How To Slice A Brisket?- Do THIS for the best results!

Slicing the brisket you have just cooked is as important as the cooking process, and you must serve it right to do justice to this large cut of meat.

Now, it may seem simple and you just need to slice the brisket but if done wrong, the brisket can become tough and dry.

That is why it is important to know how to slice it properly to keep it moist and tender when served.

What temp. to smoke brisket

It is easy, but there is a right process, so it is best to follow it and ensure that the brisket is sliced and processed correctly.

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Among these are other pointers that will help you slice your brisket the right way so you can start enjoying the delicious cut that you have just cooked.

So here we begin with what you need to do before slicing the brisket.

Things To Do Before You Slice The Brisket

1. Well-rested Brisket

Just like other cuts of meat, you need to rest the brisket before cutting it to ensure that the juices redistribute evenly.

Muscle fibers heat up during cooking tend to contract and squeeze out the juices inside the meat. You can observe this well when you slice a freshly cooked burger.

A brisket loses 30% to 40% of the moisture through evaporation so you need to preserve as much moisture as possible.

Letting the brisket rest allows the muscles to slowly relax, hence, giving way for the juices in the meat to come back and redistribute inside it.

A brisket has a lot of moisture, which is why you will see the juices rushing out of the grill when it cuts soon after it is out of the grill.

You can let the brisket rest by wrapping it in butcher paper and placing it inside a cooler for at least 1 hour.

As the muscles relax when the brisket is resting, they will also become more tender and easier to cut with the right knife, so resting the brisket is essential.

2. Right Brisket Slicing Knife

The right knife for slicing brisket should not take too much back and forth action to cut through the thickness of the brisket to avoid uneven cuts.

Brisket is one of the larger cuts of meat you can cook, which is why when slicing it, you will need a long knife that can cover the whole length of the brisket.

I used to use a 12-inch knife and it was good, especially the one from Victorinox.

Some people recommend using an electric knife, but I had a bad experience with this type of knife as you have limited control, resulting in the cut being too messy and inconsistent.

An electric knife would be helpful with a cold hard brisket from the fridge but you are better off with the old-fashioned large knives for your cooked breakfast.

You can check out this guide with Aaron Franklin, who also recommends the same type as the Victorinox knife I recommend for slicing brisket.

3. Right Block To Cut The Brisket

Large butcher’s blocks are essential for keeping the surface you slice on steady and make the cuts on the brisket as precise as possible.

Your choice of block to slice brisket on should be large enough to fit the whole brisket with some space for the slices to fall onto.

The large butcher’s block should also be heavy enough to stay steady while slicing the brisket with the back and forth motion.

==> Check out the Block I use

The heavier the butcher’s block, the better as it will help stabilize while you cut, ultimately resulting in cleaner, more uniformed, and more precise slices.

Some butcher’s blocks are 2 inches thick or more, which work well with keeping your work station steady for cutting the brisket.

Brisket Flat Vs Point

A full brisket has two parts called the flat and the point and while they cook simultaneously, you cannot cut them in the same direction.

This is because of the direction of the grain on the flat and point, and they face different directions so one slice does not fit all.

A little confused? Watch this video below for a better understand on flat and point.

A seam of fat separates the flat and the point so you can see how these two muscles differ right before cooking it by looking at the pattern of the white fat in between them.

The point, which is the smaller part of the brisket is the fattiest part and has more marbling than the flat.

The flat is leaner, has less marbling, and is the larger part of the brisket. You cannot slice these two the same way because their grain directions do not match each other.

You have to cut both these parts in a different direction to get the best result.

How Do You Know The Grain Of The Brisket?

The grain of the brisket is the direction of the strands of muscles, and you can observe this when the brisket is raw or even cooked.

The strands are like thin rubber bands running on top of the briset and you can see the direction in which the strands run along.

Make sure you cut perpendicular to these strands.

The brisket’s point and flat have different grains directions. So when observing the grain, look for two different grain directions at the point and flat.

How to slice a brisket

Cutting the brisket with the knife perpendicular to the grain must start breaking down the tough muscle fibers.

