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How Long Does It Take You To Separate A Full Packer?

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    How Long Does It Take You To Separate A Full Packer?

    Okay, I still haven't separated that many briskets. And I've been joking lately that it usually takes me an hour and a half and three band-aids to separate one.

    But those were all relatively small ones. Today, I took on a prime packer that started at 17.9 pounds. A full two hours later, I had a flat coming in at 6.1 pounds and a point at 4.5. They are happily dry brining to go on the smoker early tomorrow morning.

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    This brisket was a pleasure to work with. The grain in the meat was so obvious and the flat and point ran at a true 90 degrees to one another, so after hacking away lots of fat, the line on which to separate was very obvious.

    Oh, and I was finally bright enough to wear cotton liner gloves with nitrile gloves over them. Turns out that isn't just for handling hot meat. It gave me good grip and allowed the full operation to proceed without any cuts to me.

    #2
    I find they take a lot longer to separate and are harder to keep a good grip on when still on the cow.

    Comment


      #3
      Afraid to time. I'll just say too long for some of them twisted lopsided freaks.

      OK. I'm better now.

      Comment


      • Jim White
        Jim White commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks. I just feel like I must be really slow. This helps.

      #4
      I did one in December that took me 1-1.5 hours seperated into point and flat that was similarly sized but not prime. I bought a new Rapela knife afterwards and did a 12 pound one this week in maybe 45 minutes to one hour, also separated into point and flat. The new knife made life considerably easier so definitely feel like I did a good job. Probably cut 17 pounds down to 12 the first time and ended up with 9.5 on the 12.5 pound one.

      I think it is a skill that has to be practiced like any other. None of my briskets looked as good as yours when done though, so congrats on a job well done!

      Comment


      • Jim White
        Jim White commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks. A better knife undoubtedly would help a lot. I'm using a really old Cutco. I did a little sharpening before starting and at about three fourths of the way through.

      • IFindZeroBadCooks
        IFindZeroBadCooks commented
        Editing a comment
        I bought the 7.5 inch one after y'all recommended it. The free side also has a glowing review. After all of my struggles with brisket before, I really appreciate this now!

        Rapala4 Soft Grip Fillet / Single Stage Sharpener / Sheath https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B001NXC5ZG/

      #5
      I used to be all in on separating the point and flat, reasoning that they cook differently, so they should be cooked separately. I recently quit doing that and my brisket game has elevated as a result. No, I don't get the all over bark that I did before, but those slices of point and flat together are some damn good eating!

      Comment


      • Jim White
        Jim White commented
        Editing a comment
        Well, there is that to consider. But with my wife being a Kansas City native, burnt ends are expected every time I cook a brisket, so here I am.

      • IFindZeroBadCooks
        IFindZeroBadCooks commented
        Editing a comment
        Yup. My family wants pastrami so not enough room to cure a full packer in the fridge so easier to separate and cure 2 chunks instead.

      #6
      I'm thinking it depends on whether it's a lineman or a running back as to how to separate
      The meat is a LOT different..

      After reading, I get it but at first glance, hence my answer.

      Sorry, couldn't resist boys
      Yup, Tmaan said dat! Enjoy your evening!

      Comment


        #7
        Wow. This is why I just trim surface fat for a few minutes, and smoke the whole packer! It's pretty easy to separate them once cooked if I decide to.

        Comment


        • Oak Smoke
          Oak Smoke commented
          Editing a comment
          +1

        • bbqLuv
          bbqLuv commented
          Editing a comment
          DITTO

        #8
        Thank you for posting this...makes me feel so much better about myself. Although it also makes me despair, I'd been hoping this would get faster with practice but if it doesn't for this crowd then probably never will for me.. I think an hour and a half is about where I am.

        A couple years ago I watched Tuffy Stone's video on BBQ Stars series. He did it in maybe 90 seconds. So then I thought "hey I'll just imitate him next time, this doesn't need to take so long." The results were not pretty..

