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Replay – How to Trim a Brisket for Competition

originally posted November 2011

This method gives me plenty of surface area to develop a great bark, it makes it very easy to separate the point and the flat after cooking (so I can make burnt ends from the point while the flat is resting/holding), and it gives me perfectly uniform, right sized slices for my turn in box.

I’m starting with a 14 pound Angus Brisket from Restaurant Depot.

Here’s what it looks like right out of the Cryovac.

The first thing I do is remove the large hunk of fat at the separation between the point and the flat.

Then I run the tip of the knife between the point and the flat, only going in about an inch or inch and a half. This will help later when it’s time to separate them so I can rest/hold the flat and cube and make burnt ends from the point.

Next, I trim away the brown edges.

Then I remove the larger pieces of fat from the top of the flat. No need to go crazy here, just go for the bigger pieces, the rest will render during the cook.

Next, I cut off the tip perpendicular with the grain in the meat. This lets me know the direction of my slices later, because once the bark forms you won’t be able to see the grain.

Finally, I cut with the grain along the edge so all of my slices from the middle of the flat will be sized perfectly for the turn in box. No meat is wasted, I grind the trimmings to make MOINKs for my team during the comp. I don’t trim the fat cap on the point side at all.

Here’s what it should look like when all the trimming is done.

11 Responses to “Replay – How to Trim a Brisket for Competition”

  • Gary:

    Great write up and photo demonstration.

  • JS-TX:

    Thanks! I will try this method on my next brisket cook.

  • Excellent tutorial!

  • Brian:

    Mister Bob,

    Thank you for this. If you ever do a part 2, could it be a “once cooked”? I would like to see how you separate the fat cap, the flat and the point for the burnt ends.


  • Mister Bob:

    Check out this post, maybe it will help.
    Mister Bob

  • John:

    Miser Bob, Nice job! That was a nice lookin’ brisket (from Restaurant Depot). Thanks for the updates on your SMOKE-EZ. I’m sure the final brisket tasted as good it looked.


  • Mister Bob:

    John, that was what RD calls their Superior Angus Brisket. It did turn out very well.

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  • Scott:

    Hey Bob, as always, thanks for the incredibly detailed tutorial. I notice you say you don’t trim any of the fat cap at all from the flat side. I’m curious, after the brisket is done, when slicing for turn in at a competition, is there still a good deal of fat left on the bottom of your slices? Do you trim any away at that time before putting the slices in the box?


  • Mister Bob:

    I remove the fat when I separate the flat from the point. I don’t leave any fat on my slices.

  • tina cannon:

    thanks for the great detail! I will try this in my next practice cook