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8 Pound Brisket - To Tie or Not to Tie?

PapalikesPapalikes Posts: 25
edited March 2012 in Beef

I have had reasonably good luck the few flat cuts I have smoked, but all have been on the dry side.  A cousin recommended doing a pack-cut to capitalize on the ribbon of fat that will render and keep the meat moist.  $94 dollars later, I have one coated in yellow mustard and "Trinity Rub" (equal parts sea salt, course ground black pepper, and garlic powder) with an appointment to meet my BGE this evening.  The plan is to serve it just before the next installment of Game of Thrones hits HBO tomorrow night.  But I digress.

Question is, should I roll and tie the brisket in an effort to get it to cook at the same rate for the whole thing?  It is about a 1.5 inches on one end and about 3 inches on the other and I am worried the thin side will be jerky and the thick side will be steak tar-tar.

I have had very good luck with I have tied pork butts in the past and was curious if I should do the same with a brisket. 

Any EggHeads have any thoughts?


  • hmmmm....I've never heard of such a thing. Certainly not to say it shouldn't be done. $94 is a big ticket for a brisket. I'm guessing you live somewhere that they are hard to find (been there before, try telling a butcher in Wisconsin that you don't want it trimmed and that it should not be $5 a pound if it's a whole packer).or you may just be buying a CAB or premium grade brisket

    My take on it is this: If you cook it right, you should be OK without rolling. The point (thick side) will actually be ready much sooner than the flat. I know this defies modern science (thicker = longer, right?) but it's true. The point has much more fat content which cooks much faster than the leaner muscle in the flat.Many people actually separate the point when it's done several hours before the flat is done but I cook them together and have not really had an issue. The fact is though that a flat is a much leaner drier cut of meat and will always be less moist than the point. 

    Also, if you do live in an area where brisket is harder to come by, they don't understand our sinister purposes for this cut and they always trim the fat cap off the flats like they are doing you a favor. Trimmed flats are impossible to keep from drying out so if  you cannot get one in the cryo with the fat cap on, I would avoid it. You can usually order them up but if you are doing flats only, it's critical to get one that is not trimmed.

    Let us know what you decided on this. i'm interested to hear how it turned out.
    Keeping it Weird in the ATX
  • PapalikesPapalikes Posts: 25
    Livin in Arizona, a packer-cut is hard to come by.  I found a good-ol'-fashioned butcher, who really loves the meat in his case.
    Thanks for the info. on why my flat cuts have beeb dry in th past.  Was beginning to wonder if I was fit to call myself an EggHead.
  • I wrote a dissertation today on Brisket for another guy that will help. it under the "turbo brisket" thread. It's long but it has everything you'll need to do a good low and slow brisket on the egg. let me know if I can help.
    Keeping it Weird in the ATX
  • When I lived in WI, I used to buy CAB briskets from a restaurant (then I opened a restaurant and got them through Sysco). If you know anyone in the restaurant biz, work a deal to get packers from them. Even if they mark them up a little, you'll be OK. Also, tell your butcher you want a packer in the cryo-vac. If they don't trim it or touch it, it should be much cheaper. I went over how to get it ready in my brisket post. If they don't understand BBQ, they trim them and charge $5-$6 per lb.for the worthless (to us) center cut trimmed pieces. 
    Keeping it Weird in the ATX
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