it's a great idea - but I can't get past the idea that cooking the whole packer adds a dimension of flavor that a trimmed up brisket won't. I know - it's not like I can prove it - but go figure!
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Unread 04-06-2010, 11:49 PM   #3
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I've seen a few done like that in KCBS comps - it gives bark and a smoke ring (that no one looks at) on all four sides. It can make for a very nice appearance score if done right.
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Unread 04-07-2010, 12:21 AM   #4
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SOP for us. Cut to a 7" width and your slices will fit perfectly once they are cooked.
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Unread 04-07-2010, 10:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CivilWarBBQ View Post
SOP for us. Cut to a 7" width and your slices will fit perfectly once they are cooked.
Do you get a lot of shrinkage (insert chuckling noises now)? If you trim to 7" is that he length of the slices after the brisket is cooked?
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Unread 04-07-2010, 10:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CivilWarBBQ View Post
SOP for us. Cut to a 7" width and your slices will fit perfectly once they are cooked.
Same for us except we go with the same width as the box. Shrinkage brings it to just the right size...
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Unread 04-07-2010, 10:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monty3777 View Post
Do you get a lot of shrinkage (insert chuckling noises now)? If you trim to 7" is that he length of the slices after the brisket is cooked?
Same question. Do you trim to 7" and then cook? Do you loose any moisture retention by not cooking the entire packer? Thanks.
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Unread 04-07-2010, 11:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster View Post
Same for us except we go with the same width as the box. Shrinkage brings it to just the right size...
Ditto.
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Unread 04-07-2010, 11:41 AM   #9
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I started doing it a few years ago when I was practicing for a IBCA contest. I found myself always trimming the ends off of briskets for turn-ins because they were not as moist as the interior of the sliced brisket and had a tendancy to crumble. But you can't do that in IBCA. I also don't measure, that is too anal. I will also say, if you trim too much or it shrinks too much... Fill the sides in with burnt ends...
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Unread 04-07-2010, 12:10 PM   #10
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You could always choose a brisket that's an appropriate size for the turn in container.
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Unread 04-07-2010, 12:43 PM   #11
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The width of the bottom of an 8' turn-in clamshell varies from 7 3/4" to 7" depending upon the manufacturer. Most of the shrinkage in cooked meat occurs along the length of the muscle fibers, not the width, so pre-trimming your flat to 7-8" will give you a good fit after cooking. There is a bit of fudge factor depending on your exact box and how high you set your garnish, but it's easy to do with the Smoky Mountain Smokers disposable cutting boards as they have a ruler imprinted on them.
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Unread 04-07-2010, 02:15 PM   #12
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I've always kept the packer's cut and trimmed to fit but I may experiment with pre-trimming myself.
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Unread 04-07-2010, 03:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster View Post
Same for us except we go with the same width as the box. Shrinkage brings it to just the right size...
^^^^^^^^^
What he said. This is one of the changes we made that I think helped us start getting some brisket calls. The slices just look nicer when the bark is on all edges and there isn't an obvious spot where it had to be cut to get it to fit in the box. You can always make burgers from the trimmings
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