Brisket on a Reverse Flow Smoker: How Much Fat Do You Trim, Before Smoking?

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LeonardK
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Brisket on a Reverse Flow Smoker: How Much Fat Do You Trim, Before Smoking?

Post by LeonardK » March 16th, 2019, 9:37 pm

1st smoke brisket and pork butt, I trimmed almost all fat OFF, 15# brisket down to 7.5# before cook, butt 5.98# down to 4-5/8#

They cooked easy at 225 deg nice predictable, not as much mass or meat for a 16x36 smoker... I guess????

Anyway, it tasted really good/ smokey not falling apart but not much fat either, a good smoking success



So yesterday got some ideas from a few people who said I really should leave ALL.... ALL the fat ON..... and cook it that way and trim fat when it's done

What's best?
I'm beginning to get the idea in the middle of THIS cook, I should have trimmed most fat off, I put a drain in and have not drained much fat since I foiled at 160 deg cooking at 250, now cooking at 330 deg starting to drain a little fat, both are 18 and 16# briskets.

I put foil at 155 at 7pm about...now just went out to add coal, cooking at 325 deg and int temp of brisket still lagging at 167 trying to get it to 198 degrees internal meat probe

Haven't seen this before, someone showed me to bend the brisket, rigidity, get an idea how much fat is inside these cheap HEB $2/# briskets... I think these two have a lot of that hard stiff fat



So I'm really thinking leaving ALL that fat on makes it harder to cook and takes a lot longer.

I fully expected almost 2 gallons to cook off these two briskets, got kind of concerned and put the drain with cap, so far have not drained much more than a teaspoon of fat

My first brisket smoke I trimmed 50% that was fat or all of it and it cooked great but maybe like always claimed some of the fat could have made it taste better.

On these HEB briskets that have 50% fat content, how much do you trim off before cook?

And did I get some extreme strange or bad advice saying to leave ALL the fat on and trim off after the cook?????? This remember is on a reverse flow smoker so the fire path is just that much more convoluted... grill, offset, reverse flow


Also might be relevant, cook up to 160 for foil, it smokes and holds 225 OK at 55 degrees here now, but then I try to cook at 325 and 350 got to fill that fire box full and have air vent 11 square inches, wide open to manage 325 and this is all built by the pitcalculator numbers except I opened air from 8 to 11 inches, that's better

16x36 rev flo cooking ..jpg

Thank You
Leonard
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Re: Brisket on a Reverse Flow Smoker: How Much Fat Do You Trim, Before Smoking?

Post by towtruck » March 16th, 2019, 9:44 pm

Too much fat keeps the smoke from getting to the meat. I'm no expert by a long shot but I trim mine down to 1/8"- 1/4" max and trim off all the hard fat I can get to.



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Re: Brisket on a Reverse Flow Smoker: How Much Fat Do You Trim, Before Smoking?

Post by LeonardK » March 16th, 2019, 9:56 pm

So it sounds to me like you trim yours real lean almost as much as I trimmed that first good smoke from 15# down to 7.5#... these are $1.96/# HEB briskets, lots of fat on them


I'm trying to figure some things out, looked at the higher priced briskets and figure they charge more but still leave the fat in places where you cannot see it so the cheaper one may still be a better deal, because we both trim pretty lean

Just this once I left all the fat on, I seem to get some funny advice from my friend about this, he doesn't trim at all and doesn't like much smoke flavor either, kind of bland

Maybe I was doing just right on my first cook and could leave just a little fat next time

Nice hearing from you

Leonard



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Re: Brisket on a Reverse Flow Smoker: How Much Fat Do You Trim, Before Smoking?

Post by towtruck » March 16th, 2019, 10:13 pm

The amount of smoke you like is a personal choice......oh, in your picture above if that is how much smoke is pouring out of your cooker all the time that will be a problem.....you should have a nice thin blue smoke.



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Re: Brisket on a Reverse Flow Smoker: How Much Fat Do You Trim, Before Smoking?

Post by LeonardK » March 17th, 2019, 12:10 am

About thin blue smoke, I think this was an earlier pic, first cook ever.

Maybe because the sides were only 1 inch wide, I think they pulled when welding the end caps, inside and out are welded

Didn't like the gaps so I built up the edges with weld so they don't leak like that anymore

My friend who gives me advice; some of what he says is good but often, I just have to go with my own knowledge or feelings sometimes, he has radically different ideas and tastes, likes almost no smoke flavor where I like a lot, but he helps me with stuff I don't have experience with too.

Others tasted that first trimmed smoky cook and said they really liked it a lot. One was sometimes a competition judge in our area, said it was very good, not oversmoked.

Next cook I'm trimming kind of like you said and I first did, just not so close.

Wish I'd started building welding and smoking years ago, it's interesting using my own ideas and tastes and experimenting to optimize outcome of a cook.

Leonard



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Re: Brisket on a Reverse Flow Smoker: How Much Fat Do You Trim, Before Smoking?

Post by Dirtytires » March 17th, 2019, 12:24 pm

I always buy the best cut of brisket I can find...usda prime if they have it (and they usually do). It really does make a difference in both flavor and fat.

I trim off as much (practically all, leave maybe 1/8 inch) fat as I can before seasoning. Don’t have any desire to season and cook the fat cap just to cut it off and throw it away. Mapuche rather have seasoning on the meat.

350 is getting a bit too hot....most smoking is recommended in the 225-250 range.

Don’t be obsessed with a drain. Most of the fat and drippings will cook off so no need to keep opening the drain during a cook. Use it if you want afterwords to clean up but it’s not something to mess with during a cook-keep it closed.

At this point, focus more on getting your fire controll (thin blue smoke and constant 250 temp) and not so much on the meat. I like to learn my pit on ribs because they are inexpensive, forgiving and take up a lot of rack space so I can see hot/cold spots. Your goal is to be consistent...just 20 min of roaring smoke or 350+ temp will change your flavor profile.

Keep at it....great improvements.



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Re: Brisket on a Reverse Flow Smoker: How Much Fat Do You Trim, Before Smoking?

Post by LeonardK » March 17th, 2019, 9:53 pm

Well listened to friend who cooks competition, I don't understand reason for his bad advice... leave all the fat on the brisket, and he knows it's the cheap fatty one too, and won't get smoky with too much fat.

I did like perfect on first one. So kinda felt bad, brisket was tastless after trim so I put back on smoker salt pepper and garlic powder.
Tips are charred cooked one side and flavorless other side. Marble heads on both sides skinned clean and need smoking.

Last night 11 hours cooking, today, no meat probes, just smoking w/ mesquite 2.5 hours 225, char up and smoke those fatty skinned bare sides.

Glad you said something about lean trimming DirtyTires, confirmation, cause that was the way I thought it should be done.

Sometimes I don't know a whole lot about this smoking, get bad council and messes me up. Thank yall for speaking up.

Maybe it's like "Use the Force, Luke..." ie trust what you believe, don't doubt your instinct.

Got this down to adjusting by a turn up down damper or air up/down watch for variation.

Just loaded up charcoal fires going good n put 2 big mesquite pcs in for smoke. Now hope that smoke looks about right.

Blue Smoke I guess.jpg

My take away...especially when cooking on a reverse flow smoker, but maybe anything, trim just about ALL the fat off BEFORE cooking, no more than 1/8th inch on surface and... "Use the Force..."


Leonard
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Re: Brisket on a Reverse Flow Smoker: How Much Fat Do You Trim, Before Smoking?

Post by Big T » March 17th, 2019, 10:05 pm

It's like the guys have stated above, you have to figure out what you and your family like and stick with it. I personally don't eat chunks of fat so I trim the majority of it off before I season it.


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Re: Brisket on a Reverse Flow Smoker: How Much Fat Do You Trim, Before Smoking?

Post by Pete Mazz » March 18th, 2019, 4:35 am

:yth:


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Re: Brisket on a Reverse Flow Smoker: How Much Fat Do You Trim, Before Smoking?

Post by Mo Smoke » April 3rd, 2019, 8:50 am

I’m not an expert at Brisket. Only cooked a few. But I’ve read a lot and watched a lot of video. I do know this. Competition cooking is designed for 1 or 2 bite evaluation and winning recipes vary from coast to coast. Just because your friend cooks competition, doesn’t mean he’s a good cook. Prob hasn’t won so much as a church cookoff....You’re the new guy at this but your brisket is nice and smoky while his is bland! And who wants to eat a slab of fat !?Believe it or not he’s jealous of your food.. Sounds like you are cooking for your family and friends. Cook and season to your liking. Take notes, have fun and just keep smokin.


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Re: Brisket on a Reverse Flow Smoker: How Much Fat Do You Trim, Before Smoking?

Post by Mo Smoke » April 3rd, 2019, 8:57 am

If your buddy keeps talkin, agree to have a get together with friends and family and both of you bring brisket in identical pans with your name on the bottom so they don’t know who cooked either. The one with the most meat left in the pan has to buy the other guy a USDA prime cut Brisket. After you beat him down, you can claim you’re a competition cook too !


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Hi Mo, So What Else Is There Besides Brisket and Pork Ribs?

Post by LeonardK » July 14th, 2019, 6:25 pm

Hi Mo Smoke!

Been enjoying this RevFlo smoker, 6 er 8 briskets smoked so far and about 6 racks pork ribs 2 pork butts, skinless chicken leg quarters, hamburger

Lately looked/studied butcher charts pics of cow and hog... got parts of cow memorized ...brisket comes from behind front legs at the bottom north of the stomach. Starting to think other places having less connective tissue. Other parts commonly found economical at HEB or not too pricey at a butcher shop.
Canadian Beef Merchandising Guide.pdf
Ribs Tom Cherry Peach Coconut 646try4.jpg
16x36 cooker rev flo smk 1 - 3a.jpg
Lately also been slicing meat smaller pieces to try and make ALL of the meat SMOKE RING, give more area for smoke and stuff you put on it.

So you haven't cooked much brisket, probably been here much longer than me, more experience.
I thought brisket was the thing most people liked to cook. I want to cook some part of pig cut with more meat than just the rib, butcher says try pork loin...I will.

If it's any big chunk meat, smoke like brisket 9 to 11 hours 200-250 deg, coat with pulverized serrano pepper and salt, foil and do something... splash burbon or other things...If ribs 3.2.1 method Marinate few days in squeezed lime juice, cook coat w/ serrano 3 hrs, new fav Foil 2 hrs with brown sugar and Smuckers tart cherry fruit spread really tangy taste.


What do you like to smoke, more than brisket, what big chunk or meat or what kind of meat???


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