The one brisket trimming video to rule them

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I just googled ‘aerodynamic brisket’ and it bought me straight back here. Gods, I love passion even when I don’t really understand it.

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Sure you get consistent quality throughout, but there’s an awful lot of brisket not getting smoked this way.
I’m usually happy to have some juicier, some chewier brisket in the final product.

Oh and buy your brisket from Costco – they sell Prime full-packer (flat and point) briskets for $3-4/lb, versus $6-8 for trimmed choice flats. They’re too fatty to braise, but pretty much foolproof on the smoker.


“brisket restaurant”

Would like to your attention to Texas Monthly magazine, which – as far as I’m aware – is the only large-market magazine with a full-time BBQ editor.

I don’t have time to watch 20 minutes worth of butchery at the moment. But I’ve seen Aaron Franklin dress a brisket before.

Most of what he cuts off is excess fat that probably won’t be eaten anyways. So it basically just gets in the way of bark formation and smoke getting to the meat. The rest is inedible bits like gristle and silver skin, or very thin parts of the meat that will over cook to the point where you won’t end up eating them.

It’s all stuff that’ll go to waste if you smoke it for 12+ hours. But can be used other ways if you cut it off first.

The fat can be used for sausage or to fortify ground meat for burgers (as can any meat trimmed off). Or rendered out for frying and variety of other uses. Even the silver skin and gristle can be used for stock.

It less about consistency (though that’s part of it) than it is controlling waste. Controlling waste is controlling cost.

I think it’s a bit fussy for home but if you’re into any of those other things you’re getting more out of the brisket by trimming properly.


Right. I think the main point (outside of “aerodynamics”) is that the fat cap doesn’t melt. So trimming it so there’s only a ¼” of fat means when you slice and serve people won’t toss the tasty bark when they ignore a big fatty piece. Ideally, anything trimmed isn’t wasted. I don’t know if he talks about it here, but knowing there are two muscles and the grain can be helpful when cutting and serving because it’s hard to tell after it’s smoked.

And at least with Mr Franklin, he uses a super simple rub because he buys high quality cuts of meat. It’s just fine to get a cheaper cut of meat and play around with different spices and techniques.


His cookbook is excellent

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This, and that the smoke doesn’t penetrate to the meat unless you trim it.

ETA: Oh, and I forgot to mention that in other videos, he says that the brisket trimmings do not go to waste - they go into Franklin BBQ’s sausage.


Not sure it’s in that video, but the other demos and appearances I’ve seen him do he sometimes partially separates the deckle from the flat. Almost creating a fin or crook shape to the brisket. Both to get silver skin and fat out of the seam, and to get the smoke more access to each of the muscles. It creates an obvious division for them to be separated during carving, cooks more evenly and leaves more of each covered in bark.

From what I gather this more of a competition thing. Where rules require cooking a whole brisket. A lot of people (including Franklin) advocate separating the two muscles and cooking them entirely separate. Or separating them once the flat is done.

That has more to do with the fact that he’s making Texas style barbeque. The main Central Texas style there, and the one most celebrated nationally. Only uses salt and pepper (Dalmatian rub). Other areas may add some red pepper or use SPOG. But generally Texas bbq involves very simple rubs. Most beef applications (and lamb or mutton where it pops up) use pretty simple rubs.

The more complicated ones you see, especially the ones with a lot of sugar, tend to be for pork. And come from the Midwest, Tennessee and a few other places. A lot of Carolina bbq uses fairly simple rubs on pork.

It’s largely a stylistic thing, and you’ll see it regardless of what grade of beef some one is pushing. Generally simple tends to be better in my experience. Too much going on and it just gets kinda muddy and generically barbequey. Like a bbq potato chip.


Video link for the BBS


If someone has Jon Favreau’s email address they might want to forward this video and article to him.
I’ve seen him wax eloquently for 10 minutes on brisket trimming on his TV show CHEF.

I have not had any good brisket since I was stationed in USAF bootcamp in Texas 1970’s. That is one of the few happy memories I have of my time in that state.
( They did not like Califonians very much )
Try-Tip is the big beef here in California.

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Los Angeles had some upscale, shabby chic bbq places that were tasty, but I can’t imagine a bbq restaurant in TX putting shaved fennel on their food. I always wanted to take my friends from Texas. My favorite was describing their “red sauce” then listing the ingredients that are in ketchup.

Oakland has some amazing barbecue.


I hear Horn bbq is great.

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If that’s the one Favreau does with Roy Choi, there’s already a ten minute segment in one episode where Jon and Roy chat with and watch Aaron Franklin do just this. And then they eat bbq and drink beer. It’s awesome.

ETA this:


3 minutes in. Man! I thought he’d never start cutting that thing. He was like Art Carney getting ready to sign something.

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