So, you want to Smoke a Wagyu brisket?

Here a is a tutorial and FAQ’s on Wagyu beef and a simple recipe on how to smoke a Gold Wagyu brisket.

The key to cooking Wagyu briskets is like a typical brisket, but with a much gentler touch. Trying to maintain the delicate fat while bringing the meat into the range to break down collagen into gelatin is the name of the game here.  

What is so special about Wagyu beef?

The profile of marbled Wagyu beef is more beneficial and healthier to human health. Wagyu is also higher in a type of fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Wagyu beef contain the highest amount of CLA per gram of any foodstuff – about 30% more than other beef breeds – due to higher linoleic acid levels.

The Difference Between Japanese Wagyu and American Wagyu

From this point on, there has been a select few cattle farmers in America that are regulated and certified to raise 100% fullblood Wagyu beef cattle, as well as several crossbreeds.

Is American Wagyu better than prime?

Wagyu is usually extremely marbled, more than USDA Prime, but not as much as Japanese Wagyu, and the flavor and texture is distinctive. It is also about twice the price of USDA Prime. … Do not die without having tasted great American Wagyu. Steaks can run up to 30% fat and $60 to 70 for a 12-ounce ribeye.

How old are Wagyu cows when slaughtered?

Improved through the years by crossbreeding with foreign cattle, that grouping now accounts for 90 percent of Wagyu raised in Japan, with a slaughter age of 28 to 30 months and average grade there of BMI 5.6

What are Wagyu cows fed?

Cattle are grass-fed, not grain finished. Normally grass-fed beef is much leaner; however, the intense marbling of this Wagyu still provides enough fat that you get the best of both worlds with beefy grass-fed flavor and a grain-finished level of marbling.

Do Wagyu (Japanese) cows drink beer?

Cows are given beer to induce appetite. The second is that they are massaged daily, sometimes with sake (Japanese rice wine), as a proxy for exercise in the tight living quarters and to further accentuate the marbling that Kobe beef is so well known for.

Can you buy Wagyu cattle in the US?

Yes, however, meat is still regulated under a strict quota and tariff system. You can only buy Japanese Wagyu in the U.S. in extremely limited supply. As for live animals, there was a blip in the permanent ban between 1975 and 1997, when Japan did allow the export of a handful of animals.

Where can I get Wagyu Beef in the USA?

Where can I get Japanese/Australian Wagyu?

What are the differences in smoking choice/select/prime briskets?

  • Cost is different from the standard brisket cost of $3.99-$5.99 per pound or $45-$65 per brisket to the cost of the Wagyu Gold briskets at $15.00 per pound or $210.00 per brisket.
  • Wagyu briskets tend to cook a little bit longer than their less marbled counterparts, as you want to be sure and get the extra fat rendered.
  • Some have reported finishing temperatures as high as 213 to 217 F!

How to Prep and Cook Wagyu Brisket


1-12-14 pound whole packer Wagyu Gold brisket

1-Cup of Three Little Pig Mustard sauce

1-Cup of Three Little Pig’s Texas Beef rub

1/3 Cup of Three Little Pig’s Memphis rub


  1. Store your brisket in the refrigerator until you are ready to start trimming. Cold briskets are much easier to work with. Flip your brisket over so the point end is underneath. Remove any silver skin or excess fat from the flat muscle. Trim down the large crescent moon shaped fat section until it is a smooth transition between the point and the flat. Trim and excessive or loose meat and fat from the point. Square the edges and ends of the flat. Flip the brisket over and trim the top fat cap to about 1/4 of an inch thickness across the surface of the brisket.
  2. Cover the brisket on the top side with a coat of Mustard sauce to help bind the rub to the brisket to maximize the crusting process.
  3. Distribute the Texas Beef Rub across the top of the brisket that is going to be faced up on the smoker.  Using a Jaccard tenderizer, tenderizer the brisket and drive the rub into the brisket. Once done tenderizing distribute a coat of the Memphis rub and repeat the tenderizing process. Come back with a final coat of the Texas Beef rub to finish before going to the smoker.
  4. Preheat your smoker to 250-275 degrees F using indirect heat and hardwood lump charcoal smoke. Place the brisket on the smoker with the point end facing your main heat source. This is a thicker part of the brisket and it can handle the additional heat. Close the lid and smoke until and internal thermometer reads 210-215 degrees F (usually takes around 10-12 hours).
  5. Remove the brisket to a large cutting board and allow to rest for 30 minutes before slicing. Slice both the point and the flat against the grain with a sharp knife and serve immediately.

Chris Marks (CBBQE) Chief BBQ Expert Three Little Pig’s BBQ Rubs/Sauces

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