So there seems to be some misconceptions about what part of an Angus Beef Brisket is what…
We had a customer come in and LOUDLY proclaim that she didn’t want “any of that FATTY stuff !!!”
Folks allow me to explain a few things about briskets, more specifically OUR briskets that may explain a bit better what is and what is not gonna land on your takeout order.
( The following is said in a broad sense…it is in NO WAY the end all and be all of brisket. It’s how WE do things and what works for us and 99% of our customers. If it don’t work for you, you must be the 1%…and doesn’t that make you feel SPECIAL ? )
Here’s a picture of where the brisket comes from on the cow:
It is a notoriously TOUGH piece of meat, comprising 2 muscles and a broad band of fat between them. So you’ve got these 2 muscles – one lean and one heavily marbled with fat – separated by this large layer of fat and connective tissue called the DECKLE (actually the deckle is more complicated, but for this discussion, humor me it’ll make things easier to understand. For people that know better, you have already figured out I’m an idiot so get over it).
The best and, really, only way to get this hunk of meat edible is to cook it low (heat-wise) and slow (for a looooooong time). That’s why here, and a lot of other places, the lead cook looks like 362 miles of bad road… He or she spent quite a bit of time trimming a bunch of briskets at 2 or 3 in the afternoon, has applied a dose of “rub” on what seems like a metric ton of big ‘ol briskets, then spent the next 10-20 hours babysitting them in a smoker at temps from 225 degrees to 275 degrees. With the eye of a Rembrandt they look for the color and texture changes that indicate any number of things depending on the Pitmaster: add wood, lower the temps, open or close air ducts. Then they might decide “additives” are required. They’ll spray with any number of things: water, vinegar, Jack Daniels or in our case, Pixie Dust and Unicorn Dandruff mixed in Madrone wooden bowls harvested from a secret enchanted forest outside Waddel, AZ and then chased with Everclear…oh wait, the Everclear is for the cook.
Anyway, since we have trimmed a great deal of the excess fat from the brisket, it’s not THAT fat a piece of meat when in hits the smoker. The rest of what remains of the fat is left on to keep the meat moist… As the fat “renders” or melts off, it protects the leaner portions from drying out like shoe leather. So on a “good” brisket there are 2 portions: The lean “flat” and the more fatty “point”.
The flat is usually sliced against the grain and is very lean and tender.
Then there is “the point”….and that my friends is where the golden nuggets of flavor excellence is: The Burnt Ends…The Point being exceptionally moist and tender and full of Pixie Dust and Unicorn Dandruff rub, caramelized from heat and Everclear…I tell ya THAT is the reward for all the sleep lost watching the fires and making sure everything is just so with the vigilance of a Meerkat…
You can see the caramelized rub, the “smoke ring” and the looseness of the meat fibers in this photo.
Is it a “fattier” piece of meat? Yup. Absolutely.
Is it “Fatty”? Uhhhh…no. It has a lot of very juicy sections with a lot of rendered fat that may “look” fatty.
In the end, you really just gotta trust us and realize we _do_ trim the “waste fat” off and we’re not gonna serve you anything that may be pure fat…because that’s what we eat !!! I mean why waste it ?