Can you cut a brisket in half to smoke it
Cutting a brisket and half can be an excellent way to focus on one part of the brisket while you smoke it.
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Furthermore, if your smoker is not that big enough to begin with, then cutting a brisket in half and placing each part of the meat in separate locations can be a great way to save space and be more efficient.
There is also no real disadvantages to cutting a brisket in half.
For the most part, briskets that you separate the point and flat from will come out pretty much the same as if you left them in a whole packer style type of brisket.
Advantages of cutting a brisket in half
Cutting a brisket and a half for smoking can have some great benefits.
One of which, is to save space in your cooking chamber.
What say that you only have enough space for either half of the brisket.
Simply cutting it in half will be able to cater towards this situation.
In other words, if you only have unlimited space in your smoker, then consider cutting your brisket in half and placing either the point or a flat portion of the brisket onto the smoker.
This brings up another great point, by separating both parts of the brisket, you then have the ability to become more flexible with which part of the brisket you want to start cooking first.
Having flexibility when smoking brisket is absolutely critical.
Since briskets are for the most part over 15 pounds or more, coming up with a way to cook the entirety of the brisket but it different sections, is a fantastic way to create great barbecue.
One more advantage of cooking a brisket at separate portions would be that you can then I hone in on when each part would be done.
When I brisket is left in tact, it can become very difficult to pull it because the flat or leaner portion of the brisket is usually done a lot quicker than that of the fattier and meatier point portion of the brisket.
With the flexibility of having a brisket that is cut in half, you can then even progress along and choose to only cook whatever portion you want.
Let’s say you just really like lean brisket.
Then cut the brisket in half, and only placed the lean and flat part of the brisket on the smoker while storing the point section of the brisket in the refrigerator for a later use.
Disadvantages of cutting a brisket in half
A disadvantage of cutting a brisket and a half for smoking at a later time can have the disadvantage of losing some moisture throughout the brisket.
When you cut the brisket in half, there can be a propensity to perhaps lose a lot of moisture that would be present if the brisket would have been kept in tact.
Is it OK to cut a brisket in half before smoking?
Yes, it is definitely OK to cut a brisket and a half before you smoke it.
That is something a lot of pitmasters Will do especially when they don’t have enough room in their smoker to begin with.
As mentioned above, there are really no adverse effects from doing this, outside of a potentially harder brisket to get tender.
Besides the tenderness in trying to save a brisket consideration, the overall flexibility of placement and selection of which type of brisket you want to be smoking, can definitely outweigh the negatives.
Can I cut brisket to fit in smoker?
Cutting a brisket in half to fit it in the smoker is one of the main reasons why you would want to do so to begin with.
A lot of the times, people may have a vertical shaped smoker that does not have enough space to house an entire 15 to 20 pound brisket packer.
This is a great reason and opportunity to experiment cutting a brisket in half and then properly placing it onto the smoker chamber.
Once you do this, you can then take advantage of smoking a great brisket while also ripping the benefit of a small smoker.
When I had a Weber Smokey Mountain mini, I would normally have to take the brisket and fold it on top of itself.
This was a giant pain.
Now, whenever I choose to smoke a brisket in that type of smaller smoker, I will always try to cut the brisket in half and put it on both the top gate in the bottom gate.
As with anything and brisket, you always want to try and experiment yourself and don’t be trapped into what other people say.
Like I just mentioned, folding a brisket on top of itself is frankly not optimal.
It is just a waste of time and you will have to worry about it coming in town while it is smoking.
What have just been easier for me to just be cutting the brisket and a half right from the get go, but that is something that you learn as you start experimenting on your own!
Can you cut a brisket in half and freeze it?
Let’s say you only want to smoke or cook one part of the brisket after it has been separated.
The other half, you want to store and perhaps freeze at a later time.
This is certainly an option, and can be a fantastic way to store brisket over a longer period of time.
By storing brisket in the freezer, you are extending the rest time and storage of the meat for roughly one week or more.
If this is an option for you and something of interest, I recommend storing it in a vacuum sealed type of bag and then placing it inside of the freezer.
You don’t want to have any open air pockets available because of freezer burn.
This will further diminish the taste and quality of your brisket if you were to do that.
Having freezer burn basically just creates ice crystals all around your brisket which can ruin a piece of me.
Why you would want to cut the brisket in half
One of the reasons why you would want to cut a brisket and a half in the first place is because of limited Smoker space, or if you only want to begin cooking one part of the brisket itself and not the other.
Furthermore, regarding cook times, if you were to actually separate the brisket point in flat portions of the meat, you will often find that both will be done at different times.
This is one of the main reasons in my opinion that you would begin cutting a brisket in half.
When you smoke a whole pack your style of brisket, you will frankly notice that the flat will usually be done a lot quicker than the point.
This is something that always comes up, and is one of the reasons why brisket can be very tricky to get right all the time.
The point and flat part of the brisket or technically two different pieces of meat anyway, which is another reason why brisket is very difficult to barbecue.
Not enough room in the smoker
Cutting a brisket and a half can also have the main benefit of catering towards a smoker that does not have enough room for an entire 15 to 20 pound packer brisket.
If you only have a certain amount of room in your smoker available, cutting the brisket in half and placing either part of the brisket at different areas or just one part of the brisket in general can be a great way to solve this issue.
Not only that, you can even start to experiment by placing the brisket sections in different areas of the smoker to see what is the best area of your smoker to smoke a brisket going forward.
Smoking the flat and point at different times
If you only wanna smoke one portion of the brisket after it is cut, then separating both the flat and the point is a great way to do something like that.
If you only want to smoke the flat part of the brisket because you are in the mood for anything fatty such as the point, then just go ahead flip the brisket over take a sharp knife and separate the brisket in half directly.
You will want to separate a brisket into the point and flat portions when you don’t have enough room in your smoker, do you want to smoke either of them at different times, or you were concerned about the flat being done quicker than the point.
By dividing a brisket into two distinct parts, you are effectively adding a layer of flexibility in terms of which portion you want to begin smoking first and where you can actually place it.
This article was written by Robert McCall, the founder of bbqdropout.com. Robert also owns and operates the BBQ dropout YouTube channel where he demonstrates his first-hand experience cooking all kinds of meats and strives to provide helpful, authoritative content for people looking how to barbecue.
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