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Japanese Kobe beef, smoked on a Big Green Egg

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  • Henrik
    Founding Member - Moderator Emeritus
    • Jul 2014
    • 4418
    • Stockholm, Sweden

    Japanese Kobe beef, smoked on a Big Green Egg

    Fellow pit members, I think I just had my first ”out-of-cow” experience 😉 (sorry, couldn't help myself there...)

    I’ve been keen on trying some real top notch meat. Specifically Japanese Wagyu, in this case Kobe beef. Kobe is one of four regions where authentic Japanese Wagyu is produced (there are Kobe, Mishima, Ōmi and Sanda).

    I’ve recently found a very high end butcher’s shop that I love (but my wallet isn’t that enthusiastic…). They carry authentic Kobe at all times. In order to become a retailer a group of people (inspectors) from the Kobe Beef Association in Japan has to come over to inspect the venue et.c. This is to make sure they meet the highest standards. Once approved, the venue has to pay a license fee too. They're picky about their product :-)

    This specific cut I bought is labeled/graded Kuroge Wagyu, 11+. The 11+ is on a 12 grade scale. As you can imagine it wasn’t cheap. I paid 4500 SEK / kilo, which translates into 246 USD / lb (in today’s exchange rate).

    I bought 300 grams (10.6 oz). So, with a cut like that there’s not much room for mistake.

    The butcher's recommendation was to place the meat in a hot frying pan, sear it properly on both sides, and let the carryover heat bring it up to an internal temperature of 95°F (35°C). In general I think that is fine, it is one way of doing it. BUT: I'm all about barbecue, and a fatty piece of meat like this is just begging to be smoked. Right?

    So here’s what I did:
    1. Dry brine
    2. Smoke
    3. Sear
    4. Rest

    The one thing that will be different to 'normal' cuts of beef is the target temps. This is due to the amount of fat and marbling. My plan was to smoke the meat until the inner temperature reached 95°F (35°C). Then sear it for 30-60 seconds per side. I wanted the inner temp to get to 113°F (45°C) I used my new carbon steel pan (de Buyer) for this. I absolutely love it!

    First, take a moment to admire the intense marbling on this hunk o' meat:

    Click image for larger version  Name:	kobe-raw.jpg Views:	1 Size:	473.2 KB ID:	461620

    I applied a dry brine, and left it uncovered in the fridge for a few hours. In the evening I went out and fired up my Big Green Egg. It was cold and pitch dark, so I didn’t take photos of the grill. I did shoot a video though, so there’s proof if you need it :-)


    I smoked it at 225° F, I took good care monitoring temps. I didn’t want either the grill temp or meat temp run away on me.
    This took 30 minutes, and then I brought it in for searing. I cut off a bit of fat from the end of the meat. I used this to grease up the pan, and also determine how hot it was. The sear was real quick, so I let it rest a few minutes. As soon as the meat hits the pan you can see fat rendering out. I haven't seen this on normal cuts of meat before. But then again this beef has intense marbling.

    The meat after smoking

    Click image for larger version  Name:	kobe-smoked.jpg Views:	1 Size:	442.2 KB ID:	461619

    Finally it was time to slice it up and taste it. I added some sea salt, and tried some.

    Searing action in my carbon steel pan (look at the fat rendered out)

    Click image for larger version  Name:	kobe-fried.jpg Views:	1 Size:	206.2 KB ID:	461618

    Sliced, ready to serve

    Click image for larger version  Name:	kobe-sliced.jpg Views:	1 Size:	545.7 KB ID:	461621

    The verdict?
    Wow! I can honestly say this was the best meat I have ever had. Period. It is out of this world. There aren’t enough adjectives to describe it. Incredibly tender, flavorful, and with great fat flavor. I’m still (a few days after) blown away by the flavor.

    Is it worth it?
    Well, that question can only be answered by yourselves. That completely depends on your relationship with food in general, and meat specifically. Some people can easily pay 100 bucks for a great bottle of wine, yet others are fine with the 10 bucks/bottle corner shop. And that's fine. It’s not your weekday choice, obviously, but I for one will buy it in the near future, to celebrate special occasions. Nothing short of incredible, is all I can say!

