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Can you smoke just a brisket flat? (Explained!)

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Can you smoke just a brisket flat

A lot of people may wonder whether or not they can smoke only a brisket flat and not a whole Packer style brisket. That is absolutely true, and is quite frequent among people that don’t want to smoke giant pieces of meat.

In practice, smoking just a brisket flat constitutes smoking about roughly 5 to 10 lb of meat in total compared to the average weight of a whole Packer brisket of about 10 to 20 lb of meat. 

How do you smoke a brisket flat?

Smoking only a brisket flat is very simple and is really no different than smoking a whole Packer brisket. If you do happen to try and smoke only brisket flat, then what you’ll want to do is season it properly, and obviously smoke it properly.

Afterwards, make sure to let it rest properly as well, because if you don’t, then all of the meat juices will evaporate.

You can get started by seasoning it with kosher salt and black pepper. That is the tried-and-true method down here in Central Texas to properly season any kind of barbecue, especially a brisket.

For smoking properly, just pick your favorite wood. My favorite wood is Post Oak. That is a staple down here in Texas. Let the temperature rise to about anywhere between 250 degrees Fahrenheit and 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the hotter end of any suggestion you’ll find out there, but will save you quite a bit of time in the process.

As far as resting goes, once the internal temperature reaches about 200 degrees Fahrenheit and probes tender with a toothpick with zero resistance, then you’re ready to pull it off the smoker and begin resting in a cooler.

How long does it take to smoke a brisket flat

Since I recommended that you actually smoke your brisket flat at hotter temperatures of around 300 degrees Fahrenheit, it should take about 2 hours per pound. So if you have about A 5 lb brisket flat, then you should expect on average about 2 and a half to 3 hours of cooking time in total. 

If you don’t do that and smoke at lower temperatures, then that time frame is doubled and you will waste a lot of time frankly.

Smoking brisket flat vs whole

Once more, smoking a brisket flat versus a whole packer brisket is really no different. You still have to season it and smoke it properly.

 You also have to pull it at the exact same temperature ranges. The only difference really, is how it comes out in the end.

 A brisket flat is a lot more lean, while a whole Packer brisket has both a flat and a point so it has both lean and fatty parts to it.

How long to smoke a brisket flat at 250

If you happen to be smoking a brisket flat at about 250 degrees Fahrenheit, that’s sort of in the middle between low and slow and hot and fast. 

I would personally use an estimation of about 2 lb per hour of cook time. 

This is obviously just an estimation and you should take everything with a grain of salt until you try yourself. However it is  a fairly accurate estimation that I have personally tested myself. Always plan ahead!

How to smoke a brisket flat on a pellet grill

If you’re smoking a brisket flat on a pellet grill, such as a Traeger or some other type of automatic smoker, then there really is no other difference between smoking a brisket flat on that versus something else like an offset smoker.

All you have to do is set the temperature correctly and season it and then throw it on the smoker for further cooking. On triggers and other pellet grills, lean more towards the hotter temperature ranges. This will completely cook a brisket in due time a lot quicker.

Smoking a small brisket flat

If you’re smoking a small brisket flat at  the range of about 3 to 5 pounds, then it really should not take that long at all to cook through.

 This especially applies even if you are cooking it low and slow at a rate of about 1 pound per hour. Just make sure to take extra precaution if you do happen to smoke it hot and fast, you don’t want to risk overcooking it if you don’t happen to be paying attention through parts of it.

Final Thoughts 

At the end of the day, smoking just a brisket flat is very similar to smoking a regular whole Packer brisket. All you really have to do is just season it, smoke it properly, and then let it rest adequately.

 Time frame estimations per pound are also similar as well. 

You can finish it quicker by smoking it at higher temperatures, while conversely, it will take a lot longer if you happen to smoke it at low and slow temperature ranges. Also worth mentioning, if you happen to be smoking it on various different types of grills such as a pellet grill, it is also very similar to smoking on other grills, considering how hot and fast or low and slow you cook it at. 

In other words, temperature is really the determining factor in terms of how a brisket can come out and, how quickly.