Few other types of smoked meat can beat the utter deliciousness that brisket has to offer. From its crunchy bark to the soft, tender, and juicy inside, brisket is indeed something everyone can easily fall in love with. The only thing that can enhance a brisket is eating it with family and friends. With a smoker in your backyard and a small gathering, you’re all set.
As brisket can take a long time to cook, it can often become inconvenient for people. Sometimes, you want to cook it quickly. For this, you can either choose the point or the flat. This is a common question among brisket lovers and those who might be new to smoking. So, let’s settle this debate once and for all and find out which is better.
What Is a Brisket?
Not everyone here may be fully aware of what a brisket is. For those who know, you can jump ahead to the next section while we go over some of the basics of understanding beef brisket.
Beef brisket is a prime cut of the steer. It’s located just underneath chuck, or you can call it the shoulder. There are 2 briskets per animal—each one is found in the foreleg.
The brisket is full of connective tissue because the muscle is used to carry a lot of weight. This means that the meat can be very tough if not cooked properly, and no one wants a chewy, tough brisket that feels like leather. A long cooking time allows the fat to render properly and results in a soft, tender, and juicy cooked brisket.
When smoking the brisket, go with what’s called the whole packer version, which is untrimmed. The fat is supposed to be glossy and white, with the lean meat a deep ruby-red color.
Now, coming to the point (jokes aside), the point is where almost all of the fat resides. This is a small and thick visible piece of connective tissue. Off the bat, the point consists of more flavor due to the amount of fat present. However, once the fat is cooked down, there’s still a lot of meat leftover.
Due to this particular reason, the point is often ground to use for hamburgers.
Sometimes, the flat may be referred to as the first cut—either way, same thing. The flat is the leaner muscle, and as the name suggests, it lays flat once the deckle is removed. It also has a rather thick layer of fat on the top, known as the “cap.” This renders during the cooking process, giving the meat an added burst of flavor.
Usually, the cap is trimmed down before cooking. If the butcher hasn’t already trimmed it, you can do this at home quite easily.
Compared to the point, the flat is the larger cut and has a more rectangular appearance. It’s also a popular choice for corned beef sandwiches as it slices well because of its shape. The chances of you coming across a flat in the supermarket are much higher than the point.
Which Is Better?
Now, for the million-dollar question, which is better? When smoked, both the flat and the point can turn out to be incredibly delicious, which makes this question even harder to answer. However, things get a little easier when preference is taken into the equation.
If you’re someone who prefers slices of brisket, then the flat is the way to go. Due to the shape and the lean texture, the flat makes it very easy to cut uniform slices. On top of that, the meat isn’t too fatty and tastes delicious.
Now, if you like shredded meat for sandwiches or BBQ, the point is for you. The point has extremely tender meat, to the point it falls apart, and it’s also bursting with incredible flavor. The only difference is that the fat content is a lot, which means you’ll have less meat to work with. Nevertheless, you’ll get a texture that is as smooth as butter.
And there you have it. There are many differences between the point and the flat, but they both make delicious brisket. It all comes down to you and what you prefer to eat. From tender, juicy meat with a high-fat content to a large slab that can be sliced up, it’s all up to you and how you prefer your brisket.
Interested in more articles about smoking brisket? Well, you’re in the right place! Check out these articles we have prepared for you:
How to Smoke Brisket and Pro Brisket Tips
5 Best Kinds Of Wood For Smoking Brisket
Brisket Terminology and Cooking For Food Smoking
How to Slice a Brisket
For more great ideas on how to get the most out of your Bradley Smoker, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Food Smoking Blog for more tips & tricks.