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The Great Brisket Controversy

Hi Everyone, I'm a brand new member. I'm sure everyone gets sick of seeing posts from new members, but here goes. I just got a BGE XL for my birthday...wow...it's like going from a Honda to a Ferrari (no offense Honda owners :) ). I love it and can't seem to stop thinking about my next cook.

Anyways, here's the deal. I'd like to get your thoughts on Briskets.

Is there such a thing as a PRIME brisket? Pat LaFrieda here in NYC is selling one for $98. I looked at different sites and there is disagreement...does it exist or no?

I know what you're thinking...BBQ in NYC...Uh oh. But give me a pass. My father in law is from Kansas City and agreed to share his secrets after I married his daughter. And now I'm a student of BBQ.

Next question...is WAGYU brisket worth it? I know that competition teams use them. But I respect all of your opinions more  - is it worth it? Do you notice a difference?

Thanks all.
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Comments

  • GA_DawgsGA_Dawgs Posts: 273
    Congrats on the Egg and welcome! Prime is a grade of meat, yes it does exist. Wagyu is usually a marketing ploy. True Wagyu is a breed of cattle from Wagyu, Japan and also has strict regs on how its raised and slaughtered. $98for a prime brisket is steep! I would recommend looking at some other places before dropping a hundo on your first brisket as they can be difficult.
  • DuganboyDuganboy Posts: 1,118

    Briskets have a learning curve, so if I were you I would do a couple of choice briskets and work on my technique before the prime hunk goes on.

    Cen-Tex and others will be a long here soon and give you all the right answers. 
  • ScottborasjrScottborasjr Posts: 1,988
    I don't bother with prime beef unless I'm really trying to impress someone.  If you know what you are doing lesser meat can be just as good, and if you don't know what you are doing it's just a really expensive screw up.
    I raise my kids, cook and golf.  When work gets in the way I'm pissed, I'm pissed off 48 weeks a year.
    Inbetween Iowa and Colorado, not close to anything remotely entertaining outside of football season. 
  • JRWhiteeJRWhitee Posts: 2,492
    Welcome 007, I am with Ga Dawgs you should be able to find a choice packer for $3.99 a pound or so. Save the C note for a whole prime rib. I would practice on some cheaper briskets. It took me 3 before I was satisfied the first two were edible but would have been pissed if I paid a hun for them.

                                                                        
    _________________________________________________

    Large BGE 2006, Mini Max 2014 
    Founding Member of the Green Man Group cooking team.
    Johns Creek, Georgia




  • Thanks guys, this is helpful. I've cooked a lot of choice briskets, but never a higher grade - with pretty good results - but I'm curious if the higher grades are that much better.
  • Solson005Solson005 Posts: 1,875
    First off welcome, new members are always welcome and can always add information to anyone else's cooks. 

    I usually just do flats so I am no help to your question. 

    @rsmith193 has used them in competition maybe after my mention we can get some insight from someone who has made them. 

    Here is @friscoag post last year Wagyu Brisket
    Large & Small BGE, CGW Two-Tier Swing Rack for BOTH EGGS, Spider for the Wok, eggCARTen & and Cedar Pergola my Eggs call home in Edmond, OK. 
  • some good advice here. I've done primo briskets (the hundo) and I didn't really notice a huge difference. "Wagyu" as mentioned above is a marketing term here in the US but the quality of the beef is usually super primo. The best briskets I've ever done were natural choice from whole foods. $4.99 per lb which is high but still like $60 instead of a hundy. some of the best I've ever done were $1.99 select grades so I'm a little skeptical about $100 briskets. Steaks on the other hand.........

  • well.... you don't need my opinion here...

    All of the experts have chimed in, and trust me when I say, these folks know their stuff!

    Just wanted to welcome you to the forum!

    (Prime briskets shouldn't cost that much and WAGYU is a hoax....like the YETI)

    BOOMER!
  • rsmith193rsmith193 Posts: 219

    I hate to dis agree with anyone , or step on anyones toes. But here it goes. For the first several cooks I would recommend cooking a choice brisket. The price is right for practicing and learning what a brisket will do. After you have gotten a good understanding of the egg and the way briskt cooks, I would move to a CAB (Certified Angus Beef) brisket. it is a little bit more money, but for friends and family it's worth the price.

    Now for the part that I'm afraid will step on some toes. As far as Wagyu beef, The Wagyu cattle has been bred with an Angus cattle, here in the states. It is not a marketing ploy. The term Koba Beef here in the states is a ploy, in fact it is ususlly Wagyu.

    I use Wagyu brisket for my competition briskets, and have had good results. The amount of marbling in the meat is very high, and it changes the cook time. I like the results but if I am cooking for friends and family, I would not spend the money. Sorry about that to the family but it is too much to spend.

    For a Choice Brisket @ 15lbs I spend about $30, for a CAB Brisket @15 lbs it's about $45, and for a Wagyu @15lbs it's about $145 plus shipping unless I buy 3 or more at a time.

    Hope this helps and hope I didn't step on any toes, but I have done a lot of research for the best meats for my competition team.

  • BeaumontyBeaumonty Posts: 159
    Since we're talking about briskets, 

    I've never done a brisket but have grilled quite a bit. I have to feed quite a few for Easter. I am nervous about having too large a brisket or worse, too small. 

    Does anyone have a suggestion for ideal size for a Large Egg? A recipe would be helpful but i think I'll follow Daddio's Easy Tender Brisket but let it rest in a cooler just to aid timing. 

    'ppreciate it.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 12,251
    rsmith193 said:

    I hate to dis agree with anyone , or step on anyones toes. But here it goes. For the first several cooks I would recommend cooking a choice brisket. The price is right for practicing and learning what a brisket will do. After you have gotten a good understanding of the egg and the way briskt cooks, I would move to a CAB (Certified Angus Beef) brisket. it is a little bit more money, but for friends and family it's worth the price.

    Now for the part that I'm afraid will step on some toes. As far as Wagyu beef, The Wagyu cattle has been bred with an Angus cattle, here in the states. It is not a marketing ploy. The term Koba Beef here in the states is a ploy, in fact it is ususlly Wagyu.

    I use Wagyu brisket for my competition briskets, and have had good results. The amount of marbling in the meat is very high, and it changes the cook time. I like the results but if I am cooking for friends and family, I would not spend the money. Sorry about that to the family but it is too much to spend.

    For a Choice Brisket @ 15lbs I spend about $30, for a CAB Brisket @15 lbs it's about $45, and for a Wagyu @15lbs it's about $145 plus shipping unless I buy 3 or more at a time.

    Hope this helps and hope I didn't step on any toes, but I have done a lot of research for the best meats for my competition team.

    I agree with you.  Wagyu is a hybrid in the US. Kobe is from Kobe Japan, just recently imported after years of ban.  More fat, more soft fat, the better.  Beef grading is somewhat subjective.  Best advice I can give to anyone is get good meat, really look at the meat you're buying...bend it (you want it floppy), if you can see a cross-section, you want marbled fat.  Evaluate. etc. 
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • ScottborasjrScottborasjr Posts: 1,988
    With a large Egg I would just go with whatever you are comfortable purchasing.  I did a 10 lb packer on the medium the other day and was fine.  Depends on your options for setups, do you have a plate setter, a adjustable rig, etc.? I would have never attempted a 10 pound piece of meat on either the Large or Medium except for people showing me on the forum.
    I raise my kids, cook and golf.  When work gets in the way I'm pissed, I'm pissed off 48 weeks a year.
    Inbetween Iowa and Colorado, not close to anything remotely entertaining outside of football season. 
  • The Cen-Tex SmokerThe Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 11,875
    edited March 2013
    rsmith193 said:

    I hate to dis agree with anyone , or step on anyones toes. But here it goes. For the first several cooks I would recommend cooking a choice brisket. The price is right for practicing and learning what a brisket will do. After you have gotten a good understanding of the egg and the way briskt cooks, I would move to a CAB (Certified Angus Beef) brisket. it is a little bit more money, but for friends and family it's worth the price.

    Now for the part that I'm afraid will step on some toes. As far as Wagyu beef, The Wagyu cattle has been bred with an Angus cattle, here in the states. It is not a marketing ploy. The term Koba Beef here in the states is a ploy, in fact it is ususlly Wagyu.

    I use Wagyu brisket for my competition briskets, and have had good results. The amount of marbling in the meat is very high, and it changes the cook time. I like the results but if I am cooking for friends and family, I would not spend the money. Sorry about that to the family but it is too much to spend.

    For a Choice Brisket @ 15lbs I spend about $30, for a CAB Brisket @15 lbs it's about $45, and for a Wagyu @15lbs it's about $145 plus shipping unless I buy 3 or more at a time.

    Hope this helps and hope I didn't step on any toes, but I have done a lot of research for the best meats for my competition team.


    All great input. And don't ever worry about disagreeing! The best beef I've ever had was "Wagyu". i totally get it. I think the marketing thing comes in that there is no regulation here so it can be bred with anything and at any ratio. There are great producers out there and I highly recommend trying some of their beef. The marbling on the good stuff is out of this world. CAB Briskets are great and highlly recommended if you can find them. The upper choice briskets at whole foods are as good and i've found them to be better than the CAB I get here (the store that sells it by me sucks). I owned a CAB meat counter for a few years and our steaks blew away everyone else in town. It was unreal. The store by me sells CAB at their counter and it's nothing special. Completely different program. We were buying ours from a restaurant supply and they came wth at least 21 days age on them. We ususally let them go at least another week before putting them out. Great stuff. I can't beleive you are getting CAB brisket for $3 per lb. That is a great price. We are at least $5 here and we are in the brisket heartland. It's gotten insane the past year or so. prices have gone through the roof.

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 12,251
    CT - good advice. 

    Brisket is so hard to do, it's hit or miss unless you achieve that jedi status, and that's when you learn something that you can't even express to other people, it's something more intuitive than analytical.  And, unbeknownst to you (if that's a word), you, like Franklin, can't, even (although you want to) accurately describe the kung fu you use to cook up said magic brisket.   The coke zero is kicking in here.  ;)

    That said, I love a challenge.  I'm going to dig into brisket.  Thanks for the inspiration, dude!


    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • FlyingTivoFlyingTivo Posts: 328
    The Travis Method, takes out a lot of variables, you should try that!

    Felipe
    Men, easier fed than understood!!
  • BeaumontyBeaumonty Posts: 159
    Super helpful. I have a plate setter but no extender.  I think i may pass on a brisket.  I've pretty much nailed spatchcocked chicken with potatoes underneath.  I've put off doing a brisket and with Good Friday, it seemed like a good idea.  Now...not so sure.

    I'll look up the Travis Method and see if I pull the trigger.  Perhaps I'll prepare for a backup plan.
  • MaskedMarvelMaskedMarvel Posts: 1,120
    Dude - just go for it.  This resource here in these forums gives you a HUUGE advantage, and we'll be here for you as the cook goes on to help, if you need it.  Post your method here, now, and we'll all give you our different opinions.  :)

    Don't pay so much for brisket, though.  Shop around.


    Large BGE -- Greensboro!


  • here is Travis' method: http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1138233/brisket-how-i-do-it/p1 Filipe is right that it takes a lot of the variabes out. it's like a half braise half smoke. It's not a traditional bbq brisket but they are very good and the braise adds a ton of flavor and smoots out the rough edges as you learn.

  • BeaumontyBeaumonty Posts: 159
    I just read it. I read it like Cen-Tex did, the braising solves some variables that I might miss.  I'm, surprise, surprise, down in Beaumont.  Allegro has been around for years and I already have a good rub.  I have a slight gap in my gasket that i just noticed was leaking smoke.  I was worried about sustaining a consistent 200-225 for a long and slow.  With Travis' method, I have a bit more wiggle room.  I've always had a bit more luck keeping it above 250.  I'm saving the gasket repair for another time.

    I'm going with pecan chunks.  the rub is a combo of sugar, salt, chili powder, montreal seasoning, garlic and onion powders  fyi
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,258
    unless theres money involved i would just go with a choice brisket. the whole idea of bbq to me is taking an inexpensive cut and making it into something special
  • RocEGGRocEGG Posts: 85
    Beaumonty said:
    I just read it. I read it like Cen-Tex did, the braising solves some variables that I might miss.  I'm, surprise, surprise, down in Beaumont.  Allegro has been around for years and I already have a good rub.  I have a slight gap in my gasket that i just noticed was leaking smoke.  I was worried about sustaining a consistent 200-225 for a long and slow.  With Travis' method, I have a bit more wiggle room.  I've always had a bit more luck keeping it above 250.  I'm saving the gasket repair for another time.

    I'm going with pecan chunks.  the rub is a combo of sugar, salt, chili powder, montreal seasoning, garlic and onion powders  fyi
    I'll agree with everyone else here and say that the choice packers are usually fine as long as you choose the floppiest and most marbled you can. I also like the CAB for special occasions as the price is ridiculous, about $5-6/lb, for a normal cook.  I haven't seen anything above CAB in the local area. I will say that I haven't tried travis' method yet, but I have had great luck with my briskets at about 250 indirect. I did a 8.5 lb packer before trimming this weekend on my xl and it turned out great. Did a simple rub of dp cow lick and some brown sugar. Had it on a total of 8 hours between 250-270 ( and maybe a few minutes of 300!) and it turned out great. Just make sure you cook to temp. Mine was between 205 and 220 internal depending on where I put the probe, but it was nice and soft all around. Foil, towel,and coolered for a couple hours and then sliced. I have had problems maintaining real low temps of 200-225, but have found that 250 dome is plenty low for most things. Gonna have to try the braise and see how that tastes, sounds great.
    Rochester, NY  - XL BGE
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 12,466

    here is Travis' method: http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1138233/brisket-how-i-do-it/p1

