In this episode, I smoke a brisket that was dry-aged for 75 days in my fridge. It is unusual to dry-age brisket, it is a cheap cut that is cooked low and slow to make it soft and seasoned with a ton of rub to give it flavor. The test was to see how well dry-aging works on the brisket: does it make a difference, does it intensify the flavor, is the flavor good, and in the end, is it actually worth all the work?
Dry-aged beef is beef that has been placed to dry for a certain period of time at nearly freezing temperatures. Usually, dry-aged is done with higher grades of meat because the process requires evenly distributed fat as the process changes the texture of the meat and the fat. Usually dry-aging beef concentrates the flavor of the meat and also makes it more tender.
Typically dry-aged meat, because of the process it entails, is found in restaurants and butcher shops, but there’s a company that is allowing more and more people to dry-age meat at home. At UMAi Dry you can purchase bags that you put the meat in and then you just dry-age in your fridge! Their website explains that UMAi Dry is a unique scientifically-proven, chef-tested technology that allows anyone to create custom dry-aged teak and dry cured meats at home.
- After 75 days of aging in the fridge, take out the brisket out of the UMAi Dry bag.
- Trim off the dry-age bark and some of the fat. Try to remove as little as possible to keep the brisket as large as possible.
- Season the brisket minimally, with only salt and pepper.
- Light the charcoal. For this cook, I used FOGO Super Premium charcoal because the large chunks are ideal for a long all night cook without the need to refuel half way through the night. Add some Pecan wood and set the smoker to 225 degrees.
- Add a water pan so that it catches some of the drippings and avoid them from burning. This also helps keep the smoker moist and keep the temperature constant all night long.
- If the brisket begins to stall in temperature, you can wrap it in pink butcher paper to speed up the cook. In my case, it stalled at 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Finally after more than 12 hours of smoking the brisket is ready. Mine got to 198, but it is mainly by feel when you know that it ready, it feels like gelatin and it jiggles.
- Once it is ready, you need to wrap the brisket and butcher paper in towels and let it rest for another 1-2 hours.
What’s the Verdict?
The flavor was different, but it had a TON of flavor. It almost felt like a bit cheesy, earthy and funky. Interesting but still very good. The bark was fantastic and it had a great smoke profile. The color even looked different too.
But what was most surprising is the amount of juices that came out of the dry-aged brisket. It was like swimming in a pool of juices! It was very interesting to see how the fat also changed through the dry-aged process and the difference this makes on the brisket.
This is definitely great to try! But I am not sure if 75 days is worth the wait for a good, tender brisket!!