Brisket Point VS Flat: Is One Better Than The Other?

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Barbecue lovers are all familiar with the tender and juicy beef brisket. It is a cut of meat that cannot be compared to anything else, and its melt-in-the-mouth texture is truly divine. 

However, in order to cook a beef brisket to perfection, it can take a very long time, but you can overcome this by deciding on a certain part of the brisket to cook, such as the point or the flat. 

Brisket Point VS Flat: Is One Better Than The Other?

This article will be discussing these two parts of the brisket, so you can determine which part of the meat is best for you to cook. 

Brisket Explained 

This meat is a cut of beef, taken from the breast of the cow. It is below the first five ribs and behind the foreshank. Each animal has two briskets, one on each foreleg. 

As it is part of the pectoral muscles which support the cow’s weight, the meat is a relatively large cut, and as it is rich in connective tissue it can be relatively tough.

Therefore, this cut of meat needs to be cooked at lower temperatures for a longer period of time in order for it to reach that tender texture it has become known for. 

A whole packer brisket has two separate muscles, the point and the flat. As this cut of meat is so big, butches normally separate the brisket into these two halves and sell it on like so. 

As these two parts of the brisket are smaller, they cook faster. 

The Point

The point, also named the deckle, is the fattier part of the brisket. It is thicker but smaller and has a lot more connective tissue and marbling than the flat part of the brisket.

It is a cut that looks somewhat tapered at the end, resembling a ‘point’. 

As there is a higher fat content, it means that there is more flavor when it comes to this part of the brisket, but less meat yield. 

Due to this, it is more often prepared as shredded meat instead of sliced. This gives it an easier texture and chew.

However, if you are a fan of fattier cuts of meat, then you can also enjoy it sliced. There is around 21% of fat in this cut. 

Preparing The Point

As mentioned above, the point is normally shredded, or it is used for creating brisket burnt ends. While it has a high-fat content, there is no trimming involved, as this is what gives it its distinctive flavor. 

It is recommended to add a dry rub to the meat before cooking. This can be as simple or creative as you like.

As mentioned already, this meat has a delicious taste already, so you don’t need to go crazy with the herbs and spices. As long as it compliments the beefy flavor, you’ll have a delicious meal at the end of it. 

Cooking The Point

As you would do for a whole brisket, the point must be cooked at a low temperature for a long period of time. 

There are a few ways you can do this. You can cook it until it is fully done, or you can remove it when it reaches 150 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit and wrap it up. 

You also have the option of double smoking it, and this is the best way to achieve burnt ends. 

This cut will always be ready at 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and you’ll be able to tell it is ready as there will be a jello-like substance on the meat. 

Brisket Point VS Flat Is One Better Than The Other (1)

So Which Part of the Brisket is Best for Fat Side Up or Down Cooking Method?

When cooking brisket, the debate over whether to cook fat side up or down is ongoing. The fat side of the brisket serves as a natural basting agent, making the meat more flavorful and moist. However, some argue that cooking fat side down allows for better rendering of the fat, resulting in a more tender end product. Ultimately, the best method for cooking brisket fat sides is a matter of personal preference.

The Flat 

Also named the beef brisket middle cut, brisket center cut, or brisket first cut, the flat is the meatier, flatter, and leaner cut of the brisket.

It is less thick than the point, at around 1-2 inches, and weighs from 5 to 10lbs. 

This meat is perfect for slicing, and it is distinguishable from the point due to it being a flat cut of meat, as the name suggests. 

As it is so lean, this cut only has a minimal amount of fat that still allows for some marbling. The fat percentage is only 17%, so you’ll find yourself with a good yield of meat that has a wonderful flavor. 

Prepare The Flat

While there is only a small amount of fat on this cut, you can still remove it completely. However, the fat helps to keep in moisture, so it is juicier. 

You should also ensure that any silver skin areas are removed, as this makes the meat a lot chewier. 

When it comes to adding flavor, you have a variety of options. If you are wanting to make pastrami (which is popular with this cut), you can brine it.

You can also make a flavorsome marinade that will add a good crust to the meat. 

Many prefer to simply add a dry rub of some sort, which creates a lovely bark if you are smoking it low and slow. This adds a ton of flavor! 

Cooking The Flat 

As this meat is very lean, the only way to cook it is low and slow, as doing it at a high temperature for a shorter amount of time will leave you with a very tough, dry meat. 

The temperature you cook it at will determine the kind of meat that is left.

If you’d like a slice of juicier meat, then cooking it at 225 degrees Fahrenheit will give you this result, although it will take a lot longer. 

However, cooking it at 275 degrees Fahrenheit means less cooking time, but you will lose some moisture. 

Some people enjoy removing the meat from the heat when it reaches 150 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit, wrapping it in foil, and placing it back on the heat. This is another way to retain moisture. 

Which Is Better For Smoking? 

Both options are delicious for smoking. However, if you prefer sliced meat, then the flat option is best. The flat shape makes it easier to slice, and the meat will have a delicious flavor without too much fat. 

If you prefer shredded beef to make into sandwiches, then the point is the best way to go. You’ll have some tender meat after cooking this cut, along with a wonderful flavor.

However, you must remember that there’s less meat with this cut due to the high-fat content. 

Final Thoughts 

To conclude, both parts of the beef brisket are delicious. The final decision comes down to what kind of meat you prefer to have! 

Tommy Hall

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