How To Cut A Brisket

How to cut a brisket the right way? There is nothing like the flavor of a smoked brisket. And, there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of smoking one yourself. If you’re new to smoking meats, cutting a brisket may seem daunting. But, with a little guidance, it’s easy to do. In this blog post, I’ll show you how to cut brisket and provide tips for cooking it perfectly. So, whether you’re an experienced smoker or just starting out, read on for all you need to know about slicing up a brisket.

Knowing The Two Parts Of The Brisket

The first thing you need to know about cutting a brisket is that it consists of two main parts: the flat and the point. The flat is the thicker, more marbled part of the meat that’s usually used for slicing. It has layers of fat that render out during cooking, adding flavor and moisture to your meal. The point is the thinner, fattier part that’s usually used for shredding or chopping into cubes.

How To Cut A Brisket
How To Cut A Brisket

Fat Content Of Brisket

When cutting a brisket, it’s important to take the fat content into account. The fat will render out as the meat cooks and if there’s too much of it, your dish can end up greasy. On the other hand, not enough fat and your meal could turn out dry and flavorless. To get the most from your meat, you should aim for between 25-30% fat content.

The Most Important Thing To Know About Slicing Brisket

Now that you understand the parts of the brisket and its fat content, let’s talk about how to cut a brisket. And, here’s the most important thing you need to know: always slice against the grain. When slicing a brisket, look for the lines of muscle fiber in the meat and make sure your knife is cutting across them—not along them. Cutting with the grain will make your slices tough and chewy. But, slicing against the grain ensures each bite is tender and juicy.

How Do You Know The Grain Of The Brisket?

  • To find the grain of the brisket, run your fingers over the surface of the meat. The grain refers to the direction of the muscle fibers.
  • If you are planning on slicing the meat, it is best to cut it against the grain. This means that you will need to slice perpendicular to the direction of muscle fibers.
  • If you are planning on shredding the meat, it is best to cut it with the grain. This means that you will need to slice in the same direction as the muscle fibers.

How To Cut A Brisket

As any BBQ aficionado knows, brisket is one of the most delicious and challenging meats to cook. The key to success is in the slicing. Here are five easy steps for slicing a brisket the right way.

What You Need Before You Slice

A well-rested brisket: This is crucial because it enables the liquids to evenly redistribute throughout the meat, making the brisket juicier and more delicious.

A brisket slicing knife: A sharp, long-bladed slicing knife is the best tool for the job.

Large butcher’s block: This will give you a stable surface to hold the brisket while slicing.

A serving platter:  The brisket should be placed on a platter for serving after being cut into slices.

BBQ sauce: Although it’s optional, an excellent barbecue sauce might provide the ideal dipping sauce for your slices.

Step 1: Let It Rest

After smoking, take the brisket off the smoker and place it on a butcher block or cutting board. Let it sit for at least an hour until it is cool enough to handle. This will help evenly redistribute liquids throughout the meat.

Step 2: Choose The Right Knife

BBQ brisket is mouth-wateringly delicious, but it can be tough to cut if you don’t have the right knife. A good brisket knife should be long enough to comfortably slice through the entire piece of meat, and it should have a serrated edge for sawing through stubborn fat and connective tissue. In addition, the blade should be made from a high-quality material like stainless steel or carbon steel. A 14-inch slicing knife should be sufficient for most briskets. With the right knife in hand, you’ll be able to confidently carve up your brisket like a pro.

Step 3: Find The Grain

Once the brisket has rested, look for the grain of the meat. This is important because you want to make sure your slices are cut against them. To do this, take your fingers and run them along the top of the brisket until you can feel which direction the muscle fibers are running.

Step 4: Cut — Firmly But Gently

Once you’ve located the grain, take your slicing knife and begin to cut. Cutting your brisket against the grain into thin slices about ¼-inch thick. Make sure you’re using a sawing motion and applying consistent pressure as you slice. Remember, it’s important to be firm but gentle with the blade — too much force and you’ll end up crushing the meat. As you slice, make sure you keep your cuts perpendicular to the grain of the meat so that each bite is tender and juicy.

Step 5: Harvest The “Burnt Ends”

The “burnt ends” are the crispy, crunchy pieces of bark and fat that have been smoked to perfection. Once you have finished slicing the brisket, look for these little nuggets of deliciousness at the end of your cuts — they will be sure to add a unique flavor kick to your sandwich or side dish.

Video How To Cut Brisket

Plan B: Chopped Brisket

If you don’t have the time or knowledge to slice your brisket, chopping it is an easy alternative. To do this:

  • Use a sharp knife to separate the fatty areas from the leaner ones.
  • Then take a cleaver or butcher’s knife and chop the fat and lean sections into bite-sized chunks.
  • Finally, season with BBQ sauce or your favorite seasoning blend and serve.

How Many Briskets Per Person?

When cooking a brisket, it’s important to remember that portion size matters. Generally speaking, one pound of raw brisket will yield approximately four servings — or half-pound portions — when cooked. Therefore, if you are planning on serving eight people, you should plan on purchasing two pounds of raw brisket.

How To Cut Brisket Into Servings?

