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Thread: Does brisket shape affect how you cook it?

  1. #1
    TVWBB Super Fan
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    San Diego

    Does brisket shape affect how you cook it?

    I'm eating the leftovers from my whole packer brisket cook and am noticing the further in I slice into the leftover flat, the tighter & tougher it gets.

    So, this had me scratching my head with some questions/guesses as to what happened.

    The day I smoked it, I was concerned that the outer pieces of the flat would be the sacrificial slices; all overdone and crumbly.

    But, these were actually pretty good.

    I did a lot of looking around on google for info on briskets, as well as here.

    This is what kinda got me perplexed: pictures of whole briskets that had the point totally riding on top of the flat - like this one from the tvwbb section on High Heat tips:

    The brisket I cooked was more like earth tectonic plates with the point being a subduction plate going under the flat - like in this picture:

    So, I'm thinking that since I cooked fat cap down - that part of the flat riding on top was under done.

    Q1: do other folks get whole packers like I got? Or do you select whole packers with the point all on top of the flat?
    Q2: should I have separated the point from the flat before wrapping so that all of the flat got the same heat exposure/distribution?
    Q3: should I have turned the flat over when wrapped so that portion of the flat that was riding above the point during the initial smoke got more heat?

    Your advice is much appreciated!
    Last edited by Erik Tracy; 07-06-2018 at 12:27 PM.

  2. #2
    TVWBB Super Fan
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Junction City
    It may not have been done. I cook my briskets whole and only trim off the "hard" fat. I do not trim as closely as the one above. I have never paid much attention how the flat and point were connected. Just seems like it may have needed to cook longer.
    22" Weber Kettle
    Stumps Baby Smoker

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    I agree with Bill it sounds like it was undercooked. I usually cook my briskets fat side up the whole time so the point is above the flat. Biggest thing about shape I try to pay attention is when I'm shopping for a brisket I try to find one with the most even thickness across the flat as possible and the flat as possible in hopes that the fatty end and the lean end are done as close as possible to the same time. They all taper some and if its too bad i'll trim the really thin parts off that will burn no matter what.

  4. #4
    TVWBB Hall of Fame Dwain Pannell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Huntsville AL
    I cook whole packers routinely. Though I do trim until embarrassed, I do leave a little fat and cook until probe tender all over.

  5. #5
    TVWBB Pro J Hasselberger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Wimberley, TX
    I have been cooking prime packers for a couple of years now. The point probes tender almost as soon as you put it on, so I have ignored testing the point and focus only on the flat. When the flat probes "almost no resistance" is usually when I call it done. Prime points are usually very well marbled and you almost can't overcook them. I usually cook fat down out of habit. I have noticed almost no difference -- aside from the grate marks -- either way.

    In the past few months, I have noticed that points have been getting proportionately larger on the prime packers. This is nothing but good news to me.

    There's more than one way to skin a cat, but either way the cat's not gonna like it much.

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