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Oddly shaped brisket

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    Oddly shaped brisket

    Hello All-

    Let me start by introducing myself, I'm new to the Pitmaster Club as of this week but a long time visitor to Amazing Ribs. I figured that joining the Pit to support this wonderful website was the least I could do to thank the team here for all of their hard work over the years.

    I've very much found my comfort zone working with Pork and Chicken and most cuts of beef, but this weekend I'm venturing into new territory with my first whole packer brisket. With my Weber Kettle and PBC I've done a lot of HOF's but never a whole packer. Big party this weekend so I've got one dry brining now with plans to get going around 2am tonight.

    Here's the issue: I bought my packer from an excellent local butcher shop that's been working in South Jersey for 100+ years (shout out to Bringhurst Meats), and they butchered this side of beef themselves at the shop. So I've got a nice fresh slab of beef, but it seems to me to be irregular in shape, at least it doesn't look like anything I've found here on the site. Check this 16lb+ guy out..

    This is before trimming. You can see there was little fat cap left on, so I didn't remove much of that at all. It just seems like the Flat is huge on this cut, and it's kind of freaking me out! The portion in the bottom right of the photo in particular is what I think is normally not part of a full packer. Could anyone tell me what I'm dealing with here? The brisket itself is not very thick, it's getting it's weight from it's length and width. I'm wondering if I should just trim that excess Flat muscle off? Or maybe leave it alone and just treat it as a thinner piece of flat and see what happens?

    Also, I have no idea how I'd hang this thing on the PBC hooks. I could give it a shot maybe with 4 hooks, 1 in each corner, or maybe I should just go with the grate for the whole cook?

    Any insight that anyone could provide would be much appreciated! Figures that I'd get this odd ball on my first attempt at a full packer, but hopefully the freshness of the beef will make up for the odd cut. Thanks in advance for your help!

    Others more experienced with PBC cooking will no doubt assist you here, but I try to trim my fat to about an 1/8 of an inch.


      I would like to see the flat side. I'd trim that vertical fat/silver skin off to see the meat underneath. Depending on the thickness of the point, you may want to separate it off. If you cook on the grate (and I would, it would hurt for a hook to fail!), I'd likely leave the top fat on to give a buffer. I'll bet that this is going to be some really tasty beef!


        Thanks for the quick response Candy. Unfortunately I'm at work and this is the only photo I took last night.
        But the flat side is huge, almost square, and uniform in grain pretty much from one end to the other.
        I've already taken off that silver skin you see on the bottom right, and I cut out most of the hard fat between muscles. I think I agree that I may have to just completely separate them.
        I guess my only concern then, (besides this totally messing with my head today!) is the large portion of thin flat that will have little or no fat cap coverage on either side. Seems like there won't be much to do besides accept that it will come out over done and try to prepare it as chopped brisket mixed with some fat and sauce as Meathead recommends in his recipe.
        I may also adjust my budgeted time way down, separated muscles and a large but thin flat will likely cook much faster I'd guess.


          I am in the habit of separating my flat from the point, mostly because they cook differently and I prepare and serve them differently. I hang them both and I trim as much fat as possible. If you do cook it on the grate I would leave a little fat on and cook it fat side down. If hanging I would take it to the grate around 180 just to be sure. My falling brisket was due to most of the hook being in the point, leaving a heavy, injected flat hanging from a melting connection of fat.


          • TonyL
            TonyL commented
            Editing a comment
            If I separate I probably will hang both. Do you typically wait until 180 so you get a nice bark? And then go to the grate for the crutch?
            Side note, just noticed your profile, I lived in Fayetteville/Bentonville for 4 years myself, that's where my wife is from

          • _John_
            _John_ commented
            Editing a comment
            TonyL small place, I probably know her if she's my age. My bark seems pretty well tied to the amount of rub I have on it, if I have a lot it seems to be closer to 170. I usually wrap and then hit the grate sometime around there. I have cooked straight through a couple times, I prefer wrapped.


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