When I’m watching a brisket being sliced, a few things make me shudder, like the aggressive purr of an electric knife, the whine of a deli slicer, and, the worst offense, watching the fat cap being discarded (but we’ll save that for another column).
I’ll concede that there are several ways to slice a brisket, but I should note that some of them are just wrong, like slicing with rather than against the grain. But again, there isn’t necessarily one right way to do it.
One of the challenges is that a whole brisket is made up of two muscles: the point and the flat. Slicing perpendicular to the grain of the muscle is the last defense against tough brisket. The most perfectly smoked brisket will be tough and stringy if sliced parallel to the grain, but the tricky thing is that the grain of the point and