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Two Reasons to Trim Brisket
First and foremost, this means removing excess fat. While marbled fat is crucial to a good piece of beef, a brisket will usually have a thick cap of subcutaneous fat that is more than you want to eat. However, trimming too much of that fat can sometimes threaten the structural integrity of the brisket. It’s always better to leave a little extra fat if it means preventing the brisket from falling apart in the smoker. Always ask yourself what serves the greater good.
The second reason we trim is to enhance the shape of the brisket. You want to maximize airflow around the meat and remove any protruding parts that are liable to dry out during the cook. Like an airplane or a sports car, your brisket should have smooth, aerodynamic curves: no boxy lines, no 90-degree angles.