This article will cover the reasons why brisket is so fatty. This article will aim to help identify the fatty areas commonly found on the brisket. This way an individual that wants to remove these parts can do so, or just know for educational purposes.
Why does brisket have so much fat?
Brisket, like many other parts of the cow, has a lot of fat. However, all of the fat in and on a brisket is usually still there when it is purchased as a whole. The reason why brisket has so much fat to begin with, in comparison to many other cuts of beef, is because it isn’t fully prepared yet for cooking. It is cut out of the cow as a whole, cleaned up a bit, and packaged as is most of the time.
It comes as a whole piece (with the flat and the point end) usually, which means that it is not fully trimmed and “ready” yet for cooking as a whole. Trimming a brisket is a common practice by many people for this reason. A boning knife is what is used to trim a brisket of its fats. A whole piece of brisket is still going to have a lot of fat, even when the outer layer of fat has been trimmed down or trimmed off during preparation. One thing that has to be done to avoid a mouthful of fat before cooking the brisket, is trimming off the fat at the hump area of the whole brisket. There is a thick heap of fat in this area that is on the brisket’s surface.
Why does brisket have so much fat in the middle?
Brisket has a lot of fat in the middle when it comes as a whole, because there are two parts of the brisket: the flat end and the point end. In between these two parts of meat is a band of fat that runs through the brisket. This band of fat is pretty thick, and possibly thicker in some areas. This band of fat separates these two portions on the brisket, which can be easily seen if an individual is separating the flat from the point on a brisket. More information is available on the point and the flat, along with the separation process, and the fat band.
To remove this band of fat that runs through the center of the brisket, the flat and the point have to be separated from one another into two separate parts using the boning knife. This means that these two parts can be cooked separately instead of all together. If these two parts aren’t separated and are just left as a whole brisket piece, then slicing the brisket after cooking it will reveal this band of fat, which will run through many of the slices of the brisket. Majority of these slices that will have this fat, which will be on the thicker side of the whole brisket (the point end).
Many people do not bother with separating the brisket to remove this fat, and some see it as an added benefit to the fatty portions of the brisket. It is left up to personal preferences.
Why does brisket have so much fat on the edges?
As stated, brisket is usually just cut out of the cow and packaged afterwards, without much trimming being done. This means that the brisket will come with a fairly thick, but uneven, layer of fat that will cover the entire surface of one side of the whole brisket. This layer of fat (the fat cap) is just pure fat covering the meat underneath. Depending on personal preferences, many individuals leave this fat layer/fat cap on the brisket and cook it as is, but will trim it down and even it out in thickness across its surface. The fat cap is left on to add flavor to the entire brisket. It ends up being a layer of fat on the edges of the slices of brisket when it is sliced.
If this layer of surface fat is too thick on the brisket and isn’t trimmed down, then it will make thick layers of fat on every brisket slice when it is sliced after cooking. This can be undesirable by some and leave the person feeling like they are eating a fatty slice of brisket with too much fat. Depending on the thickness of the slice, thicker slices would make it worse. However, if the slices are extremely thin with this thick fat cap, then it could resemble bacon. Bacon also has a band of fat before it is cut, but is more manageable in really thin slices. A commercial meat slicer can be used to achieve this.
To fix the brisket and prevent every slice from having this thick layer of fat on the edges, the fat cap on the brisket is trimmed down to a fourth of an inch or less when preparing the brisket as a whole for cooking. The entire layer of fat can also be completely trimmed off, but is sometimes left on to protect the brisket during its cooking, and for additional flavor.
Which part of the brisket has the least fat?
The flat end of the brisket contains the least amount of fat and is actually pretty lean. It contains a lot less fat than the point end of the brisket. However, usually individuals prefer the point end of the brisket, because it has more intramuscular fat (marbling), therefore the point end is more juicy and flavorful. It is the fat in the brisket that makes it so juicy.
If an individual is seeking to eat brisket but not the fatty portions, then the flat end is the way to go. Brisket slices can be eaten from this portion that contain almost all beef with little fat. The only thing that has to be done for this portion is trimming off the fat cap or trimming it down to avoid the large layer of fat that could be on every flat end slice of brisket, that was mentioned earlier.