Chopped vs. Sliced Brisket: Which Tastes Best?

When you’re serving up brisket you have a few options of how to cut it.

The most common is sliced and chopped.

But it really depends on how you serving it!

Are you having sandwiches, burnt ends, or sitting down for a fresh out the smoker brisket?

Let’s find out what most pitmasters think!

sliced brisket for sandwiches
Slicing My Brisket into Thick Pieces

Chopped vs Sliced Brisket – What Should You Do?

The flat is better for slicing whereas the point is better for chopping.

Now let’s get it straight, sometimes brisket is served to look good on the plate and other times it is served to taste good!

It also has to do with the fat content and shape of each piece

The brisket has two different parts, the point and the flat. The part you are serving can influence cut it.

If you’re getting a brisket sandwich, a good BBQ joint will ask you how you want it cut.

I’d recommend going for the chopped, you want that extra fat content to keep your sandwich extra juicy.

Now if you’re serving your brisket fresh, I would suggest going for sliced pieces from the flat.

What Is Beef Brisket?

There are nine primal cuts of beef, and the brisket is one of them. The brisket comes to form the chest of the cow.

This area holds about 60% of the cow’s body weight. When a muscle is worked hard over its lifetime, it will have a lot of connective tissue.

You have to cook these types of cuts precisely if you want them to be tender. If you cook it low and slow, you give the connective tissue time to breakdown into juicy gelatin, you will end up with a very tasty meal

What Is the Difference Between the Point vs Flat?

There are two parts of the brisket –

  1.  Point/deckle
  2.  The Flat

These cuts of meat differ by the amount of fat they contain and the shape.

The point brisket has more fat in it than the flat brisket. Plus, it doesn’t make pretty cuts due to its irregular grain. Flat briskets will be lean, and due to the shape, you can create uniform slices. I have created a whole resource here on how to choose the right cute of brisket, this will help you decide what will be the best option.

Note: There is some debate about brisket vs. pulled pork. Although brisket is technically more difficult to smoke, pitmasters agree tastes better.

Chopped vs Sliced Brisket (It all Depends on How You Are Serving It)

If they were a contest between chopped brisket (point) sandwiches vs sliced brisket (flat) sandwiches, I think chopped brisket sandwiches would win!

That’s because the higher fat content will ensure your sandwich is extra juicy and tender.

Also, you might notice, that chopped brisket can create a “fuller” looking plate, so many BBQ joints use this trick to make it look like you’re getting more bang for your buck. Most BBQ joints will also use the chopped point to make burnt ends.

However, if we’re talking about a meal where the brisket is the centerpiece, more often than not the uniform slice so the flat is served.

Keep these things in mind when you are menu planning to get the best of your brisket.

a piece of my sliced beef brisket on the cutting board

Does It Matter What Temperature It Is?

It does matter 100% when you initially smoke your brisket, you want to reach an internal temperature of 203°F. Then place it in a cooler and let it rest until it comes down to 160°F

If you overcook or undercook your brisket it can lead to thought, chewy and hard-to-cut meat! Brisket can be tough meat to master, so if you’re learning how to smoke meat, I have put together an A-Z on becoming a pitmaster.

Note: If you cook the whole brisket as one piece (otherwise known as the packer cut) just make sure to take the internal temperature from the thickest part of the cut, which is usually the point.

How to Slice Your Brisket?

There’s an art to slicing up your brisket. If you, do it correctly, not only will it be a marvel to look at, but will also taste a lot better! Here’s how you should do it.

Step 1: Get a sharp knife and a big cutting board.

Step 2: Cut the brisket in half so that you can separate the flat from the point.

Step 3: Use long and clean strokes of your knife to slice up your flat. Remember to go against the grain. The slices should be about 7 mm in thickness.

That’s all! And now you just might need a bit of practice to get this right.

How to Chop Your Brisket?

After you have separated the flat and the point, take the point brisket, put it down onto the cutting board.

Chop against the grain (if you don’t it can leave your brisket chewy). This is fine to do roughly. Just make sure it chop it into bite-sized bites, as it will be inside of a sandwich or burger.

The point is a fatty cut, so I like to balance out the favor with the juice of a lime and a good pinch of salt.

Make Sure You Have Leftovers

A lot of different dishes can be made with leftover brisket. You can try to make tacos, arepas, an adventurous breakfast of hash and eggs with the beef flavor, and much more. But my favorite thing to do with leftover brisket is to make chili out of it.

Here’s a little chili recipe for you. Reheat the brisket, add beans, fried onions, cherry tomatoes, then sprinkle salt and pepper to it. Stir it all up in the pan and then serve. There’s nothing more comforting than having chili with a beautiful smokey flavor to it.

If you are not keen on chili you can try my mom’s secret (well used to be). It’s her delicious beef brisket pie recipe. It has a yummy mushroom gravy and crispy and flaky lid!

cooked beef brisket pot pies sitting on the kitchen bench served with mashed potatos

Wondering How Much Brisket to Serve Per Person at Your Cookout?

Your brisket will be a hit. So, everyone will want a lot of it. You should make enough for them to indulge – trust me, you will get etched into their hearts forever with a good brisket cookout.

One whole brisket will weigh something around 14 ounces. But once you cook it, the meat will shrink down to about 8 ounces.

Now, according to calculations and years of experience of serving briskets on special occasions, I have come to the understanding that no one gets satisfied if they receive any less than ½ pounds of brisket.

So, stay on the safe side and buy 2 pounds more than necessary. Because there’s nothing more embarrassing than denying your guests their favorite dish of the day.

The difference in chopped and sliced brisket is not only in the cutting technique but in the type of meat as well. This made me hungry for a good meat smoking session! Good luck, and bon appétit!

Smoke on!


Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

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 adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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