Big Brisket Being Seasoned

Should You Trim a Brisket’s Fat?

A brisket will almost always be covered in healthy fat and silverskin when you get it home from the butcher.

No matter how long you cook it, it won’t render, and your rub won’t taste the meat either.

One of the most crucial procedures is cutting your brisket because of this.

Though it can be intimidating to hack away at this substantial, costly cut, we have simplified the process and provided step-by-step instructions.

This article will cover the question: Is it better to remove that fat or keep it in place?

About the brisket

Full briskets, often called whole packers, can weigh up to 20 pounds, but 12 to 14 pounds is more typical. The steer’s lower chest, which is an active area throughout its life, is where the cut is made.

This activity results in a naturally tough cut of beef. There is also a significant amount of fat present; however, you can remove some of this fat. That is what we are here to discuss.

Untrimmed vs. trimmed brisket

Once cooked, trimmed brisket has a uniform appearance and tasty texture. Large chunks of springy fat may remain when it hasn’t been cut. The secret is to trim a brisket’s fat just enough to prevent it from drying out during the lengthy cooking period.

Should Brisket Be Trimmed?

Let’s answer this question now; as the meat cooks, the marbling in the brisket should render away, giving the meat moisture and taste. Many fats might be left behind, but you need to remove some fats.

If you don’t trim the brisket, you might have to remove some extra fat when you carve the cooked meat; this can be annoying, especially after waiting for the meat to cook for so long.

On the other side, brisket that has been over-trimmed may come out overly dry. The ideal cooking temperature yields moist, tender brisket with little to no fat left over.

We advise cutting the fat cap until only a quarter-inch of creamy white fat is visible on the flat surface of the brisket. After this, you should have enough fat left over to keep the meat from drying out while it cooks.

Remove the deckle if you choose. It might be challenging to accomplish without splitting the point and the flat; even so, it is still possible. The deckle was removed, leaving only a little pocket in its place.

Removing the fat seam between the point and the flat is difficult if you intend to smoke the entire packer. Try to trim away as much of this fat and sinew without separating the two halves. Of course, if you want, you can divide them.

Now that we clear that in mind, let’s talk about how to trim your brisket.

Trimming a brisket

Trimming involves more than just removing fat. Consider your options for shaping the brisket.

It was trimming the flat muscle into an oval form by removing the smaller, more delicate corner parts that would dry out. As a result, the meat can be heated and smoked all around.

Before you begin trimming

When a brisket warms up, the softer milk-like fat resembles jello. Before trimming, ensure the brisket is cool since the colder the fat is, the easier it is to slice it off.

You need to take the brisket out of the refrigerator as soon as possible and trim it.

Cut the plastic open, then set the brisket on a sizable cutting board.

Trim the soft fat first.

Start cutting thin slices of the fat at the top of the brisket with a sharp knife while angling it away; also, use elastic rubber gloves to hold the brisket while trimming and avoid a messy, greasy hand. The fat may heat up and become challenging to trim, so exercise caution but try to go swiftly.

After trimming all of the softer fat that tends to be present throughout the brisket, I always move on to trimming the firmer deckle fat. You can save this fat for the last trimming piece because it is very dense and won’t soften up.

Although it is acceptable to leave about 14 an inch of fat on the meat, some people prefer the flavor, so you can trim as close to the flesh as possible to get more rub on the meat. It is a matter of personal preference, but continue reading, and I’ll discuss this topic in greater detail.

Continue to trim the fat, being careful not to go all the way through the meat.

Remove any extra seams or fat edges.

As you continue working, you’ll see some borders virtually formed of fat. Remove these by trimming them. To assist the edge of the brisket, you need to cut at an angle.

Additionally, keep an eye out for and gently remove any fat seams that run through the meat.

Spin your cutting board around to work on the brisket from various angles.

Take additional care to scrape away any healthy fat as you work. The cook will cause the soft fat to render away, but you need to remove the hard fat.

Trim the corners.

Round off any corners because the thin ones will dry out over the cook. Given that you can always throw these things away after the cook, this isn’t as crucial as eliminating the hard fat. However, I like to clean it up now.

It’s time to flip your brisket over; most of the fat has been removed, and it is like this.

Trim the brisket’s underside.

Although it’s optional, leveling off my brisket and preparing it for an equal smoke is a bit of help (meaning good bark all the way around). Feel free to move on to step two without performing the underneath trimming.

Follow along if you want to trim the underside a little. Trim the fat and extra silverskin off this side of the brisket by setting the brisket fat cap down.

Take one last look.

Make sure the brisket is well distributed and there are no significant fat invasions between the flat and the tip by giving it one last inspection. Continuing to follow the valley you entered can easily remove the point if you want to cook it independently. But many chefs advise leaving it on, and I tend to concur.

And once it is done trimming and you’re already smoking, ensure to cover your hand with the heat when you’re checking or unloading the brisket; you can use heat-resistant gloves for protection. It is great to enjoy smoking your brisket while staying safe.


So, should the brisket be trimmed? We believe it’s smart, particularly if your purchase cut is connected to a significant fat cap. Just be careful not to remove too much, or your brisket may become dry.

And we hope that this guide and tips help you achieve your perfect brisket; you can check more smoking brisket pro tips in this article. 

If you have any suggestions or questions, feel free to reach us! 


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