General Information
What is a Brisket?
Choosing a Brisket
Trimming a Brisket
Preparing a Brisket

Cooking Methods
General Cooking Info
Smoking Brisket
Oven Brisket
Crock Pot Brisket
Grilling Brisket
Jewish Brisket
Wagyū (Kobe) Brisket

Cutting a Brisket
Brisket Rub
What You Need
Brisket Recipes

Bonus Material
Picture Gallery
Video Library



Trimming a Brisket?

To Trim a Brisket?


You have found a great brisket, and now you need to prepare it for cooking.

Your first question will be 'do I need to trim the brisket?'

Unless you are cooking in a crock pot, in the oven, or cooking on a small BBQ grill; the answer is no. Lets's discuss the crock pot preparation and the oven preparation. If you have a Weber Smokey Mountain or a Backwoods Smoker, you can trim the brisket so it fits in your smoker. Other than those restrictions, you don't really need to trim a brisket.

Small BBQ Pit Trimming

If you would like to trim a whole brisket to fit into one of the smaller BBQ smokers, you can simply remove the large portion of fat which is located on the top of the brisket. Remember, the top is the side that has the meat exposed. There is a large piece of fat on the top that is a few inches long and about 2" deep. Take a sharp knife and cut the fat out. You can also trim any excess fat off the sides of the brisket by taking your knife and cutting them off. If your brisket is too long to fit on your small smoker, you can remove the point of the brisket.

A word of caution on removing all the fat from the top of the brisket. Fat will aid in cooking because it keeps the brisket moist. So, don't just cut off the fat because you don't like fat. It will render during cooking and help keep the brisket moist.

Oven Brisket Trimming

To trim a whole brisket for the oven is to simply remove some of the bottom fat cap. When you are geting the brisket ready for the oven, you can trim the fat cap thickness down to approximately 1/4 of an inch thick.

You will cook a brisket in the oven in a large pan with deep sides. Something like a full size aluminum pan is perfect.

Crock Pot Brisket Trimming

The crock pot is the smallest of the cooking appliaces you could use to cook a brisket. You can cook great brisket in the crock pot while you are running errands or at the office. These are handy devices, and are used by millions of people every day.

Getting a brisket into a slow cooker is a challenge. You are going to have to do some major trimming and cutting on a whole brisket. Instead of buy a pre-trimmed brisket at the store, just buy a whole brisket and trim it yourself. This saves you money and will keep some of the great fat content of a whole brisket.

My favorite way of trimming a whole brisket for the crock pot is a method that will allow you to get two cooks out of one brisket. This saves you a ton of money.

Remove the inner clay section of the crock pot. Keep your brisket in the cryovac package, and just lay the crock pot clay inner section on top of the brisket. Lay it right in the middle of the brisket, and draw (with a permanent marker) the outlines of the clay pot. You will have three sections of the brisket drawn on the cryovac packaging. The piece in the middle is the heart of the brisket. This is where the best pieces of meat will come from. You will also have a piece of each end; the point and the flat. Cook the middle first and save the other two pieces for later. Two nice meals out of one brisket. That is money in your pocket.

If you are using a flat cut brisket, then you will just trim to the size of the clay inner cooking area of the crock pot. Take those trimmings and throw them on top of the other piece of brisket when you cook it.

Marking Your Brisket

When the brisket has finished cooking, it will have no resemblance to the piece of meat you started with. When you cut the brisket for serving, you will want to cut the meat across the grain to get the best slices. The easiest thing to do is to 'mark the brisket' so you will know in what direction to cut your slices. It will be hard to find the grain after your brisket cooks.

Take a really sharp knife and find the grain of your brisket. The grain is easy to find. Take your knife and cut across the grain in one corner of the brisket. Cut about a 1 inch notch out of one corner of the brisket across the grain. Now, you will know where to start cutting (and in what direction to cut) once it is time to serve up your wonderful brisket.