Everyone trims differently. Not only does everyone trim differently they do it for a purpose. I categorize all things barbecue into three categories. Profit (Restaurants), Backyard, and Competition. Most BBQ can be broken down one way or another into those categories.
I also think that you can take little things from each but the Restaurant guy most likely won’t survive following the methods of the competition guy. Just like the Competition guy probably won’t be winning World Championships using the restaurant’s secret recipe. Everything that we will be talking about is coming from Backyard Guy. A backyard guy can mess around with things. He isn’t handing his perfectly cut, trimmed, seasoned, with his magical wood, secret sauces, and rubs into a table of judges. Chances are he is bringing that bad boy inside and if it’s worthy might make it on on his or her Facebook page.
Steps to Trimming a Brisket
Trim Top fat down to about a pencil eraser in depth. When getting it from the butcher it might already be trimmed that low if not lower. If it is lower don’t worry just leave it as is.
Briskets can have over-hanging fat on them I tend to get rid of that and make it a little more straightforward like a box. It’s mostly for aesthetics but I don’t think a lot of that fat renders into anything.
The flat can at times be pretty thin towards one side or another. Sometimes it is good to just cut that away. It tends to burn and can be a difficult part to eat.
On the underside of the brisket, there is a shinny silver skin. This is totally debatable but I think it is worth removing. This can be a time-consuming effort but makes it easier to cut and more enjoyable to eat. The trick is getting your boning knife slightly under the silver skin without taking too much of the good meat away.
There are two large chunks of what I call hard fat that have to be removed. One is found on the bottom of the brisket and one is kind of between the brisket and the point. Both take some work to remove but with practice, it isn’t as hard as it seems.