Brisket Flat vs. Point: Taste Differences, How to Prepare Each & More

Smoke rising around a slow cooked beef brisket on the grill grates of a smoker barbecue, in a grilling concept with space for text on top and bottom

Brisket Flat vs. Point: Taste Differences, How to Prepare Each & More

Brisket is one of the most delicious meats to eat. It's used for Jewish traditions and for anyone who loves to barbecue. Brisket can also be made into pastrami. However, before you look at eating brisket, it's important to know how to cook brisket, especially when it comes to brisket flat vs. point.

Additionally, when you learn how to cut brisket, you'll know the differences between the muscles. Brisket flat and brisket point are the muscles. For example, the brisket flat is the leaner part of the meat. The point is the fattier part and is well-marbled. These are only some of the differences that are worth knowing because you want to know how to prepare each.

This guide looks at the unique differences between both. We show you how to cut each one, how they taste different, and how to prepare them to perfection. You'll have more confidence in how to cook a brisket.

Everything You Need to Know About a Brisket Flat

Smoke rising around a slow cooked beef brisket on the grill grates of a smoker barbecue, in a grilling concept with space for text on top and bottom

©VDB Photos/Shutterstock.com

A brisket typically weighs between 12 and 16 pounds. When you cut the brisket flat, it will be the longest piece of the brisket.

The brisket flat also has the most fat. This helps keep your brisket moist when you cook it. You'll find this slice at the grocery store because it's the most common. Some restaurants also use this cut of brisket to make homemade corn beef.

Before cooking, it's essential to cut a brisket flat. The next step is to find the grain because you want to cut against the grain with a sharp knife.

It's important to note that when you cut it, you want to ensure that you trim any excess fat off the side of the brisket. You want to cut half an inch off the meat, taking any excess fat off of it.

How Do You Cook a Brisket Flat?

One of the best ways to cook a brisket is to barbecue it. First, you want to apply your favorite rub to your brisket and let it sit in the fridge on the brisket for about 24 hours. This allows the rub and the meat to create a fantastic flavor.

Next, smoke it at 250 degrees for 6 to 9 hours. You'll want to avoid overchecking the barbecue, or else it could take longer for the brisket to cook. When the brisket reaches a temperature of 200 degrees, it's ready. The taste is usually described as a powerful meaty flavor, especially depending on what rub you add to it. However, the point has a stronger flavor because of the added fat.

What Is a Brisket Point?

The brisket point is typically smaller. It's also more marbled and thicker because of its fat layer. There tends to be more connective tissue around this part of the brisket.

The brisket point is not usually known to cook like the brisket flat. Because it's smaller, the brisket point is cooked mostly into hamburgers or sandwiches. Corned beef is also made from brisket point.

How Do You Cook a Brisket Point?

Cooking a brisket point is similar to cooking a brisket flat. You can still barbecue it at 250 degrees and apply your favorite rub. You also want to ensure that you cut off the fat from the meat before cooking it.

One of the differences, however, is waiting for the internal temperature to reach 165 degrees instead of 200 degrees. Beyond that, cooking the brisket point is the same as cooking a brisket flat.

Common Mistakes With Both?

When you barbecue brisket flat or point, you'll learn what mistakes to avoid through experience or reading about it. There are easy mistakes to make when barbecuing a brisket that can easily ruin it.

Here are some of the most common mistakes made when cooking brisket:

  • Overcooking the brisket
  • Undercooking it
  • Cooking it at the wrong temperature
  • Not letting it rest and letting the muscles relax
  • Using the wrong rub
  • Checking it too frequently

Any of these mistakes can be avoided if you give yourself some patience. Taking your time to follow step-by-step instructions can guide you on what to do and ensure you don't make mistakes that could potentially ruin the brisket.

What Other Tips Should You Know?

The best tips for cooking a brisket flat or point involve knowing how to cut it and ensuring you don't overcook it. However, following this guide can ensure you don't make mistakes. You also better understand the differences between a brisket flat and a point.

There's no question that the brisket flat is the better piece of meat. But the point is also good if you're looking to cook sandwiches. Either way, when you cook with either, you learn what you like the most.

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Barbecue beef brisket being cut on cutting board

Smoked Corned Beef Brisket

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  • Author: MomsWhoThink.com
  • Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Units Scale
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 3 lb corned beef brisket flat, fat cap 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 bottle of Trager Apricot BBQ sauce
  • Cherry pellets


  1. Soak the corned beef in water for eight hours, making sure that you change the water every two hours.
  2. Next, preheat your Traeger to 275℉ for 15 minutes with the lid closed.
  3. Put the brisket on the grill with the fat side up and insert the probe into the thickest part. Cook for two hours with the lid closed.
  4. While you wait, mix the Dijon mustard and Traeger apricot BBQ sauce in a bowl.
  5. Using an aluminum foil pan, pour half of the sauce in. Then, move the brisket to the pan and spread the rest of the sauce over the top. Cover with tin foil.
  6. Put the brisket back on the grill, re-insert the probe, and cook for 2-3 hours until the internal temperature reaches 203°F.
  7. Take the brisket off the grill and allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes. Next, slice it against the grain and serve it with your favorite side dishes.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 hours
  • Method: Grilling
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