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brisket - fat up or down?

certified_primecertified_prime Posts: 32
edited 6:06AM in EggHead Forum
So...tried my third brisket today, and finally had a success. It was an 8lb choice 1st cut brisket flat, with a decent fat cap still on it. It took 12 hours at 225, and I pulled it at around 200 and foiled it to sit for 4 hours. Came out pretty moist, and very tender. I cooked it fat side down, and rested it in foil fat side down.

So my two questions:

1) anyone cook a brisket flat with the fat-side up with regular success, or does that typically result in more liquid loss and a dry brisket?

2) Anyone do the tinfoil rest with the fat side up so the juices are reabsorbed into the meat side, or does that just deteriorate the nice meat bark?


  • Up. Always up, grasshopper.
  • Rusty RoosterRusty Rooster Posts: 1,239
    I always cook them and butts fat side down. With it up as the fat melts it will wash down over your meat and wash off your rub with it. That takes away your lucshious bark. ;)
  • CBBQCBBQ Posts: 610
    I don't follow the thought of fat side up to baste your brisket or butt. I'm in agreement with Rusty Rooster in that anything that is on top and running down will wash the rub off. The other thing is that a brisket is a very lean piece of meat so I prefer the fat to be between the heat source and the meat as a shield. Also, on an indirect cook the smoke from the wood will go up the sides and then be forced back down to the meat. It follows the airflow. In an indirect cook I think you will pick up more smoke flavor with the meat side up.
  • TigerTonyTigerTony Posts: 979
    I've never tried up, I've always cooked fat side down and it would be impossible to get any better results. I'm sticking with teh sure thing. Down
    "I'm stupidest when I try to be funny" 
    New Orleans

  • I find the other responses shocking- I've been braising briskets for years and the principles are just the same for smoking. Fat side always goes up so that the meat self-bastes. It needs it. The more help you can get breaking down the connective tissue, the better.

    On sober second thought, however, this might be one of those cooking urban legends that you hear about (don't wash mushrooms, searing meat locks in juices, etc., etc.) but that actually don't make a difference in practice.

    Still, fat-side up. :)
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 7,656
    Recent convert from the water/gasser smoker life. Over there it was always fat side up-over here(BGE world) the prevailing expertise is " fat side down". So, been fat site down for many briskets and quite pleased with the results. That and the foil wrap finish...
    Try both and make the call-
    Happy fourth-
    Louisville   L & S BGEs 
  • Alright, smoking my first brisket, a 7lb flat angus choice, and started fat up like traditional wisdom.... but just flipped to do fat side down after 3 hours after reading everyone's comments ... after 3 hours brisket is at 127 and egg was holding steady at 250. Gonna hang out a bit a make sure it holds after the big flip, the daisy wheel moved a bit and had some more smoke rolling out, so moved it back to original dial in and make sure it stabilizes.
    Smokin with cherry and hickory, coated with stone ground mustard, ground chipotle powder, kosher salt, ground black pepper, and JB's Fat Boy rub...

    Gonna pull and then smoke some meaty baby backs for a killer Fourth of July Lunch with my family...

    Happy 4th and God Bless the USA!!!
  • egganatoregganator Posts: 18
    A question that always gets a 50/50 answer. I bought 2 and did one up and one down. In a blind taste test I could not tell the difference, and both were moist and tender. My answer to the question is yes.
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