  • Once the brisket is cooked, cutting it into servings is a relatively straightforward process.
  • Begin by placing the brisket on a large cutting board and using a sharp knife to measure out half-pound portions. Make sure you cut against the grain of the meat for tender slices.
  • Finally, place each portion onto a serving platter and enjoy!

If you want to serve a truly memorable meal, don’t forget the accompaniments. Sides like potato salad, coleslaw, or macaroni and cheese would all pair wonderfully with your brisket slices. And of course, no BBQ is complete without sauce — so make sure to have plenty on hand for dipping.

What To Serve With Brisket?

Brisket is an incredibly versatile cut of meat, so it pairs wonderfully with a variety of sides and accompaniments. For example, potato salad, coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, or baked beans all make for excellent sides to serve alongside your brisket slices.

Alternatively, if you want something more substantial than just a side dish, you could try serving up some mashed potatoes, roasted veggies, or even a classic potato gratin to really round out your meal. Of course, no BBQ is complete without sauce — so make sure to have plenty on hand for dipping! Additionally, if you want to add something sweet to the mix, brisket pairs nicely with a variety of fruits — such as pineapple, apples, or oranges. So don’t be afraid to get creative and explore the different flavor combinations that exist for your brisket dish!

How To Store And Reheat Brisket

Leftover brisket can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to four days. When you’re ready to reheat, simply transfer the meat to a baking dish and cover it with foil. Place in a 350°F preheated oven until heated through — usually about 15-20 minutes or so. You can also reheat it in the microwave if desired. Just make sure to keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t dry out!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Should Brisket Rest Before Slicing?

The brisket should rest for at least 30 minutes before you begin slicing. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring that each slice is tender and juicy.

Should I Rest My Brisket Wrapped Or Unwrapped?

For best results, you should rest your brisket unwrapped. This will allow excess steam to escape and help prevent the meat from becoming too soggy — resulting in juicy slices every time.

Can You Freeze Sliced Brisket?

Yes, you can freeze sliced brisket. Simply place the slices in an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to three months. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Which Way Is The Grain On Brisket?

The grain of the brisket runs in one direction — usually from top to bottom. To ensure tender slices, you should always cut against the grain when slicing your brisket.

How Should I Slice My Brisket?

When slicing your brisket, you should use a sharp knife and make sure to cut against the grain. This will help ensure that each slice is tender and juicy. Additionally, make sure to measure out half-pound portions so that everyone gets an equal share of the meat!

Does Brisket Go Fat Side Up Or Down?

The fat side of the brisket should always be placed facing up when cooking. This will help the fat melt away and keep the meat juicy and flavorful. You may notice that some recipes suggest flipping the brisket halfway through cooking — but this isn’t necessary if you want to ensure tender slices every time!

Should A Brisket Be Flipped?

No, you don’t need to flip your brisket during cooking. Simply leave the fat side up and let the fat melt away as it cooks — this will ensure juicy, tender slices every time.

Do I Need To Spritz My Brisket?

No, there is no need to spritz your brisket during cooking. Simply leave the fat side up and let the fat melt away as it cooks — this will ensure juicy, tender slices every time.

Should Brisket Be Submerged?

No, you don’t need to submerge your brisket during cooking. Simply leave the fat side up and let the fat melt away as it cooks — this will ensure juicy, tender slices every time.

How Do You Cut A Brisket For Beginners?

Cutting a brisket for beginners can seem like a daunting task. To ensure tender slices, make sure to use a sharp knife and cut against the grain of the brisket. Additionally, make sure to measure out half-pound portions so that everyone gets an equal share of the meat!

Should Brisket Be Sliced Or Chopped?

Brisket should always be sliced when served — never chopped. This will ensure that each slice is tender and juicy, without any dry or overcooked pieces. Additionally, make sure to measure out half-pound portions so that everyone gets an equal share of the meat!


Brisket is a delicious cut of meat that can be served as a main course or side dish, depending on your tastes. Now that you know how to cut a brisket, the next time you’re cooking for friends or family, you can wow them with your barbecue skills. Just remember to go slowly, and cut against the grain for maximum tenderness. With these tips that Sweet Basil’s Cafe shares, hope you’re ready to carve up a delicious brisket.


I'm William from America, I'm a food lover, often discovering and making new recipes. I started my blog to share my love for food with others. My blog is filled with delicious recipes, cooking tips, and reviews about restaurants and products. I'm also an advocate for healthy eating and strive to create recipes that are easy to make and use fresh ingredients. Many of my recipes contain vegetables or grains as the main ingredients, with a few indulgences thrown in for good measure. I often experiment with new ingredients, adding international flavors and finding ways to make dishes healthier without compromising on flavour. I'm passionate about creating simple yet delicious recipes that are fun to make and can easily be replicated at home. I also love sharing my experiences eating out with others so they can get the best out of their dining experiences. In addition to cooking and writing, I'm also an avid traveler, often visiting new places to discover local delicacies and explore different flavors. I'm always looking for a new challenge – whether it's trying an exotic food or creating a new recipe using unusual ingredients. My blog is a reflection of my passion for food and I'm always looking for new ways to share it with the world. Join me on my culinary journey and let's explore delicious foods together!

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