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How to smoke brisket flat only (Explained)

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How to smoke a brisket flat only

If you want to know how to only smoke a brisket flat, then you’ve come to the right place. Smoking brisket flats are really no different than smoking a whole Packer style brisket. The same principles apply in terms of when you should pull the brisket and how hot and fast you should be smoking it at.

Specifically, you should be smoking a brisket flat at around any temperature between 225 degrees Fahrenheit and 300 degrees Fahrenheit depending on how quick you want it to be completed. 

Not only that, but you should be thinking about pulling it off the smoker and resting it once it reaches an internal temperature around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. That is when all the connective tissues in meat collagen begin to render down and make it very tender. That is how you can smoke an excellent brisket flat. 

Smoking brisket flat only on a Traeger

If you want to smoke a brisket flat on your Traeger, then consider this helpful advice. Just make sure to set the smoke settings properly, and set your desired temperature to be somewhere between 225 degrees Fahrenheit and 300 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The hotter you set the temperature at, the quicker your brisket flat will be done. I’m a huge proponent of making sure that you can cook excellent and quality briskets in a very short amount of time by cooking them at hotter temperatures.

There’s really no difference and how it comes out compared to a low and slow style of cooking. Therefore, if you have something as simple as using a Traeger, then always consider setting the temperature range to be as hot as you can without burning it too much. 

Can you smoke just a brisket flat

You can cook and smoke all different types of brisket cuts. Not only that, you can also smoke a brisket flat cut which is basically just the front and leaner portion of the brisket.

They are rather finicky, but can come out great provided that you smoke them at consistent temperatures and pull them and rest them properly. 

Smoke it at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and only pull it if the internal temperature reaches about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. 

After that, test for any resistance as you begin probing it all around with a toothpick. Once it probes tender all around, then you can pull it off the smoker and place it into a storage container such as a warming oven or an ice cooler. 

Should I smoke a whole brisket or just the flat?

If you are wondering whether or not you should smoke a whole Packer style brisket or just the flat, just know that it is really up to the Pitmasters discretion.

What I mean by that is, ask yourself what you really want out of a smoking session. Do you want to eat just a lean portion of a brisket or do you want to have a lot of meat and smoke a whole Packer style brisket? 

As noted above, there’s really no difference in the preparation methods for smoking either of those, outside of how they come out and what type of meat you actually get.

With a whole packer style brisket, you get the benefit of having both a flat and a point. But with just a flat, you only have that and it is very lean to eat. 

Can you smoke brisket flat and point separately?

Some may ask if they can smoke both the flat and point portion of a brisket, but separately into individual pieces. You can absolutely do that, and it is actually very common to do if you don’t have enough cooking space to fit a whole Packer brisket. All you have to do is slice it right down the middle and place each end and whatever. As a smoker allows you to. 

Follow the same advice of smoking it at consistent temperatures, and pulling it only once it proves tender. rest them properly, and then begin serving. 

Does the flat cook faster than the point?

Let’s say you want to only smoke a brisket flat, but don’t know how it compares to the length of time it takes to smoke a brisket Point. More often than not, a brisket flat will generally take a little bit longer than smoking a brisket Point. That’s just because any brisket flat you have is generally more lean in nature which means that there is more connective tissue to break down and render. 

That just takes a lot more time then what you would see with the brisket point, because there is a lot more fat than there is actual collagen within the meat.

Brisket flat cook time per pound

Depending on how hot and fast or low and slowYou decide to cook your brisket flat at, you can expect a cook through rate of anywhere between 1 to 2 lb of meat per hour of cook time. As you start to increase the ambient temperature at which you smoke a brisket flat at, lean more towards the 2 lb of meat per hour of cook time.

 Likewise, if you happen to be smoking it at lower temperatures such as 225 degrees Fahrenheit, then you can expect it to be on the lower end of above one pound per hour of code time. As you can see, the faster you want a particular flat to be done, then certainly crank up the ambient temperature. 

Putting seasoning on the brisket flat

Since you’ve decided on wanting to cook only a brisket flat, you need to know how to season it properly. If you’re smoking it Texas style, then it is actually very simple. Grab a shaker bottle that has a mixture of about 50/50 ratio of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Make sure to sprinkle it all around the meat and do not be very conservative with it. 

Brisket is a very tough and coarse piece of meat that requires tons of seasoning so don’t worry about ever seasoning it. Make sure every ounce is covered in the seasoning, and certainly make sure that you don’t see any pink or the meat can be exposed to the air. You want every aspect of the brisket flat to be covered and seasoning.

Pulling at the right temp

Now that you have seasoned the brisket flat properly, you’ll need to start cooking it at consistent temperatures and pulling it at the right temperature specifically. To pull it out at the right temperature, only consider a brisket to be done when the internal temperature reaches around 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once it reaches that stage in the cook, grab a toothpick or perhaps even grab the thermometer probe itself and begin inserting and testing for any resistance in the meat. If there is resistance then a brisket is not done because the collagen has not rendered down properly. 

Cook it for another 30 minutes and reassess. Once there is no resistance, then you can pull the brisket off the smoker. So, it’s not really about pulling off the smoker at the right temperature more so than it is about how the brisket probes with the resistance test. 

Letting it rest properly

Letting a brisket rest properly is perhaps one of the most critical stages in any barbecue session. That’s because as you cook these huge hunks of meat to such high temperatures, they need to be let rested properly for longer periods of time to let that high internal temperature come down to an adequate slicing temperature.

 If you don’t do that and slice into it the second you pull it off the smoker, all of that hard work you have done thus far is completely wasted because the moisture within the meat will evaporate. 

To let it rest properly, just grab an ice cooler or a warming oven and place the meat in there for about 3 to 5 hours. Don’t get too impatient because I’ve seen many people, myself included, get too impatient and slice into it before that time frame and they came out with very dry brisket Flats. So, let it rest properly for about 3 to 5 hours and enjoy your beautiful piece of meat afterwards. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re wondering how to smoke only a brisket flat and want to do so effectively, then just make sure to season it properly, and cook it consistently. as you cook it, test for done this as the internal temperature reaches about 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once it has reached that stage in the cook, then begin testing for any resistance as you grab a toothpick and begin reinserting it all throughout the meat. If there is no resistance, then you can let it rest properly by taking it off the smoker, and placing it inside of an ice cooler. Let it rest for about 3 to 5 hours and enjoy your awesome BBQ afterwards!