Do you want to learn how to cut a brisket? This guide will show you the best way to cut a brisket so that it turns out juicy and delicious.
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Selecting the brisket
The brisket comes from the cow’s breast and is separated into two cuts, the flat cut and the point cut. The point cut, also known as the deckle, is the fattier of the two and is great for smoking. The flat cut is leaner and is better suited for grilling or braising.
Pick a good quality brisket
When you are picking a brisket, pay attention to the amount of marbling. The more marbling, the more fat that is intermixed with the meat, and the more tender and flavorful it will be. Look for a brisket that has a good amount of marbling throughout. Avoid any briskets with large areas of pure white fat—this is an indication that the beef is of poor quality. Another consideration is the thickness of the brisket. A thicker brisket will take longer to cook, but it will also be more moist and tender.
Consider the size of the brisket
Size does matter when it comes to brisket. That’s because the two sections of the brisket — the flat and the point — vary wildly in size, with the flat usually being much larger. A good rule of thumb is to allow about ½ pound per person when you’re planning to serve brisket as part of a main meal. If you’re serving it as part of a buffet or as part of a larger spread of meats, allow about ¼ pound per person.
If you can’t find a whole brisket that’s the size you need, ask your butcher to cut a section from the flat or point for you. (Keep in mind that the butcher will charge by weight for this service.)
Preparing the brisket
The brisket is a tough cut of meat, so it needs to be cooked slowly in order to tenderize it. This can be done by braising, smoking, or slow cooking the brisket. In this heading, we’ll cover how to prepare the brisket for cooking. This will include trimming the fat, cutting the brisket into manageable pieces, and seasoning it.
Trim the brisket
Trimming the brisket is important because it helps remove any excess fat that will not render down during cooking. It also helps the brisket cook more evenly.
Using a sharp knife, trim the fat to 1/4-inch thickness. Be sure to trim any hard, thick pieces of fat as these will not render down and will make your brisket tough.
Season the brisket
One of the most important steps in making a great brisket is to season it properly. This will help to create a nice, flavorful crust on the outside of the meat while also infusing it with flavor. There are a few different ways that you can season a brisket, but one of the most popular is to rub it down with a dry rub.
A dry rub is simply a mixture of spices that you rub into the surface of the meat. There are many different recipes for dry rubs, but they usually include some combination of salt, pepper, paprika, and chili powder. Once you’ve rubbed the brisket down with the dry rub, you’ll want to let it sit for at least 30 minutes so that the flavors have a chance to penetrate the meat.
Another popular way to season a brisket is to marinate it in a flavorful liquid. This can be anything from apple cider to red wine, and it’s important to choose something that will complement the flavor of the beef. You’ll want to marinate the brisket for at least 8 hours, and preferably overnight, so that the flavors have time to really soak in.
Apply a dry rub (optional)
Dry rubs are optional but can add great flavor to the brisket. Apply the dry rub to the brisket at least 1 hour before cooking, and up to 24 hours in advance if you have the time. Be generous with the rub, covering the entire surface of the meat.
To make a dry rub, mix together salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and chili powder. You can adjust the proportions of these spices to suit your taste. For example, if you like things spicy, you might want to add more chili powder to the mix. Or, if you prefer a sweeter flavor profile, increase the amount of paprika.
Cooking the brisket
Before you can cook a brisket, you need to cut it. This can be a tricky process, but we’ll walk you through it step by step. First, you’ll need a sharp knife. Second, you’ll need to find the right spot to start cutting. Once you’ve found the right spot, you’ll need to make sure you’re cutting against the grain.
Preheat the oven/smoker
Preheat your oven or smoker to 225-250 degrees F before cooking the brisket. This low and slow cooking method will help to tenderize the meat and give it a deep, rich flavor.
Cook the brisket
Preheat oven to 225 degrees F (105 degrees C).
Rub the brisket with the garlic, salt, and pepper. Place the brisket in a roasting pan. Pour the beer over the brisket. Cover the pan and bake for 4 hours in the preheated oven, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices.
Remove cover from pan during last hour of cooking to allow brisket to brown.
Wrap the brisket
Wrap the brisket in butcher paper or place in a heavy-duty aluminum foil. Make sure the meat is completely covered and that there are no holes or tears in the paper or foil. Place the wrapped brisket on a baking sheet and put it in the oven. Slow cook the meat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
Resting and slicing the brisket
After you’ve let your brisket rest, it’s finally time to slice it. But before you start slicing, there are a few things you need to do to make sure the slices turn out flawlessly. First, you need to make sure the knife is sharp. A dull knife will tear the meat and make for uneven slices. Second, you need to slice the brisket against the grain. This means slicing perpendicular to the muscle fibers. Slicing with the grain will make for tougher slices.
Let the brisket rest
before slicing, let the brisket rest for 20-30 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat so they don’t all pour out when you start cutting. To rest the brisket, simply remove it from the cooking vessel and place it on a cutting board or other clean surface. Tent it loosely with aluminum foil to keep it warm.
Slice the brisket
Once you have removed the brisket from the oven or grill, let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat so they don’t all end up on your cutting board. To slice a brisket, use a sharp knife to cut across the grain of the meat in thin strips.