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Thread: first cut brisket

  1. #1

    Default first cut brisket

    I want to smoke a brisket but everyone seems to say use the packers cut. I live in the NY metropolitan area and can only buy the first cut. Has anyone had experience smoking a first cut brisket (flat)? If so how does it differ from smoking a packers cut?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Dallas area

    Default Brisket Flats


    The reason most folks suggest a "packers cut" is that it helps when smoking briskets to have that extra fat. That 20% to 30% fat ratio really helps break down the cell structure of the meat and keep it moist.

    You can certainly get good briskets with a "flat" it's just a little more finicky cook cycle. In other words, you do not have the leeway in finish time before the brisket will start to dry out.

    I have not cooked very many flats and I am sure there are some more knowledgable experts here who will weigh in with their expertise, but when I have cooked flats I usually cut the cooking time back a bit. I would cook them at 200 degrees for about an hour per pound. The secret to cooking tender moist briskets is that you want to bring the meat up to an internal temperature of around 190 to 195 degrees in as gentle a manner as possible. Once it reaches that internal temperature you want to "hold" it there for about 2 hours.

    I will also suggest that you should not be afraid to wrap a brisket flat in foil about half way through the cooking process to preserve some of it's moisture if you are having difficulty with them drying out.

    One last suggestion which can help tremendously with flats is that you can also pull them from the oven after they reach the 190 degree point, triple wrap them in foil, wrap them with a good thick towel and place them in a cooler for a couple of hours (no ice). They will continue to "break down" and tenderize without actually cooking further. This can be an excellent way of tenderizing the brisket and still maintaining the ability to slice them. I do not do this too often as I like to cook them until they fall apart, but not everybody likes brisket meat pie like I do.

    Hope this helps and if you have any more questions give me a call and we will see if we can get your wheels rolling in the right direction.

    P.O. Box 250243 Plano, TX 75025

  3. #3

    Default First cut brisket

    Thank Scott I will try it. I wish I could get a packers cut somewhere.

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