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Advice on 3 lb brisket flat (first ever)

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    Advice on 3 lb brisket flat (first ever)

    I’ve been wanting to do a brisket for a long time, but full packers are just way too much. There’s only two of us, so most cooks over 3-4 lbs don’t make sense, that’s why I’ve been doing chucks. I found a 2.8 lb flat on sale yesterday, perfect size for me and the wife.... I know what I’m doing, but I’m curious how the small size will affect the cook time... not planning to crutch, since it’s relatively thin and small, just gonna let it ride.... anyone have any advice for a small flat? Any thoughts on ballpark cooking time? I don’t wanna start it at 5:00 am and have it ready before noon, lol

    #2
    My situation is the same as yours. Will be watching the responses! Thanks for posting.

    Comment


      #3
      I've done 4-7 lb flats.
      Right out of the fridge, dry rub and onto our Keg at 280-310 depending on the smoker mood.
      Fire started at 10, meat on by 11, I turn mine every hour to get good coverage, doesn't take long as you say.
      Cook to 180-190 say by 1500 and let rest for 2 hours or so.
      Hard to put a time line on this, temps rule but this is roughly what I do so move time lines to suit yourself.

      Comment


      • patcrail
        patcrail commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks! That’s great advice on going with a little higher temp! I’m gonna give it a go, and also follow jfmorris advice to wrap at about 150.... what’s the worst that can happen? Lol 😂

      #4
      flats, unless they're wagyu, are relatively lean so they can dry out. I'd do what smokin fool recommends and cook it at a higher temp vs forcing 225.

      Flats also make good corned beef/pastrami, FYI.

      Comment


        #5
        That's an awfully small piece of the leanest part of the brisket, which can dry out even when doing a full packer with a nice fat cap. The only flats I've done around 3 pounds were corned beef brisket, which I smoked for about 2 hours, then braised in a dutch oven with cabbage and other veggies. Others around here desalinate them and use them for making pastrami.

        My advice would be to wrap it in foil when the temp hits 150F or so, versus waiting until 170F like I do with full packers. You won't have as much bark, but run a better chance of not drying it out.

        Smoked brisket freezes and reheats pretty well in my opinion, of course I have a vacuum sealer. I portion out that or pulled pork into meals for two, and freeze it for reheating. You might want to try something a little bigger some time, if you like this flat. I've seen packers around 10-12 pounds before. With shrinkage and moisture loss during the cook, you end up losing about 40% of the weight on a butt or brisket, so its not as much as you think when you take that into consideration.
        Last edited by jfmorris; August 29, 2020, 08:06 PM.

        Comment


        • patcrail
          patcrail commented
          Editing a comment
          jfmorris , thanks! I think I’m gonna try this (wrapping at 150) and go for it, since I didn’t do my research and have already dry brined it.... next time I’ll go for a whole packet.... not ready to spend a week curing this thing to make pastrami or corned beef , otherwise I’d try that

        #6
        Since you're already invested in that particular hunk o' meat let's do what's best for it rather than wishful thinking. Good brisket done "the Texas way" or close needs to have some fat and be set for long cooks. The one you've described probably would not produce optimum results so could end up being discouraging if done in a "traditional" way. I'm a big pastrami fan, so the recommendations above are more like what I could agree with. As an alternative to that, for a quicker outcome/experiment for you how about giving it a light freeze to improve carve ability. Slice it into 1/8" thick strips and then lay it on the coals for a couple or so minutes per side. Make up a pan sauce to your liking, something with worchestershire, capers, beef broth, onions, olives, butter, wine, whatever combo, but rich. Pour over the broiled strips and enjoy. You'll be surprised how good it could be.

        If you want the more traditional brisket experience, bite the bullet, get a better marbled, larger cut and follow the various methods posted here elsewhere and plan on packaging the leftovers/extra for future meals.

        Comment


          #7
          Have you thought of making pastrami with that size of a flat?

          Or a SVQ cook on the brisket to try and keep it from getting to dry? And I apologize if you don’t have a sous vide machine, but it can provide a great result.

          And like others said - brisket freezes well. Especially if you have a vac seal. May help you in the future with a bigger packer at least.

          Have fun how ever you decide!

