Wet aged or dry aged brisket...and for How Long?

When it comes to specifying the length of time which one should age a brisket, the research is inconclusive.

Researchers at Texas A&M University did a study published in 2019 that tried to determine whether a longer wet-aging process would affect the taste of a Texas-style brisket.  They took 6 choice briskets and prepped and smoked them in a manner consistent with Central Texas style brisket.  Then, they compared a brisket aged for 7 days vs. one aged 21 days, a brisket aged for 21 days vs. one aged 35, and finally a brisket aged for 7 days vs. one aged for 35 days.  Their tasting panel noticed no noticeable difference. 

Perhaps they needed to age one for 45 days.  Perhaps they needed panelists with more discriminating palates.  Perhaps, it really doesn’t matter how long you wet-age a brisket and we are just wasting a lot of refrigeration space wet aging our briskets so long.

However, having smoked more than a couple hundred thousand briskets for happy customers for over a decade, Tim said he is going to stick with his proven process.

Here is what Tim has to say on the subject.

According to Tim, wet aging is how most raw briskets are prepared for sale and it is a very important process.  Blood is pumped into these packages and the enzymes in that blood help break down the meat so it will be flavorful and something tender enough that you can eat it. 

Furthermore, the time in which the brisket is aged is important.  Age it too long and it starts to go bad.  Don’t age it long enough and it is going to be too tough.  Most briskets sold to restaurants and in grocery stores are aged right around 27 days.  At Crossbuck BBQ, we actually age our briskets a little bit longer.  We age ours for an extra 20 days for a total of about 47 days.   

So, if you can find a butcher shop willing to age a brisket for you this long, it is what we recommend.  However, you can still smoke a fine brisket that is aged for less time than than this.

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