View Full Version : Brisket Fat Down?

04-13-2008, 09:10 AM
In reading various resources there seems to be divergence in whether Brisket should be cooked fat side down (which seems counter-intuitive) or fat side up. Any thoughts?

04-13-2008, 09:15 AM
I perfer down.

04-13-2008, 09:20 AM

04-13-2008, 09:22 AM
i like down.

use the search engine and you will find all kinds of responses to this question.

04-13-2008, 09:23 AM
cook one up and one down and see what works best for you. then do it that way. then you'll know which camp you're in. :-D

04-13-2008, 09:30 AM
I prefer down, but likem watertower said, try it both ways and see which you like.

04-13-2008, 09:30 AM
cook one up and one down and see what works best for you. then do it that way. then you'll know which camp you're in. :-D


You can do a search. It's been talked about in length.

04-13-2008, 10:56 AM
I had always started fat down then turned to get the fat to melt through the brisket and they were okay. But after reading stuff here I cooked fat down no turning and they come out better! Fat down.

04-13-2008, 10:59 AM
I've always been a fat-side up Q'er, but for those who have done both, what is the change when having the fat facing downward? I've heard that the smoke better penetrates the non-fat side when it is facing up, but that was from one person.

BBQ Grail
04-13-2008, 11:12 AM
Fat up or fat down? That is the question.

For me it's down on the UDS and up on everything else.

04-13-2008, 11:27 AM
This has to be the oldest debate in BBQ, and I doubt there will ever be a majority ruling on this subject. I am willing to bet I can hurt myself eating too much brisket no matter what side the fat is on when cooked.
I first was cooking fat side up and not much much trimming, thinking the fat on top would baste as it cooked. After finding forums and reading on this subject, I tried various degrees of trimming the fat, and cooking both fat up and fat down.
Now I trim it up pretty good and what is left of the fat I cook down. My reason being is with fat side down, I wont have rub falling off the meat side where it will penetrate some and have the bark that I like.

04-13-2008, 11:41 AM
What Bearbonez said. I also went fat up but am converted to down. Next one I'm even gonna to trim up more than normal.

Pipin' Pig
04-13-2008, 01:29 PM
I do fat site down when directly in the heat/smoke. After I foil I switch to fat side up.

04-13-2008, 01:38 PM
Over, under, sideways, down.
Depends sometimes on the cut, how much I'm cooking (positioning of meats in pit, hot spot) etc.
Schools of thought have debated for years.
If I'm cooking hot, down. If I have lots of room and time, up.

04-13-2008, 01:42 PM
I split the difference and stand them up in rib racks. :mrgreen:

04-13-2008, 01:50 PM
I used to cook fat side up, then tried down and liked it. Not sure how big a difference it really is, because brisket is something that is hard to call consistent, but I am leaning towards down at this point. I have yet to preach this to anyone, but since you asked...

04-13-2008, 02:12 PM
I think it really depends on your cooker, and where the heat is coming from. Use the fat cap as a heat shield, and dont think of the fat as a self baster.

04-13-2008, 02:48 PM
Down and trimmed mostly off. Like down to 1/8" in most spots, as even as I can get it. You end up with bark on that side, mmmm.

I did a 4-brisket cook with up, down, trimmed and not recently for a group event, seemed like as good a time as any to experiment. It honestly didn't make much difference in the texture and moisture content, but trimmed versus not shaved quite a bit of cooking time off... heavily trimmed finished almost an hour ahead of the other two with nothing negative to say about it.

But what was *positive*, though, was the bark. The deep trimming turned out a flat with nice bark across most of the fat cap side and only the tiniest ribbon of fat remaining. Tasted lots of seasoning, which was kinda new to me on flats. Also had good smoke ring which I usually don't see on the fat cap side.

Ergo, down and trimmed dang near off :)

04-13-2008, 06:25 PM
what fat cap ? :eusa_clap

04-13-2008, 09:32 PM
Thank you for all the great input.


04-13-2008, 11:31 PM
Fat cap towards the heat as others have said.

Single Fin Smoker
04-14-2008, 02:49 AM
Down, and I don't care if Mista beach slaps me for it....

04-14-2008, 11:30 AM
Down for no other reason than it works for me.

04-14-2008, 11:38 AM
Good read for ya: http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showpost.php?p=114551&postcount=10

04-14-2008, 02:34 PM
I split the difference and stand them up in rib racks. :mrgreen:

You know, that is an unbelieveably simple idea that I may have to try.

Have always wanted to hang, but having no vertical cooked could not. Always fat down to have fact act as heat shield.

04-14-2008, 02:42 PM
Down, and I don't care if Mista beach slaps me for it....

Why would i slap you? I have always cooked fat down.

04-14-2008, 03:11 PM
Aeynghus and I did a little brisket last week and we did the unthinkable: we cooked it half down and half up! ;)

It could have used a few more degrees, but it got stuck and we ran outta time. It was flavorful and juicy, though!

04-14-2008, 04:35 PM
On my offsets, always up! Haven't tried it yet on the BGE (Not enough space to do 4 or 5 of them)

04-14-2008, 04:51 PM
I Smoked one Yesterday, in my DrumPit, and, as always, Untrimmed and FatCap up......Delicious!!!!

Papa Hogg
04-14-2008, 08:30 PM
Was always a fat cup up kinda guy, but have tried the last couple down & I do believe that I like it more. I get a better bark on the fatless side when I do fat cap down & the brisket is still juicy, I think that the fat on the bottom actually help retain the melting fat & juices in the meat by holding it in the meat instead of letting it drip out. I also trim the fat to a 1/4 to an 1/8 of an inch.

04-14-2008, 10:36 PM
I start mine fat cap up for the first 4 hours, then flip over and finish cooking fat cap down.

JD McGee
04-14-2008, 10:39 PM
Down to start...then flip..then down again to finish...:biggrin: