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I'm smoking a 12 lb packer Wagyu brisket tomorrow morning. This is my first time doing Wagyu so I was just wondering if I should approach it differently than regular Prime? For example, I read that it finishes quicker and should be pulled around 185-190 (or whenever it passes the doneness test!).  I normally wrap my prime briskets at stall, but should I even bother wrapping a Wagyu? Any tips would be much appreciated!

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Winslow I replied to your PM but will paste a copy here. I smoked one for July 4th and it was well received...from Snake River Farms. I season with Kosher Salt and course ground black pepper. I wouldn't use an injection for Wagyu. You can paint the surfaces (post trimming) with Worcestershire just before seasoning. I like 235 o for Waygu and that usually works out to just over an hour @ pound cook time.  You can wrap at stall if you need to speed things up a bit. If you do, I suggest peach paper over foil. Personally, I just leave it be. Don't think I've ever had a brisket, Wagyu, Prime or otherwise finished at 190. I use a wooden skewer to probe test around 195 internal (on flat...point always feels done due to high fat content) When I can go easy in and out thru the flat, it's done. Typically around 202 - 205. My last one was done at 202.  Rest it for at least an hour...peach paper, towel, cooler. Let me know how it works out. 

I've done a few of these and will add on to what MaxQ's thoughts are. Not all wagyu's are made the same, some of them have more bloodline to them, have been feed a different feed regiment, etc. Because of these factors there can be 10* difference in finish temp. You will find that times will be close to what you have done with your prime briskets.

Like Chris said, I've never had a brisket done at 190* in my life, but I too cook a little hotter than 225*, so that will factor into your finial temp.

Hi everyone! I've finally secured a Wagyu brisket and am going to give it a go this weekend on Saturday. I did have one follow-up question. @maxq mentioned not to inject Wagyu brisket. Max, what is the rationale for not injecting (and do others agree)? I was thinking of only injecting in the flat, my logic being that I've never had a flat that's TOO moist... more often than not I'd wish it wasn't quite so dry and I find injecting helps with that. What do folks think?

Personally I've only injected a brisket once and I didn't like the way it turned out.  Tasted like pot roast to me.  Very odd.

The best brisket I ever cooked was a Snake River Farms wagyu.  I did nothing to it - just kosher salt and coarse grind black pepper.  It wobbled like crazy, was moist all the way through.

There is so much marbling in the wagyu that I don't think you will find it to be dry.  I cook them fat side down in the FEC-100.

YMMV

Thanks for the feedback @kengolden! My brisket is from Snake River Farms as well, so glad to hear you were happy with the results. Out of curiosity, did you wrap the brisket at all around the stall, or just let it ride through? Also, do you recall what temperature it was finished at?

Given that I actually like the flavor my injection imparts I guess my question is what is the downside of injecting the flat? Wouldn't that only make for a moister brisket, or is there something I'm missing here?

Its been awhile since I cooked it.  I probably cooked it at 250 but now I do briskets at 225.  I didn't wrap.  I never wrap.  I can't recall what temp it was done at but as I mentioned a year ago, I'm not beholden to 203 as the magic temperature.  I've cooked some to 203 and they were overdone and cooked some in the 190s and probe penetration told me it was ready to come out..  I did a prime recently and pulled it at 195.   It was perfect.  This is just my experience.  

If you like the injection flavor and texture I guess there is no downside to trying.

Last edited by kengolden

I inject all my briskets, but only the flat area. I wrap all my briskets, because I use a little(1/2 cup) marinade in it for flavor.

With that said, I have found that wagyu has a little different feel when probe tender, I would suggest you cook it another 20 minutes when you feel that it's ready. 

Good luck!

In a nutshell, I found that brisket injections weren't needed for USDA Prime and Wagyu packers. The increased amount of marbling didn't require the phosphate component to achieve a moist end result,  and the underlying flavor was more than sufficient to my palate. The aftertaste from the injection powder was always detectable and I just grew to prefer the natural taste of  the meat. Were I to smoke a flat or Select packer today, I'd probably opt for some kind of injection of my own making or use Cal's approach of wrapping at stall with some marinade.

 

Have you temped the meat in several areas? Flat? Point? Temp changes can create wonky end results but a drop down to 230 shouldn't be too troublesome.  Remember to rely on probing tender vs temp to determine doneness...especially in the middle of the flat, as points always feel soft and spongy. Push come to shove, you can wrap with peach paper (foil if you lack paper) and hold it in a cooler till later. Let us know how it works out. 

@maxq @cal 2 @kengolden The results are in!

Process: I smoked a 13.3 lb Snake River Farm Wagyu gold brisket at 240F with 4oz hickory for a total smoke time of 11h 15m in my Smokette Elite (fat-side down). Removed from smoker once thickest part of flat probed tender and registered 192F. I injected the flat the night prior about 8 hours before smoking. No foiling at the stall or anything fancy... just set at 240F and let it ride until done.  As mentioned above, it was cooking really fast in the beginnig but leveled out once it hit 170F. Once done I removed from smoker, FTCd for two hours then served. 

Results: Amazing flavor but the flat was completely dried out (story of my life)!  And this was a beautifully marbled wagyu gold brisket folks. I did the finger test where you take a slice and drape it over your finger and it would break in half / crumble under its own weight. On a brighter note, I tried Burnt Ends for the first time using this recipe: https://forum.cookshack.com/to...6925015371#482105172 and they were lights out! 

