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Brisket Aging Question

Discussion in 'Beef' started by tucsonbill, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. tucsonbill

    tucsonbill Fire Starter

    When you purchase a Packer cut brisket in Cryovac, do you typically age it in the fridge?  If so, for how long?  I have heard everything from no aging to a week or more!

    Another question:  Do you separate the point and flat before smoking?

    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  2. Hello bill.  Unless someone knows better than me,  it will not "age" in cryovac.  Meat needs to be dry aged in a cooler/fridge with humidity control.  The meat you buy should already be aged ( but probably isn't ).   Now if you want truly aged beef brisket, the price jumps tremendously.  That's why you have to pay 3 times the price for a steak in some restaurants.  REALLY good "aged" beef takes at least 3 weeks, minimum.  For GREAT beef they have to cut the mould off.  I have learned a few things since moving from Texas to England.  Back home in the States I doubt the meat you find at Costco, Wal-Mart and such has had any ageing.  Not that there is any difference in English supermarkets, but I have learned a tiny bit about ageing meat.  I don't know enough.  Could you remove from cryovac and age in the fridge? Dunno.  Dry aged seems to be the trick.  Would it work with beef that has been cryovac packed for x days?  [​IMG]   That'd the best I can do. Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

  3. dean74

    dean74 Smoke Blower

    You can age your beef in the cryovac. To do it right you will need to keep your fridge between 35-38 degrees and do not put the meat in a fridge that is going to be opened daily. You must also know the kill date of the brisket. If you are buying only one brisket you can ask your butcher to pull one out of a box in the back and the kill date will be on the package. If you buy them by the case, the whole case will have the same kill date. I always "wet age" my briskets for 40-50 days from the kill date. You will be able to taste the difference! Good luck! 
  4. gary s

    gary s SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Good morning, I emailed Texas A&M and asked that question here is the response they sent.

    Gary, this is a question we are getting more often and do not have a good answer for. We do not know if aging really helps briskets like it does ribeyes and strips. Because aging doesn't really help with connective tissue tenderness, the main problem with briskets, we do not think that aging briskets does much for briskets used in barbecue. I would recommend that you leave it in the vacuum package and keep in in the refrigerator for about a week before you use it. Keep tuned as we will probably start doing some research in the area in the spring.


    cc: Ray and Davey


    Jeffrey W. Savell | Regents Professor and E.M. "Manny" Rosenthal Chairholder
    Holder of the Cintron University Professorship in Undergraduate Teaching Excellence

    Leader, Meat Science Section | Department of Animal Science
    Texas A&M University


    On Nov 15, 2013, at 1:33 PM, "Gary Spriggs" > wrote:

    Hello, I have a question.  I smoke quite a few briskets, I usually buy at Sam’s in Cryovac  Can I age the brisket in my refrigerator if I leave it unopened in the package? If so for how long for the best flavor and tenderness?

    Thank you

    Gary Spriggs   
  5. tucsonbill

    tucsonbill Fire Starter

    Thanks for the responses!  Beginning to appear that this is one of those "smoking religion" type questions!

    It is going to be interesting to see the research from Texas A&M!  Thanks for contacting them Gary.

    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
  6. gary s

    gary s SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I just started a new thread on Ageing Brisket see what kind of response we get. Also sent Texas A&M another question If keeping the brisket in the Cryovac, in the refrigerator improves the flavor, and if so for how long. Should hear back next week.

     In my younger years I was in the food and beverage business and was well aware of the improved quality that ageing had on certain types of meat Ribeye, Strip and T-bone but at that time was not doing anything with briskets.

  7. Hello.  Thanks for the PM Gary.  Like many of you, I am well aware of the benefit of dry aged steaks.  Beef from a butcher ( not supermarkets ) here in the U.K. is usually aged to around 21 days; but I must admit I have never tried to age brisket.  I thought the process and results would be the same. Was surprised to hear that TAM U says they aren't sure.  Giving it some thought though, when we are talking strips, t-bone, ribeye; we are usually talking about hot and fast grilling; maybe with smoke added.  Even flame grilled.  Maybe the low and slow method for a packer brisket negates the benefit  of dry aging.  [​IMG]   The good thing here is that we have all learned.  AND believe it or not this is the VERY 1st TIME I have been wrong.  I once THOUGHT I was wrong but discovered I was mistaken.  [​IMG]Seriously.  Thanks for the education Gary.  Never to old to learn a trick.  Keep Smokin!

  8. gary s

    gary s SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    They did say they were going to do further testing this spring, Who knows they might find out the ageing works?

  9. dean74

    dean74 Smoke Blower

    I have been going to competition classes for  the last couple years, and the one thing I CAN tell you is that every class ive been too they have aged brisket in the cryovac for 40-50 days. Most of them say it improves the beef flavor more than anything. BTW the classes I have been to are taught by guys that are winning KCBS comps on a regular basis.
  10. gary s

    gary s SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    40 to 50 days seems like a awful long time, Ribeye and strip usually don't sit that long.

  11. gary s

    gary s SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Your flavor and tenderness is going to come from your seasoning and smoke, the tenderness from the length of cook time. If you were cooking it like a steak hot and quick, I understand the need for flavor and tenderness.

  12. dean74

    dean74 Smoke Blower

    When I say 40-50 days its from the kill date of the cow, so depending on how long your beef has been at sams club or wherever you are getting it, it may only mean aging it at home for another 10-20 days. 
  13. johnnyrooskie

    johnnyrooskie Newbie

    I have a question related to this post. I bought four packers to prepare for a family event on Mar 26.

    One of the packers that I bought has been aging for about 30 days, and the bag is full of air. I mean

    like a balloon full of air. Am I screwed? I didn't want to open it now, because the even isn't for another

    two weeks, but if it's bad, then I gotta get another one pretty quick. Any advice is appreciated.

  14. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It's SHOT! Cryovac is sealed Oxygen free and air tight. Puffing up is a sign that it was mishandled and above 40°F causing significant Bacterial growth and/or Decomposition. Toss the whole package and don't open it unless you wish to lose your Lunch as well...JJ
  15. gary s

    gary s SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I'm with Chef,  Toss it   You don't want to open it