    Thoughts on the cook process
    I honestly believe the smoke-then-sear was the best thing I could do with this cut. The tangy smoke flavor paired with such a fatty cut of meat was a match made in heaven. Also, the sear has to be done in a frying pan. If you grill this using direct heat, then the fat melts so quickly it would burn and leave a bitter flavor. Not desirable at all. When I seared it in the frying pan I could see fat melting out from under it within seconds. So trust me on that one.
  • Mr. Bones
    Charter Member
    • Sep 2016
    • 9746
    • Kansas Territory
    • Grills / Smokers
      *********************************************

      Kingsford 24" grill (Free) 'Billy'
      Brinkmann Smoke n Grill
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      Weber 18" Kettle ($30 CL) 'Lil' Feller'
      Weber Smokey Joe ($25 CL) 'Lil' Brother'
      Weber 22.5 Master Touch '93 P Code Blue($85) from fellow WKC member Bmitch 'Elwood'
      Weber 22.5 Bar-B-Q Kettle '69-'70 "Patent Pending" Red ($80) from fellow WKC member dwnthehatch 'Maureen'
      Weber 22.5 OTS DD Code Black ($40 CL) 'DeeDee'
      Weber 22.5 OTS DO Code Black ($15 CL)
      Weber 22.5 OTS E Code Black ($20 CL
      Weber 22.5 OTS EE Code Black ($20 CL

      Weber "C" Code 18.5" WSM '81 ($50 CL) 8-0!!!
      Weber "H" Code 18.5" WSM '86 ($75 CL)
      Weber " " Code 18.5" WSM

      Weber 26.75, $199 NFM clearance !!!
      Weber SJS AH 'Lil' Brother'
      Weber SJS AT 'Lil' Sister'
      Weber SJS DE Code (FREE) 'Lil' Helper'
      Weber SJG M Code 'Lil Traveller'
      Weber SJS AH Code 'Kermit'
      (Lime Green)
      Horizon 20" Classic, w/baffle/tuning plate (FREE)
      Good One Open Range, (FREE), Monthly Prize from AR giveaway!!!!



      Thermometers:
      *********************************************
      Ol' Skool Bi-metal probe pocket thermo, that has checked / served ~ 1,000,000 meals in my possession, easily...
      Maverick ET-732, (Black)
      Thermopops, (Red, Yellow, Green)
      ThermaPen Mk4 (Black), THANKS!!! to jgjeske1
      Blue ThermaPen Mk4
      Orange Thermapen Mk4
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      ThermoWorks IR-GUN-S
      ThermoWorks Smoke
      ThermoWorks Open Box Smoke
      4 Pro Series cable extensions
      Smoke Gateway

      Accessories:
      *********************************************
      2 Slow 'N Sears, Slow 'N Sear XL, Grill 'N Griddle
      BBQ Vortex, 2 Hovergrills, Top Deck
      Warming shelf
      MyWeigh KD-8000Kitchen Scale
      Backyard Grill marinade injector
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      Bear Paws
      Meat Rakes
      BBQ Dragon/Chimley of Insanity, Dragon Wing Shelves (x2 ea.)



      Cookware:
      Probably a ton of cast iron, mostly very old...still cookin'
      G'Ma's Piqua skillet, :-)( They went out of business in 1934~)
      '60's Revere Ware (Mom's), + others found elsewhere
      60's CorningWare 10-cup percolator (Mom's) Daily driver
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      Tableware
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      Dinner: Guests: Washington Forge, Town and Country
      Fancy / Formal: Family silverware

    #2
    Great Googly-Moogly, Henrik!
    That is one Fine-Lookin steak, brother!

