Pro Tips: How to Inject Brisket with Pitmaster Heath Riles
Here’s how to inject Wagyu brisket like world championship-winning pitmaster Heath Riles:
1. Mix Your Beef Injection
Mix Heath Riles BBQ Beef Injection (1/2 cup) with Beef Stock (16 oz), shake well!
Note: Injecting brisket (or any other big beef) is a technique for delivering salt, fats, spices, and other tastes directly into the meat’s center, underneath the surface. This is the only method to penetrate the meat with more taste and moisture.
2. Inject Your Brisket
Below: Using an injector, inject brisket using a grid-like pattern.
Notes: The injected mixture also helps to keep the meat wet and prevents it from drying out when cooking low and slow for lengthy periods of time. That is why brisket injection works so well. Because brisket is a more muscular, tough cut, infusing it with fats, oils, and other substances helps to tenderize the meat while also locking in moisture.
Tip: Focus on the flat muscle when injecting brisket. Flip it over and do the same thing. Dry it off using a paper towel.
Notes: The injection will assist all areas of a healthy full packer brisket, but the Flat is where you should concentrate your efforts. The leanest area of the brisket is the flat section. As a result, it’s the area most prone to dry out during slow cooking. Ensure that the majority of your injection is distributed evenly throughout the flat to keep it wet and soft.
Because the fat content of the Point (called Deckle) part of the brisket is greater, the injection will be used for taste rather than moisture retention.
3. Apply Your Dry Rub / Seasonings
First, apply a good base coat layer of Garlic Jalapeño Rub.
Then, another layer of Heath Riles’ Hot BBQ Rub.
Flip it over and do the same on the other side, seasoning first with Garlic Jalapeño Rub, and then Hot BBQ Rub.
Below: Let the seasoned brisket rest for 30 minutes.
4. Cook the Brisket on Your Traeger Grill
(Don’t have a Traeger? You can use whatever smoker you have and set the temperature at 225 ºF.)
Above: Brisket placed on the Traeger at 225 ºF with SuperSmoke using Royal Oak Charcoal Pellets.
Cook brisket until internal temperature reaches 185 ºF, approximately 1 1/4 hrs per pound.
5. Wrap the Brisket at 185 ºF
After hitting your internal temperature, the next step is to remove the brisket from the Traeger and wrap in pink butcher paper (or foil).
Squirt with a little bit of beef tallow on the bottom and on the top of the brisket:
Pro Tip: Melt about a half to a full cup of beef tallow to use.
Wrap the brisket up, folding it over tightly.
Allow for another few hours of cooking time after wrapping the brisket in butcher paper, targeting an internal temperature of 200 °F.
6. Remove at 200 °F, Then Rest
When the brisket reaches 200 °F, remove it from your smoker.
Remove the brisket from your smoker and let it cool/rest in a cooler for at least 4-6 hours before slicing it.
7. Slice Your Brisket Against the Grain
Grab the brisket from the Yeti cooler, unwrapped and slice against the grain!
What is Wagyu Brisket?
Wagyu brisket has marbling that keeps the leaner flat from drying out, contributes to the melt-in-your-mouth quality, and reduces down into luscious liquefied collagen.
Wagyu is a combination of two Japanese terms that signify “Japanese Cow” at its most basic level. It is a term used in Japan to describe one of four Japanese cattle breeds.
Related: How to Smoke a Brisket
Outside of Japan, the word nearly often refers to meat from cattle of the Kuroge Washu, or Japanese Black, breed. The flesh of the Kuroge Washu is revered all over the world for its extreme marbling, which gives it a deep umami taste and buttery texture. The majority of wagyu brisket on the market is American or domestic Wagyu.
Why Wagyu Beef
Why Wagyu beef, specifically? This meat is noted for its remarkable marbling, which means the fat is more evenly distributed throughout the muscle rather than being concentrated solely on the borders. This results in a steak cut that is significantly more soft and juicy.
Your brisket will taste richer and more decadent if you use American Wagyu beef, while still preserving the earthy, meaty flavor you know and love. An American Wagyu Beef Whole Brisket with a constant fat cap and marbling that goes through the muscle is the finest option.