        Comment


        • Donw
          Donw commented
          Editing a comment
          Laugh! I did the same thing and it wasn’t pretty. Went back immediately to my old turtle paced ways.🙂

        #9
        I don’t know that I’ve ever timed myself so I can’t really answer. I did want to say you did a great job trimming that brisket.

        Comment


          #10
          Slow down don't cut too fast
          Got to make the trimming last
          Just separating the point from the flat
          Rendering the fat and feeling groovy
          Last edited by bbqLuv; July 15, 2021, 09:35 AM.

          Comment


          • bbqLuv
            bbqLuv commented
            Editing a comment
            A song by Simon and Gar, The Farkel brothers
            You know Simon and Gar Farkel

          • Mr. Bones
            Mr. Bones commented
            Editing a comment
            Verse II:

            Take yer time don't use no foil
            Don't wanna make yer brisky boil
            It'll be done, in time ya'll see...
            Jus sippin on beer, an feelin Goofy
            Last edited by Mr. Bones; July 15, 2021, 06:14 PM. Reason: +e -r

          • tmaan235
            tmaan235 commented
            Editing a comment
            The song "Simple kind of man" comes to mind here

          #11
          Update: The brisket went onto the smoker just before 7 this morning. As we got to about 183 in both point and flat (early, flat was up to 20 degrees ahead of point but they met at the same temp for the stall), I took a peek and decided to wrap the flat.

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          When the point hit about 193, I decided to take it off to cube up for burnt ends.

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          Of course, I needed to try a bite while it cools to handling temp:

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          I am in my happy place right now.
          Last edited by Jim White; July 15, 2021, 10:10 AM. Reason: I R dumb.

          Comment


          • Mr. Bones
            Mr. Bones commented
            Editing a comment
            Stellar Job, my Brother!

          • Dr. Pepper
            Dr. Pepper commented
            Editing a comment
            Beautiful!

          • tmaan235
            tmaan235 commented
            Editing a comment
            I want to be at your house right now!
            I would be the one cutting all the bark off and putting it on my plate and going "What?" Just so you know who I am

          #12
          Point is cubed up, dusted with Hank's (@Henrik) Bonified Beef rub and then sauced. Into the oven to tack up the sauce.

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          Meanwhile, flat hit 203 and was probe tender over 90% of the surface. Wrapped in foil and a towel to rest in a cooler. Guests arrive arond 6, so it will get a nice long rest.

          Comment


          • bbqLuv
            bbqLuv commented
            Editing a comment
            You Done Good.
            May Your Flat tender be
            May Your ends burnt
            And May your guests happy be.

          #13
          Jim White I'm extremely impressed with this. I tried to separate once, and it was a massacre. Chunks of fat, point, and flat everywhere. I know practice makes perfect, but I'm okay not learning. For now, I've been cutting off a section of point for burnt ends, a section of flat for pastrami, and the middle which has some flat and some of both for slicing. Again, well done.

          Comment


          • Jim White
            Jim White commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks. I'm starting to believe the secret is to just go really slowly. I carve away small chunks of fat until I start getting down to meat.

          #14
          I would say less than ten mins to trim and separate them. Maybe it is because I have done them so much. I also do not go crazy getting all of the surface fat off the flat. I do aggressively trim the point, once it is separated. But I rarely go in to much on getting all the silver skin off the flat and what not.

          I leave about a 1/4' on the back side of the flat, trim the deckle out, and then square up the edges.

          Also, a sharp knife and a cold brisket makes all the difference in the world. And you don't have to spend a ton on expensive knives. I do Have some expensive Global and Wustoff trimming knives, but I usually use my Rapala knife more than anything.

          Comment


          • Jim White
            Jim White commented
            Editing a comment
            Wow. I'm betting you're the forum's speed champ!

            You guys have convinced me, though. I'm ordering the Rapala knife this week.

          #15
          An electric knife speeds thing up when cutting off all that hard fat.

          Comment

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