          Comment


            #8
            You'd be surprised how quickly two people can work their way through a packer brisket. The leftovers are so delicious in chili, meat marinara, tacos, etc. Look for a nice smallish prime one or even a prime flat next time.

            With this one, I'd be tempted to inject and cook as jfmorris recommends. Even if it comes out a bit dry, you can always chop it, sauce it, and enjoy sammies the next day. That nice beefy taste from a brisket is always enjoyable.

            I sous vided (QVQ) a really ornery-looking little flat using Polarbear777 's method and it turned out delicious. Here's my post on that cook, but read Polarbear's posts on that same topic for the expert advice.

            https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...885#post781885


            Kathryn

            Comment


              #9
              The alternatives aren't just flat or full packer, either. What you could do is grab a choice packer, separate the point snd flat. Do the flat as jfmorris outlines or make corned beef or pastrami. Smoke the point as traditional brisket.

              Comment


                #10
                Thanks everyone! I obviously didn’t do enough research, & will go a different route next time—- sounds like a point of full packer are what I need for traditional smoked brisket. BUT, this is what I have to work with, & it’s already dry brined 24 hours, so I’m going to try jfmorris method and go for the traditional result, because, a) I don’t feel like spending a week Corning the thing to make pastrami, and b) I’ve never been afraid of messing up a hunk of meat, so we’ll see what happens... gonna wrap it early, start watching for probe tender at 185-190, and see what happens after probe tender and a rest.... worst case, I have a ton of hash, lol !

                Comment


                • jfmorris
                  jfmorris commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Probe tender will probably be in the 195-205 range, just keep an eye on it after 190. A lot depends on the quality of the meat (Prime/choice/select).

                • patcrail
                  patcrail commented
                  Editing a comment
                  jfmorris thanks! I’ll give it a shot .... looks like tomorrow

                #11
                Going for it today, gonna try cooking it at 250-275, wrapping about 150, and checking for probe tender about 190... we’ll see what happens

                Comment


                • Jfrosty27
                  Jfrosty27 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Good luck! 🤞👍

                #12
                Add bacon and Grind it. It never disappoints.

                Comment


                  #13
                  Can't wait to see the outcome. Let us know how it goes. Pics are called for!

                  For future, I agree with fzxdoc about how quickly you will go through a full packer. Here's some guidelines on what happens with a packer

                  1. initial full packer weighs 14 lbs
                  2. after trimming fat, etc the packer weighs about 11 - 11.5 lbs
                  3. after cooking, the packer weighs about 8.5 lbs, give or take
                  4. two hungry people eat about 1.5 - 2 lbs at dinner
                  3. 3 lbs goes to make a great chili
                  4. 1 lb goes to a great brisket hash on sunday, served with home made bloody marys
                  5. Freeze the remaining 3 lbs (give or take) and bring out in a month for another round of brisket :-)

                  While a full packer seems too big (and costly) the truth is that you get 5-6 meals out of it. Compared to buying to NY strips (and their cost) that give you just one meal, this is an outstanding value in my opinion.
                  Last edited by ecowper; September 1, 2020, 03:55 PM.

                  Comment


                    #14
                    It’s on the kettle & cruising along at 270.... just over an hour in, already to 125.... gonna follow advice and wrap at 150, so we’ll see
                    Attached Files

                    Comment


                    • jfmorris
                      jfmorris commented
                      Editing a comment
                      patcrail I actually got that advice about wrapping in foil at 150F from Meathead's brisket recipe over on the free side, and did my first full packer that way as well. I was more worried with not drying out than I was bark. These days I wrap at 170, but I am doing 12 to 18 pound packer briskets...

                    • jfmorris
                      jfmorris commented
                      Editing a comment
                      patcrail having done some 2.5 to 3 pound corned beef flats, they had a nice amount of smoke flavor by the time I moved them from the grate to the dutch oven, so I think you will be happy. This small flat is not going to be a super long cook either, maybe 5-6 hours total, versus the 14-16 hours I have on the big ones.

                    • ecowper
                      ecowper commented
                      Editing a comment
                      patcrail I totally agree with that advice, by the way. Just saying your temp curve will definitely flatten out around 150

                    #15
                    Oh yeah: BBBR plus cumin (cause everything needs cumin)

                    Comment

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