Can You Cut A Brisket Lengthwise? [How to Cut A Brisket]

Slicing a brisket after it has been properly smoked is all part of the process of preparing the perfect brisket. In addition, how the brisket is sliced adds to the enjoyment of eating this tasty meat. So how do you slice brisket, and can you cut a brisket lengthwise?

Never slice a brisket lengthways. Instead, always slice a brisket along the width of the muscle. When cutting the flat cut, turn the brisket 90° when slicing the point cut. This ensures that the meat is cut against the muscle grain. This improves tenderness and the overall texture of the brisket in your mouth.

can you cut a brisket lengthwise

Slicing a brisket correctly is very important. Cutting the meat incorrectly can ruin all of the hard work and many hours poured into smoking the brisket. 

It can result in the meat being tougher and chewier than it should be. 

Let’s learn the best ways to slice brisket and answer some of the most essential brisket slicing questions.

Can You Slice A Brisket Lengthwise?

Slicing a brisket is a crucial part of smoking a brisket. If the meat is not sliced well, the brisket will not be as tender as it could be. And the way the brisket feels in your mouth could be ruined entirely, compromising the experience altogether.

Cutting a brisket lengthwise when slicing the meat for serving should never be an option. 

However, a portion is technically cut lengthwise but not in relation to itself. This sounds confusing so understanding how to slice a brisket properly is vital.

When slicing a brisket, never cut along the entire length of the meat. This way, cutting the brisket will mean that some of the meat is cut well, but a large section will be incorrectly sliced.

Slicing a brisket lengthwise will ruin the flat cut of the brisket. Cutting along the length of the meat grain of the flat results in chewy and stringy meat, even if the brisket is smoked properly to the correct level of tenderness.

Slicing the brisket along its length will cut the point section of the brisket properly, but this is not the best way to cut a brisket. The best way is to cut the brisket according to the orientation of the muscle fibers, cutting against the fibers for maximum tenderness. 

This will never involve cutting the brisket along its entire length. And will always require the brisket to be rotated to change the angle of slicing for each part of the brisket. This is because the orientation of the muscle fibers is different in different locations in the meat.

Slicing a brisket properly is a skill. But it is not a very difficult skill to master. 

Once you know how, a brisket will become second nature to you! Slicing correctly is vital for getting the best from the meat. So let’s learn how to correctly slice a brisket for juicy, tender slices of beef every time!

How To Properly Slice A Brisket

What you’ll need to slice a brisket is a cutting board and slicing knife. the video above will walk you through the process.

Properly slicing a brisket is relatively straightforward. However, overcomplicating the slicing process is likely to ruin the meat. It could lead to mistakes that can injure the person doing the slicing or cause the long-awaited brisket to be disappointing.

To properly slice smoked brisket, first remove any wrapping from the brisket. Next, prepare your cutting board and slicing knife for processing the brisket.

The Flat

Turn the brisket on the cutting board so that the flat section of the brisket is on the same side of the cutting board as your dominant hand. From here, begin slicing the brisket vertically, which is across the width of the brisket, not the length.

This way, cutting the meat will ensure that the flat is sliced against the grain, maximizing tenderness. Continue slicing the meat until you reach the point section of the brisket, identified by the now visible double layer of muscle with a thick fat vein separating them.

The Point

Once you reach the point, stop slicing and rotate the point 90°. The reason for turning the meat is that the muscle grain in the point section of the brisket runs perpendicular to the muscle grain of the fat.

Turning the point, 90° turns the muscle grain to the correct orientation for slicing. Continue cutting the meat into slices once the point section is in this orientation until the entire brisket is processed.

Cut the flat section of the brisket into slices. That are about as thick as the width of a pencil. The cut slices of the point section should be a little thicker, as the meat at this section of the brisket is more tender and juicier, which means that it falls apart more easily.

If the brisket is perhaps a little tough, cut the slices more thinly. If the brisket is very tender, cut the slices of meat thicker to prevent the meat from breaking down.

Why Slice A Brisket Against The Grain?

Slicing a brisket against the muscle grain is important because this increases the tenderness of the brisket and prevents the meat from being stringy and chewy.

The brisket is a large muscle from the chest area of a cow, and the meat is naturally very tough and dense. This means that a brisket contains very long, tough muscle fibers. If the brisket is cut along the grain, these muscle fibers will remain intact, making the meat stringy when eaten.

Cutting against the grain of muscle fibers breaks the fibers down and cuts them into small pieces, making the meat as tender as possible.

If brisket is not cut against the grain, the meat will not be as enjoyable to eat. In addition, the tenderness created during the smoking process will be lost, making the meat tough to eat.

Cutting the meat against the grain makes a huge difference in the eating experience of the brisket. 

So if you will be smoking a brisket, it is a good idea to learn how to slice it correctly! This simple technique is easy to forget and often overlooked. But without the correct slicing technique, you’ll never get a good brisket.

Final Word

Never cut a brisket along its length. Instead, the main part of the brisket needs to be sliced across the width of the flat.

Then turn the beef to slice the point at 90° to the slices you have just made.

It ensures that the brisket is sliced against the muscle grain, keeping the meat tender and juicy for serving. 

Slicing is a vital aspect of smoking a brisket. When cut correctly, you’ll produce a mouth-watering piece of meat everyone will love. 

Related Articles

Skip to content