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bbqnerd

Help with brisket trimming

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I am making my first brisket and I am super excited. But I am feeling nervous about the brisket I choose because it has a portion of it that I don’t quite understand how to trim and hoping I didn’t choose a bad brisket. Butcher was grabbing the briskets from the back so I didn’t get to look at all of them.

 

 

You can notice the treated part and having to trim some of it but I’m worried.

 

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I don't know too much about briskets but i think the hole where you circled is where they remove a gland of some type. Please keep us posted i'm somewhat new to kamado cooking. Good luck 

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My son showed me this video that might help. But there are many ways to skin a cat.Look at the forums here and on the internet. Lots of good (?) info on the internet but beware.

 

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=trimming+a+brisket+video#id=5&vid=50358ceb557360a56b27aaac0085d9d5&action=click

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A bit long and the camera angle isn't the best, but you can't go wrong learning from Aaron Franklin. He even points out some differences between home/ restaurant trimming and competition trimming.

 

 

 

As for your circled picture, my best guess is some of the hard deckle between the point and the flat has already been removed.

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The first thing I would do is take it out of the packaging and lay it out on a flat surface. Then you will know what you are dealing with.  It looks like it could be folded over somehow.   

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Thank you for everybody response and I actually have Franklins' Masterclass videos and watch plenty of videos. 

 

The main concern is that dimple or cavity where its pretty deep but it seems nobody is too concern so I am somewhat relieved. I will update the post when I get it open tomorrow and actually trim it. 

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Buy a cut proof glove, you WILL cut yourself and without protection it will cause quite a delay.

Also trim it while it's cold.

Lastly some very well known folks don't trim at all.

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I've had briskets that look like this. Sometimes it's just a sloppy cutting job at the plant, sometimes it's just a weirdly shaped cut with a significant difference between the flat and point. It hasn't been a problem for me. I have sometimes cut those myself getting a big chunk of deckle fat out. As long as you don't do something like pack it full of rub like turkey stuffing you should be fine.

 

Since it's your first brisket don't get too hung up on it. Every brisket is different. I trim pretty aggressively but for your first err on the side of leaving too much fat on.

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Thanks for the response Ogopogo. My thoughts were exactly the same that it was a sloppy job when they were cutting by the deckle fat and getting too close the the point's meat. After a day worth of google research, I think I got a plan. 

 

Since you are in St Paul like me, where do you get your meat? I can't seem to find brisket for less than $6 lb. 

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20 hours ago, bbqnerd said:

The main concern is that dimple or cavity where its pretty deep...

Not a concern. I think of it as normal critter-to-critter variation. 

 

In the end, I find trimming a matter of taste; how much fat do you want on your served meat?

- perfectly lean, don't trim until after cooking. The fat nearly falls off. 

- thin fat layer, trim with skill

- extremely fatty, don't trim

 

I have not found a way to get a thin fat layer on a whole brisket because it's a 2-layer affair. I've always opted for perfectly lean, pulling point meat fibers out of their fatty coating and slicing fat off the flat with the blade of my hand. It's been well received when serving large groups. 

 

If you do trim, I suggest you score first, to find fat depth. I use a checkerboard pattern squared to the meat so the grain is on the diagonal. Draw a very sharp knife gently over the surface until you reach meat. I find 1/8" deep cuts into meat will disappear after cooking, but allow rub access under the fat cap. It also makes trimming fat a cinch. 

 

After many years, I can finally make juicy flats with a thin fat layer, at least thin enough for my inner Jack Sprat. Whole briskets are far more forgiving. Think of this piece of meat as your first "experiment," hopefully the first of many!   

 

And don't forget the drip pan!!! You can't catch all of it, but it makes the mess manageable.

 

Have fun,

Frank

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3 hours ago, bbqnerd said:

Thanks for the response Ogopogo. My thoughts were exactly the same that it was a sloppy job when they were cutting by the deckle fat and getting too close the the point's meat. After a day worth of google research, I think I got a plan. 

 

Since you are in St Paul like me, where do you get your meat? I can't seem to find brisket for less than $6 lb. 

 

Costco carries full packer primes, though they're up to $3.99/lb from usual $2/99-$3.29 at Maplewood. The quality of the brisket is one of the only reasons I still have a Costco membership.

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I only worry about over trimming as I did with my one real brisket failure. I trim off any meat that's browned and take off any big fat deposits from the sides. I've stopped trimming between the point and flat except what sticks out from it and hardly touch the fat cap except where it's really thick.

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