The full brisket packer comprises two different parts – the flat and the point – connected by a pocket fat. As the brisket cut comes from the breast area of cows, it sees considerable muscle movement and gets very tough. To make it sufficiently tender and delectable, this cut generally requires a slow cooking method.
While there are quite a number of ways to cook briskets, they have been traditionally cooked in stick burner pits for a long time. If you’ve been wondering whether you can smoke a brisket flat on a pellet grill and how to go about it, we will discuss how to smoke a brisket flat on a pellet grill in detail and some other important information you’ll find immensely helpful.
Brisket Flat vs Brisket Point Cut
The flat cut makes up the leaner and meatier part of the full brisket packer. It is typically 5 – 10 pounds heavy and just 1 – 2 inches in thickness. It is easily identifiable as it looks just as like the name sounds – flat. Thanks to its lean nature, the brisket flat cut can be easily sliced.
The Brisket Point, on the other hand, comes thicker than the flat, even though it typically has smaller overall dimensions. Compared to the other part of a full brisket packer, the point has more fat, marbling, and connective tissue. The extra fat also makes it more flavorful but also reduces the overall meat yield.
While the question of which cut is better will eventually come down to personal preference, if what you’re shooting for is a lump of highly flavorful meat that’s very juicy and tender, you would have to go with the brisket point. However, if what you need is a lean cut that holds together well and can be easily sliced, you would be better off with the brisket flat.
Smoking Brisket Flat on as Pellet Grill
The quality of the brisket flat you buy will considerably affect how your meat comes out eventually. Importantly, the meat should not be too stiff. Instead, it should have some bend to it so that it remains reasonably tender through the smoking process.
Another thing to pay attention to is the size of the cut. A reasonably large cut that weighs 5 – 7 pounds is usually the best to cook. It’s not so small that it dries out easily when you smoke it and it is more prone to even cooking. Here are some of the other ingredients you will be needing.
- Extra virgin oil
- 5 – 7 pounds brisket flat
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- ½ tablespoon granulated garlic
- ½ tablespoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup beef stock
For the best output, it is recommended that you trim the fat off the brisket flat before you start cooking. With a sharp boning knife, trim the fat off the fat cap side, leaving just a thin layer of fat. The fat cap side will have more fat than the other side, and it’s a good idea to leave about ¼ inch to help provide some insulation to the cut as it smokes.
Next, rub the cut lightly with little extra virgin olive oil. This oil will serve as a binding agent to help the seasoning adhere to the meat. Add the black pepper, kosher salt, cayenne (optional), granulated garlic, and paprika. Sprinkle these ingredients evenly all over the brisket and rub them into the meat. Prepare your pellet grill for low and slow smoking by targeting 195 degrees using pecan pellets.
Smoking the Meat
- Put the seasoned meat on the pellet grill, fat side down and smoke for 7 hours, until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. You’ll be needing a temperature probe to keep track of the internal temperature of the meat.
- Once the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, remove the brisket flat from the grill and set it down on two sheets of butcher paper, with the fat side down. Baste the meat by pouring the beef stock and Worcestershire sauce on it.
- Wrap the paper tightly and insert the temperature probe. Increase the grill temperature to 250 degrees and return the meat to the grill. Cook until the internal temperature gets to 200 degrees.
- Remove the brisket flat from the grill once the internal temperature hits 200 degrees. The cooking process will complete when you rest the brisket flat.
- Place it in a cooler and let it rest for 1 – 2 hours. The resting period allows it to slowly finish cooking and still retain the flavorful juice.
- Slice the brisket into thin slices and serve.
Related post: Pellet Grill Not Enough Smoke: Why And Solutions?
How to Tell When Smoked Brisket Flat Is Done?
The most accurate way to tell when your brisket flat is done is to insert a temperature probe and check the internal temperature. The brisket flat is done when the internal temperature gets to 200 – 205 degrees. Once the temperature level is reached, remove the brisket from the grill and let it rest for about one hour for the cooking process to complete. Relying on physical appearance to know when a smoked brisket is done can be quite deceiving, especially if you’re not very experienced in smoking briskets.
Brisket Flat Challenges
One of the things you’re bound to encounter when smoking your brisket flat is the stall. It is a period of time during which the protein starts to constrict and liquid is squeezed out of the meat, thereby cooling the meat, even as it cooks. This usually happens when the internal temperature gets to around 165 degrees. You would then notice that the temperature rise slows down considerably. All you have to do is wait it out, and at around 180 degrees, the temperature should start to rise more quickly.
Brisket flat is naturally lean, unlike the brisket point that characteristically has fatty marbling throughout. Due to its lean nature, the meat can easily dry out when smoking. To combat this likelihood of drying out, you should leave a thin layer of fat and the fat cap side and cook the brisket fat side down. The thin layer of fat will serve as insulation between the meat and the heat source. Basting the meat can also help prevent it from drying out.
There’s a reason why brisket is one of the most popular cuts for BBQ. It’s relatively easy to cook and it’s quite hard to mess it up, even if you don’t have considerable experience barbequing. While briskets have traditionally been cooked in stick burner pits, cooking briskets on pellet grills is considerably more straightforward. All you need is plenty of time to get through the cooking process.
If you’re wondering how to go about smoking a brisket flat on a pellet grill, we’ve discussed a very exciting and easy recipe that you can easily replicate. Also, we’ve touched on certain important things that you need to know about smoking brisket flats on pellets grills and getting delectable results.
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