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These days Brisket is one of the most popular cuts of meat for the barbecue in Texas. This breast-cut piece of beef has known less popular times due to its toughness. Now it is considered by many to be the best meat for barbecuing and smoking. Everybody that can spare some time to prepare it can put a wonderful dish on the table.
Brisket is the cut that is used to make Corned Beef It is a hard piece of meat with a layer of fat and a lot of connecting tissue.
The beef cut goes under various names in different countries:
French – poitrine
American English – brisket
German – brustfleisch
Spanish – pecho
Italian – petto
Portuguese – peito alto
Dutch – borststuk
Know your brisket
The brisket is made up from different parts. The point and the flat, these two muscles are separated by a thick seam of fat.
1 The Point, also called the deckle, is the part of the brisket that has the most fat on it. You can see that there are more marble-like lines running through it
2 The Flat is the part of the brisket that is generally flatter than the point.
One side of the brisket will be covered with a layer of fat. Many barbecue lovers debate if the fat cap should be placed face down on the BBQ, or whether it should be facing up.
How to cut your brisket
The best prepared brisket can end up tough. Often this is due to wrong cutting. Slicing against the grain of the muscle is best way to avoid a tough brisket. The tricky thing with brisket is that the grain of the point and flat run in different directions. They also sit on top of one another, which makes it double difficult to get it right.
Justin Fourton’s method for trimming briskets is to cut the front portion of the flat against the grain until the point starts to get in the way. Then he separates the point and the remaining portion of the flat along the thick seam of fat between the two muscles. This way he can slice each of the two muscles directly correctly for maximum tenderness.
How to prepare your brisket
To break down all the connective tissue and make the brisket meat tender, one needs a slow cooking process at a low temperature. This makes this meat quite good for smoking and slow cooking methods like Dutch oven recipes or simply in a regular oven at a low temperature.