What Do I Do If My Brisket Is Too Big For My Smoker?

Smoking a brisket is a pleasure, but it does require several aspects of the process to line up perfectly for the brisket to be as good as it can be. If you have bought a big brisket to feed a large group of people, taken it home, and discovered that the brisket is too big for your smoker, the challenge of smoking a brisket has just become bigger. So, what do you do?

If your brisket is too big for your smoker. Separate the brisket into its two cuts, the flat and the point. This reduces the size of the brisket to fit into the smoker. Otherwise, trim the brisket down further, or cut off a section of the brisket to be used for sausage, a roast, or minced meat.

what do I do if my brisket is too big for my smoker

If your brisket is too big for your smoker, there are some solutions that should resolve the problem and allow you to continue with the smoking process and may even make the process easier and cook the brisket in less time. 

Let’s learn what to do if your brisket is too big for your smoker and how to turn this problem into something delicious.

What To Do If Your Brisket IS Too Big For Your Smoker

If you have suddenly found yourself with a brisket that is too big for your smoker, it can seem like a catastrophe. You bought this large brisket to feed a large number of people. And now, there seems to be no way to feed them. Is there a way to fix the situation?

The truth is that there are several ways out of this challenging situation, all of which can produce excellent brisket, despite running out of space in a smoker.

Let’s explore some of the best solutions for a brisket that’s too big for a smoker.

Separate The Point And The Flat

If your brisket is too big for your smoker, the best thing to do is to separate it into two cuts. Every packer brisket can be separated into individual flat and point cuts, and this process is not very complicated.

Separating a brisket into its two cuts effectively halves the size of the brisket, which will allow the meat to be positioned in a way that allows the entire brisket to be cooked at one or allows the brisket cut to be cooked separately.

Look for the fat seam on a trimmed brisket to separate a brisket. The fat seam is the thick vein of fat that runs through the middle of the meat. This fat seam separates the point and the flat cuts.

Making the separation is easier to accomplish cleanly from the underside of the brisket. The fat seam is more clearly visible, and the flat cut comes away from the point more easily in this orientation.

Find the fat seem, and carefully cut into the thickest portion of fat that separates the two cuts, slowly peel the flat back from the point as you cut through the fat seem, trying to preserve as much of the meat as possible, and keeping an even layer of fat on the flat cut.

The flat cut has a fat cap that is crucial for cooking the flat properly, so do not remove too much fat from the flat. The point can have more fat removed from it as this cut has more intramuscular fat to keep it moist when smoking.

Once the flat and the point are separated, the brisket should fit into even a small smoker comfortably.

Trim The Brisket

Every brisket must be trimmed to some degree before smoking. And most of the fat is removed from the meat for the best smoking results. 

If the brisket is only a little too big for the smoker and separating the meat into two cuts is not necessary, the brisket can be trimmed down further. 

If there is still a lot of fat on the brisket, remove more fat to help it fit into the smoker.

Otherwise, if there is still not enough room in the smoker, cut off a small section of the flat portion of the brisket, and use this portion of meat to make burnt brisket ends or to make into sausage, a roast, or even minced meat.

This is a good way to make the brisket smaller and provides another method of cooking the meat from a brisket that may be fun and offers the opportunity to learn a new skill.

Smoke The Brisket On Two Levels

Many smokers have expansion racks that allow a separated brisket to be smoked on two levels within the smoker. This is the best way to utilize the space within a small smoker, especially when smoking a large brisket. 

Using twin racks in a smoker to cook a separated brisket allows a small smoker to cook a huge brisket simultaneously, without compromising on flavor, quality, technique method, or cooking time. 

A brisket smoked in this way can be as good, if not better, than a packer brisket smoked all at once, and many competition briskets are cooked this way.

If your smoker is small and you want to cook a very large brisket, buy an expansion rack for your brisket. Separate the beef into two cuts, and smoke them simultaneously on their own smoker racks.

How To Cook A Separated Brisket

Cooking a brisket that has been separated into two individual cuts follows the same process as cooking the brisket whole. There are no special methods or techniques required for cooking a brisket like this, but there are some extra things to look out for during the smoking process.

The meat is smaller when separated into the two cuts, so the brisket will cook in less time and is more likely to dry out. This means that good temperature monitoring and control are vital, and spritzing the brisket as it cooks is also very important.

Maintaining airflow over a double-level smoking rack is more challenging than a single level. Be sure to account for this if you decide to smoke the brisket cuts on two levels within the smoker.

Other than these factors, the processes, methods, recipes, techniques, and skills required to cook a whole brisket are all valid and useable for cooking a separated brisket.

Final Word

If your brisket I too big for your smoker, the best option is to separate the brisket into two cuts. This makes the brisket smaller, allows the brisket to fit better into the smoker, and even allows the brisket to be smoked on two smoking racks if that option is available to you.

Trimming the brisket down more or cutting off a section of the flat to use later is another option for reducing the size of the brisket for a small smoker.

These methods will allow you to smoke the brisket with your usual recipes and techniques and yield a delicious, well-smoked brisket.

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