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New to smoking/trimming and need advice

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    New to smoking/trimming and need advice

    I've been lurking on the site for quite some time. Meathead's Memphis dust is what brought me here, the texas style brisket is what got me to stay.

    My first time doing brisket, I bought a generic brisket from a chain grocery store. Turned out wonderfully. I followed the guide on this site to figure out what was the point/flat and trim some fat.

    I've moved to buying my ribs from a local butcher and thought I would do the same with my brisket, but when I get brisket from them, I'm very confused at what I'm looking at. I can't tell what is what. They hang their beef for 14 days before breaking down, instead of wet aging. I'm not sure if that has something to do with it or what.

    The first brisket I got from them I thought was pretty small and they didn't give me the point. So when I ordered my second and asked for them to leave the point on, I got a whopping 22.5 lb bundle of beef. Yet again, I'm confused at what I'm looking at here. Can you help point out what I'm looking at and what I should do to trim (if anything)?

    In the pictures, I've done some cutting away of age color and rough spots.

    Looking at your third pic it looks like a brisket to me. That half moon shaped piece of fat is separating the point and flat. I usually cut that open about halfway down, at which point it'll look like the muscles become one piece, and then trim all that excess fat outta there. Hard to tell from the pics, but man 22.5 pounds is a beast of a brisket. I'm sure it's quite a bit thicker than a "normal" one, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time on that cook, and being very thick, I also highly suggest that you don't crank the heat above 250, since it'll take a long time to get the center of that bad boy to the right temp, and you don't want to burn or dry out the rest of it.


      Welcome to the Pit tubaguy50035! No help from me on briskets as I haven't cooked any (yet). Been busy with mostly pork butts and ribs.


        as Steve said, that is brisket, but it still looks like something is missing...

        If you are using a butcher, and in America they should know, but if not they should all know and fallow the NAMP which tells what every cut on every animal is. You can download and look yourself here (download the PDF) you are looking for number 120. I think what you have may be a 118. Either way a 120 is what most would call a packer (though some in my experience are 119) a 120A is the flat, 120B is the point, and a 120C is both, but separated by the butcher. Unless they do a lot of BBQ cuts a butcher might not have a clue what a packer brisket is, but if he doesn't know what the NAMP is or how to read it you need to find another butcher.

        You may notice the deckle being mentioned, there is a lot of info out there on the net that is wrong, a lot of people think the deckle is the point, but it's not, it's hard fat.


          Thanks for the thoughts. Yeah, I don't think I'll be using them again for brisket.

          I know it's a brisket, but the cut just seems off. It's like the fattiest meat side I've seen, and the leanest fat side I've seen (not that I've been around for a very long time).

          I tried my best to get rid of hard fat and leave as much soft stuff I could. I injected and will mop it. I'm worried it's going to turn out really dry due to lack of fat. I'll know in probably another 6 hours.


          • Stevehtn
            Stevehtn commented
            Editing a comment
            Just looking at it and from you saying you injected it, I'd be shocked if it ended up dry. Just make certain you wrap it tight and stick it in cooler for at least a couple hours or so. It should be good and juicy. I'd wrap and stick in the cooler right around 200-201. Trust me, it'll get to 203 on its own, especially being that thick.

          Injected, mopped, wrapped tightly. Turned out as the best brisket so far. And here I was worried...

          Thanks guys!


            Good job! tubaguy50035 My personal experience, and perhaps many of us here, is that it urns out way better than we fear. Briskets, especially misshapen ones, can be kind of intimidating until you get several under your belt.



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