Brisket Flat Vs Brisket Point What’s the Difference? (Is One Better??)

You might be surprised to learn that briskets actually come in two different types of cuts. This is because brisket consists of separate muscles.

These two cuts of brisket are known as a brisket point and a brisket flat. They’re both different from one another, from their optimal cooking methods to their texture and taste.

Read further to find out more about their differences.

brisket flat vs brisket point(1)

What is Brisket?

The brisket piece of meat consists of two muscles located at the animal’s chest — be it the cow, pig, or lamb. This chest muscle is quite muscular because it is formed and developed by the animal supporting its weight as it walks.

In a way, it functions as a collar bone or clavicles, which these animals do not have. Each cow has two brisket muscles. There is then two parts to this muscle; known as the brisket flat and the brisket point.  

Brisket cuts generally provide for quite tough meat. Therefore, it’s always best to use a slow method of cooking to get the fats fully rendered — and to keep the brisket moist for the best brisket experience. The broken-down collagen and muscle fibers of the brisket make the meat moist and tender.

There are many ways to prepare a piece of brisket. For example, beef brisket is suitable for corned beef, braised beef, smoked cuts, and much more. If you want to make smoked corned beef brisket we highly recommend giving our family recipe a go.

Brisket Point vs Flat – What’s the Difference

Once separated from the brisket point, the brisket flat forms a rectangular shape. On the other hand, the brisket point looks like a triangle. It is a lot thicker than its brisket flat counterpart.

The point is better for smoking as it has more fat and connective tissue. The flat is often used in braises that are sliced, like for corned beef.  Whereas the fattier point cut, is used for smoked for pulled beef, and smoked barbecued brisket

Let’s go through the differences between these two cuts of meat.

About the Brisket Point

If you want to know which cut of brisket is tastier, then the answer is easy. The brisket point — also known as the ‘deckle’ — is more tasty than the flat cut. That is because the point has a higher fat content, and high fat equates to extra flavor.

In this sense, the differences between the point and the flat can be comparable to those between pork cushion and pork butt.The brisket point is excellent for smoking. However, due to its low meat content, it is often used for making delicious meat patties.

This cut is overall smaller in size compared to the flat. Some might favor this cut over a brisket flat if they’re looking for smaller portion sizes when cooking brisket. For example, it is usually suggested that the serving size for briskets is ½ pound per person.

Considering that a whole brisket flat usually weighs anywhere from six to 10 pounds, it makes sense that those who have lesser mouths to feed would choose the brisket point if they do not wish to deal with leftovers.

About the Flat

The brisket flat or nose-off brisket, which looks like a rectangular hunk of meat, forms approximately ¾ of the entire brisket. While there is some fat or marbling throughout this cut, it mainly consists of lean meat that’s thin and low in fat.

The slim layer of fat that runs through its surface area is what keeps untrimmed briskets moist — as this fat seeps into the meat while it’s being cooked. However, some butches trim the fat layer off of the brisket flat before selling it.

If you’re working with one that doesn’t have that layer of fat, the cooked brisket could end up a little bit drier But don’t worry I have mastered smoking a juicy brisket flat. See the recipe for smoked brisket flat only that is still super succulent!

However, those are still great for beef brisket slices and shredded beef.

brisket flat

Brisket Point vs. Flat: Which is Better for Smoking?

The point is better for smoking as it has more fat and connective tissue. The flat is often used in braises that are sliced, like for corned beef.  Whereas the fattier point cut, is used for smoked for pulled beef, and smoked barbecued brisket

The overall rule for briskets is to leave them to cook slowly with low or indirect heat. Hence, smoking is the most common and popular cooking method, especially for those who enjoy the smoky flavor. Both these cuts of beef can be cooked using this method. However, there are some slight differences in how they are smoked.

For example, their cooking times vary. Depending on the size of the brisket point, it takes about 6-8 hours to cook it.

On the other hand, a brisket flat varies within the 9-10 hours range.

Another difference is that many will recommend that you cut the silver skin or extra fat off the flat cut before smoking it, whereas the whole purpose of smoking the point is to leave the fat on — for that melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Our conclusion? Both of them take quite some time to smoke, and both cuts taste delicious.

Sure, some may prefer the one with less fat or more fat, but we wouldn’t say that one cut is better for smoking than the other.

How to Smoke The Brisket Flat Only?

Smoking just the brisket flat can be a little intimidating, it is harder due to the lack of fat and connective tissue in the flat.

But once you master it, you’ll be turning out juicy succulent brisket each and every time

See the full recipe for smoking a juicy brisket flat here.

What to Do With Leftover Brisket?

Unless your cooking for a big crowd you’re bound to have leftovers.

See some of the ways your can use your leftover brisket

Brisket Nachos

Brisket Tacos

Brisket Point vs. Flat: Which is Better for Burnt Ends?

The point is the most common cut used for burnt ends, however, you can use the flat for brisket burnt ends. You just need to realize it has less fat and connective tissue than the point.Therefore can be harder to make the burnt ends with it.

How To Separate the Flat and the Point

If your butcher hasn’t already separated the flat from the point for you, then here’s how you can do it yourself, at home. You’ll want to find the thick seam of fat that separates the two sections from one another.

Then, using a sharp knife, cut through it to separate the brisket into two cuts. You might want to leave a little bit of the point on the brisket flat to ensure that the meat remains tender while you’re cooking it.

The Bottom Line on Brisket Point vs Flat

Both the brisket point and the brisket flat serve as great beef options for any barbecue. If you’re cooking for a large crowd who prefers leaner meat, then the flat is the one to go with.

If you’re having a small family dinner and you all want that melt-in-your-mouth experience that’s similar to wagyu, then go for the point cut.

And if you’re lucky enough to host a large gathering where your quests appreciate fatty meat that’s full of flavor, then why not serve up a whole brisket — with both the flat and the point?

And if you’ve got leftovers, you can always save the meat to make tasty brisket sandwiches for later.

Smoke On!


Author: Charlie Reeves
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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