Brisket Fat Side Up or Down

This is more like a question of whether you should cook your brisket fat side up or down so, this is something we will be learning in this guide.

brisket fat side up or down

It is sometimes confusing after you have trimmed and relished your brisket and you are ready to put it on the smoker but, you are not quite sure whether the fat side should be facing up or down.

There are sure a good number of opinions about this particular topic and question but, I will be giving you a quick answer to this and even more important details regarding this topic.

Brisket Fat

What is even a brisket fat, as we will be discussing an important detail regarding a brisket fat side, it will be also right to give a quick explanation of what a brisket fat is.

By any standard, a brisket is just a pinguid slice of meat. An ample amount of this fat is the intramuscular difference which is referred to as marbling.

This marbling assists in keeping the meat delicious in the course of the cooking and although the long area that is known as the flat end or first slice has a conspicuous strip of fat that runs through the exterior side.

And, as you should know, this is the section or segment of the brisket that brings about the fat side up or down.

The fat cap is sometimes left untouched as it is believed to present more flavor and moisture to the cooked brisket and this is a practice that has also been adopted by a good number of pitmasters.

It is quite alright to go with that practice but, I will offer a more preferable method and all you need to do is to trim some of the fat which will then leave an area that will measure about ¼ inch thick.

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And, not to worry, most of this will give out, all you will then have will be quite easy to remove after the cooking process.

Brisket Fat Side Up or Down?

A stocky fat cap and a slim slice of fat which is often bare meat are the two dissimilar or recognizable sides that briskets do have.

Some people go with removing all of the fat caps while some other people will choose to just leave a slim layer of it, sometimes about ¼” to 1/8” thick.

And, it will also be right if you are making the fat cap face the main origin of the heat, and what this means for each smoker is different.

This interprets as cooking its fat cap down when you are using smokers like a pellet grill or the Weber Smokey Mountain.

And, it will interpret as cooking its fat side up when you are using a smoker like a well-insulated offset smoker and this is because the heat of this smoker is coming from above.

So, I believe the question that was attached to the main topic of this guide is being answered but, that does not mean I will be wrapping up just yet as I still have some important details regarding the main topic of this guide to share.

Fat Side Down Makes Your Brisket Look Better

The bark of a smoked brisket happens to be the most essential part of its appearance. And, the bark of brisket is the side that is a little bit crunchy and has a deep mahogany surface which is a result of the Maillard reaction.

The aromas and tastes you get from cooked meat are a result of this essential chemical reaction and it usually occurs when the meat dries out and the proteins on the surface of the meat start to stick together.

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The greyish look of boiled beef that also makes it appear unpleasant or unattractive is also a result of the Maillard reaction. And, this is mostly because the surface of the boiled beef does not have the possibility of drying out.

The bark of the brisket is formed on the surface banged on the grill gates when it is cooked with its fat cap up.

The bark might not form at all or even just form unequally due to the grates and this will also deny you the chance to be able to see the bark of the meat as it forms.

Why Fat Side Down Is Better

So, let’s quickly talk about the reasons why the fat side down is better. It is just a simple fact that oftentimes, to have a look and taste that is better, you have to cook your brisket fat side down.

Fat Side Down Tastes Better

The bark of the brisket will keep all of its flavors and also all its seasonings will not get away as the fat is on the bottom explaining the reason why the fat side down tastes better.

You will also get the first-rate flavor to your meat through the smoke produced as the fat get to hit the hot coals.

The fat is like an insulator and you also know for many smokers or cookers the heat comes from under the meat.

The meat is prevented from the strong heat of the fire by the fat that does not also wash away as it cooks and the meat does not also get to dry out.

Fat Side Down Looks Better

An even, licorice bark all through brisket is what we can call an attractive, appealing brisket.

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And, the meat has to dry out for the Maillard reaction to occur as the proteins on the surface will also get to stick together closely.

Continuous washing away of rub and inability for the bark to form is one of the disadvantages of fat side up.

So, in a point, one of the advantages of cooking your brisket fat side down is that the bark of your brisket will get to form equally which will then make it look very attractive and captivating.

Final Thoughts on Brisket Fat Side Up or Down

The first thing you need to know is your smoker, this will give you the chance to understand and point out where the heat from your smoker is coming from.

So, with all that being discussed, you should know what to choose with whether you should go for brisket fat side up or down.

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