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Egging for years - 1st 3 pound brisket flat

Always intimidated by them.  Bought a small flat to pop my cherry.  3 pound flat only.  I like Aaron Franklin/Malcom Reed.  Seemed like S&P cook at 225 or so and then pull at 160 wrap in butcher paper until 200.  Let it rest for an hour or two in the cooler.   Does this sound alright?  With this being such a small flat I would think I could just get up early Saturday and start it as opposed to going in Friday night and smoking overnight.

Any tips/input is appreciated.  I'll do a whole one after this with the point and fat.  Cheers.
Large BGE
Ellicott City, MD

Comments

  • brentm
    brentm Posts: 422
    seems like a reasonable approach.  how's the quality of the meat?   
  • vb4677
    vb4677 Posts: 686
    I did a small one to start with, took a similarly simply approach to you, and it was not good - tough, dry, bland.  Threw me off of trying another brisket.  But, I finally attempted a 15# packer a couple years back and it's game on nowadays! Great cook when you need to feed/impress folks...
    Kansas City: Too Much City for One State - Missouri side
    2 Large BGE's, Instant Pot, Anova Sous Vide, and a gas smoker...
    Barbeque, Homebrew and Blues...
  • NDG
    NDG Posts: 2,429
    edited January 2020
    @The Cen-Tex Smoker  wow. you keep this forum pumping - and keep me active - thank you.
    Columbus, OH

    “There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as if everything is” 
  • bicktrav
    bicktrav Posts: 640
    @The Cen-Tex Smoker how do you feel about doing the point only? I've done that a couple of times and it's been decent. Definitely not as good as when I've done full packers, but way more serviceable than a flat alone.
    Southern California
  • bicktrav said:
    @The Cen-Tex Smoker how do you feel about doing the point only? I've done that a couple of times and it's been decent. Definitely not as good as when I've done full packers, but way more serviceable than a flat alone.

    What most people refer to as "the point" is actually the thick part of the brisket with point and flat together. If that's what you are talking about, then I'm down with it.

    The actual point muscle by itself is pretty small and thin, like a flank steak or something, so it's more suited to making the dreaded burnt ends if cooking by itself.

    This is what a point muscle looks like when separated from the flat:


    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • lousubcap
    lousubcap Posts: 31,909
    edited January 2020
    If you can score a brisket point (thick "nose end" as you occasionally find in a good butcher shop) then go for it.  The best of the best beef goodness right there.  FWIW-(Edit:  for sure, burnt ends should be reserved for pork belly only  B) )
    Louisville; Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!  Seems I'm livin in a transitional period.
  • NDG
    NDG Posts: 2,429
    I have never made good brisket on my BGE yet
    (But my fails have turned to great chili) so I just quit years ago and ignored all brisket talks here.  I am opening my eyes again - sounds like I need to get a full packer and man up . . 
    Columbus, OH

    “There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as if everything is” 
  • lousubcap
    lousubcap Posts: 31,909
    Should you decide to go again (fully endorse that move) then there are many here who will offer pre-cook info and walk you thru the most fun cokk you can have on the BGE.  Back on the horse-you will nail it!
    Louisville; Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!  Seems I'm livin in a transitional period.
  • I hate to be Debbie Downer but I may be able to save you some time and frustration. A 3lb flat is almost impossible to get right as what most would consider smoked bbq style brisket. They are mostly trimmed of all external fat and separated from the part where all the intramuscular fat is. Both of these things are critical to keep the brisket moist on a long voyage in a smoker. When we teach bbq classes this comes up all the time. "it's just me and the wife so I don't need a huge brisket" and more often "I don't want to ruin a $50-$100 piece of meat"!. Both valid points but completely antithetical to cooking good brisket. I always tell people in our brisket class that the first and most common mistake in cooking brisket comes at the grocery store. You really need to buy a full packer brisket, and the best grade you can afford if you are going to expect good results...especially if you are inexperienced. this will give you every advantage to get it right when a lean piece of flat make it almost impossible even for very experienced bbq cooks.  I also tell them that if you are only cooking for a few people or want to practice doing great beef bbq without investing a ton of money and cooking all night, cook beef chuck or plate ribs. It's from the same part of the animal, the cook is exactly the same process, and it only takes 5-6 hours. On top of that, you can get excellent results with that cook and you cannot with a 3lb brisket (unless you are a way better brisketeer than me).

