The USDA has different calorie amounts for brisket

Lean and fat, 0" fat (1.69 kcal/gram)

Lean, 0" fat (1.37 kcal/gram)

Lean and fat, 1/8" fat (2.78 kcal/gram)

Lean, 1/8" fat (1.29 kcal/gram)

What would be examples of each of the 4 above scenarios?

  • 2
    I do not understand this question, what do you mean by separable lean and fat?
    – GdD
    Oct 20, 2019 at 14:23

1 Answer 1


Lean brisket and fatty brisket refer to two different parts of the cut.

Lean is also known as the flat.

Fatty refers to the point, a separate fatty muscle group that sits on top of the flat.

These two cuts are often served separately in American barbecue. Also, because they vary in fat content and therefore tenderness, they are often cut to different widths.

I’m not sure that this is a perfect answer because I’m not sure I completely understand your question. But I think this information may be important to help you reach a conclusion.

Please refer to the annotated photo below courtesy of Eater. Especially in reference to the thick layer of fat that rests above the point and how the muscle of the point has a different appearance than the flat.

Annotated image depicting brisket flat and brisket point

To more directly answer the question, the part where it is talking about a fat measurement is literally the thickness of the fat layer. Where it talks about “lean” vs “lean and fat” I think it’s talking about which part of the brisket. The flat or the flat + the point. That’s my interpretation just from an initial reading.

  • I think something needs adding to cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/784/… to cover brisket. I've never seen a brisket that looks like it's been quick cooked, flat like that. UK brisket is rolled & tied, often slow-cooked.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 20, 2019 at 16:52
  • @Tetsujin yeah it’s very different. The brisket pictured has probably been cooked 12-16 hours.
    – Preston
    Oct 20, 2019 at 16:53
  • 1
    I found it in a link from the link ;-) It's not even the same cut, though there's some cross-over - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Cuts_of_beef
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 20, 2019 at 16:54
  • I know I'm stretching comments here, apologies - but how is the 'bark' generated? It looks like a rub, roast… I can't equate that with a 12-hour+ cook time, unless it's done in almost zero liquid.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 20, 2019 at 16:58
  • @Tetsujin yes, zero liquid. It’s generally a dry rub. Sometimes as simple as 50/50 kosher salt and black pepper. Then smoked. Generally around 225F/107C.
    – Preston
    Oct 20, 2019 at 16:59

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