    Comment

    • Elton's BBQ
      Club Member
      • Apr 2016
      • 2453
      • Saltnes Norway
      • Genesis 320 Limited
        Weber One Touch 57cm
        Weber Smokey Mountain 47cm

      #3
      This looks just fantastic Henrik

      Comment

      • JCBBQ
        Club Member
        • Jan 2016
        • 1065
        • Jersey City, NJ
        • Primo Oval XL Ceramic Cooker
          Pit Barrel Cooker
          2x Mavrick 732
          Therma Pen Orange
          Favorite Bourbon Blanton's
          SF Giants

          MCS wish list - Lone Star Grillz off set

        #4
        OMG! That meat looks freaking great! BTW, how's the carbon steel? How's it different from cast iron cooking? What do you like better?

        Comment

        • RonB
          Club Member
          • Apr 2016
          • 13131
          • Near Richmond VA
          • Weber Performer Deluxe
            SNS
            Pizza insert
            Rotisserie
            Smokenator 1000
            Cookshack Smokette Elite
            2 Thermapens
            Chefalarm
            Dot
            lots of probes.
            CyberQ

          #5
          OMG!! That looks and sounds wonderful.

          Comment

          • CandySueQ
            KCBS President, and Moderator
            • Jul 2014
            • 1525
            • Pellet Fired Jambo, T1000 Woodmaster, FEC100, MAK 2 star, Yoder 640, Backwoods Pellet Chef, 14" & 22" WSM, 22" Weber Kettle, Stoven, Hot Box Grill, Hasty Bake Portable

            #6
            Amazing! Excellent documentation!

            Comment

            • HawkerXP
              Club Member
              • Jul 2016
              • 5948
              • Virginia
              • 2 Weber Performers, 1 kettle, 1 Smoky Joe and a PBC
                Thermopops
                Dot and Chef Alarm with probes
                Slo n Sear
                Cold beer

              #7
              Very nice!

              Comment

              • Troutman
                Club Member
                • Aug 2017
                • 7465
                • aka Troutman Taco - Hanging Free in Tejas

                • OUTDOOR COOKERS

                  BBQ ACCESSORIES

                  WOOD & PELLET PREFERENCES

                  SOUS VIDE

                  INDOOR COOKWARE


                #8
                That is MONEY (literally and figuratively). Well done sir !!!

                Click image for larger version

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                By the way, doing the math that's $246/10.6 oz. = $23.20/oz. x 16 oz. = $371.32 per pound. My relationship with food is excellent but my relationship with my wallet, well not so much !!! Some day soon, some day !!

                Comment


                • Henrik
                  Henrik commented
                  Editing a comment
                  As I keep saying to myself: you’re worth it!! And thanks, this was awesome.
              • T-bone
                Club Member
                • Dec 2016
                • 340
                • Northern Virginia
                  • Traeger Texas 075 (circa 2007)
                  • Weber Genesis Gas Grill (circa 1997)
                  • Weber Kettle Charcoal Grill
                  • Anova WiFi Sous Vide
                  • Tappecue WiFi Temperature Monitoring System
                  • Thermapen
                  • Operation BBQ Relief Volunteer
                  You can take the boy out of Texas, but you can't take the Texas out of the boy.

                #9
                Bravo! Thanks for the awesome write up and pictures. It looked amazing!

                Comment

                • Steve B
                  Club Member
                  • Jun 2016
                  • 3072
                  • Rockland county New York
                  • Lonestar Grillz 24x36 offset smoker, grill, w/ main chamber charcoal grate and 3 tel-tru thermometers - left, right and center
                    Yoke Up custom charcoal basket and a Grill Wraps cover.

                    22.5 copper kettle w/ SnS, DnG, BBQ vortex, gasket and stainless steel hinge kit.

                    Napoleon gas grill (soon to go bye bye) rotting out.

                    1 maverick et-733 digital thermometer - black
                    1 maverick et-733 - gray
                    1 new standard grilling remote digital thermometer
                    1 thermoworks thermopen mk4 - red
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                    Pre Miala flavor injector
                    taylor digital scale
                    TSM meat grinder
                    chefs choice food slicer
                    cuisinhart food processor
                    food saver vacuum sealer
                    TSM harvest food dehydrator

                  #10
                  WOAH I'm speechless and now really hungry.. Beautiful

                  Comment

                  • HouseHomey
                    Club Member
                    • May 2016
                    • 5431
                    • Huntington Beach, Ca. Surf City USA.
                    • Equipment
                      Primo Oval xl

                      Slow n Sear (two)
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                      26" Weber Kettle one touch
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                      Kitchen Aid
                      Meat grinder
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                      Akootrimonts
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                      Dutch ovens
                      Signals 4 probe, thermapens, chef alarms, Dots, thermapop and maverick T-732, RTC-600, pro needle and various pocket instareads.
                      The help and preferences
                      1 extra fridge and a deep chest freezer in the garage
                      KBB
                      FOGO
                      A 9 year old princess foster child
                      Patience and old patio furniture
                      "Baby Girl" The cat

                      Erik S.

