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Why does a wagyu brisket cook faster than a choice brisket?

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    Why does a wagyu brisket cook faster than a choice brisket?

    Or another way of putting it, why does a well marbled brisket cook to being tender done before a less marbled brisket.
    I have read this many times but don't understand why. I had the honor of spending close to 2 hours on a very early Saturday morning with Aaron Franklin 1 1/2 years ago at Franklin's. I was mentioning to Aaron that I was smoking a USA wagyu brisket the following week and he remarked "thats going to cook really fast". I have read on many BBQ boards the same thing but haven't rationalized as to why that is the case. Fat is an insulator as compared to protein (close to 50% less conductive than protein) so will have the tendency to slow down the transmittal of heat through the meat. Or so I would think. Apparently there is something else at work that is causing the more rapid cook to doneness in a wagyu.
    An inquiring mind wants to know?
    thanks much !

    It transmits heat of cooking quicker, and it breaks down whereas muscle fibers do not. Here is a succint article that I found quite informative. http://www.paradisemeats.com/blog/wagyu-briskets.

    That must've been a treat to hang out with AF, I like him.


      My guess would be because Wagyu has far more marbling (fat) than a choice brisket, its going to cook faster. Fat gets hotter faster than the meat does. That's why sometimes when you probe a butt or brisket you get a high temp in one place and a much lower temp in another. Sometimes this is because your probe has hit a pocket of fat. I just think that the more fat there is the faster it heats up and the quicker you get to your desired internal Temp.

      Just my thoughts. Id be interested to see what others have to say.



        Thank you for your responses -

        Per science articles all over the net, fat is a much poorer conductor of heat than protein. The thermal transmission of heat through fat is slower than that through meat. However, fat will store (retain) heat better than protein perhaps due to more water being present in the proteins = evaporative cooling.

        After reading the link posted by Huskee above, the actual answer may be related to wagyu briskets, in general, being done to tenderness at a lower internal temperature verses than a choice brisket. For example 180*- 190*F verses 195*-205*F. These example temp numbers are ballpark - actual temp to doneness covers a wide temp range based on many varables - pit temp/humidity/age of cow/stress level of cow immediately before slaugher/cooker type/hot&fast verses low&slow/wrapping/and it goes on and on. That is why brisket is done when its done and it is a mistake to cook it to an pre-established internal temperature.

        I'm still scratching my head as to why wagyu brisket has the tendency to be more tender at a lower internal temp than lower marbled choice pieces of meat.




            Lower density for sure and Huskee mentioned fat rendering - both could be a significant factor.


              I guess I'm the exception to the rule. But I don't think you can put "concrete" rules in place for any brisket! Some take less time, some take more. Many cooks that cook wagyu cook hot and fast so of course it's going to be done faster. Every time I take a SRF brisket off right when it hits the no-pressure-poke and release point, it fools me. During the rest phase, it tightens back up. So, I generally take any kind of brisket up to about 205 before pulling it. That's 205 where I plan on getting samples for judges. I prefer Snake River Farms because the taste is just extraordinary. I don't think there's a huge difference between SRF regular versus Gold, but there's usually a huge difference between a choice Angus and a SRF. Did alright last year in KCBS team of the year, finished 135/2826 in brisket. Mostly cooking SRF, did cook a couple of Strube and a couple of choice.


                When I purchased my Large BGE 14 years ago I mistakenly believed that this BBQ thing wasn't that complicated I have spent the last several years studying nearly every aspect of smoking meat - I am a scientist by degree and profession so I love the why's and how's of things. I was not prepared for just how how many variables are involved with just smoking a brisket - really is mind boggling. CandySue, I havent experienced a brisket "tightening up" on me after it probed tender in the thickest part of the flat - fascinating! I've cooked far fewer briskets than you have - congrats on your many successes. I've never done a comp but plan to eventually, hopefully this year - seems like a great group of individuals at the comps. Thanks much for your input. Now I have something else to look into - how cooked brisket (jiggly) with unraveled meat proteins can tighten back up after being probe tender before.


                  Funny- My post came across like I study up on bbq every single day - more like 4-5 hours per week.


                    That's still a significant time investment! Don't you love your BGE! I probably cook more on mine than my competition cookers.

                    My timetable on brisket is to start it cooking between 9-11 pm the night before. The range there has to do with ambient humidity and wind. I've found that stuff cooks faster when it's humid or raining. Generally, that means that brisket is to waba-waba at around 7 am. I'll take it off, put it in the cambro and within 30-45 minutes, I'll separate the point and flat, make burnt ends and put them and the point back in the cooker. Check out the bark on the flat, if it's dry it'll got top down in the de-fatted juice and back in the cambro. After rib turn in (which is 1 hour before brisket), I'll slice the flat. Pick my 6-9 slices for the box, evaluate texture. If necessary, I can make a foil packet with those slices and juice and put back in the cooker to soften up further. If texture is spot on, back into the cambro brisket goes. Juice is critical, without it slices will dry up quickly. The tighten up thing happens with pork too. Especially with ribs. Don't know why but I'd like to know!


                      I do enjoy cooking on my Egg - will be making cheeseburgers tonight on it using the reverse sear as I always do these days after learning about it on this website.
                      I also have a Jambo J-3 which was delivered by Jamie last May. I love it but am going through a learning curve as to fire maintenance over a long cook.
                      CandySueQ, I very much appreciate the brisket advice!

                      Huskee, Aaron is a really great guy who is very passionate about BBQ. He loves it and it shows when in a conversation with him. I really learned a lot from Aaron that morning. My wife set it up without my knowledge for my 60th birthday - great birthday present that I will never forget.

                      And Dr. Blonder to the rescue - Dr. Blonder says there are several reasons why a wagyu has a tendency to cook faster. I'll paraphrase his response.
                      1) After 6 hours smoking a brisket, the thermal conductivity of fat is not that much different than meat.
                      2) The rich internal matrix of fat in a wagyu brisket acts in a way like an internal Texas Crutch which traps moisture internally yielding a faster cook.
                      3) Wagyu also has less tough connective tissue than a Choice cut so it take less time and heat to convert the small amount of collagen to gelatin.

                      My mind is at ease now - thanks everyone -


                        Wow, that was an all out BBQ knowledge Bomb on that one!!! Thats why we are here.


                          Lots of good knowledge on this site! There is so much misleading bbq information on the net that is quoted as fact. A huge "Kudos" goes to Meathead for providing a forum for science based information and not hearsay.


                          • Huskee
                            Huskee commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Like a well-known national BBQ site's rib recipe, to paraphrase: 'Cook ribs over medium-high heat for 3-5 hrs.'

                            Define medium high heat? And cook right over the heat like you're grilling? 3-5 hrs? How do I know if it's 3, 4, or 5?

                            These types of recipes are everywhere! Aren't we thankful Meathead et al have invested the time and research into correct information!

                          But I don't think you can put "concrete" rules in place for any brisket!

                          Brisket is the most inconsistent hunk of meat on a cow, or at least the leader of the pack of inconsistent hunks of meat.

                          I think it also has to do with collagen/connective tissue, or lack thereof. I once had a Prime flat you could almost seem to pull apart. Plenty fat or not, that dude had no choice but to get tender quick.


                            Do we want to add the left or right side brisket to this discussion? I don't consider this a myth...



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