If you slice the brisket along the grain, the muscle fibers do not cut smaller so they stay tougher compared to when they are cut shorter.

Check out this really simple guide to see how to look for the grain of your brisket and how to position your knife when cutting it.

How Much Brisket Per Person?

When buying a brisket, I always consider at least a pound of raw brisket for each adult and half a pound of uncooked brisket for kids.

Butchers recommend half a pound per person, uncooked weight. However, I also consider getting extra in case my guests are starving.

They can get larger portions; if not, I find it advantageous to have leftovers as I can use brisket in many other delicious recipes.

How To Slice A Brisket (Step-by-step Guide)

Before we get to slicing your brisket, here are a few reminders you need to keep in mind so you do not waste the perfect brisket.

Do not pre-slice. If you are not going to eat the brisket right away, do not slice it early as it can dry out and become tough as it cools down.

Also, when slicing the brisket, consider if you are going to slice it all, if not, slice only what is going to be eaten and leave the other parts untouched to keep the moisture.

Okay, so let us slice the brisket!

Step 1: Separate The Flat And Point

Since the flat and the point have their grains facing different directions, they need to be separated first so you can cut each part individually.

Again, cutting against the grain is essential to make the slices more tender.

Step 2: Trim The Fat And Tip

Remove the fat cap and the tip as well. The tip is a small part on the brisket flat that is likely to be overcooked or burnt because it is the smallest part.

If you remove the fat cap before cooking the brisket, you do not need to trim more. 

The remaining fat on the brisket will give more flavor to the brisket so you do not need to remove it entirely.

Step 3: Start With The Flat

After trimming the brisket, you can now start slicing by starting with the flat. Go back and forth AGAINST the grain of the flat and cut slices that are as thick as a pencil.

The slicing action should be gentle like how you would slice a loaf of bread. Be firm but be gentle. 

How to slice a brisket flat

Step 4: Slice The Point

Again, the point of the brisket has a grain that runs in a different direction. Make sure to take your time, find it, and then slice against it.

Step 5: Serve And Enjoy

Once you are done slicing the brisket, you will be ready to serve the delicious brisket to the table.

Put the burnt ends or save them for later as a treat. They make good snacks when you want a bite of juicy meat during the day.

Serve with your favorite side dish and enjoy the delicious brisket!

How To Store Leftover Brisket Slices?

Once done with eating the brisket and it has gone cold a bit, it is time to store it so that you can still use it for other recipes next time.

1. Place the leftover brisket slices in a sealed container or a zip-lock bag and then push out as much air as possible.

Tip: you can leave the corner of the zip-lock bag open, and dip the whole bag with the brisket slices in a bucket of water to allow the water to push out the air.

2. Close the zip-lock bag and then place the brisket in the refrigerator. According to the USDA, it will last in the fridge for 3-4 days. 

The brisket will last for 3-6 months in the freezer so if you are not planning on reheating it soon, you can store it in the freezer.

If you will be reheating the brisket the next morning, you can store the slices overnight in the oven or a cambro/cooler for 12 hours.

How To Reheat Brisket Slices?

Reheating the brisket slices is very easy and perhaps the best way to do it so the slices do not dry out is to reheat them in the oven with these simple steps:

  1. Remove the brisket slices from the fridge 30 minutes before reheating them and then wrap them in foil.
  2. Before closing the foil, pour some brisket juices over the slices. 
  3. Close the foil, this will help keep the moisture in. 
  4. Allow the brisket slices to rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
  5. While waiting, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Once you preheat the oven, place the brisket slices in the oven, and then reheat them for 20 minutes.
  7. Take them out of the oven and then let them rest for about 10 minutes before serving with your other side dishes!

Final Thoughts

The steps above for slicing your brisket are really easy and it guarantees that you will have beautiful, delicious, savory, juicy, and tender brisket slices.

It is, however, important to always do the process right and slice against the grain so you get more tender slices.

Invest in good knives, butcher’s blocks and other tools to help you make the perfect slices.

Also always let the brisket rest before slicing to keep the juices in the meat so you and your family can enjoy a beautiful cut that everybody loves!

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