How to Cut Brisket

Learn how to cut brisket that's grilled to medium rare or slow smoked to the falling-apart stage. Each requires a different type of knife work.

Before you grill or barbecue your brisket, look closely at the meat. You can easily see the direction of the meat fibers. Keep that in mind so when it's time to cut, you'll know the fiber direction.

Whether you're barbecuing a brisket or smoking a brisket, be aware that it's made up of two different muscles, with the grain directions running different directions. Again, remember the grain directions, or even draw a little picture so you'll know which way the grain runs.

Cutting Brisket Flats

Brisket flats don't have much internal fat, and because of that are sometimes grilled to medium, or even a medium-rare. At this stage, the connective tissue is still intact, and the meat is rather firm.

Grilled flats should be cut very thin, across the grain. It helps to cut on the bias, not driving the knive blade straight down towards the table, but making an angled cut.

Cutting Slow Cooked Briskets

When barbecuing and smoking brisket, the goal is to end up with well done, tender and juicy meat. The meat varies in tenderness depending on how long it's cooked and to the internal temperature it reaches.

At the lower end of time and temperature brisket is tender yet still slightly firm. The internal temperature of this brisket will be somewhere between 180-195 degrees. Slice the meat across the grain for sandwiches or for serving on plates.

Cooked to the upper range of doneness, the meat fibers barely hold together, and the meat easily falls apart, especially if cut across the grain. If you want slices of this one, cut the brisket along the grain, and the slices will hold together better.

Learn More About Beef Briskets

Cooking Brisket
What Are Burnt Ends
What Is a Brisket
How to Make Marinade

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