Should I Separate Point From Flat Brisket? Explained.

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When many new people start smoking meat, the idea of splitting the brisket doesn’t even come into mind. It isn’t until they stumble upon an article or someone asks them directly they learn about the practice of separating the flat from the point. If you find yourself in one of these situations, you certainly aren’t alone.

Whether or not you should separate the point from the flat of the brisket depends on your end goal, the size of the brisket, and the amount of time you have to get the job done. So, you will want to evaluate your own cooking needs to determine if splitting the brisket is necessary.

To learn more about the factors you should consider before splitting the brisket, as well as some drawbacks to it, keep reading. Think of this guide as your one-stop shop for determining if splitting the brisket is right for you.

Why Should I Split the Brisket For Smoking?

Before we dive into the factors to help you determine if splitting the brisket is right for you, let’s talk about why some people do it in the first place.

When it comes right down to it, separating the point from the flat allows you a lot more control since you are dealing with two separate muscles, instead of a giant hunk of meat.

This increased control is advantageous for a number of reasons. It will allow you to monitor the internal temperatures of the meat and get just the right finish you are looking for more easily. It can also cut your smoking time in half.

Although there are a lot of advantages to splitting the brisket, a lot of serious barbecuers are against it. It makes the process a little bit easier, but it changes the flavor of the BBQ a bit because of how you split the meat.  In order to split the brisket, you cut along the fat seam, which results in less fat. Less fat equals less flavor.

Since there are both pros and cons, you will want to consider the benefits and drawbacks so that you smoke your brisket perfectly.

Should I Separate Point From Flat Brisket? 3 Things to Consider

Whether or not you should split your brisket depends on three factors: your end goal, the size of the brisket, and your time frame. Considering these three factors will help you to determine if it is right for you. Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors to see how they impact your decision.

End Goal

The number one question you should ask yourself before splitting your brisket is, “What is my end goal?” Knowing your end goal will help you to determine if separating the point from the flat brisket will result in the flavor you are looking for. It also will help you to determine what cooking method is right.

For starters, you should certainly consider splitting your brisket if you are smoking for competition purposes. Splitting the brisket will give you more control over the meat, which will allow you to increase your performance at the competition. Individuals not cooking for competition, in comparison, might not need as much control.

The outright flavor of the brisket needs to be thought about too. The flat and point have different bites. If you want the brisket to have burnt ends, there’s no point in keeping the flat since burnt bits are made from the point. Separating the points from the flat will allow you to get the burnt ends you are looking for.


Another factor to think about is the size of the brisket you are dealing with. Whenever you split the brisket, you don’t have as much meat to cook at one time. If you are short on time or have a small smoker, this may make splitting your brisket advantageous.

Not only that, but splitting the brisket will give you more control since you get to cook the two muscles separately. The more controllable size will further allow you to control the meat so that you produce the best tasting bite based on the muscle at hand.

You can even get more exact results since splitting the brisket will make it a lot easier to monitor the internal temperature. You can monitor the temperature for each muscle separately, ensuring you get the perfect results.


Think about how much time you have to cook the brisket. A whole brisket takes 10 to 12 hours to cook, not including prep time. If you don’t have that much time, consider splitting the brisket. Splitting the muscles will allow you to cut the time in half.

As a result, you might only be smoking the brisket for six hours or less if you are only smoking one muscle at a time. This will create a fast and easy barbecue.

How To Split A Brisket

point brisket

If you decide to split a brisket, here is what you will need to do. While doing these steps, make sure to go slowly so that you do not cut away at too much fat.

1.      Determine Flat vs Point

The first step for splitting a brisket is determining what is the flat and what is the point. Place the brisket on your table, with the fattiest side down. The flat will be on top of the point, and there will be a fat seam on the line between the two.

2.      Start Separating the Two

In order to separate the flat from the point, go to that fat seam and begin cutting downwards into the seam. Follow the seam as it goes all the way underneath and behind the flat. While you are cutting, lift the flat up with your available hand.

3.      Cut Through the Point

As you are cutting, the fat seam will taper out with the point. Slice through that thin point meat in order to separate the brisket.

4.      Trim Exterior Fat

To finalize the separation, trim off any exterior fat from the point.

5.      Cook

The last thing to do is to smoke the brisket. Most individuals recommend smoking the point first since it creates the burnt finish that many barbecuers look for. While you are smoking the point, you can simply save the flat for later. You’re more than welcome to smoke the two parts at the same time if you want.

Final Thoughts

Splitting the brisket is a step that may make your cooking and smoking process a lot easier. However, not everyone is in favor of separating the point from the flat. You will want to determine if splitting the brisket is right for you and your cooking needs.

If you want maximum control or the fastest cooking times possible, consider splitting the brisket. Competition barbecuers should certainly consider splitting the brisket because it allows maximum control over the final product. In contrast, keep the brisket in one piece if you want the best flavor possible since you aren’t losing any fat.

We hope that this article has helped you determine if separating the flat from the point is right for you. Sometimes, you might want to split the brisket, whereas other times may call for you to smoke the brisket whole. Considering splitting the brisket from day to day!

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