Flats, Points or Whole?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by bassman, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    After not having much success with my first brisket, I have been leery to try another. My question is, on a whole brisket, the point is about 1" thick and the end of the flat may be upwards of 3-3/2". Does the point part get doe quicker than the flat end and what special care do I need to take to keep from getting too done? Saw a 14#er at Sam's yesterday. It was only $1.68 per pound! Thank you folks for being here to help us dummies!![​IMG]

  2. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    A dummy would not have asked this question, sir!

    Yes, the flat will finish first, but if you plan on pulling, that's of little consequence. For classic slicing, usually the tip is trimmed off, and used eleswhere <think BEANS>.

    Last one I did whole I pulled off the flat at about 170, put a little rub on the exposed 'fresh" meat on the flat, and took it to 185. Left the tip in to 205 and pulled it.

    And don't forget the Okie Method! The pulled tip had SOO much tasty bark...Yum!
  3. bombo80

    bombo80 Smoke Blower


    I was at Sam's a week ago, or so, and I saw that they had both, full briskets and , I forget what the other ones are called, but it's basically a trimmed up version with almost no fat. The price difference is about a buck a pound too !!

    The full brisket has a really thick fat cap on one side, I know, I bought one from there before. The smaller, more expensive ones, have almost no fat, and are about 1/3 to 1/2 smaller than the full brisket.

    I didn't buy one this trip, and haven't decided which way to go either. The 14 pounders are nice, for the price, but there is alot of fat waste. The next time I buy a full brisket, I'll trim as much of the fat off it as I can. I didn't really like it after the smoke and rest period. I would prefer to get rid of it before then. We'll see what happens.

    Also, on my first brisket, I ended up with half pulled and half sliced, because the flat end got to a higher IT than the thick point. Not a big deal, I just ended up with a pile of each. Oh, and lots of really good sauce !!!

    Good luck , and enjoy
  4. bigal

    bigal Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Bassman, the flat is about 1-1.5" thick and the point is the thick side, 3-4". Do a search on google to see how to separate the two.

    Each to their own, but I only do whole packers anymore. Yes, alot of waste in fat, but it helps the end product so much.

    For juicy, tender brisket, check out the beef forum and the "stickies" on brisket at the top of that page. I've found that smoke'n at 225* till 160-170, then into a foil pan and covered in foil, then taken to 200-210 is the best.

    The point will reach temp before the flat, but just worry about the flat part for the cook, ie keep the probe in the flat. When your probe hits 190-200 then pull the probe out and put it in another spot of the brisket(close to middle, where probe was). If you can push that probe in and it feels like "butter", then your good. If not, let it go another 5* or so.

    The point is very fatty. I like to separate the point and the flat after it's done, slice the flat and chop the point. Then I put the point back in the smoker to "melt" away some of that fat.

    When slice'n the flat, cut off the fat(not required), so you have a nice lean slice of brisket.

    It takes alot of practice, but you'll get it.....and when you do you'll like brisket as much as steak if not more!

    Don't get down, if it was easy then we wouldn't need this forum. Practice, and strive to make it perfect.
  5. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Ain't that the truth.

    Keep in mind that brisket is widely considered to be the hardest one of the big 4 Q items. Don't throw in the towel after the first one.......or the second....or the third...........Keep researching and practice. Cook, cook, cook.
  6. smokyokie

    smokyokie Smoking Fanatic

    I only do whole packer trims, preferably 12-13#, 14 is OK but when you start getting much bigger than that, the meat can have a tendency to get a little on the stringy side.

    There is absolutely no reason to trim the fat before smoking, and there are several reasons not to.

    If you choose the right brisket, the point isn't always that fatty. In the middle of the PT, there is a chunk of fat called the Kernel. On briskets w/ smaller kernels the point meat isn't as "marbled" or fatty as it is w/ briskets that have a thick kernel. I don't know if it's the diet, the steer or what. At any rate, when you go to select your brisket, pick it up and wiggle it right in the middle. The ones that wiggle the easiest do so because there is less fat in them and fat gets stiff when refrigerated.

    Using this method of selection, it's very rare that I end up with a point that's too fat to serve sliced. In fact, the point is usually what disappears first.

    I cooked briskets w/o a thermometer (by feel) for years and have only fairly recently started using one. My best results have come w/ the probe in the thickest part of the kernel and an internal temp of 197* followed by a 30-45 minute rest.

    I also prefer to smoke closer to 275*. a 12-13#er usually takes about 8 hours.

    If you want to try my method and have questions, feel free to PM me.
  7. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I really appreciate your help, guys! I wasn't getting "down" on smoking meat, just questioning whether I wanted to try another brisket right away. I've had excellent luck with baby back ribs and pork butts. Even the elk roast came out great. I may even smoke up something this weekend. Thanks again for all the great information. Keith
  8. smokyokie

    smokyokie Smoking Fanatic

    If you use the Smokey Okie Method brisket is pretty well foolproof. do a post search on it and you'll see how many others found it to be the case.

    It's also one of the more flavorful things a body can do w/ a smoker.
  9. bigal

    bigal Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Smoky, I want to try your brisket.....and I want you to try mine. I've heard so much about your brisket, but I'm arrogant enough to think that mine is just as good.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] What I wouldn't give to cook and debate w/you over brisket, of course you'd be cook'n, I'd be eat'n! [​IMG]

    Some day friend....some day.

    Bassman, read all you can on this site. You'll have a brisket that you will swear by in no time. I have one, Smoky has one, and so does everyone else.

    If anyone wants to talk brisket, call me 620-874-1033 (hint..hint smoky) or bassman. I'll walk ya thru it all. I can help ya have good brisket, Smoky may beable to get ya great brisket, I doubt it [​IMG] .

    I'm just rubb'n ya Smoky......................that is I'm getting ya ready for the smoker. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Thats my cell, give me a call and give me hell, anyone. I'll have beer for me and a debate for you. I'd like to learn something anyway.
  10. brentman0110

    brentman0110 Meat Mopper

    So, you are saying get one with the least amount of fat and the most wiggle?
  11. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's what the man is saying. I used to get some strange looks when I would walk up to the self service case and start picking up packer briskets and giving them a shake until I found the one with the most wiggle. A more sutble way is to pick a brisket up holding it by the ends and then bending the brisket. Like it was mentioned in an earlier post 'fat don't bend'.

    The first couple of times I'd do the brisket shake, the butcher would look at me funny. Then one day he asked me what the heck I was dong. With a simple explanation and him proclaiming that he learned something new, I now get a call from him at least once a month letting me know that he has some briskets in with some "nice wiggle" to them.

    Treat your butcher right. . I mean FEED your butcher right and he'll be willing to go the extra mile in helping you get what you want.
  12. smokyokie

    smokyokie Smoking Fanatic

    Yes, The Dutchman said it right. If you get the leanest PT you can find, you'll still have plenty of fat. That is not true of flats though. If you buy a flat, get the one w/ the most fat you can find. Fat is your friend unless it's marbled thru the point cut.

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