Troubleshooting / Questions: Why do you think the flat was dried out? I started probing it for tender once the thickest part registered 182F and it didn't quite feel like butter until it hit around 192F (I probed about every 30 min). Something important to note... the majority of the flat was registering anywhere from 200F - 205F when I pulled out of the smoker... there was just this one stubborn part in the thickest area (near the fat seam that connects the point) that was roughly 10 degrees lower than the rest of the flat, so I waited until that area was tender / felt like butter which was around 192F. 

My instinct tells me that maybe that the temperature probe which was ~10 degrees lower than rest of flat was hitting some of the point fat seam and throwing the temperature off. But still, I was probing for tenderness frequently and didn't pull until it felt like butter which would theoretically mean that the temp reading shouldn't matter. Maybe I need to redefine my definition of what butter feels like!

Interested to hear what you guys think.

 

 

Sorry to be just getting back...had a series of snafus to deal with yesterday.

Your hang test results lead me to believe the flat was overdone, which is why it was on the dry side. An underdone flat would have produced similar results.  Points are very forgiving, moisture wise, and almost always probe tender for me before the flat's ready. T

When I determine doneness, I take 3 things into account; 1. the feel or "jiiggle" of the whole packer, 2. internal temps and 3. probe test. I would replace what you're now using with some simple round wooden 6" (or longer) skewers. You'll find them at the grocery store, Walmart, etc. It's basically an oversized toothpick that allows you to push through from top to bottom anywhere on the brisket. When properly done, they WILL slide thru the point like butter. The flat will give some resistance but not much. Think of probing St Louis ribs, same thing. 

While I've only smoked maybe a dozen or less Wagyu packers, I've found they they tend to come done a few degrees less than the usual 202 - 206 range. I think I had one done around 196. BTW,  I always reference the temp at the dead center of aa packer, as point and end-of-flat temps tend to vary a bit.

I would suggest that in the future you hone your craft using a good Angus USDA Choice packer. Creekstone Farms is a good source. 13 - 15 lbs is a good weight range. Cook at 250 and count on 75 - 90 minutes @ pound, post-trim.  I would keep the seasoning to S&P and forget injections until you're confident as per your results. Then, as Smokin'Okie used to say, make changes one at a time, if so compelled to make changes. 

That all said, Cal has cooked truckloads of briskets so anything he says gets priority ;-) Good luck!! You'll get there ;-)

Last edited by maxq

Thanks for the in-depth insight as always @maxq. I have a few follow-up questions on some of your points (no pun intended)...

  • Did you notice that Creekstone recently increased their prices? $174 for 12 - 14lb prime brisket.
  • When you probe for tender, are you doing it on the top of the brisket, or from the side? I've been doing it from the side. 
  • Above you mentioned to start probing for tender around 190F. How long do you wait between each probe before trying again?
  • "I always reference the temp at the dead center of aa packer, as point and end-of-flat temps tend to vary a bit." When you take temp, are you doing it from the top of the brisket in the center, or from the side of the brisket in the center? To identify the "thickest part of the flat" I just look at it from the side and put the temp probe in the area that's tallest. 
  • "13 - 15 lbs is a good weight range. Cook at 250 and count on 75 - 90 minutes @ pound, post-trim." How much weight do you generally trim off your briskets. I know it probably varies based on size... just trying to figure out how you know your final weight post-trim.
  • Once you've removed brisket from smoker and you FTC, do you prefer to wrap in foil or butcher paper? Also, do you notice any negative results from letting the brisket sit in FTC for too long? Sometimes I've noticed that the briskets that sit for more than 3 hours tend to be more on the dry side, although maybe those briskets just happened to be dry to begin with!
  • I use two temp probes and in general they are ~10 degrees apart (even though they're only placed a few centimeters part from each other in thickest part of the flat - again, inserted into the side). Sometimes this can confuse the process because one will be at 194 and the other 184. Should I go with one, or use two and just trust whichever is lowest temp?

 

Yup, until COVID subsides prices will reflect tight supplies, and the coming holidays will further exert pressure on pricing. Don't be afraid to try locally sourced USDA Choice packers or even flats. Do you have box stores handy? Costco, Sam's, Restaurant Depot or a decent butcher shop?

I always probe top to bottom, straight down.

3-4 degrees or 30 minutes.

I leave a tad more than 1/4" of fat over the top and try to remove as much of the hard knobby stuff between the point and flat. The loss is usually between 20 - 25% of total weight. A bathroom scale should work if you have one. Aaron Franklin has 1 or 2 YouTubes on brisket trimming. He likes to square up the sides and ends as he can use the trimming for sausage, staff meals, burgers, etc. Just try to keep the amount of fat even in thickness for even cooking. 

!0 + years ago I wrapped with foil. Now I use a dbl layer of peach paper. 2-3 hrs is fine on the hold. Franklin claims 140 is the ideal slicing temp. I've never gotten that fussy about it. 

Generally I put 1 probe diagonally into the center of the point, and another one diagonally into the center of the flat.  Point temps tend to ride 3-5 o higher. Always go with the flat temp (along with probing for tender)

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