What to Do with Brisket Trimmings: A Tasty List!

March 29, 2023
Written by Kristy J. Norton

From making burger patties and sausages to creating homemade oil and Yorkshire pudding, there is a lot that you can do with your leftover brisket fat trimmings!

Coming from a Southern family, my family was a big believer in recycling scraps to create brand new, tasty treats. As a result, I learned what to do with brisket trimmings at an early age.

In this post, I will give you some ideas on how to use your fat trimmings and even show you how to render fat. Let’s get started!

What to Do with Brisket Trimmings

How Much Fat Should You Trim from Brisket?

Before we go any further, I do want to offer some insight into trimming your brisket. I know that there is a lot of confusion surrounding this.

Some people trim brisket fat as little as possible while others go overboard and take too much of the fat cap off.

It is important to know just how much to trim your brisket. The right amount of fat can ensure that the meat stays nice and moist, while tasting great.

Too little brisket fat, though, and you miss out on this. Too much fat and your brisket will take too long to cook. Not to mention, you don’t get as much of a smoky flavor.

The fat cap on your brisket should always be trimmed down to 1/4th of an inch.

If you are looking to save money, then choose a brisket with only a little bit more fat than this. Then, you won’t be paying extra for fat that you will be trimming off.

On the other hand, if you want to use those leftover brisket fat trimmings, then go ahead and get a cut with a little bit of excess fat content.

Sliced meat on plate

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What Do You Do with Brisket Trimming?

There is a lot that you can do with brisket fat trimmings. Here is a list of your top beef trimmings ideas:

Add to Hamburger Meat

Few things taste better than homemade burger patties. However, if you are like most people, much of your hamburger patty is made from lean meat. This makes the meat about 90 to 95 percent lean.

While this can be healthy, it is far from tasty. With so little fat in your hamburgers, your patties will come out dry and virtually tasteless.

This is where the beef fat from your brisket trimmings come into play. These add taste and moisture, helping you to take your patties to the next level.

In case you aren’t such a fan of lean meat, you can also use ground chuck for your burgers.

When adding brisket fat, the ratio should be 1 part fat trimmings to 4 parts of lean meat.

This means that for every four ounces of ground chuck or lean meat, you use one ounce of animal fat.

I would advise you to use a kitchen scale to make sure that you get the quantities right each and every time.

How to Make Burgers with Brisket Fat Trimmings?

If you are using chuck roast, make sure to first cut the meat into small cubes first. Then, place in the meat grinder. I like to add half of the chuck and beef fat in at a time when making patties. This ensures a more balanced mix.

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If you are using a food processor, pulse in bursts of 1 to 2 seconds. The key here is not to overgrind the meat. This is especially important if you are using ground chuck.

If you do this, you will be left with a wet, pulpy mess that will not holds its shape.

Stop pulsing when the meat has reached a coarse grind.

Scoop the mix out of the food processor and form into patties. Press kosher salt into each side of the patty and grill.

Make Homemade Sausage

Try homemade sausage and you will never go back to the store bought version.

Now, when making sausage, you use pork shoulder instead of beef. Keep in mind that this cut is fattier than ground chuck. As such, use less brisket fat trimmings so that your sausage doesn’t end up greasy.

Also, when pulsing the meats together, add in seasoning at this point as you can’t do this later on.

Then, choose your sausage casing, stuff the meat mixture in, and cook as desired.

Make Beef Tallow

Beef tallow is the rendered fat from a cow. It is typically used for cooking or for frying.

However, it can also be used to for homemade soaps and making candles. You can make a scented candle by adding essential oils to the rendered fat. The tallow can be a base ingredient for body butters too.

How Do You Render Fat from Brisket Trimmings?

Start by cutting the beef fat into chunks. The brisket fat trimmings shouldn’t be more than 1.5 inches in size.

Place the brisket fat in a pan. Pour enough water in the pan so that there is about half an inch of liquid.

Place the pan on a medium flame. Once the water begins to boil, turn the heat down to low.

Cook for 1 to 2 hours until the fat has been mostly rendered. The liquid will be a translucent yellow color. If it begins to turn brown at any point, this means that the temperature is too high. Lower it immediately.

You should be aware that because the beef fat has silver skin and other tissue attached to it that it will never render completely. There will be some golden brown pieces left behind.

Be warned that as tempting as it might look, these leftover pieces will not taste good.

Once the liquid has reached the desired temperature, turn the heat off.

Bear in mind that you are dealing with very hot oil so be cautious every step of the way.

Keep a heatproof bowl on the counter and place a metal sieve over it. Then, arrange a piece of muslin over this.

Carefully pour the oil through the sieve. When you are done, look at the liquid in the bowl. If it is clear, without any pieces, you can transfer it into a jar to be stored. If not, pass the oil through muslin and sieve again.

Silverside Beef

Use as Frying Oil

Once you have rendered the fat, it can be used in the same way as cooking oil. In particular, this oil is great for frying items like French fries and hash browns.

It adds an unbeatable flavor. It is also a great way you to make some use of the extra fat that you would have otherwise thrown away!

Make Yorkshire Pudding

You can make the Yorkshire pudding from the oil rendered from brisket fat trimmings.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Combine 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of milk, 1/3 cup of water, 2 eggs, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a bowl.

In a baking pan, pour enough of rendered oil to fill 1/4 of an inch of the bottom. Pour the batter into the dish.

Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Then, lower the temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for another 10 minutes. The Yorkshire pudding should be nice and fluffy by this time – a lovely golden brown too.

Slice into squares and serve.

This pudding can be served with savory items such as roast beef with all its trimmings. Or, you can go the sweet route with jam and other preservatives.

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Wrapping It Up

As you can see, you never have to let your brisket fat trimmings go to waste ever again! There is just so much that you can do with these leftovers.

nd, even if you aren’t in the mood to whip up a new dish or create cooking oil, you can put the fat to more practical uses. You can make candles, body butters, and a whole lot more!

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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