Dry Aged Brisket

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Original poster
Oct 12, 2022
Fairfax Virginia
I've tried sending this question to Jeff without success so this seems like the next best place to try. In Jeff's recipe for dry aged brisket he doesn't cover what I think is a very important question. As anyone who dry ages meat will know, when you dry age, the meat becomes, you guessed it, dry on the outside. In fact, depending on how long you age it, the outside can look and feel like a piece of jerky. Now think about trying to dry brine and then rub your brisket before you smoke it. Doesn't seem to me that it will be able to absorb the salt/rub unless you trim it first. With a rib roast, you cut into steaks first then trim the outside tough jerky like exterior off before you cook it. Those trimmings by the way, when added to a chuck/brisket/short rib grind will make the best burger you have ever had, but I don't want to get side tracked. With a brisket, trimming the tough outer layer of dry meat off will not leave much meat because it is so thin. So is there anyone here who has dry aged a brisket for smoking? If so, how did you then go about dry brining and or rubbing to season before smoking? I'm thinking the way to do a brisket is to dry brine, then when the salt begins to pull the moisture to the surface, put on the rub and wrap it up for a day. Then put it into your dry age fridge. One of the reasons to dry age is to remove some of the moisture which will concentrate the flavors. The other reason is to begin to change the flavor profile when you get past 28 days. With a brisket I think ageing for 1-3 weeks would be enough to dry the moisture content without making the outside too dry. Also when smoking you can mop it to re hydrate the exterior. I'm looking for any input before I give it a try.
This is a great question & I did dry age a brisket. I would not do it again. But I did turn it into some tasty brats.
Thanks Al, great story and pictures! I think I'll try dry aging a brisket after I dry brine and season it. Just long enough that the outer surface begins to get hard. Then mop it every hour in the smoker until I wrap it. It might take a while for this to come to fruition but I will get back to you about it.
BTW, I did get a response from Jeff:
We often rely on other readers to answer questions but it looks like this is a tough one.

I don’t do any of my own dry aging so I can’t be of too much help on this. I have purchased a lot of dry aged briskets and such and they are not dry and leathery on the outside so there may be a process they are doing after the dry aging process to remedy this.

I recommend asking this question over at the forum as there are probably lots of members over there who do their own dry aging and can give you some help with this."

So after reading this I surmised what probably happened. Jeff purchased a dry aged brisket. I have seen some dry aged steaks in Wegmans and thought to myself, "those don't look dry aged to me" And they were charging a premium for them to boot. My best guess is that they simply don't dry age very long. Any moisture removed from drying will less moisture that is lost during cooking and hence, less flavor lost. so a short dry age on a brisket for a couple weeks might be enough to notice a difference. Jeff said he thought it was better. So some experimentation is in order. I will get back to you at some point.
Hi Everyone, don't want to hijack the thread, but in regards to dry aging, does anyone know where to get the dry age bag plastic to make your own bags? The companies who produce the bags are charging so much, I can't afford it any longer.

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