Study beef terminology and you’ll quickly learn a specific cut can have many names. You might also uncover a single term with many meanings. Travel around the U.S., talk to different butchers and you’ll discover cuts and terms with a shared, universal definition. You’ll also find some terms with meanings native to a distinct geographic region. Finding these inconsistencies is fun and charming, but can also be confusing when perusing a butcher’s meat case or shopping online.

“Deckle” is an example of a beef term with multiple meanings. Its definition is the source of many questions from our customers and from the beef curious online. 


A deckle of beef is the portion of meat that wraps around the outside of the ribeye. Specifically, the deckle is the spinalis dorsi muscle which is the outer portion of a beef ribeye roll, the subprimal where ribeye steaks and prime rib are sourced.

Known as the cap of ribeye, ribeye cap, spinalis and butcher’s butter, this is considered one of the most desirable bites of beef available. This deckle has a buttery, tender texture, is intensely marbled, and possesses a deep beef flavor. 

photo of a deckle of beef
photo of a wagyu brisket deckle


The Wagyu brisket deckle is known in BBQ circles as the point on a full packer brisket. A full beef brisket is made up of two pieces, the flat (deep pectoral muscle) and the point (superficial pectoral muscle). According to the North American Meat Processors Association (NAMP), the deckle is the hard fat and intercostal meat on the inside surface of the brisket, but this is removed to produce a full packer brisket or NAMP 120 Beef Brisket, Deckle Off.


Briskets are covered with a substantial amount of fat. The fat cap covers both the deckle (point) portion, as well as the flat. Pro BBQ pitmaster recommend trimming the fat on a brisket prior to placing it in the smoker. Trimming provides a smooth shape that cooks more evenly in the smoker and creates a more visually appealing finished product.

Whether you trim a lot of the fat cap or go sparingly, there will be leftover trimmings including fat and possibly some meat. The best use for the Wagyu brisket fat is to render it for beef tallow. Beef tallow is easy to make by rendering the trimmings. The tallow is rich and savory and is a delicious ingredient to use in place of oil or butter. It can also be used to confit meats or to add flavor to ground beef. You can learn how to make tallow and use brisket trimmings here


Snake River Farms is an excellent source of Wagyu deckles. The American Wagyu cap of ribeye, or deckle of beef, is available in both Black and Gold grades. Gold grade features the highest level of marbling available from Snake River Farms. These highly coveted items are available in limited supply and are both offered in a 20 oz. and petite 14 oz. weight.

Also available are American Wagyu full packer briskets that include both the deckle (or point) and the flat. These briskets are found on numerous Grand Champion teams in all the major BBQ competitions. These are offered in seven different weight ranges and in both Black and Gold grade. 

Are you a visual learner? See our video "Start to Finish Brisket with Burnt Ends from a World Champion".