    Filipe is right that it takes a lot of the variabes out. it's like a half braise half smoke. It's not a traditional bbq brisket but they are very good and the braise adds a ton of flavor and smoots out the rough edges as you learn.

    another $5 for @travisstrick
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • JRWhiteeJRWhitee Posts: 2,492
    here is Travis' method: http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1138233/brisket-how-i-do-it/p1 Filipe is right that it takes a lot of the variabes out. it's like a half braise half smoke. It's not a traditional bbq brisket but they are very good and the braise adds a ton of flavor and smoots out the rough edges as you learn.
    So your saying the Travis method is for rookies? LOL...
                                                                        
    _________________________________________________

    Large BGE 2006, Mini Max 2014 
    Founding Member of the Green Man Group cooking team.
    Johns Creek, Georgia




  • robnybbqrobnybbq Posts: 1,620
    OK - What am I missing with the brisket cook?  I have allot of issues cooking on the Egg but last fall I cooked a 15.5 lb CAB brisket on my large (see avatar).  I coated it with brown sugae and Dizzy Pig Cow Lick.  I cooked it at 260-270 and it was done (197) early (10 hours) instead of the 15 I thought it would take.  I FTC'd the brisket for 5 hours then reheated on the egg for an ~ hour when we ate dinner. 

    It was very good and all thought it was great.  Did I just get lucky?  I am planning on trying another one next weekend as we have family coming into town.

    _______________________________________________________________
    LBGE, Adjustable Rig, Spider, High-Que grate, maverick ET-732, Thermapen,


    Garnerville, NY
  • JRWhiteeJRWhitee Posts: 2,492
    robnybbq said:
    OK - What am I missing with the brisket cook?  I have allot of issues cooking on the Egg but last fall I cooked a 15.5 lb CAB brisket on my large (see avatar).  I coated it with brown sugae and Dizzy Pig Cow Lick.  I cooked it at 260-270 and it was done (197) early (10 hours) instead of the 15 I thought it would take.  I FTC'd the brisket for 5 hours then reheated on the egg for an ~ hour when we ate dinner. 

    It was very good and all thought it was great.  Did I just get lucky?  I am planning on trying another one next weekend as we have family coming into town.
    The blind squirrel finds the nut once in a while. JK...LOL 
                                                                        
    _________________________________________________

    Large BGE 2006, Mini Max 2014 
    Founding Member of the Green Man Group cooking team.
    Johns Creek, Georgia




  • JRWhitee said:
    here is Travis' method: http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1138233/brisket-how-i-do-it/p1 Filipe is right that it takes a lot of the variabes out. it's like a half braise half smoke. It's not a traditional bbq brisket but they are very good and the braise adds a ton of flavor and smoots out the rough edges as you learn.
    So your saying the Travis method is for rookies? LOL...
    not really but it's not what you would get in a great BBQ joint. They are really good though. They are a little easier because the braise is so forgiving and if you over do it, just shred it up for the best sammies you will ever eat in your life.



  • JRWhiteeJRWhitee Posts: 2,492
    You know I was joking...
                                                                        
    _________________________________________________

    Large BGE 2006, Mini Max 2014 
    Founding Member of the Green Man Group cooking team.
    Johns Creek, Georgia




  • robnybbq said:
    OK - What am I missing with the brisket cook?  I have allot of issues cooking on the Egg but last fall I cooked a 15.5 lb CAB brisket on my large (see avatar).  I coated it with brown sugae and Dizzy Pig Cow Lick.  I cooked it at 260-270 and it was done (197) early (10 hours) instead of the 15 I thought it would take.  I FTC'd the brisket for 5 hours then reheated on the egg for an ~ hour when we ate dinner. 

    It was very good and all thought it was great.  Did I just get lucky?  I am planning on trying another one next weekend as we have family coming into town.
    That's the way to do them. They just get weird though. They stall out for hours and hours so if people aren't used to that, they panic and pull it too early or jack the heat way up. I've cooked 2 the same way and one was great and next weekend had no smoke flavor whatsoever (that was 6 months ago).

    If you did one right, do another one. I wouldn't change a thing other than using Oak for the smoke.

    The long FTC is your friend with brisket. Do that always. At least an hour, more if you can.



  • CT - good advice. 

    Brisket is so hard to do, it's hit or miss unless you achieve that jedi status, and that's when you learn something that you can't even express to other people, it's something more intuitive than analytical.  And, unbeknownst to you (if that's a word), you, like Franklin, can't, even (although you want to) accurately describe the kung fu you use to cook up said magic brisket.   The coke zero is kicking in here.  ;)

    That said, I love a challenge.  I'm going to dig into brisket.  Thanks for the inspiration, dude!


    Sounds like it's time for brisket/drinking camp in NO this summer.....................pick a weekend, we'll come to you. Janell has never been.





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