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Brisket noob questions


Smoke Blower
Joined Feb 21, 2010
I've seen a lot of posts mentioning the following terms, but I haven't been able to find a clear definition of what they are:

point VS flat: which is which? I know this sounds like a stupid question, but this is the kind of "obvious" thing that I have been known to get backwards

Burnt fingers and burnt ends: I've seen some pictures that looked incredible - but I'm not sure what they are or how you make them. I've seen people talk about separating the point and flat partway through the smoke - do you cut up one of those into chunks and put it back in to make these things?



Joined Jun 21, 2006
Hope this helps...

A packer brisket consists of two different pieces, the flat and point.

Here is a rather crude side view of a packer brisket

The flat is well... usually flat, the point sits on top of the flat and is located on the thick end. The grain of the meat on the flat and point run in different directions and is seperated by a thick layer of fat.

The point is very fatty, whereas the flat is very lean.

A lot of people take the point and slice it into cubes to make burnt ends, or strips to make burnt fingers out of it. In my opinion I feel this is an excellent way to make the point edible. I have sliced it before and with all that fat in there its not as good as you think it would be. The fat in the point is not a marble kind of fat, its more like fat veins.

To make burnt ends, you can either smoke the whole brisket and seperate the point after, or seperate them before, and then smoke em up seperate. Either way you decide, the point needs to be smoked as a whole, then cubed and smoked for several more hours.

The whole point of making burnt ends is to smoke the crap out of them so the extra fat renders out which makes them edible. Added BBQ sauce is like icing on the cake!


Smoke Blower
Joined Feb 21, 2010
awesome - thank you!

Oh - and I'm glad I asked because I was totally wrong... though I'm sure everyone would have had a good laugh at my pictures of a cut-in-half brisket with comments about separating the point & flat


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Mar 12, 2009
Now both of theses guys gave you good explanations of the point and the flat. Now for the burnt end I have always smoked both the point and flat together and then after they had gotten to the 205° temp I separate them and then cut up the point into cubes and add some of my favorite BBQ sauce (and that changes all the time) to them and back into the smoker for another hour or two if possible. Then after awhile yo can pull them and they will melt in your mouth goodness.

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