Can You Make A JUICY & TENDER Brisket FLAT on a Kettle? We Did!!

  • Recipe Type

    Red Meat

  • Skill Level


  • Grill Time

    5+ hours

  • Method

    Snake Method

  • Servings

    Serves 4-6

What is a brisket flat?

A brisket flat is one of two primary muscle groups in a whole beef brisket. The brisket is a large cut of beef that comes from the lower chest area of the animal. It is known for being a tough cut that benefits from slow cooking methods like smoking or braising to break down the connective tissues and achieve tenderness.

The two main portions of a whole brisket are the "flat" and the "point." These are separated by a layer of fat. Here's a brief description of each:

  1. Brisket Flat:

   - The brisket flat is a leaner and flatter muscle that makes up the majority of the brisket.

   - It has a uniform thickness and is usually rectangular in shape.

   - Because of its relatively lean composition, the brisket flat is often the preferred choice for slicing into neat, uniform slices, making it popular for sandwiches or serving as a standalone dish.

    -Because it is so lean, it can tend to dry out if you do not follow the proper guidelines.

  1. Brisket Point:

   - The brisket point is a thicker, fattier, and more marbled muscle that is located on top of the flat, separated by a layer of fat.

   - It has a more irregular shape and is known for its rich and juicy flavor due to the higher fat content.

   - The point is often used to make burnt ends, a popular barbecue delicacy, and is generally more forgiving in terms of cooking time and temperature.

When people refer to smoking a "brisket flat," they are typically focusing on preparing the leaner and flatter portion of the brisket. It's a popular choice for those who prefer a leaner, sliced brisket, and it's often used in various barbecue and smoking techniques.

What is the Snake Method?

The snake method involves arranging charcoal briquettes in a snake-like pattern along the edge of the charcoal grate. This method allows for a slow, consistent burn, ensuring a steady, low temperature throughout the smoking process.

Advantages of the Snake Method

  • Temperature control: Achieving and maintaining the ideal smoking temperature becomes more manageable.
  • Extended cook time: The snake method can provide hours of steady heat, perfect for smoking a brisket flat.
  • Cost-effective: It requires fewer charcoal briquettes compared to other methods.

Why the variation on the original foil boat method?

Great question, I am glad that you asked.  I saw Jeremy Yoder of Mad scientist BBQ do this and I just knew that I had to give it a try.  It combines all of my favorite ways to smoke a brisket in one terrific cook.  By wrapping in both butcher paper and foil, it is giving double protection to the bottom of the brisket, it allows the bark to build in the first part of the smoke and allows it to breathe while still keeping in the moisture for the Texas Crutch.  I was not sure how it would work out but by the time it was over, I discovered that it was………ahhh, I can’t let the cat out of the bag.  You’ll have to watch the video to see how the final product turned out. 

We hope that you enjoy the video and get some useful information out of it.  We really enjoyed making it and really, REALLY enjoyed devouring it.  Go check out the video, go smoke yourself a brisket, get out and grill and we will see you the next time on The FOGO Life.  Captain Ron out….


  1. Remove the brisket flat from the packaging and pat dry. Using a filet/boning knife, trim off any excess fat and silver skin from the top section so that the meat is fully exposed and trim the fat cap on the back side to ¼”.  Combine the kosher salt and black pepper using a 50/50 ratio.  Half salt, half pepper.  Coat the entire brisket liberally with the S&P mixture.  Sprinkle it all over with a bit of the garlic salt as well.  This will add a nice, extra kick of flavor.  Let the brisket sit on a rack while you prepare the grill for smoking.
  2. Prepare your kettle grill for smoking using the snake method.
  3. Snake Method setup- Place 2 FOGO All Natural Briquets side by side with the first one touching the side of the grill.  Now lean 2 briquets, side by side, against those 2 briquets and continue laying them down in the direction that you want the “snake” to go.  Continue laying down 2 rows of briquets, side by side, making sure that each layer overlaps the previous briquets.  In other words, they should lean on the last briquets that you laid down.  Continue this until you have as much charcoal as you may need.  I like to go about ½ way around the grill. 
  4. Now, Lay down another layer of briquets on top of the first layer. You could go with a single row or a double row, having the briquets side by side for the length of the “tail”.
  5. Place 2 FOGO Firestarters on the grate. Place your charcoal chimney over the starters and 6 briquets inside the charcoal chimney.  Using your Grill Torch, ignite the fire starters and allow the briquets to catch fire.  Once they are burning nicely, lift the chimney, remove the grate, and carefully pour the hot coals onto the beginning, or the “head “of your snake.  Use the cherry picker charcoal tongs to arrange them on the snake so that they are sure to ignite the next row of coals.   Now place 3 Bourbon Barrel Smoking Chunks in line on the top of the snake right at the very beginning.  Start the first one right on the burning coals. This will provide smoke for the first few hours of your cook.  Place the grate back in the grill and place the lid back on the grill.  Use the vents to get the grill burning at a steady 250-275°.
  6. Take your Meater+ Thermometer and insert it into the thickest part of the meat so that the tip rests right in the center of the meat. This will provide the most accurate reading.  Once the Meater+ is in, place the meat, fat cap up onto the grill away from the fire.  Replace the lid and make sure that the vents are directly across from where the fire is burning.  This will cause the heat and smoke to roll over the meat and out the top vent.  Continue cooking until the Meater+ reads 165-170° internal temperature and the bark is set to where you want it.  This took about 3 hours for us.  If you want darker bark, continue cooking.  If you are happy with how the bark looks, use your tongs to remove the meat from the grill onto a sheet of butchers paper that has been slathered in the center with the Wagyu Beef Tallow. 
  7. Fully wrap the brisket in the butcher paper. Now lay out a sheet of foil and place the brisket in the center of the foil.  Scrunch up the foil around the brisket to form a foil boat that is nice and tight to the brisket and comes at least halfway up the paper.  It really should be even higher.  Place the fully wrapped brisket back on the grill and continue cooking until the internal temperature has reached 203°.  This should be right abut the perfect finishing temp.  Use a probe and insert it into the meat.  If it goes in with little to no pressure, your brisket is done.  If it is still a bit tough, continue cooking until the probe slides in and out easily.
  8. Once the brisket is done, again use your tongs to remove the brisket from the grill and place it in a container like a small cooler or a Cambro warmer for a minimum of one hour. If you can rest it longer, that is even better.  Once it is done resting, remove it from the cooler, unwrap it and slice it across the grain to serve.  Enjoy your fantastic kettle grill snake method foil boat method brisket!


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