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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 07-03-2013, 11:24 AM   #1
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Default The brisjket source debate...

Hey folks,


I'm hopefully getting more serious into the competition side of my BBQ and starting to educate myself a bit more on subjects that should be important to doing well, and in reading a couple of threads I couldn't help but wonder...


I have difficulty wrapping my head around how Wagyu and Choice cooked side by side can possibly turn out a better product on the Choice side.
I'm FAR from a brisket expert or even a meat expert, but I have had my share of steaks and done some side by side testing of my own, and on the flavorful ribeye, NY strip type steaks there is simply no comparison to the taste of a quality piece of meat and a lesser piece.

I obviously realize a brisket is not in the same league, but ceteris paribus (I really wanted to work that into this post somehow) HOW do the lesser quality cuts come out better?

I'm genuinely interested in the thoughts on this subject. IE: random act of meat, one stayed in the stall phase longer, one was happier before slaughter etc. What do you guys think accounts for this seemingly contradicting outcome?

Last edited by jasonjax; 07-03-2013 at 12:18 PM.. Reason: Can a mod fix my subject typo?
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Unread 07-03-2013, 12:09 PM   #2
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Just to throw some more crap into the argument, there is a certain top cook out there who in his class says he has cooked them all, and has won more with "select" than anything else. Personally, I think the whole thing is a crapshoot.....but it's fun...
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Unread 07-03-2013, 12:21 PM   #3
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Back when we used to cook two briskets at comps, I've had a select brisket turn out better than a choice cooked side by side.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 12:33 PM   #4
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With the exception of Wagyu, grade means very little in brisket cooking, in that they do not consider the brisket at all when applying a grade. Now, the odds are that a brisket from a Choice grade steer will be better than that from a Select or No-Roll steer, those are a little higher. But, if you can select your briskets, and handle them in loose cryos. you are going to be money ahead. In the end, it all comes down to choosing your meat well.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 12:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonjax View Post
I have difficulty wrapping my head around how Wagyu and Choice cooked side by side can possibly turn out a better product on the Choice side
I'm confused by this. Has someone implied that cooking a choice in the same cooker with a Wagyu will make the choice brisket better? That would have to be true brisket magic!
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Unread 07-03-2013, 12:38 PM   #6
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You guys aren't really helping.....

It is starting to sound like the quality of the brisket simply doesn't matter, yet that is contradicted by folks who say they were getting lots of calls and then something changed in the quality of their brisket and they stopped getting calls even though their process was identical.

There seems to be no logical explanation here.

I could understand if we simply agreed that due to the nature of the cut of brisket a select, choice, CAB, prime, kobe, wagyu, whatever could turn out better than the other just from luck of the draw, but again that seems contradicted from what folks are saying elsewhere.

Damn my logical brain for wanting to understand!
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Unread 07-03-2013, 12:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
I'm confused by this. Has someone implied that cooking a choice in the same cooker with a Wagyu will make the choice brisket better? That would have to be true brisket magic!

No Ron, what has been said is that the Choice may come out better than the Wagyu not that the Wagyu being next to it is responsible for the Choice being better.... or maybe it is. Hahaha.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 12:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
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No Ron, what has been said is that the Choice may come out better than the Wagyu not that the Wagyu being next to it is responsible for the Choice being better.... or maybe it is. Hahaha.
Not that I can believe :) Remember that the whole carcass is graded, not the brisket itself, so it is possible for a brisket off of a select carcass to have better marbling that a brisket off of a prime carcass. We've scored well with choice, CAB and Prime. I'm pretty sure that our 180 brisket in 2011 was a choice.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 12:48 PM   #9
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Quality in a brisket goes far beyond grade. Thickness of flat, aging, shape of flat, marbling, etc... I am still a believer in bendy briskets as well. Don't care what experts say, a bendy brisket works better in my experience.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 12:53 PM   #10
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Each brisket is different. Your rub and injection might taste better on a more marbleized brisket or worse. Fat contest might make the rub flavor stronger or lighter. You might need more injection or less. Just stick with one grade of meat that way you can tweek the process for that grade it until is perfect.
I do better just cooking one. I can focus on it and baby it thru the process. If the ajous is good everything else is fixable.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 01:17 PM   #11
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Cooking a great brisket is going to take experience until you develop an intuition and feel. You'll then figure out what kind of brisket works best for you. I don't think that a judge (maybe I'm wrong here) knows the difference between a SRF wagyu and a choice brisket bought from Super WalMart, as long as they are the perfect tenderness and great flavor.

To me, I assume you've not cooked many briskets. You're going to have to, because no matter what we all tell you, these are just little tips and some rules of thumb, but you won't really know what it takes for Jasonjax to cook a great brisket until you do it enough.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 01:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Podge View Post
Cooking a great brisket is going to take experience until you develop an intuition and feel. You'll then figure out what kind of brisket works best for you. I don't think that a judge (maybe I'm wrong here) knows the difference between a SRF wagyu and a choice brisket bought from Super WalMart, as long as they are the perfect tenderness and great flavor.

To me, I assume you've not cooked many briskets. You're going to have to, because no matter what we all tell you, these are just little tips and some rules of thumb, but you won't really know what it takes for Jasonjax to cook a great brisket until you do it enough.
Right on Target.....Perfectly cooked meat wins no matter whether it is Wagu, CAB, Choice etc.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 01:33 PM   #13
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One brisket. Prime. Restaurant Depot. Enough said.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 01:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Podge View Post
To me, I assume you've not cooked many briskets. You're going to have to, because no matter what we all tell you, these are just little tips and some rules of thumb, but you won't really know what it takes for Jasonjax to cook a great brisket until you do it enough.
I've probably cooked about 50-60 briskets if I had to guess, so no I have not cooked a lot of briskets by many standards, but I really was trying to keep that out of this discussion. Again, my assumptions are all things being equal why doesn't it appear based on many comments that grade of beef makes much difference in scoring outcomes for brisket.

One of the posts above talking about interactions between rubs, injections etc. playing out differently based on the cut sounds like a slightly possible explanation, but still seems a bit far reaching.

The other discussion that due to the way meat is graded the quality not correlating directly with the brisket also make some sense to me.

As I work more on perfecting my personal technique I will definitely be using less expensive grades, but I will also likely try some of the more expensive versions and do some side-by-side testing.

This thread was mostly meant to be academic based on some of my observations in reading about other's experiences.

One of the coolest things about BBQ is there is no "right way" as we all know, but I do find some of the seemingly contradictory things we hear/see/read very interesting, and want to explore them.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 01:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawdustguy View Post
Right on Target.....Perfectly cooked meat wins no matter whether it is Wagu, CAB, Choice etc.
Sigh ... I understand this cerebrally... we can cook all kinds of lesser cuts of meat using the BBQ techniques we know to create a high quality product... BUT....

If you were able to magically cook each of the grades all perfectly should not the best quality meat stand above the others thus meaning if you were able to perfect your cooking of each grade your Wagyu would always be best and your select would always be the worse?
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