Brisket Flat vs Point


Brisket is the main dish of many barbecues, but did you know that brisket is actually two cuts of meat? Today we dive into the battle of the brisket and learn the differences between the flat brisket and the brisket point.

Flat vs Pointed Chest

Brisket is one of those cuts of meat that shows how a little preparation and patience can make a world of difference.

Historically brisket was not a coveted piece, the Old English word is ” brushk ” meaning hard and the Vikings would refer to it as gristle or gristle. Doesn’t sound very appetizing, does it? However, you are not wrong; Any meat taken from the front of the cow IS notoriously tough and if improperly prepared can be virtually inedible.

Today we know how to turn that relatively inexpensive cut of meat into the moist and delicious brisket that people rave about using the low-slow cooking method.

smoked barbecue beef sliced ​​whole brisket

What is brisket?

The brisket is a cut of meat that comes from the cow’s chest area. It consists of a pair of muscles in the chest that are also connected to the front legs. These muscles do a lot of work to keep the cow upright, resulting in a very hard, dense cut with lots of connective tissue. For this reason, brisket is a “low and slow” cooked cut; It takes the sustained heat to break down the connective tissue and create the delicious breasts we know and love.

The two muscles that make up the chest are called flat chest and pointed chest, and while they’re both hard-working muscles, they end up being cooked in very different ways.

If you buy brisket in the supermarket, you will usually find brisket on sale. If you are looking for brisket to grill, better look for the “Packer’s Cut” which is both flat and pointed and untrimmed to ensure you get the best flavor, best place to get a Packers. The incision of the breast would be done in a butcher’s shop.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the two and how best to prepare and cook them. 

What is Brisket Flat?

The flat brisket is the main part of the brisket and is so called because it’s cut like a flat piece of meat that’s about 1 to 2 inches thick. It’s also sometimes referred to as the first breast incision, the breast nose incision, or if we’re going to get scientific, the deep breast incision. 

This muscle sits further inside the cow and attaches to the ribs. It’s a lean cut, meaning it’s low in fat and doesn’t retain much connective tissue. So if it’s not cooked properly, it can become very tough. 

However, there is visible marbling along the flat part of the breast, and while the fat percentage is low, it can retain great flavor and remain tender if prepared properly.

Used for flat chest

Its shape and size makes it great for slicing and is often used as a delicacy, a braised or slow-cooked roast, or that delicious smoked BBQ treat we all know and love.

The history of the flat brisket as an Easter staple

The breast pocket has a long tradition as an integral part of the Passover table for many Jewish families. With beef, there are fewer cuts to choose from due to Jewish customs, as much beef is not gilded as kosher. 

Brisket is one of the kosher cuts of meat, as it comes from the front of the cow, and was also historically one of the most respected cuts of meat(as it is a highly stressed muscle that takes longer to cook). This has led to brisket being a staple for many Central and Eastern European Jews since the 18th century, particularly for food-based customs such as Passover, where large groups of friends and aging gathered.

Prepare a flat chest

Flat chest preparation is relatively minor when it comes to trimming; Due to the way it was slaughtered, there is already less fat on the outside of the cut. If there’s anything left, you can remove it if you’d like, but remember that the fat left over from cooking, plus seasoning to keep the meat juicy. The part to be removed immediately is the transparent silver skin; YOU want to remove it, otherwise it will hold the fiber of the meat together and make it appear tough.

Flavoring your flat brisket depends on what you intend to use it for. 

If you plan to make it into pastrami, salt it; If you plan on raising or slow roasting it, you might want to make a marinade.

If you intend to cook low and slow, use a dry rub to create a nice crust during the smoking process.  

How to smoke a flat brisket

Smoking a flat brisket with optimal success takes some time, but the results are worth it. You should smoke the meat at a low temperature of about 107-135°C(225-275°F) until the internal temperature of the breast reaches 95°C(203°F). It’s worth considering wrapping your skirt to prevent a “stall.” The Texas Crutch method is an ideal way to hit the plateau and ensure your chest stays moist. 

What is Brisket Point?

The breast point is the part of the overall breast neckline that sits on the cow’s leg. It may also be known as a deckle, fat end, second cut, triangular cut, or its scientific name, superficial pectoral muscle.

Calling it point or triangle just fine how this cut looks. It is smaller and thicker than flat chest but has a higher fat content with much more marbling and connective tissue. As a result, it yields less meat than flat cut, but the meat it produces has a juicier texture and stronger flavor.

Used for the breast tip

The higher fat content of the tip of the breast means it’s more suitable for shredding than slicing, as it imparts better texture when eaten. 

However, that doesn’t mean it can never be cut! One implemented use for brisket is to dice it to make delicious burnt tips. 

Prepare a breast point

Because the top of the breast is often served shredded or used for burned ends, the extra fat does not need to be removed as it enhances the final flavor of the meat.

Most people opt for a dry marinade when seasoning the brisket as it allows it to develop a flavorful crust.

How to grill a breast tip

The brisket should be cooked low and slow to ensure the fats and connective tissue are broken down for that delicious, tender finish we’re looking for. As with the airplane, the breast tip can be separated from the wrap to avoid “posting”. Start in the smoker at a low temperature of about 107-135°C(225-275°F) and continue cooking until the internal breast temperature reaches 95°C(203°F).

How to make chest with burnt ends

To prepare the burnt ends of the breast, follow the same steps as above but stop when you’re about 80% done. Remove the nearly finished breast from the smoker, chop into 1-inch cubes, and toss in the sauce before returning to the smoker to finish cooking and allow the sauce to caramelize.

Brisket Flat vs. Point – Battle for the brisket

Let’s do a quick recap of the Battle of the Boobs

Easier to cook

When it comes to frying brisket flat and brisket point, both are prepared the same way: they can both be smoked, but the flat also works well as a stew or slow fried dish. What is easier to cook is more of a personal preference than to which method best suits your skill set.

Fat content

Thanks to the continuous marbling, the tip has a higher fat content than the surface. This means the tip is less likely to dry out during cooking, but as long as both cuts of fat are cooked low and slow, the difference in fat content isn’t a significant issue.

Best button

The general consensus gives the flank point a clear victory when it comes to which cut tastes the best. Its extensive marbling and the fact that it’s bondage overall means it’s inherently more flavorful and produces a juicier, buttery texture than brisket. 

To separate the top of the chest and the flat

If you purchased a “packer” brisket, to get the best of both cuts you will need to cut off the top of the brisket and flatten it before cooking.

Splitting a breast takes some practice, but with the help of a sharp knife and these step-by-step instructions, you’ll be ready to start grilling in no time.

1. Identify your cuts

First you need to determine which piece is which on your skirt. Lay the brisket fat side down on your work surface. With the thicker side down, the flat part sits over the toe(remember we said before that the flat part is against the ribs and the toe is on top of the leg) and you’ll see a fat seam where meet the two. This seam is known as the nose.

2. Trim the “nose”

This bold seam is where YOU want to separate the two cuts. Take a sharp knife and start cutting this seam, following it as it curves back and under the flat part. To make this easier for you, lift the flat part with your other hand as you cut so you can see where the thick seam goes. It eventually becomes thinner and to the point where it tapers; Once you cut there, you have two separate pieces of meat.


Depending on how close you cut to this seam of fat, you may be left with excess fat on both cuts. Give them a cut and remove the necessary fat.

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