Culinary Arts

Finish: Brisket Slice

Aaron Franklin

Lesson time 17:21 min

Aaron walks you through his detailed, cut-by-cut process for slicing your brisket to minimize waste and maximize balance and flavor.

Aaron Franklin
Teaches Texas-Style BBQ
Aaron Franklin teaches you how to fire up flavor-packed Central Texas barbecue, including his famous brisket and more mouth-watering smoked meat.
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[MUSIC PLAYING] - So I've been hanging out all night watching this thing cook. I think it turned out pretty good. It's looking really nice so far. Feels really cool to the touch. I'm going to tempt it. And it is-- So I'm going to use the same whole back here. We'll see what it's looking like. It's a 165. It's a little bit hot. But we're going to talk about it for a while. So that's OK. I just want to open it up and have a brisket sitting on the counter. So kind of know where you're going with it. And I know I'm going to do an n-cut right there. I'm going to cut it right there, slice out about like this, and then I'm going to start slicing that way. So traditionally, you want to curl your knuckles for cutting things. You cut stuff. You kind of do that. Briskett's not really like that. It's more maybe like if you're watching a sushi chef cut fish. You kind of use your hands a lot, use your blade. You want to just kind of carve your way through it. It's kind of like playing pool. If I hold my thumb like that, I can always use that technique to kind of guide the knife, too. So a lot of times at the restaurant if I'm talking to someone, like, hey, how's little Jimmy, how's his braces, I can just kind of cut my way by feel. I don't really have to look and see what I'm doing. Back to the way that we season this thing, we were careful with the seasoning. We were careful with the trim. We spritz the edges. We kept the fire low throughout the cook. And now it's time to really find out if any of that stuff actually works. Hopefully, it did. I think it's going to be pretty OK. It feels really nice. So I think it's time to unwrap it. All right, so let's inspect our handiwork. That's what we're talking about. So this is kind of like the final reckoning for this brisket. I like to keep all this juice on the board as I'm cutting it. This is the fat that rendered out after we wrapped it. This is the stuff that reabsorbs. It feels great. It's pliable. You can see the fat kind of move around right in here. I think this is-- I'm pretty happy with this. So as you're pulling this before it's out of the bag, when it's on the cooker, I've got the towel going through it. I've got my fingers. I'm trying to find-- I'm trying to visualize how the fibers feeling there. And that takes a lot of experience. It takes a long time to get there. Or at least it took me a long time to get there. But there is kind of another way. You open it up. You can always check on the bottom side. And this is kind of a cool trick. If you really want to know, you can just kind of go through and poke around a little bit. This is where that seam fat is that we're going to cut out later. You can see the fibers they want to pull apart. Obviously, this is very tender. But you can kind of poke around with a toothpick. Over here feels pretty good, feels pretty good going in there. And if you really want to pull it apart, if you're in a good place te...

The art of smoke and fire

Once a backyard hobbyist, Aaron Franklin is now the James Beard Award-winning owner of Franklin Barbecue, where the line for his famous smoked brisket is hours long. Now the Central Texas barbecue specialist teaches you his meticulous low and slow process for mouth-watering ribs, pork butt, and brisket. With perfectly seasoned cuts and optimal temperatures, you'll learn to handle an offset smoker like a true pitmaster.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Fire management in an offset smoker. Good depth beyond his u-tube videos

close to our hearts here in Texas! Loved the classes!

As a professional chef, this was a blast. Thank you Aaron and Masterclass!

Aaron’s class is an amazing insight into the world of Texas style BBQ. With an abundance of tips and techniques that make even a newb seem like a vet


Thomas F.

How do you judge after the cook if the flat was under or over cooked? Sounds like both result in a dry tough meat.

Rob B.

My first brisket, the Franklin way! No longer afraid of cooking temps over 225, and learning how to judge “doneness” by feel versus internal temp has changed my life. Moistest brisket i have made in 20 yrs, and it took only 12 hrs, not 16! Thank you Mr. Franklin.

Thomas F.

First time and it turned out perfect! Thank you Aaron!!!! Flat dried out a tad. Can’t tell if I undercooked or over cooked after the 3 hour mark. Any help? Didn’t have a stall and was at 173 at the 6 hour mark.

Jim C.

Outstanding. Always wondered why the staff at Franklins carved brisket with bread knives, and now I know! Great detail on slicing, I have been doing it wrong for years.... again, NOW I know.

John K.

I just made a brisket Aaron's way and I have to say that the result is a brisket that he'd be proud to serve in his restaurant.

Matt H.

When I go to my local BBQ joints, not a single one is anywhere near as juicy as what we see here. In fact, the brisket is usually fairly dry, even when they slice it in front of me. The flavor and smoke ring is nice, and the pull test is fine (doesn't fall apart under its own weight) but the juice is simply not there. Any ideas what is happening there?

Salvatore C.

Quick question. I was Always taught to slice against the grain. When slicing the point, he completely did a 180. Does the grain change at the point?

kent L.

Thank you Aaron. I have been following your techniques for a few years now. I watched the videos here and learned and reinforced a little more. I thoroughly enjoyed watching all the videos. Last Sunday over Memorial Day weekend, I decided to launch another Brisket after a full year absence(lost a Brisket when the butcher paper collapsed after 10 hours), and followed as close as possible. The Brisket was amazing, the smoke perfect, the butcher paper helped yield the perfect smoke. Everybody, just stood around the Brisket with a fork and ate it off the platter. It was hilarious. Very little was saved for anyone arriving late.


Hey guys, make sure you join Aaron's Community! There you can discuss BBQ techniques and other class material, network with other BBQ-loving students, trade recipes and stay up to date on class contests & activities. Here's the link: