Skip to Main Content

Brisket Fat Side Up Or Down?


We're Here To Answer The Long Debated Question Once And For All.

The Debate -

A heavily debated topic within the BBQ realm is whether to cook a brisket fat-side up or fat-side down. We are here to answer the question once and for all: cook brisket fat-side DOWN.

Why -

Many believe the theory that when a brisket is cooked fat-side up, the fat renders and naturally braises the brisket. This is not true.

1. Oil and water don’t mix in life or in BBQ, and a brisket contains both — oil in the fat cap and water in the red meat. Fat will not keep the brisket moist if cooked fat-side up.

2. Besides not actually braising the brisket, cooking fat-side poses a risk: The melting fat cap will drip down the meat, potentially washing away the seasoning on the beef.

3. An additional disadvantage of cooking fat-side up is poor presentation. While being smoked, the presentation side is on the grill grates, preventing the formation of a uniform bark.

What are the benefits of cooking brisket fat-side down? This method offers the best brisket presentation, a uniform bark formation, and does not run the risk of melting fat washing away seasoning.

For smoked brisket recipes, see our collection here.

How do YOU Traeger your brisket?

Brisket Recipes & Guides

See our smoked brisket recipe and tips for anyone who plans on smoking a brisket, from expert grillmasters to beginners.

This is a carousel. Tab through the slides for content.

Brisket Related Articles