You have spent hours watching your smoker and now that brisket is done.
Now it is ready to slice it and serve it to the crowd that is waiting for it. Do you really know how to cut a brisket or did you just start out the way I did and did not cut it against the grain?
I did the slicing of my first brisket all wrong and ended up with tough-to-eat meat simply because I did not cut it the right way.
Cutting a whole beef brisket in slices can be a little intimidating. After all, it is an expensive piece of meat.
Before You Start Cutting
One of the first mistakes you can make is slicing the brisket fresh from the grill. Let the brisket ones it has an internal temperature of about 203 degrees Fahrenheit rest.
The best way to do this is by wrapping it, or keeping it in the aluminum foil you used, and a few towels. Place it in a cooler for a minimum of 1 hour and longer if you can.
Resting a brisket will allow the juices to be absorbed back into the meat.
Tools You Need To Slice A Brisket.
You could use put it on the countertop but this can cause cross-contamination and is not suggested for that reason
Large Cutting Board
It might be hard to find but the best cutting board for slicing a brisket should be large enough for the whole brisket.
I suggest having bought one before the cooking so you can also use it for trimming a brisket.
Sharp Slicing Knife
Don’t think that any knife will do when we are talking about cutting a brisket into slices.
Briskets are sliced in thin slices and that can only be achieved with a well-sharpened slicing knife.
I have written a guide about the best knives for cooking and in that guide, you can read about slicing knives.
Cutting A Brisket The Right Way – Step By Step
Now you have all the things ready it is time to start slicing. One tip I can give is that if you are not eating the whole brisket cut off only what you will eat today.
This will keep the rest of the brisket remain its moisture longer.
Do You Cut A Brisket With The Grain Or Against The Grain?
Remember to cut against the grain! Watch the video if you wonder how to do that.
Step 1: Separate The Point And The Flat
Since it is very important to cut meat against the grain and both the flat and the point have different directions in their fibers they have to be sliced separately.
Step 2: Remove The Fat
If your brisket was trimmed perfectly you can skip this step. If not then it is important to cut off as much fat as you think will ruin the taste.
Step 3: Cut Of The Tip
Many times the tip is already overcooked and for that reason, it is best cut off and used for burnt ends.
Step 4: Cutting The Flat
Now you have removed the fat from the point it is time to cut this, in my opinion, the best piece of the brisket.
Use a sharp slicing knife and make your slicing as long and smooth as possible. I like my slices to be about the thickness of a pencil or slightly thinner.
Step 5: Cutting The Point
I have read of people cutting the point in half before slicing but I prefer not to do that.
The point can have grain that runs differently in some parts of the point. You will have to find the grain before slicing that part.
Cutting A Brisket- Summary And My Opinion
After putting all that work into prepping and cooking that nice brisket it would be worth your while to take the time to slice it the right way.
Video On How To Cut A Brisket
After reading all of this I am sure you would like to see it in action. I have a video here that I used myself to learn better how to cut a whole beef brisket.
As I mentioned before I have ruined pieces of briskets by slicing it the wrong way, By the wrong way I mean not cutting against the grain.
Remember to use a sharp slicing knife and slice it against the grain to keep your sliced brisket moist and juicy.
If you feel you can add some tips on how to slice a brisket let me know in the comments.
Eddie van Aken
Eddie van Aken has years of experience in running his full-service restaurant and with this came working with using and dealing with all types of kitchen equipment. With his experience, he can find all the pros and cons of grills and add them to the grill reviews and the outdoor cooking tips he is writing about. You can read more on the About page for Eddie van Aken