                    #11
                    Fantastic post and write up. I swear I can taste!!

                    Comment

                    • smokenoob
                      Club Member
                      • Dec 2017
                      • 1058
                      • Gulf Breeze, Florida

                      #12
                      Henrik nice!
                      (I had to put my wallet in the other room while viewing your cook!)

                      Comment


                      • Henrik
                        Henrik commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Lol!
                    • jgg85234
                      Charter Member
                      • Nov 2014
                      • 738
                      • Gilbert, AZ (Suburb of Phoenix)
                      • *Cooking Equipment
                        Kamado Joe Classic in Eucalyptus Table (2016)
                        Kamado Joe Joetisserie (2017)
                        Weber 22.5" Kettle (K Date Code - 1988) Wooden handles/wood side table
                        Adrenaline BBQ Company Slow n Sear #61
                        Adrenaline BBQ Company Drip n Griddle
                        Weber Smokey Mountain 14.5" (2014)
                        *Controllers
                        Flame Boss 200
                        *Thermometers
                        Thermapen MK4 (Red)
                        Thermopop (Red)
                        Thermoworks TW8060 with grill and meat probes
                        *Favorite Whisky - Knockando Speyside Single Malt
                        *Favorite Red Wine - Clos du Bois Marlstone
                        *Favorite White Wine - Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay
                        *Favorite Beer - Budweiser Budvar (Czechvar in the US) frisch vom fass
                        *Favorites to grill - New York Strips or Top Sirloins, pizzas are fun too
                        *Favorites to smoke - Baby Back or St. Louis Ribs, Pork Butts, Standing Rib Roast, Strip Loin Roast, Tri-Tip, Chicken, Turkey, Pork Loin, Cornish Hens

                      #13
                      Great write up (and even better eating). That looks superb.

                      Thanks for sharing the event with us.

                      Best regards,
                      Jim

                      Comment


                      • Henrik
                        Henrik commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Thank you!
                    • TripleB
                      Club Member
                      • May 2017
                      • 811
                      • La Crescenta
                      • Jambo Backyard Smoker
                        Weber Smokey Mountain (22" & 18.5")
                        Portable Kitchen 360
                        Portable Kitchen Grill
                        Pit Barrel Cooker
                        Weber "Brownie" Circa 1978 22"
                        Weber Gas Grill, Silver A
                        BBQ Guru ATC
                        Favorite Beer: Peroni
                        Favorite Sports Teams: Rams, Dodgers, Kings, UCLA Bruins

                      #14
                      Looks fantastic, but what cut is it?? Rib, Rib Cap, NY....??? I need a beef reference point for flavor and price. Maybe the cut is implied?? Thanks.

                      Comment


                      • Henrik
                        Henrik commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Good question, I left that out. This is sirloin beef.
                    • Willy
                      Charter Member
                      • Apr 2015
                      • 1854
                      • High Desert of the Great Southwest

                      #15
                      Experiments are considered invalid if they aren't replicable by others. So, send me $300 and I'll run a replication...

                      Comment


                      • Henrik
                        Henrik commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Ha ha! Thanks for ‘offering ‘ to validate my experiments;-)

                      • Willy
                        Willy commented
                        Editing a comment
                        On a more serious note, Henrik; were you able to eat the entire piece? I've read comments that say a little bit is plenty and "more" is too much.

                      • Henrik
                        Henrik commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I shared it with my wife. That thing disappeared within one minute. But yes, it is very rich in flavor.

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                    Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

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