MMMM.. BRISKET..
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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 04-04-2018, 10:17 PM   #1
sudsandswine
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Default Just when I thought I was out...

...they pull me back in.

"They" being briskets, of course. Been about 5 days since I finished doing a 10 brisket cook, and if you'd asked me 3 days ago if I felt like que'n, I'd have told you no way. Yet here we are.

Anyway, we are renting a lake house for my brother's bachelor party and while they do have a gas grill, I thought it'd be nice to have a meal ready to go, to leave me time for fishin' and drinkin' and that sort of thing.

I plan to do this one on my Primo XL oval, won't have time to feed sticks between now and then and I can set it and forget it while I do other things, like paying the bills. I picked up a bottle of rub from my favorite barbecue joint in KC...Q39, and will use it this time instead of SPOG.

I figured I'd take some pics of what I do, maybe it'll help someone blankly staring at their first untrimmed packer wondering how they're going to attack it. While there are many ways to trim brisket, this is the way I like to do it when time permits. I feel it gives good rub and flavor penetration on all sides of the meat since I don't really have to trim anything unrendered off when it's done cooking. I've found little to no difference in the juiciness of the meat compared to a less aggressive trim, all else being equal. I'm certainly not an expert and I don't have the greatest knife skills, but I have trimmed a fair amount of brisket over the past few years and feel fairly proficient at it.

You could certainly leave more on the exterior of the point and remove less between the point and the flat. My main goal when trimming to be left with a uniformly flat piece of meat. I've found that it cooks more evenly, and in the stick burner with a lot of moving air, it seems like it'd be more aerodynamic based on my anecdotal and unscientific experience.

Here's the untrimmed brisket so we know what we're starting with. I found this nice looking 15.2 lb USDA prime packer at Costco, had a nice thick flat and not an absurd amount of fat.
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File Type: jpg 2.jpg (57.0 KB, 655 views)
File Type: jpg 3.jpg (48.9 KB, 652 views)
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Old 04-04-2018, 10:21 PM   #2
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I start trimming the brisket with the fat cap down. I trim the bits of fat that are easily removable on the flat, but I don't go too aggressive or try removing any of the "silver skin" so that I don't risk putting a crater or divot in the flat.

Then, I remove the big clump of fat nestled on the edge where the flat and point meet. I think this is often referred to as the "acorn". I call it "not edible" so it's gotta go.
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Last edited by sudsandswine; 04-04-2018 at 10:40 PM..
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Old 04-04-2018, 10:25 PM   #3
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Next I flip the brisket over fat side up, and start carving out the area of thick fat between the flat and the point. This will be opposite and above that "acorn" area. I try to get it down to 1/4 to 1/2" in trim at this point, taking care to not accidentally remove any of the flat or the point. I find that the boning knife makes removing these two sections easiest, and I'll use the 8" chef knife for longer broader fat removal like the flat and horn of the point.
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Last edited by sudsandswine; 04-04-2018 at 10:41 PM..
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Old 04-04-2018, 10:32 PM   #4
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At this point, the remaining seam of fat separating the flat and the point is pretty visible and it's pretty easy to run a knife down the middle to pull the flat away from the point. I'll flip the brisket back to fat side down, then I usually cut down following the seam a little bit, clean up the fat I exposed, the cut a little more. I'll usually stop when I've exposed about 1/4 to 1/3 of the point end of the flat. Once you can flip the flat back over on itself some, it makes it easy to clean up the hard fat from the top of the flat and bottom of the point.
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File Type: jpg 6_LI.jpg (37.1 KB, 640 views)
File Type: jpg 7_LI.jpg (44.7 KB, 637 views)
File Type: jpg 8_LI.jpg (55.1 KB, 642 views)
File Type: jpg 9_LI.jpg (58.7 KB, 641 views)
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Old 04-04-2018, 10:38 PM   #5
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Once I've cleaned up the meat between the point and the flat, I'll finish removing much of the fat from the flat-facing side of the point. Then I flip it fat side up and try to get a 1/4" trim on the flat, and remove any thick hard fat from the horn of the point. Any hangy bits or brown/rough meat on the edges gets trimmed off the edges.

Usually I'll wind up with something like this. I trimmed 4lb 6oz off this brisket, leaving me with just under 11lb of meat for the smoker. However, since I've already trimmed off a lot of the fat weight that'd be "lost" during cooking, I've found my yields are usually at least 70% of trimmed weight.
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File Type: jpg 10.jpg (56.4 KB, 644 views)
File Type: jpg 12.jpg (56.5 KB, 641 views)
File Type: jpg 13.jpg (61.6 KB, 638 views)
File Type: jpg 14.jpg (49.4 KB, 633 views)
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Old 04-04-2018, 10:44 PM   #6
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In the last year I've started trimming that aggressively and I really like the results. More surface area for rub = more bark.

Post pic's when you are done!
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Old 04-04-2018, 10:47 PM   #7
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Nice tutorial
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Old 04-04-2018, 10:49 PM   #8
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following along...
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Old 04-04-2018, 11:01 PM   #9
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Thank you for the tutorial. I appreciate it.
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Old 04-04-2018, 11:10 PM   #10
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nice demo... added link in the roadmap.. thanks.. :)
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Old 04-04-2018, 11:30 PM   #11
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Nice write up! I thought I was an aggressive trimmer... Apparently I am not. I also prefer bark to cutting off half an inch of fat as I eat.

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Old 04-04-2018, 11:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjtexas1 View Post
I thought I was an aggressive trimmer... Apparently I am not.
Lol...and I thought I was exercising restraint.


JK...this is about as aggressive as I'll go short of separating the point from the flat and doing a competition style trim.
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Old 04-05-2018, 12:18 AM   #13
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Fantastic trim job! Following this cook :)
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Old 04-05-2018, 12:29 AM   #14
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Some before/after action. I like how much better the point lays now, as opposed to the edge of the point basically pointing straight up prior to removing some fat between the point and flat.
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Old 04-05-2018, 05:03 AM   #15
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Wow nice trim job! At this trim level would it be better to just separate to get more surface area for more bark?
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