Brisket Deckle: (Should You Remove The Deckle Fat?)

Brisket is one of the most popular cuts of beef.

But what is the deckle?

You might have also heard about removing the deckle from the brisket. 

But why do you need to do that?

Is an important part to mastering brisket, so make sure you read right to the end!

What Is Brisket?

Brisket is a piece of meat that comes from the cow’s chest or pectoral muscle.

It is often cut into two portions: the flat and the point.

Since the brisket muscle is very strong, you may notice that brisket cuts are tougher pieces of meat.

Brisket Point

The point has more fat and connective tissues than the flat.

This gives it more flavor, but less meat when fully cooked.

Because it is so fatty, this piece of meat is often ground up. You may not be able to find the point of brisket intact at most grocery stores.

brisket-point

Brisket Flat

The flat is usually leaner than the point. Many people prefer this because it has most of the fat removed.

The lean surface of a flat leads to healthier meat than its fatty counterpart.

brisket flat

What Is Deckle?

Deckle is the intercostal meat that holds the meat to the rib cage.

This fat layer also includes muscles and connective tissues.

In the context of beef brisket, it is usually called the point.

This is a common term, but not always accurate.

It is important to realize that the point and deckle aren’t completely interchangeable.

The deckle is the layer of meat that connects the rest of the meat to the rib cage. The point mostly consists of this but is not pure deckle.

Many people turn their noses up at the beef brisket deckle. However, the fat marbling can add a lot of delicious flavor to the meat.

What Is Deckle Off Brisket?

Deckle-off brisket is simply brisket with the deckle removed from the entire surface. Essentially, it is just the brisket flat.

Another term you may hear is “nose-off brisket.” This is a term used for a trimmed brisket flat.

Grill masters love this type of brisket for electric grills, pellet grills, and gas grills! 

Should Deckle Be Removed?

There are a few factors to consider when removing the deckle.

Many people have different opinions based on these factors.

Cost

The packer brisket is the cheapest way to buy this piece of meat.

None of the fat is trimmed for this cut.

The pit master will have to trim the fat off the brisket.

This increases the cooking time but costs less money.

Buying cuts with the deckle removed will be a bit pricier.

However, the cook will not have to worry about trimming the cut at all.

Flavor

While most people don’t like to eat fat, it adds a lot of rich flavors.

Keeping the fat on the brisket during cooking is an easy way to increase the flavor.

The extra fat on untrimmed briskets may also keep the brisket moist.

Many brisket cooks choose to keep the brisket deckle fat for this reason.

Convenience

When you buy a cut of meat that’s ready for the grill, you can save a bit of time and effort during the cooking process.

However, you may have to spend more money upfront on these prime briskets.

Trimming the deckle before cooking the brisket may make cleaning up easier. Raw meat is usually easier to clean than cooked meat.

Moist or Lean Brisket?

You preference on keeping the deckle on or off might depend on whether you like moist or lean brisket.

Tradtional flat brisket is lean and the point is more moist.

If you like moist brisket you may want to leave the deckle on .

Should I Remove Fat From Brisket Before Cooking?

Removing the fat will remove some of the rich flavors.

However, many people enjoy deckle off the brisket. Whether you remove the fat should not affect the tenderness.

Some people season and score the fat while cooking brisket. It is another way to add flavor.

Some people prefer seasoning their meat with nothing but kosher salt. Others choose to cook their brisket naked.

Fortunately, you should have a delicious brisket no matter what methods you try.

How Can You Tell If The Deckle Has Been Removed?

The easiest way to do this is to look for a layer of fat. If you can’t find any, it was probably removed.

You may see some cut marks where the butcher removed the deckle at the natural seam.

A lot of briskets will be labeled “deckle off.” That’s another easy way to know if it has been removed already.

How Do You Remove The Deckle?

It is easiest to trim the deckle when the meat is cold.

You’ll need a sharp curved boning knife and a big cutting board.

It will be useful to have a place to put the trimmings as well as a pan for the trimmed brisket.

  • Find the point and flat. Place the brisket fat side towards you. 
  • Cut the fat off into small strips. It is best to go parallel to the meat.
  • Flip it around and cut any fat in other places as well. Be sure to remove the membrane of the deckle.

It is best to leave a quarter of an inch of fat. You can use the fat trimmings for another purpose.

How Should I Choose A Brisket?

Everybody has different preferences.

We should consider these when it comes to choosing a type of brisket.

Making a brisket choice can be difficult, but here are some factors to consider.

If you want grass-fed beef brisket, you should consider an Angus beef cut.

 If you don’t have experience with brisket, you may want a pre-cut option.

Some people wonder about the differences between branded and non-branded briskets. Honestly, there isn’t much of a difference if they meet the same USDA requirements.

If the quality or grade of beef is important, then you should be familiar with the different grades.

Prime Grade Brisket

Prime brisket meat often comes from younger cows and has high-quality fat marbling. The average Angus beef product often falls into this category.

Choice Grade Brisket

USDA choice brisket meat doesn’t have the additional marbling that prime grade has. It can also be easier to overcook.

However, this is one of the highest qualities of beef you can buy.

Select Grade Brisket

USDA select briskets are usually leaner and may not be as delicious as the higher quality grades. With the right cooking process, budget-select briskets will be perfect.

How Should I Serve Brisket?

One of the most popular ways to serve brisket is smoked

A lot of people like to put the brisket in stews during the winter.

Others might serve brisket sandwiches with store-bought potato salad.

Now you know everything you need to know about brisket deckle! Whether you choose to keep it or remove it is your choice.

Whatever you decide, know that you’ll have delicious leftover brisket for days!

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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