You may have pan-seared Wagyu beef or even tossed it onto the grill, but have you ever considered smoking it? When it comes to smoked meat, Wagyu brisket makes some of the most delicious barbecue you’ll ever taste in your life. Just because you know how to smoke meat, though, that doesn’t mean you know how to make smoked Wagyu beef. Here, we offer a meat smoking tutorial to walk you through your first time.
The best cut of Wagyu for smoking is a brisket. Before we talk about specifics like how long to smoke beef or which recipes to use, let’s talk about the brisket itself. Brisket is cut from the breast muscle of the cattle. All the connective tissues in that area, along with the workout the muscle itself gets, makes for a tough cut of meat. That’s why brisket requires a slow cooking time. Cooked quickly over high heat, a brisket will be dry and tough, and that would be a particular shame if you’re using Wagyu beef. When you cook it at a low and slow heat, however, the tissues break down and it becomes a piece of meat so tender and juicy it’s absolutely heavenly.
A whole brisket is called a packer cut, and these range from 12 to more than 20 pounds. It’s an extremely large cut of beef, but you can purchase a Wagyu brisket that’s only seven pounds. The two main parts of Brisket are the point and the flat. The point is a muscle on the thicker side of the brisket, separated from the flat muscle by a layer of fat. The flat muscle runs across the entire brisket. The point is fattier and very juicy, while the flat is a leaner piece of meat. Smoking a brisket melts the fat and connective tissues together, making the meat wonderfully tender. Follow these tips for smoking American Wagyu beef:
- Season it the night before. In a pinch, you can season it two hours before, but 8 to 12 hours is actually ideal. Before you cook it, take it out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. Don’t thaw it at room temperature, though, because that will damage the marbling. As soon as you take it out of the fridge, trim it.
- Don’t over-season Wagyu. You want the seasoning you use to enhance the natural flavor of Wagyu, but you certainly don’t want your rub to be the dominant taste when the meat is cooked.
- Use good, clean smoke. You don’t want to ruin your expensive brisket with bad smoke. Mesquite wood is a little overwhelming for Wagyu, so use a milder wood like pecan, hickory, or apple.
- Start by cooking the brisket uncovered. Laying the meat fat side down, with the flat towards the cool zone, cook about five hours uncovered in a smoker preheated to 225-250°F, spritzing about once an hour with apple juice, apple cider, vinegar, or beer, to keep it from burning.
- When the brisket hits 150°F internally, start checking the bark. Once it’s firm and no seasoning sticks to your finger, remove the meat from the smoker and wrap it in butcher paper or aluminum foil. Insert a thermometer probe.
- Put the brisket back into the smoker for several hours. From this point on, you’ll spend several hours doing nothing to the brisket aside from checking the internal temperature and occasionally rotating the meat, so it cooks evenly.
- Don’t overcook your Wagyu brisket. While a regular brisket takes 10 to 18 hours to cook, a Wagyu brisket will be done much more quickly. That’s why it’s so crucial to keep a close eye on the internal temperature. While many would say 203°F is the ideal internal temperature for brisket, we recommend taking it out to rest when it hits 185°F, to avoid melting too much of that good fat.
For top-quality American Wagyu Beef, you can trust Triple T Ranch. Located in south Alabama, our small, family-owned-and-operated ranch is a place where practicing proven husbandry techniques ensures the health and prosperity of the herd. Our cattle are well cared-for and registered through the American Wagyu association. Call (251)732-5160 or contact us through our website for more information.