Can You Cut A Brisket In Half? (3 Simple Steps)

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Do you enjoy smoked brisket but don’t want to smoke a full packer brisket ? You might wonder if you can just cut your brisket in half.

Maybe your smoker isn’t big enough, or you don’t want to cook that much food. Cutting the brisket in half will also reduce the cooking time. In this guide, I’ll walk you through cutting a brisket in half so you can still enjoy a succulent and juicy smoked brisket.

Can You Cut A Brisket In Half?

You can cut a brisket in half; many butchers sell it already cut. Cutting a brisket in half or buying an already-cut brisket is normal. This is due to many reasons. Some people don’t want to cook that much meat; they don’t have room to cook it, or they don’t have the time to cook it all.

Note: Before you cut your brisket, you need to figure out if it has already

A packer brisket is a whole brisket that hasn’t been cut; you can cut this in half.

A brisket flat or point has already been cut in half. You should not cut this in half.

What Is A Packer Brisket?

A packer cut consists of two muscles: the flat, the point, and the deckle. The point and flat are referred to as subprimal cuts.

The flat is the lean portion of the brisket; it makes up the majority of the brisket and has a large layer of fat. This layer of fat protects the meat, but you do need to trim some of it if you want to get a crust on your meat.

The point is the fatty portion, or “nose.” It is attached to the animal’s ribcage. It is a thick cut with lots of marbling, chunks of fat, and connective tissue.

diagram to show where the point and flat is on brisket

How to Cut a Brisket in Half

To cut the brisket in half, separate the flat from the point.

  1. First, lay the brisket down with the fatty side down.
  2. You need to look for the thick fat layer that separates the flat from the point
  3. Use a boning knife to trim the fat layer; you want to leave about 1/4 inch. You don’t want to cut too much fat otherwise the meat will be dry but leaving too much fat on will not allow the rub or smoke to penetrate the meat
  4. Identify the fat seam. This is called the “nose. With a boning knife, carefully cut along the fat seam. When you reach the end of the flat seam, cut the rest of the way through the brisket. Now you have fully separated the two subprimal cuts.
prime cut brisket that is left side beef

How Long Does It Take To Cook A Flat Portion Of Brisket?

The flat is a leaner cut, so it only takes 4-6 hours to cook at 225°F, but it depends on the size and if it stalls. You need to reach 200°F before you pull the brisket. The carryover cooking will get the brisket to the optimal temperature of 204°F.

See the complete resource for Smoking a brisket flat only

How Long Does It Take To Cook The Point Portion Of A Brisket?

The point cut has more connective tissue and fat to break down, so it takes longer to cook. It will take around 7-9 hours at 225°F but this can change depending on the size of the cut and if it stalls. You need to reach 200°F before you pull the brisket. The carryover cooking will get the brisket to the optimal temperature of 204°F.

If you choose to cook the point, you may want to consider making burnt ends.This works well with the point as it is fattier and more chunky meat.

Smoke On!


Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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