Wagyu Brisket – Worth the Hype?

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The most difficult aspect of cooking a brisket is preventing the meat from drying out.

Moisture is derived from intramuscular fat or marbling, which degrades with time.

Wagyu brisket is popular on the competitive barbecue circuit, as pitmasters seek whatever advantage they can obtain.

This article will explain what Wagyu is, how it varies from normal brisket, where to acquire it, and how to prepare it properly.

What is Wagyu brisket?

Wagyu Brisket – Worth the Hype?

The marbling in Wagyu brisket keeps the leaner flat from drying out, contributes to the melt-in-your-mouth quality, and renders down into delectable liquefied collagen.

But what exactly is Wagyu?

Wagyu is just a combination of two Japanese terms that signify Japanese cow. In Japan, it refers to one of four Japanese cow breeds.

Outside of Japan, the name nearly always refers to beef from the Kuroge Washu, or Japanese Black, cow breed.

Kuroge Washu is acclaimed all over the world for its extreme marbling, which gives it a rich umami taste and silky buttery texture.

The majority of wagyu brisket on the market is really American or domestic Wagyu.

If you want to try cooking Wagyu brisket, we suggest Snake River Farms’ American Wagyu.

Japanese Wagyu vs. American Wagyu

One of the first things to grasp about Wagyu beef is the distinction between Japanese and American Wagyu.

Japanese Wagyu is exclusively derived from 100% pure strains of Japanese cattle that have been so meticulously cultivated to retain that purity that 99.9% of all Japanese Wagyu breeding cows can trace their genealogy to a single bull.

America or domestic Wagyu is descended from pure blood Kuroge Washu cattle shipped from Japan in the 1980s. These cattle were interbred with Angus lines in Canada, Australia, and the United States to boost output.

American Wagyu beef is certified by the USDA, although unlike Japanese Wagyu, the meat only has to possess 46.875% pure Kuroge Washu blood to qualify.

In general, Japanese Wagyu is the most expensive product. It is of higher grade, but it is difficult to get and quite costly.

American Wagyu is still high-quality beef, nearly usually classified Prime on the USDA scale, but it is most likely a cross between Kuroge Washu and another breed.

Is Wagyu brisket, “worth it?”

The value of any piece of meat is always a matter of opinion.

Wagyu brisket has the added benefit of being superb grade cattle as well as having that additional marbling to mitigate some of the drying difficulties that are prevalent when cooking brisket.

Myron Mixon, a four-time World Barbecue Champion, has also used Wagyu brisket as a hidden weapon.

While Myron swears by it, not every prominent pitmaster does. Aaron Franklin loves prime brisket to Wagyu because it has a less meaty taste.

In our view, you should start with cheaper brisket and then spend on Wagyu for exceptional occasions.

What’s the difference between Wagyu and Prime Brisket?

There is a widespread misunderstanding that Wagyu beef is of superior quality.

The grading method used to certify Wagyu Brisket and USDA Prime Brisket is one of the key variances.

The USDA classifies fewer than 2% of all beef produced in the United States as Prime. This certification is based on two factors: the age of the carcass at the moment of slaughter and the intramuscular fat content.

These parameters are established by evaluating the ribeye meat taken from the 12th and 13th ribs.

The Japanese beef grading method is most typically used to grade Wagyu beef. This more sophisticated certification scheme employs three distinct grades:

  • Yield Grade is a letter grade that reflects how much meat can be extracted from the carcass’s most desirable portions. A represents above average, B represents average, and C represents below average.
  • Quality Grade checks the marbling of the beef, as does the USDA grading system, but also the color and texture of the meat, as well as the quality of the fat. The meat is evaluated from 1 (lowest quality) to 5 (highest quality) based on these four parameters.
  • The Beef Marbling Score (BMS) examines the marbling of the beef in further depth, assigning it a numerical grade ranging from 1 (little or no marbling) to 12 (severe marbling).

A1 9-12 is the highest grade of Japanese Wagyu. This indicates that the meat is of the highest grade, that the yield from the most popular regions of the carcass is above average, and that the marbling is excessive.

We offer a comprehensive overview where you can learn more about how beef is graded all around the globe.

Wagyu beef suppliers would often employ the entire Japanese beef grading system for imported Wagyu brisket and a mix of the USDA grading system and a BMS score for American Wagyu brisket.

Wagyu vs. Prime

A Wagyu Brisket with a BMS of 9 or above is a step up from a typical USDA Prime Brisket in many aspects.

The meat may be of same grade, but the Wagyu brisket will have far more marbling and a higher quality of intramuscular fat, which contributes to its taste and texture.

A5 classified real Japanese Wagyu Brisket is some of the world’s greatest beef, but at roughly $1440 for a 32lb piece, it’s a bit costly for anything other than competition cookery.

Where to buy Wagyu Brisket

Snake River Farms

This family-owned company, which began as a ranching and feeding enterprise in 1968, has evolved into a prominent provider of top-quality beef and pork to both Michelin-starred restaurants and daily pitmasters.

