American Wagyu Brisket
American wagyu brisket was my fathers day gift with sausage baked beans and potato salad for sides. All I had to do was show up and make the mango margaritas while we waited for the brisket to finish, but I also brought some cheese dip.
Perfect weather with low humidity, mild temps and a light breeze set the stage for an idyllic setting on the patio. We watched the kids play, the dog romp and enjoyed some adult conversation while watching the smoker do its thing.
I find it misleading how American wagyu is marketed, because “American” is often reserved for the fine print. It’s not the same as the famous Japanese wagyu, it’s a cross between that and black angus. That does not mean it’s inferior, it’s different and better in two ways.
Full blood A-5 Japanese wagyu is so fatty and rich that a 3-4 ounce serving is plenty and the cost is astronomical, $55 per ounce or more. Bump that up to Kobe beef and quadruple that cost and add a plane ticket to Japan. The flavor is unbelievable but the small portions leave a full-grown man hungry.
American wagyu is gaining stature in its own right, because while the fat (read flavor) content is better than U.S. Prime, it’s not too high to enjoy a full portion. Bold flavor and reasonable price are what makes American wagyu so wonderful.
Smoking Wagyu Brisket
With such a well-marbled, gorgeous piece of meat it didn’t need injections typically used for lesser cuts of beef, just a basic salt and pepper rub. I wanted to taste the meat, not some exotic spices. It was cooked low and slow for fifteen hours start to finish, but YMMV according to weight and thickness. To prevent the bark from turning rock hard, we used Aaron Franklin’s technique and wrapped it in butcher paper mid-way through the process. When the cooking was complete we wrapped it in clean towels and let it rest in a cooler for the final two hours.
This may be the best father’s day gift of my son’s adult life. It took time and I know he didn’t get much sleep the night before checking on it every couple hours. It was worth it because it’s the best brisket I have ever tasted and I’ve eaten a lot of them. Kansas City, Texas nor Memphis have any better. It was so juicy and tender you could cut it with a plastic fork. This didn’t need sauce and that says a lot.
Here’s the step by step guide to the perfect Arkansas Originals brisket.
- 13.8 pound American wagyu brisket
- 1/2 cup kosher or sea salt
- 1/2 cup ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp anything – optional and only meant to soothe the psyche of someone that’s obsessive compulsive. This amount will disappear in the rub.
- Trim the excess fat from the sides and the fat cap until it is a uniform thickness – about 1/4″
- Remove any and all “silverskin”
- Mix together the salt and pepper
- Generously coat with the salt and pepper rub
- Wrap it in aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight. This draws out moisture and promotes a good “bark” on the exterior
- Fire up the smoker to a stable 225 degrees
- Unwrap and place the brisket in the center of the smoker fat cap down
- Insert two temperature probes, one in the point and one n the flat
- Smoke until it reaches 165 -170 degrees and has formed a good bark
- Remove and wrap the entire brisket in butcher paper to maintain that perfect bark, then re-insert your probes and turn up the heat to 250 degrees
- If this is your first experience smoking a brisket be ready for “the stall”. That’s around 175 degrees and the internal fat begins to render. It has the effect of cooling the brisket and the temp will remain there for what seems like an eternity, but be patient and the temp will begin to rise again.
- Smoke until the flat or the point reach 200 degrees AND the other reaches at least 195
- Remove it from the smoker and wrap with 1 or 2 clean towels and rest in a cooler for 1-1/2 -2 hours. This allows the juices to re-incorporate back into the meat as it cools.
- Remove, unwrap and slice across the grain in pencil thick slices
- Step aside to allow access by the hungry locusts awaiting dinner!