Right now I have it dry brining in a healthy amount of salt because I've always found that good for moisture. Any other tips?
Moisture in a brisket comes from the breaking down of the connective tissues between the muscle fibers. While a flat doesn't have much marbelling to speak of, it has plenty of connective tissue and will be moist if cooked correctly.
Stick it in your smoker and cook it until it's done, which is when a probe goes through the thickest part like a knife through warm butter.
Yes...Start probing for butter tenderness around 190. It can go as high as 210 before it is really tender...JJ
I start probing just a bit earlier than Chef Jimmy, at 180 degrees.
Long story short, getting brisket done is a function of time at temperature or temperature over time. It's actually possible to have a brisket finish at 160 degrees if you cook at a low enough temperature for a really long time.
As you noted, finish IT varies from one piece of meat to the next. This is most noticeable between meats of different quality. Waygu will finish at a lower IT than Choice. Cooking temp also comes into play. If I sliced a Choice flat in half and cooked one side at 275 and the other at 225, the one cooked at 275 would hit a higher IT before being done. The one cooked at 225 would have a lower IT at the finish.
These two concepts explain the range of IT's the a brisket could be at when its done and passes the probe test.
For moist flats when I am not looking for a crispy bark I keep the smoke going at 225 then wrap in foil at about 140-145 or so IT to steam in the juices. Then I start checking for tenderness at about 190 or so like others. Then put it in the cooler at least an hour, usually longer.
Sometimes you just have to keep practicing until you find what works in your smoker. Good luck to you.
If the fork doesn't slide in like butter, keep smoking it. Take it out at too early an IT and it will taste dry. Seems bassackwards but that's how it works with briskets, especially flats.
I have always done my briskets overnight! Put them on at 6 in the evening at180 degrees and smoke them till midnight! Then bump up temp to 200 and go to bed! Then in morning wrap in 3 layers of commercial plastic wrap then in tin foil and back in smoker for couple more hours then turn it off and let set for 2 more hours! then slice! I have never taken one over 190 degrees in internal temp! Im sure I will be told im doing it wrong or something but never had a complaint! Or anyone ask for there money back!
I've had pretty good success with flats by wet brining for 24 hours in a bourbon marinade. Then I use the marinade fluid in the water pan to keep moisture in the smoker this weekend. Below is recipe
1/3 cup Kentucky bourbon
1-1/3 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic, or to taste
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
3 dashes hot pepper sauce, or to taste
In fact, smoking a flat this weekend - pic of flat in marinade bag