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Separating a Brisket Question

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  • ssandy_561
    Charter Member
    • Apr 2015
    • 1391
    • Central OHIO

    Separating a Brisket Question

    I have searched the internet for this question and I have not found the answer. Maybe someone here can answer my question.

    What is the reason one should NOT separate a brisket before cooking.

    I have seen and read many things on the reason a brisket is sorta difficult to cook is that the two seperate muscles that comprise it cook at different rates.

    Why should you leave it whole instead of breaking it down to "Flat" and "Point" before cooking it?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Thanks

    Steve
  • Steve R.
    Club Member
    • Jul 2016
    • 2497
    • Elizabethtown, KY
    • Current line-up of cookers: Weber 26" kettle w/ SnS and BBQ Guru adapter; Weber Smokey Mountain 22" w/ Guru adapter.

    #2
    About the only time I don't separate it before cooking is if I don't have enough available space on the grate, so I guess that's my reason. It works fine either way, but I prefer the all-over bark and somewhat shorter cook time of two separate pieces.

    Comment

    • klflowers
      Club Member
      • Sep 2015
      • 3655
      • Tennessee

      #3
      No reason not too, I don't think. I haven't separated before but I am going to separate my next one. Make pastrami out of the flat maybe.

      Comment

      • parkerj2
        Former Member
        • Aug 2016
        • 115

        #4
        I've never separated before cooking. Great results every time.

        Comment

        • SmokingSteve
          Club Member
          • Jun 2018
          • 345
          • Mesa Arizona
          • SmokingSteve

          #5
          Thanks for asking this question, I would like to know also!

          Comment

          • Jerod Broussard
            Moderator
            • Jun 2014
            • 10016
            • East Texas
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            #6
            Most, if not all BBQ joints cook together due to space. I like to separate if possible (read- if I got room) to get more bark on the point for burnt ends. I have two to start Saturday evening and still debating. They are currently dry brining.

            Comment

            • HouseHomey
              Club Member
              • May 2016
              • 5554
              • Huntington Beach, Ca. Surf City USA.
              • Equipment
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              #7
              Whatever makes your boat float.

              Im sure you’ll find plenty of both sides.

              if I wanted to cook a big piece of flat I would have bought that.

              Comment

              • HawkerXP
                Club Member
                • Jul 2016
                • 6299
                • Virginia
                • 2 Weber Performers, 1 kettle, 1 Smoky Joe and a PBC
                  Thermopops
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                #8
                I guess its the same as to spatchcock or not. Your preference if guess.

                Comment

                • ifican
                  Club Member
                  • Jul 2017
                  • 55

                  #9
                  There is no technical reason you should not. There are quite a few technical reasons to do many things but most live by standards still today that are based on myths of old. BBQ is much like wine or food or tv shows or input what you like here. The best way of all of it is the way you like best. We all experiment and play and learn and share, sometimes we discover new things, sometimes we re-learn something we once did or forgot about and sometimes we screw up royally. Personally i dont separate, simply because i dont have a need too. Would i if there was a need, technique or recipe i would like to try? Sure i would, the only time ive done anything to a whole packer is when i cut it up into 2lb pieces to play with a few ideas i had and thought it was a good idea so i would not have to cook several packers. Well what i learned was, you cannot successfully recreated how a large chunk of meat acts by using much smaller piece of said meat. You can via sous vide but you cant using standard practice on a grill. In this case, size does matter.

                  Comment

                  • Mosca
                    Charter Member
                    • Oct 2014
                    • 3774
                    • PA
                    • Large Big Green Egg, Weber Performer Deluxe, Weber Smokey Joe Silver, Maverick 732, DigiQ, and too much other stuff to mention.

                    #10
                    I separate.

                    I liken this discussion to Steve Raichlen soaking his wood chips. Everyone here says not to do it, but Raichlen undeniably turns out fantastic food.

                    That means that in theory you shouldn’t soak your wood chips, but in practice it doesn’t seem to matter. Same thing with separating point and flat. In theory it should make better ‘que, but in practice it doesn’t seem to matter.

                    So, separate to speed things up if you need to. Otherwise don’t stress.

                    Comment


                    • HawkerXP
                      HawkerXP commented
                      Editing a comment
                      ssssh. don't tell anyone. I soak my chips too.

                    • ofelles
                      ofelles commented
                      Editing a comment
                      HawkerXP shame! 😊
                  • Belfagor
                    Charter Member
                    • May 2015
                    • 11
                    • Thornton, CO

                    #11
                    I separate. More surface area means greater chance of drying out if you're not careful, especially on the point with its now severe differences in thickness. Like pretty much everything that saves time, you have less margin of error.

