What is one of the most common issues that lots of people face when smoking brisket in their own backyard?
The meat tends to dry out during the cooking process.
Sure, there are many ways to keep your beef brisket moist throughout the cooking process. Like using a brisket mop or spritzing the meat.
However, the best way to ensure that your meat stays juicy is to use a cut with a lot of intramuscular fat.
You may have noticed that most briskets sold in butcher shops or supermarkets have a thin layer of fat running through them.
However, a regular brisket — be it a choice or prime brisket — doesn’t have the most intramuscular fat.
So, what should you do if you’re looking for one that has a higher fat content?
Well, have you ever heard of “wagyu brisket”?
In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about wagyu brisket and how it differs from regular brisket, and if wagyu brisket is worth it!
What Is Wagyu Beef?
Wagyu is a type of Japanese beef that is both expensive and popular all over the world.
It is so sought after, that countries outside of Japan have purchased and imported Japanese cattle breeds solely for the purpose of farming their own Wagyu.
As a result, you can now find American Wagyu beef and Australian Wagyu beef in your local supermarket.
A Wagyu beef cut is distinct because it has the most amazing marbling.
The majority of beef, particularly USDA graded beef, certainly has characteristics of marbling.
But they’re definitely only moderate at best.
The plentiful marbling found in Wagyu beef cuts is what makes it so tasty. However, not all Wagyu beef is created equal.
For example, those produced and sold outside of Japan aren’t as expensive or as impressive.
This is due to the fact that Wagyu in countries such as Australia and America are not derived entirely from Japanese cattle.
Instead, many of the Japanese cattle breeds found outside of Japan have been crossbred with other native cattle breeds.
All to ensure that they adapt to different environments.
Comparing Japanese Wagyu Brisket and American Wagyu Brisket
The difference between Japanese and American wagyu beef is that Japanese wagyu is entirely derived from the Bos Taurus breed of cattle.
Which is one of the four main Japanese breeds of wagyu beef.
American wagyu is made from meat from Kuroge Washu cattle that have been bred with other western breeds of cattle.
The other breeds are usually Aberdeen Angus.
According to the USDA, American wagyu must contain 46.88 percent Kuroge Washu blood in order to be classified as wagyu beef.
So Is Wagyu Worth the Price?
Genuine one hundred percent full-blood Japanese wagyu brisket can easily cost $1000 or more depending on where you buy it and how much you buy.
As a result, it’s understandable that not everyone would be willing to pay such a high price just to try it out.
As a result, the real question is, is it worthwhile?
After all, a 10-pound Japanese A5 wagyu brisket can cost up to four times the price of a 15-pound American wagyu brisket.
We would advise against choosing wagyu brisket if you are still learning how to smoke a brisket to perfection.
If you looking for alternatives to wagyu, there are a few options.
If you want to practice and hone your skills first, you should definitely stick to the standard and more affordable briskets.
However, if you’re looking to impress some guests or simply want to celebrate a special occasion, we’d recommend impressing your company with wagyu steak brisket.
The extra marbling will provide a ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ type of experience that is well worth the splurge.
Of course, not everyone will share this sentiment.
For example, Aaron Franklin of ‘BBQ with Franklin’ has stated that he would not choose wagyu brisket beef over prime brisket.
His logic is straightforward.
He believes that Wagyu lacks the “beefy” flavor that is more prevalent in standard, cheaper brisket.
Tips and Tricks for Smoking Wagyu Brisket
The method for cooking Japanese wagyu brisket is similar to that of cooking regular brisket.
However, we’d like to share a few of our best tips for serving up the best-smoked wagyu brisket.
Dare To Trim More
We would typically always advise against excessive fat trimming on a standard brisket.
However, the epic marbling of wagyu brisket means you can definitely afford to remove more of the meat’s outer fat.
Instead of ensuring that there is still half an inch of fat surrounding the meat, aim for a quarter-inch of surrounding fat. We recommend using the brisket trimmings for burgers or sausages
Cook The Piece Of Meat For Longer
Beef brisket should be pulled from the heat as soon as it reaches an internal temperature of 204°F.
But this may not be sufficient for wagyu brisket.
Because wagyu contains a lot more fat, it will undoubtedly require a longer cooking time in order for all of that fat to render out nicely.
We recommend removing the brisket from the smoker once its internal temperature reaches 214 degrees Fahrenheit instead and then place the brisket in a cooler.
Make sure you use a probe to monitor the temperature correctly
Cut Down On The Meat Rub
Since wagyu beef has a great umami taste, you don’t want to overpower that flavor with too many spices.
While you can still apply a rub to the meat before cooking it in your smoker or charcoal grill, we recommend not using as much as you would on a regular brisket.
At the end of the day, we can’t say that wagyu brisket is superior to all other briskets on the market.
Everyone has different taste preferences. And some people might prefer the flavor and texture of prime or choice brisket over wagyu.
However, we would strongly advise you to try wagyu brisket at least once so that you can decide for yourself whether it’s worth it.
Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)
You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!
You can read more on our About Us page.
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