The key to relishing tender, juicy, and flavorful brisket is proper knowledge of how to cutting brisket before cooking. But how to cut brisket the way pro chefs do it?
Remove the excess surface fats using a sharp knife, identify the grain of the meat, and cut it against the grain. Then cut the brisket into two portions and trim the flat point muscles separately. Lastly, slice the grains into thin pieces.
A typical brisket weighs around 15 to 20 pounds. The fat content of a trimmed brisket is essential for perfect smoking. Keep roughly 25% fat outside to ensure a rich and juicy finish. Pick a sharp boning knife and cutting board.
Let’s dive into the detailed cutting procedure!
Picking The Ingredients
In this process, you need a whole brisket, a sharp chef’s knife, a chopping board, and a trash bowl (optional).
Pick The Best Brisket Cut
- First, Check for the fat layer of brisket. Pick one that has good marbling. Avoid excessive marbling fat, which may make the meat greasy.
- Choose a fresh cut and check for flexibility. Consider a fresh brisket with bright red color. Don’t pick a stiff or rigid brisket.
- For flat briskets, look for a uniform thickness of at least 1 inch at the edge. A good brisket has a decently uniform thickness without any thin or thick spots.
- Consider the Prime grade briskets. Usually, brisket comes in three grades- Select, Choice, and Prime. Though Prime is more expensive meat, it ensures the best flavor and tenderness.
- Check the weight of the whole brisket. I recommend y ou pick a brisket between 15 to 18 pounds. Considering a decent-sized brisket is also crucial for perfect barbecuing.
A Sharp Boning Knife
Wooden Chopping Board
As a cutting board, you should pick a wooden butcher block that is considerably bigger than the brisket. The Walnut Wood Cutting board measuring around 18 by 24 inches is the best cutting board for brisket.
How To Cutting Brisket Before Cooking – 5 Easy Steps
Brisket is the frontal part of an adult cow which comes with a bunch of fat, red meat, and connective tissues.
Most of the time, you need to cut brisket for perfect smoking. However, sometimes you may need to cut it in half to fit your smoker. Let’s get into it!
Step 1: Prepare The Ingredients
Prepare all the ingredients – a whole brisket, a sharp boning/chef’s knife, and a wood chopping board. Wash or rinse them and keep them on a flat surface.
After unpacking and rinsing the brisket, let it dry. Check the sharpness of the knife. Ensure that the tip and the middle part are sharp enough.
Step 2: Plan Your Cuts and Start Trimming
Keep the brisket on the chopping board facing the fat part upside. You should start cutting from the flat part to the point portion.
Two subprimal parts contain a bunch of fat. You’ll find thick and thin fat layers on the surface. After removing fat chunks, you can move to cut the meaty part.
Step 3: Carefully Remove The Surface Fats
Start the process by cutting the surface fats into little portions. After removing most of the surface fats, separate the muscles.
Remove the surface fat by keeping the knife parallel to the brisket and using shallow cuts. Take a long cut which will enable you to hold the fat and cut the rest effortlessly.
You must keep the knife as shallow as possible during the fat removal. However, it is usual that you may cut meat spots accidentally. Keep ¼ of surface fat for a juicy flavor.
Step 4: Cut The Point Edge Fat
In most briskets, the edgy part of the point portion contains a hunk of fat. Gradually remove the fat from the flat side to the point side.
The point edge fat does the job of partially separating the subprimal parts(point and flat). Remove this last bit of fat before cutting the muscles.
Step 5: Separate The Point And Flat Part
After removing all the surface and layer fats, it’s time to cut the brisket. There is a flat line of fat which is the dividing part. The flat part lays on the top of the point, and each portion attaches like a seam.
Since it resembles a nose, most people call the seam – The Nose. It is the spot where you’ll start cutting the brisket. The fat seam curves back underneath the flat part. Follow the seam accordingly and cut slowly.
Gradually cut it with your left hand and lift the flat side with your right hand. After reaching the thin point, you can cut it to separate the two parts. Cut the externally fat layer for a plainer and smoother look. You can refrigerate the flat part for smoking or barbecuing later.
It doesn’t matter how big your smoker is. Properly cutting and trimming a brisket will ensure an evenly cooked dish. Now you know how to cut brisket before cooking,
Locate the proper lining and “the nose” area for an accurate and hassle-free cut. If you struggle to find the spot, you can divide it in the middle. However, it may have some effect on the taste.