Wagyu Brisket Smoked on the Weber Summit Kamado from Kelsey Heidkamp
Smoking any backyard brisket requires an investment of time, patience, and care. So, why not maximize your return on investment (that’s “ROI” in business terms; who said we didn’t pay attention in college?) with the most downright delicious slab of meat imaginable? That’s exactly the approach Weber Grill Master Kelsey Heidkamp took in her Master Grillabilities® debut, a Texas-style brisket that’s Texas-sized in terms of flavor. She used a whole packer Wagyu brisket from BBQGuys USA Premium Cuts, which is beautifully marbled and bursting with flavor, for an overnight brisket smoke that’s well worth the wait. Before getting started on this rewarding brisket recipe that Kelsey says is “like no other,” we recommend brushing up on her guide to trimming beef brisket.
|SERVES 8–10 people||PREP 30 min||COOK 12–18 hr||REST 2–4 hr||READY IN 15–20 hr|
- As outlined in our grill master’s brisket-trimming tutorial (seriously, read this first), use a sharp boning or filet knife to trim the hard fat cap on the fatty side of the brisket to about ¼” thick, but no less. On the meatier side, remove the silver skin (the web-like membrane covering the meat) so the coarsely grained brisket underneath is more visible. Remove any hard clumps of fat on either side of the brisket. Note the fat cap section shaped like a wedge between the point and flat. Be sure to cut away some of it when shaping your Wagyu brisket — if you don’t, that hard fat will never render down.
- In a small bowl, mix together the salt and pepper. Season the meaty bottom of the brisket first and the fatty side last, making sure you apply the rub evenly on all sides, edges, and corners. Gently press the seasoning into the meat so it can properly adhere. Refrigerate the brisket until ready to smoke.
- This will be a long smoke at low temperatures, so it’s important to use a top-down lighting method for your coals. Use a charcoal chimney starter, filling it with unlit coals (we used about 8–10 briquettes) and igniting them with lighter cubes.
- Place about 7 wood chunks at the bottom of the grill and top with unlit coals. Pour the lit briquettes from your chimney starter into the center of the unlit briquettes in your grill. Insert a heat-diffuser plate into the grill, place a water pan on top, and fill ¾ of the pan with water. Complete the setup by placing your cooking grate back into the grill, then preheat to about 225°–250°F.
- Once preheated, place the brisket on the cooking grate, fat-cap side up. Be sure to stick your temperature probe into the thickest part of the flat without hitting the layer of fat between it and the point. Close the lid and cook over very low, indirect heat (in that 225°–250°F range), keeping the lid closed as much as possible until a good bark has developed on the surface.
- You’ll know it’s time to wrap your brisket when its internal temperature hits 165°F or when the bark has darkened. Those major indicators tend to happen around the same time, usually about 7–8 hours into the smoke. If your brisket’s internal temperature stalls at the dreaded “plateau,” be patient and let it continue cooking. It may take several hours to break through, but this is a natural process that shouldn’t be disrupted.
- Once the brisket is displaying the proper color and/or internal temperature, arrange 2 sheets of long, pink butcher paper side by side with a bit of overlap. Use a wide spatula to transfer the brisket, fatty side up, from the grill to the center of the paper. Place the meat on a far end of the paper, fold the sides over the brisket, then roll longways until it’s well wrapped and sealed.
- Place the wrapped brisket, fat side up, back over low, indirect heat. Adjust the grill to bring temperatures up to 250°F–275°F, and add water to the water pan if needed. Reinsert your temperature probe through the butcher paper as close to the original spot as you can.
- Continue cooking with the lid closed until the meat is so tender that when you press it with your fingers through the paper, it feels like a giant marshmallow or sponge. At this point, the internal temperature should be around 200°F–203°F, though tenderness is a more important indicator of doneness. This step may take another 4–8 hours, but again, patience is key with brisket.
- Once it’s hit the target internal temperature, transfer the still-wrapped brisket to a dry, insulated cooler. Close the cooler and let the meat rest, indoors, for 2–4 hours. Don't skip this step — it helps loosen the muscles and absorb moisture back into the brisket for that tenderness everyone loves.
- After resting, unwrap the brisket and set it on a large cutting board. Starting with the flat, use a brisket-slicing knife to cut the brisket across the grain into thin slices. It helps to chop off the far end of the flat first so you can better identify the direction of the grain; you can also make note of this while trimming.
- When it comes time to cut the point, you’ll need to readjust your knife positioning because this grain runs in a different direction than that of the flat. Cut the point in half to identify the grain’s direction, then thinly slice across the grain. Again, you can also make a mental note of the fibers’ direction while trimming. Once you approach the end of the point, you can cut it in half vertically to separate the point from the remaining flat before trimming any unrendered fat between them.
- Serve the brisket warm, and enjoy!
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