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Name that cut [brisket]

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Alright fellow smokers, I've been planning my 2nd attempt at beef brisket for a while and this weekend is perfect. The only local grocer I've found to carry brisket is Wegman's. This is the *only* cut they have and it is prepackaged. This is the same cut I tried last time and it turned out so-so, but I want to get some expert opinions on exactly what I'm dealing with.


The package says 'beef brisket first or mid cut.' It is a 5.5 pounder. I've been reading on the cuts and know that you'd typically get either a packer or just the flat that has already been trimmed. I haven't heard anything about a 'first' or 'mid' cut.


1) What type of cut is this?


2) Should I trim any fat before cooking?


3) Is this a good/fair/bad cut?


Meaty side




Fatty side up - top view




Fatty side up - top view




Fatty side up - side view




Fatty side up - other side



Thanks for any insight!

post #2 of 12

Hard to tell.  Your pics don't give us anything to measure by. Also, you didn't give us a weight?


From the third pic, I would guess you have some flat and point. The normal separation of them would come along the natural seam outlined by the fat line in the pic.


Any other opinions?


Good luck and good smoking.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Sorry I snuck it in there - it is 5.5 lb

post #4 of 12

Looks like mostly a flat to me, but it is hard to tell.  I would not trim the fat.  Brisket is brisket, so unless is was a crappy steer, it's a fine cut if you cook/smoke it correctly.  You say your first attempt was so-so.  What was your method/process?  If you fill us in, we can help tweak things and help you get a better result.  Brisket is pretty simple in terms of the basics -- it just takes a freaking long time to git 'er done properly.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Last time I coated it in mustard and applied a generic rub... some type of Jack Daniels barbecue rub. I let that sit during the day and smoked it overnight. My first problem was that I used the stock MES-30 and I only got 3 cycles of Hickory in before I went to bed. Secondly, when I got up in the morning the water pan was completely dry. There's no telling how long that thing was empty. This was done in the middle of D.C. winter so I wonder if the low outside humidity had something to do with the pan drying up.


I now have the Amaze-N-Smoke tray so I will get a nice steady smoke. I also have a better beef rub and will use that instead. And, I'll able to keep an eye on the water pan.


Aside from that I don't know what else to try. Just let it smoke till 180 internal and let it rest in towels for at least 2 hours.

post #6 of 12

I always take brisket to 200-205, then rest it.


A good way to tell if it's done is to stick the temp probe or a toothpick in several places.


They should go in with no resistance.

post #7 of 12

I missed the weight.  Definitely looks like point and flat.


X2 on Al's suggestion.  I cook those at about 220.


Good luck and good smoking.

post #8 of 12

That is half a brisket from the point end, has some of the flat on it but definitely a point end:



Beef Brisket Point Half Boneless

Beef brisket point half boneless is the brisket (breast) section between the foreshank and plate. It contains of layers of fat and lean meat, but no bones. Often cured in salt brine to make corned beef brisket, it is usually prepared by braising or by cooking in liquid.





1) What type of cut is this?  Brisket point half


2) Should I trim any fat before cooking? Your preference, depends if you enjoy F. A. T.   ( Flavor And Tenderness)


3) Is this a good/fair/bad cut?  It is considered the "wastier" end of the brisket, not as lean as the Flat Half:


Beef Brisket Flat Half Boneless

Beef brisket flat half boneless comes from the brisket (breast) section and is cut from the rear portion of lean meat and fat closest to the plate layers. The breast and rib bones are removed. Often cured in salt brine to make corned beef brisket, it is usually prepared by braising or by cooking in liquid.


but will cook and eat real nice too, esp. if you enjoy some fat in with your meat (wouldn't be a brisket if it didn't have fat!  yum!)
Why would Wegman's/any retailer have these on sale at this time?  Point halves only, not Flat halves?  Well, summer is over.  Whole brisket sales dwindle.  Packers know, however, they can get good price for flat halves from processors for the upcoming St. Patties day in Feb but not as much demand for points, so they sell off the points for the holidays for fresh and send the flats to processors.  


post #9 of 12

There you go from the man who knows.....

post #10 of 12

I guess someone should have PM'd Pops right at the start of this thread.

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

Oh wow - awesome information! This is currently resting in the cooler, it sat at 190 for a long time and felt pretty tender so I pulled it.


Will let you guys know how it turns out. Now I know what I'm working with, I may search around to find a place that will have packers available.

post #12 of 12

Walmart here always has packers. They're big too.

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