Brisket fat up or down?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by mama's smoke, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. [​IMG] Nah...I heard that before!!!.....While there is some element of truth to it...There's so many other variables I'm not sure it's all that noticeable one way or the other.....Fun to think about however......

    Have Fun!
  2. warthog

    warthog Smoking Fanatic

    Did my last one fat side down on the UDS.  Foiled at 175 and removed at 203. Let it rest in the cooler 3 hours wrapped in a towel.  Everyone at the BBQ loved it. Very tender, yet I was able to also slice the point without it falling apart.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  3. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    you are correct, here you are asking for help and we are really not helping you are we??? lotsa opinions out there arnt there... whether you decide fatcap up or down or decide to flip i dont think it makes that big a diffence... now a sear on the brisket that will make a difference in flavor big time but if this is your first time stick with just smoking it, if you want to sear one pm me and i will send you to some threads that will show you step by step.

    the left handed thing, well i take it with a grain of salt... but ya never know. when selecting briskets, have the fatcap up and the "point end" away from you. if the curve is on the left side you have a left handed brisket...  but i select the briskets with the least resistance to bending, if i narrow it down to a few i will then choose the left side. if i have a right side seems to bend easier than a left i will take the right...

    the most important thing in my book is a tender brisket and they dont always finish up at the same temp. and the only way you can reallly tell is how the probe feels when you slide it in the chunk. if it feels like its going into soft butter, than it is done. hope you found something useful here and cant wait to see your results!!!

    and on edit, make sure you put an alum pan under the brisket... some just lay the brisket in the pan, catch all the drippings. while brisket is in the cooler resting pour the drippings in a bowl and into refrig... the fat will rise and harden for easy removal. use whats left to serve with the brisket or include in a finishing sauce if you pull it.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  4. thanks, erain, I haven't yet got the confidence to try one of those ..... if I catch one on sale in the next month or so I am going to try it, maybe at the end of August.... a few of us in my family have birthdays then and it would be a good group to try one on... I have just now got the pork shoulders to the point that I don't have any reservations with them.. so till then... thanks again[​IMG]
  5. smokey mo

    smokey mo Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I have to agree with E.  Pick it up and let it bend, that seems to me the most reliable way to guess at tender quality.  And watch the USDA quality stamp on the meat. Get the best grade you can.  I didn't use to think it mattered until I broke down and spent the money.  

    I tend to follow the Tulsa Jeff method of placing my brisky in a disposable pan while it is cooking fat up scoured and rubbed.  You never lose a drop of juice and it is more simple to move to the house for cutting the point off.

    IMHO and meager experience.

  6. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    I think the common understanding or misunderstanding as the case may be is that the fat melts and the fat dripping down the sides of the brisket bastes it helping to keep it moist. Then I also read that a lot of folks trim all the fat off of their briskets and they are quite happy with the results they get.

    I guess it gets down to the fact that if burying a dead black cat in your backyard by the light of a full moon always does it for ya, and always makes for a good outcome, then that's exactly what you should keep doing.

    Like any good religion, smoking meat seems to have a lot of ritual and voodoo elements associated with it.  
  7. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's the nice thing about the art of smoking and BBQ-so many ways of achieving the end result.  Try the different methods and see which one gave you the best result or at least came the closest to what you were looking for and then tweak it some til you get it the way you want.

    As you learn your smoker and become more confident in your skills, you'll notice that you are no longer doing things now that you used to do.

    When I first started out, I used foil in almost all my smokes-brisket, ribs and butts. In the last year or so, I've gone the entire smoke without having to use foil except for foiling the meat and wrapping with towels to put into the cooler for holding.

    So unless you really screw up the smoke session, your mistakes and not so perfect smokes are still edible, plus it gives you an excuse to "practice". 
  8. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Whoa, back up there a bit.  I came here to learn about smoking and how to wow my guests.  Now I can tell them something about animal husbandry?  So it's not a nudge, nudge, wink, wink?  All right.  Look forward to the pictures.

    By the way, as a quick comment, Dutch, thank you for the Wicked Baked Beans.  I follow the basic recipe but use rib trimmings and they always receive high praise.  Never seem to have any left overs and I always make a double batch.....I can't say thanks enough.
  9. smoking gun

    smoking gun Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Hold on Erain! You told me the most important thing was what you named the piece of meat. Now you're saying a lefty is better than a righty?  [​IMG]
  10. diesel

    diesel Smoking Fanatic

    I say you should do Two briskets.  One fat side up and the other fat side down.  See which one turns out best and go with that technique.  Good luck and post some qview
  11. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I do mine fat up, no scoring. Not so much to render the fat through the meat, but moreso to use the fat to help keep the meat moist on the surface.
  12. i was reading this thread as i am planning on smoking a brisket tomorrow and now my head is spinning lol. I think i will try it on the down side. I am going to use my rib rack flipped over a foil pan to catch the drippings and keep the meat just over it. mouth waters in whats the "best rub" to use on brisket that isnt spicy? i know everyone has their own "best " but am just looking for a few ideas and you guys seem to know the deal.....
  13. Is my butcher going to laugh at me when I ask for a left handed brisket? I have a feeling he's going to call the mental heath professionals to take me to a comfy padded room... We will see!!! I hope they have Wifi because I'm still going to need my SMF fix...
  14. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would suggest for t hose people doing there first brisket that they cook it fat side up and scored. The extra free basting can always be helpfull while you are learning how to run your smoker for 14+ hrs. Then once you have a feel for  brisket start experimenting with fat down, and searing if you want.

    Definately catch the drippings in a pan under the brisket, and I suggest you dump a beer in the drippings pan. Then when the brisket hits 165-170° put it in the dripping pan with another beer (first one will be almost evaporated), and cover it tightly with foil. Take the internal temp. to 190°, pull the brisket from the pan wrap it in foil and put it in the cooler to rest for 2 hrs. Take the liquid in the pan and put it in the freezer for a couple of minutes till the fat sets up, then remove the fat and put the juices back in a pan to heat on low. Your brisket should come out firm enough to slice, but fork tender.
  15. pandemonium

    pandemonium Master of the Pit

    What is scoring on a fat cap? cutting slits completely through it? poking holes through it? or just cutting almost through?
  16. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You cut a cris-cros patern just through the fat so the rub can actually reach the meat. Usually you end up cutting most of the fat off before you eat it, so if your rub was just in the fat then you cut off all the flavor. Scoring it lets the rub flavor  get to the meat.
  17. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    hea..... that was supposed to be a secret!!!! dang, let someone in on something valuble and pretty soon ngets spread all over the internet forum LOL... dang been a long time since Jlo eh!!!
  18. pandemonium

    pandemonium Master of the Pit

  19. I remember reading the left vs right hand briskett thread. any one know where to find it? I believe it gives info on telling them apart.
  20. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Went to sams to get a brisky . was at the counter sorting out a few leftys and after i got 4 sorted out .Tried the bend test and got it down to the one i wanted.

    Realized the butcher was standing there watching me. told him i guess ya think i'm crazy ?

     He said ,Not at all ,Was just wanting to know what kind of smoker ya have???

      He said invaribly when ever someone comes in and takes time to select their meat and doesn't  worry about whats cheapest ,They are smokers.

Share This Page