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How to Finish Trimming a Brisket for Barbecue

Learn how to finish trimming a packer brisket from Pork Barrel BBQ pitmasters Heath Hall and Brett Thompson in this Howcast video.


You also have this here, which is kind of just a hanging piece of meat. I'm just going to kind of square this up here, make sure we get a nice, even cook. I also like to trim the very far edge, just to get rid of this piece that's been exposed to some oxygen, and it's oxidized. Sometimes it will have an off color to it, just like to get rid of that. Again, don't throw any of this away, you can use it, you can make hamburger meat out of it, it's a really good thing to keep.

And then over here, we're also going to trim off this side of fat and square it up. So then, again, here's the point, here's the flat. There is a really tough piece of fat, it's kind of a V or a triangle in there, we want to get most of that out of there, so just kind of take your knife, and don't be shy, you're not going to hurt the piece of meat. Really get in there and kind of expose this V, because this is where the point annex to the flap. Now you don't have to do all this trimming if you don't want to, you know, it's perfectly fine to put it on the smoker the way it comes out, but I like to do a little bit of this to expose more meat, so that more of my seasoning is going to be actually producing some flavor for me when it's cooking, and also so that the smoke; the oak, the hickory, the cherry, whatever you might be using, is really able to permeate into the meat.

Now I'm just going to come over here, I like to kind of separate the point just a little bit from the flat, because it will give you also a really good guide when you want to cut this point off of the flat, after the cooking process is done for the flat part, where you want to put this back on for burnt hands. So that's pretty good for right here, for backyard briskets. Again let me just say, don't let the size of this meat intimidate you, it is a big piece of meat, but there's really little difference in cooking this than cooking a steak, or a chicken other than time. This is almost a thing where you sit it on your smoker, you make sure that your smoker has enough fuel and is set at the right temperature, and there's not a lot you have to do with it other than making sure you don't run out of fuel.

So give this a try, I guarantee you're going to be really thrilled with the results. You're going to have a succulent, juicy, tender piece of meat, it's affordable, it feeds a lot of people, and I guarantee you it's going to be impressive to your friends and family when they come to see a giant 10, 15 pound piece of meat sitting on the table at your next barbecue.

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