Wagyu cattle that are as near to their Japanese forefathers as feasible.Snake River takes its meat extremely seriously, meticulously maintaining their cow’s life-cycle and employing traditional Japanese feeding practices to obtain its cross-bred animals. Angus

Snake River Farms sells two classes of Wagyu Brisket: the Black Grade, which we reviewed, and the premium Gold Grade, which has a BMS of 9+.

The meat is supplied frozen rather than fresh, but this does not seem to have an effect on the flavor. If you place your purchase before 1 p.m. EST, it will be dispatched to you through courier the same day.


DeBragga provides a broad variety of Wagyu beef, from ground beef and burgers to ultra-rare, Miyazaki-Gyu meat, which won the Japanese culinary Olympics.

Their American Wagyu originates from Imperial Wagyu Beef and is a cross between Wagyu and Angus breeds.

DeBragga charges $225 for a two-pack of American Wagyu Brisket weighing around 5-6 lbs each.

If you reside in the Pacific Northwest, you may get these delectable Wagyu Briskets delivered fresh via overnight delivery. The only drawback is that if you don’t reside in the Northwest, DeBragga’s devotion to exporting fresh meat might make delivery pricy.

How to cook a Wagyu Brisket

If you’ve ever smoked a standard brisket low and slow, you won’t notice much of a difference while smoking a Wagyu brisket.

Here are a few pointers to help you get the most out of it:

  • Allow some additional time. The enormous quantity of fat fleck marbling in Wagyu Brisket is its selling feature. This does, however, imply that it will take a bit longer to render all of that fat down. You may also need to raise the finishing temperatures to as high as 213 to 217F in order to properly render down the fat.
  • 4 of fat and your Brisket may become too fatty.Do some additional pruning Because of the high level of intramuscular fat present in Wagyu beef, you may be a little more harsh when cutting your brisket. Anything more than one
  • Apply a medium layer of rub Wagyu is well-known for its umami taste. Using a modest layer of rub allows you to savor the tastes rather than masking them behind a blanket of herbs and spices.
  • Make use of a flesh probe. Cooking an expensive Wagyu brisket might be stressful, therefore your meat thermometer will be your greatest friend. Keep your temperature steady, remember to check both ends of your brisket, and don’t be scared of the temperature stall if this is your first time cooking a brisket.

Wrapping it up

Wagyu brisket is a little divisive.

Some individuals, including many World Barbecue Championship winners, believe it is the greatest brisket money can buy.

Others like to go with the tried-and-true USDA Prime.

The best way to form your own opinion is to taste it for yourself, and now that you know how it’s graded, where to get it, and how to cook it properly, you’ve got everything you need to make your own gorgeously marbled Wagyu brisket.

After all, the proof is in the eating!


Are Wagyu briskets worth it?

To summarize, wagyu brisket is a genuinely unique cut of beef. It is a sought-after delicacy due to its high levels of marbling, rich taste, and soft texture. Whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster or a first-time chef, wagyu brisket is a meat worth trying.

Is Wagyu beef worth the extra money?

But, to address the issue of whether Wagyu is worth the high price, the answer is a loud YES! Wagyu is unlike any other beef you’ve ever tasted, with a melt-in-your-mouth texture and a rich, buttery flavor.

Does Wagyu brisket cook different?

One thing I’ve heard and read in a number of the different online BBQ communities is that Wagyu briskets need to cook a little longer than their less marbled counterparts in order to render the excess fat. Some have claimed ending temperatures as high as 213 to 217 degrees Fahrenheit!

What is the hype about Wagyu beef?

Wagyu beef is renowned across the globe due to its higher eating quality when compared to other cow breeds. Wagyu beef not only has more intramuscular fat, or marbling, but the flesh texture is finer, resulting in a more flavorful eating experience.

Is Wagyu brisket better than regular brisket?

A Wagyu Brisket with a BMS of 9 or above is a step up from a typical USDA Prime Brisket in many aspects. The meat may be of same grade, but the Wagyu brisket will have far more marbling and a higher quality of intramuscular fat, which contributes to its taste and texture.

Does Wagyu brisket stall?

Be prepared for “the stall” if this is your first time smoking brisket. Around 175 degrees, the interior fat starts to render. It cools the brisket, and the temperature will stay there for what seems like an eternity, but be patient, and the temperature will begin to increase again.

What are the cons of wagyu beef?

Although Wagyu cattle have numerous advantages, they do have certain disadvantages, such as slower development and cows producing inadequate milk for their calves.

Is Wagyu steak better than Kobe beef?

It is strong in monounsaturated fats and low in saturated fats. It has a high salt content but a low cholesterol content. Kobe beef, on the other hand, is a kind of Wagyu beef. Kobe steak is even considered the best grade Wagyu beef since it is commonly recognized as the most marbled meat in the world.

Is wagyu beef better than Kobe?

As previously said, Wagyu beef is just another name for Japanese meat from Japanese-raised cattle. Kobe beef is a variety of Wagyu beef that is known for its marbling. Some claim it has the most complex marbling of any beef in the world.

What is the most expensive brisket?

Wagyu beef is commonly considered to be the greatest in the world, and it is surely among the most costly! It’s a luxury and a pleasure, with epic marbling and taste. To obtain Wagyu brisket, combine it with the king of low and slow smoked meats.

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