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Brisket Prep

'Q Bruddah'Q Bruddah Posts: 739
edited 4:54AM in EggHead Forum
I am doing my first brisket and want to know about preparing it. I purchased what Costco called a whole brisket. It has some very hard fat running along one side. Should this be trimmed?
This is what I bought.

This is the front and the fat is along the left hand side 2x6" almost a perfect rectangle

It is not as easy to see on the right side of the back


  • 2Fategghead2Fategghead Posts: 9,623
    Hey Steve, I hope all is well with you and yours. I have only had one very successful brisket cook so I have no advice to give. Tim :)
  • 'Q Bruddah'Q Bruddah Posts: 739
    Good to hear from you. Yes, all are healthy. Daughter home from college so I wanted to celebrate with a brisket.
  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    Since it is your very first, I would leave it whole. Fat is not a bad thing when cooking. Briskets are hard enough. Leave it untrimmed, you can trim after. Plus it will be easier.

  • 'Q Bruddah'Q Bruddah Posts: 739
    Ok, then. Time to put on the rub and get it back in the fridge.
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428


    Looking through my acrhives of pictures, I believe the top two are before trimming and after. All the ones below are ready to go onto the pit. As you can see I don't trim much fat at all.



    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    Throw some white sugar on top of the rub, it will help to start breaking down the fat. You will have to wipe off in the morning and add more rub. But worth it.

  • 'Q Bruddah'Q Bruddah Posts: 739
    That is the question.
  • texasAUtigertexasAUtiger Posts: 154
    fat cap down for me... to insulate the meat from the heat.
  • 'Q Bruddah'Q Bruddah Posts: 739
    Thanks makes perfect sense.
  • elzbthelzbth Posts: 2,075
    I've only cooked a few briskets, but the best one so far is one that was soaked overnight in buttermilk. Rinsed, rubbed with Dixie Dust, egged - low and slow. Finished with a sauce consisting of Sweet Baby Rays and about 1 cup of peach jam.
  • EggSimonEggSimon Posts: 422
    texasAUtiger wrote:
    fat cap down for me... to insulate the meat from the heat.

    same opinion. Fat side down is way to go.
  • Thirdeye
    Question for you. Do you go light on the mustard and light on the rub? It seems like in these pics and the ones on your site (which are probably the same) you go light on the rub. Do you still get a good crust?

    I am still working on my brisket and I am doing one tonight for a party tomorrow. I was going to use Plowboy's bovine rub for it because I am lazy.

    Also what do you think about cherry wood smoke for the brisket?

    always, thanks for your guidance!

    ps the microadjuster rules!
  • thailandjohnthailandjohn Posts: 952
    Fat cap down gives a better crust
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428


    The amount of rub I use is definitely light when compared to some of those competition cooks that we see on TV, but pictures like the one above are kind of deceiving because my favorite brisket rub has coarse pepper (which is easy to see) and fine salt and cayenne (much harder to see). On a full brisket, I might use 4 or 5 tablespoons, maybe more if it doesn't look right.

    As far as color, I'm not in the "my brisket looks like a meteor" camp. I work really hard on selecting the right one, and also on the flavors I want out of it..... I work equally hard on getting the color right for me. These two pictures are probably representative of what I look for in color.



    When I first started cooking briskets hot, I was having a real hard time with the bark, and was trying a variety of things to straighten it out. After seeing this picture, a guy e-mailed me and jokingly asked if I was using an oatmeal slather. Heheee.


    When I use a mustard slather, I actually thin it out with some Wooster or maybe a little cider vinegar... and I use just enough to cover.

    I've never tried Todd's Bovine Bold, but I was lucky enough to be one of the taste testers when he developed the Yardbird Rub, and I would suspect he put as much time in developing the Bovine.

    Cherry is my favorite wood, I like the flavor it gives and also the color it adds. On brisket I like a heavier wood, so pecan is my choice there. Often I will use a mix of pecan and cherry on brisket.
    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • Thanks a lot thirdeye. I will try the mustard/woorchestestertester sauce mix and then I will probably go a little lighter on the rub than I normally do and maybe dust with some coarse BP and Kosher salt mix. A cherry pecan mix sounds awesome!

    Where would we be without you sir
    thanks again
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