Difference Between Flat Cut and Point Cut Brisket

(Last Updated On: March 4, 2017)

Life comes with choices. Paper or plastic. Do you want fries with that? And when it comes to brisket, do you want point or flat cut. This issue really flars up around St. Patrick’s Day each year. The most commonly served meal on that day (at least in America) is corned beef. Where does corn beef come from? The answer is the brisket. The part of the cow brisket is located is in the front of the cow, toward the bottom, near the cow’s front legs. Since the cow uses that area a lot this is a tough cut of beef, so a slow cooking method must be used. Yet it is worth your time because it is a flavorful cut.

When choosing a brisket, unless you buy the entire brisket, you will have to choose between a flat cut and a point cut. It is very easy to tell the difference by just looking at the cuts.

Point Cut Brisket

A point cut comes to a point at one end. The point cut has a lot of fat running through it, so when you cook it, it comes out nice and juicy. This cut is harder to find in supermarkets, as it isn’t as attractive of a cut as the flat. This is a good choice if you plan on shredding the meat when finished cooking.

Flat Cut Brisket

The flat cut is a much leaner cut than the point. However it still has a layer of fat on the bottom, that will keep the meat moist. This is the cut you will most often find in supermarkets, as it looks more appealing the the point cut. If you are looking for brisket that will slice up nicely, this is your best bet. It is also the cut used most often when you buy packaged corned beef.

Which Brisket Cut is Better: Flat or Point

It just depends on what you are going to do. Point Cut is good for shredding, but for corned beef opt for the flat cut. In the Good Eats episode “Pickled Pink”, Alton Brown choose a flat cut to make his own corned beef. I believe as he does that the flat cut is the best cut for corned beef. I prefer the flat cut as the point cut is too fatty for my tastes. I tend to get heartburn from really fatty cuts of beef.

How to Quickly Cure/Brine Your Own Corned Beef

Once you have chosen your type of brisket you will need to cure or brine it to get the flavor you want, unless it comes already pre-brined. I have come up with a method to do this fast (overnight or 24 hours) – it’s a dry rub that employs some dry aging methods and utilizes a meat tenderizer. Check out my post – How Can I Quickly Brine Corned Beef

A whole prime beef brisket. This would feature a point cut and flat cut ends.

Buying USDA Prime Beef Brisket

Several times I have seen Costco offering Prime grade beef brisket. I featured it in one of my Costco Food Finds post.

Answers to Other Corned Beef Questions

Why Do We Eat Corned Beef on St. Patrick’s Day?
Why Is It Called “Corned” Beef?
What is Uncured Corned Beef?

Corned Beef Pizza

St. Patrick’s Day Recipes

Roasted Cream of Turnip Soup
Chocolate Mint Shamrock Cookies
Corned Beef & Cabbage with Boxty Cakes & Mustard Sauce
Corned Beef & Cabbage Pizza
Irish Style Bangers & Mash [try it with this sausage]

If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to my e-mail newsletter. You will get recipes, grocery shopping tips, discounts for my e-books and more delivered to your inbox, once or twice a week. Just submit your email in the box below.

5 Replies to “Difference Between Flat Cut and Point Cut Brisket”

  1. […] have the butchers slice it up for me. I choose to slice each end into a flat cut and a point cut (click here to read my post on the difference between these to cuts). The rest of the meat I had turned into […]

  2. […] This cut requires long cooking time. It's great for smoking or BBQ. Also is the best choice for making corn beef. To learn more about brisket check out this post. […]

  3. Richard Paradise says:

    For every St. Patty’s, for my Irish relatives and friends, I always buy the Flat Cut Corned Beef. I cook it in my Rival Crock Pot with potatoes, onions, carrots and cabbage.
    Following the directions I got with my crock pot, I always get a perfect St. Patty’s Day dinner. Delicious!

  4. Eric Samuelson says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  5. Honestly, if you can cook beef correctly, either is just fine.as a meat cutter, I am learning what cuts are more tender no matter what and what cuts just need more love. Every customer at my store is buying the flat cuts. There r 5 times more flat cuts sold than point cuts. I myself had always preferred the flat cut but tonight I’ve realized that there really isn’t a big difference since I’ve just totally enjoyed the Point cut. Just cook things either longer or use more chicken broth and beer. I just had a point cut that I cooked in crock pot on high for 5 hours with broth and water….amazing! Also amazing is when I slow roast a flat in oven with guiness. To me, no more difference between the two when done right.

Comments are closed.