                    Comment

                    • Huskee
                      Administrator
                      • May 2014
                      • 15552
                      • central MI, USA
                      • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

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                        About me
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                        Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

                        Occupation:
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                      #12
                      Here's the reason why I usually don't separate: My guests like seeing me bring in that big ol' hunk of meat and slice it up. Like an intact roasted turkey, it has appeal as a solid unit. Logically though, it makes sense to separate based on cooking each piece to its best point, and you get a little extra bark too.

                      Comment

                      • Dadof3Illinois
                        Club Member
                        • Jul 2017
                        • 955
                        • Southeast Illinois

                        #13
                        I don’t usually separate but instead I cut straight in-half up close to the point. IMO the flat under the point is crazy good. I just trimmed and cut one today. Smoking the point tomorrow and making corned beef with the remaining flat.

                        Comment


                        • Schwyy
                          Schwyy commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Picking up a full packer soon, and this was my exact plan. Do you have any pictures of this cook? I know Pitmaster Club members generally snap a few pics of our projects!

                          Im torn on a full seperation and full flat for corned beef/pastrami, or do what you said and have a point with a better shape for cooking and have less for pastrami.....

                          Let me know if you can!
                      • Jerod Broussard
                        Moderator
                        • Jun 2014
                        • 10016
                        • East Texas
                        • Pit Barrel Cooker "Texas Brisket Edition"
                          Weber One Touch Premium Copper 22" Kettle (gift)
                          Slow 'n Sear for 22" Kettle
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                          Thermoworks Timestick
                          Cambro Model 300MPC110 w/ Winco SS Pans
                          B & B and Kingsford Charcoal
                          B & B Pellets

                        #14
                        I'll have a definite answer in about (x amount) of hours. I have one separated and one together with plenty trimming between the muscles. Some extramuscular fat, less intramuscular fat, even less intermuscular fat.

                        Comment


                        • SmokingSteve
                          SmokingSteve commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Looking forward to hearing your results!
                      • Huskee
                        Administrator
                        • May 2014
                        • 15552
                        • central MI, USA
                        • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

                          Smokers / Grills
                          • Yoder loaded Wichita offset smoker
                          • PBC
                          • Grilla Silverbac pellet grill
                          • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (SnSK)
                          • Masterbuilt Gravity 560
                          • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
                          • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (black)
                          • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (light blue)
                          • Weber Jumbo Joe Gold (18.5")
                          • Weber Smokey Joe Silver (14.5")
                          • Brinkmann cabinet charcoal smoker (repurposed)

                          Thermometers
                          • (3) Maverick XR-50: 4-probe Wireless Thermometers
                          • (7) Maverick ET-732s
                          • (1) Maverick ET-735 Bluetooth (in box)
                          • (1) Smoke X4 by ThermoWorks
                          • Thermapen MkII, orange
                          • ThermoPop, yellow
                          • ThermoWorks ChefAlarm
                          • Morpilot 6-probe wireless
                          • ThermoWorks Infrared IRK2
                          • ThermoWorks fridge & freezer therms as well

                          Accessories
                          • Instant Pot 6qt
                          • Anova Bluetooth SV
                          • Kitchen Aide mixer & meat grinder attachment
                          • Kindling Cracker King (XL)
                          • BBQ Dragon
                          • Weber full & half chimneys, Char-Broil Half Time chimney
                          • Weber grill topper
                          • Slow 'N Sear Original, XL, and SnS Charcoal Basket (for Jumbo Joe)
                          • Drip 'N Griddle Pan, 22' Easy Spin Grate, and Elevated Cooking grate, by ABCbarbecue
                          • Pittsburgh Digital Moisture Meter

                          Beverages
                          • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
                          • Fav other beer: DAB, Sam Adams regular, Third Shift amber or Coors Batch 19, Stella Artois
                          • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
                          • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
                          • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
                          • Whiskey: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Blanton's, Old Forester 1870, Elijah Craig, Basil Hayden's. Neat please.
                          • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

                          About me
                          Real name: Aaron
                          Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

                          Occupation:
                          • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

                        #15
                        Originally posted by Jerod Broussard View Post
                        I'll have a definite answer in about (x amount) of hours. I have one separated and one together with plenty trimming between the muscles. Some extramuscular fat, less intramuscular fat, even less intermuscular fat.
                        It is remarkably selfless of you to jump in and cook 2 briskets, one each way, to help answer this fella Steve's question and give him a direct side-by-side. That's what makes AmazingRibs.com's Pitmaster Club one of a kind in customer service!

                        Comment


                        • Jerod Broussard
                          Jerod Broussard commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Shoot, if nothing is definitive I'm doing two more by Thursday. Thank goodness for Choice in the bin at $2.46/lb, hate to pay that much for a darn Select/Standard/How old was thing dang cow??!!!

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