    Now, if you want to give it a rip, go for it. I would cook it at around 250-260 and not wrap it at all. It will cook in 3-4 hours max (2-3 max if you wrap it) so you don't need to start it overnight. The reason I wouldn't wrap at 160 is that you will be at 160 in an hour. That is not enough time for the bark to set.

    If it were me, I would chalk this up to inexperience, grind this up into burgers or cook it Travis style


    If you want to cook something smaller but with big impact, grab some plate or chuck beef ribs. You'll be happy you did.

    If you really want to cook a brisket, find yourself a full packer brisket. You can find them as small as 7-8 lbs but more often they are 12-ish at the grocery store. I'll be glad to walk you through one and there are several others on here who will gladly help as well.

    Good luck- let us know if we can help.








    Nothing to add to this well said post. I’ve nailed a lot of briskets but never a small grocery store flat. 

    Maybe braise it and make pulled beef vs going for a brisket product 

    just remember it’s not your fault. There’s nothing you need to change. That’s just a starting recipe for dry disappointing brisket sadly from the start 
  • bicktrav
    bicktrav Posts: 640
    bicktrav said:
    @The Cen-Tex Smoker how do you feel about doing the point only? I've done that a couple of times and it's been decent. Definitely not as good as when I've done full packers, but way more serviceable than a flat alone.

    What most people refer to as "the point" is actually the thick part of the brisket with point and flat together. If that's what you are talking about, then I'm down with it.

    The actual point muscle by itself is pretty small and thin, like a flank steak or something, so it's more suited to making the dreaded burnt ends if cooking by itself.

    This is what a point muscle looks like when separated from the flat:


    Yeah, I'm talking about the thick part with the point and flat together. There's a butcher shop near me that will chop them that way on request, so I pick one up every now and again.
    Southern California
  • nolaegghead
    nolaegghead Posts: 42,100
    I agree with Cen-Tex, but if you can get a large flat with a fat cap, plenty of intramuscular fat (prime or wagyu) it can be good.  Some consider the flat to be the quintessential brisket cut.  But sometimes it is true the tail wags the dog and that connection to the point somehow magically makes the flat better.  It is a mystery, unsolved, but braising is your friend with a lean cut.
    ______________________________________________
    I love lamp..
  • brentm
    brentm Posts: 422
    I agree with Cen-Tex, but if you can get a large flat with a fat cap, plenty of intramuscular fat (prime or wagyu) it can be good.  Some consider the flat to be the quintessential brisket cut.  But sometimes it is true the tail wags the dog and that connection to the point somehow magically makes the flat better.  It is a mystery, unsolved, but braising is your friend with a lean cut.
    I admit my first brisket was a Travis Style brisket.  Actually, my first few...

    https://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1138233/brisket-how-i-do-it/p1

    my guess is the point, or the extra mass, allows a slower rise in temperature maybe???  which helps?

    But yeah, I agree with Cen-Tex too.  I was just trying not to be a Debbie Downer cow.
  • Thanks for the info.  Learned a lot.  Still deciding what to do.  Travis style looks interesting.  Will circle back either way.
    Large BGE
    Ellicott City, MD
  • Woody
    Woody Posts: 125
    Question / Alternative to small brisket.

    I have be been contemplating buying a 12+ lb packer cutting off the thinner/flat end to make burgers out of and then cutting the remaining portion in 2.  I would roast half and freeze the other half for a later roast.

    What does the collective think of  this approach?
    Woody in Northville, MI
    Large BGE with AR R & B Oval Combo w/Extender and Sliding D Grid, Kick Ash Basket, Smokeware Cap, Wok, Grill Grates and Kettle Q
  • Woody said:
    Question / Alternative to small brisket.

    I have be been contemplating buying a 12+ lb packer cutting off the thinner/flat end to make burgers out of and then cutting the remaining portion in 2.  I would roast half and freeze the other half for a later roast.

    What does the collective think of  this approach?
    Experience perusing this forum tells me many purists would shudder at the thought of such desecration of the almighty packer. This being said, I don’t see it that way. I don’t often cook for 25-30 people and therefore can’t often justify a full packer. For me, the choice is often not full packer or “parted out” brisket, but is “parted out” brisket or none at all. I therefore choose the former and have used packers to make burgers and chunks for low and slow. Have made 3-4lbs pieces that I have been happy with. Would they have won bbq competitions? No. Did they feed my family and satisfy my craving for brisket? Yes.