We just pulled our first production run of Wagyu – aka Kobe – Style jerky. Wagyu beef is a specialized breed (actually a few breeds) that is predisposed to intense marbling. Marbling is fat and fat is where the flavor is. True Kobe beef is only available in Japan. American Wagyu (literally “Japanese Cow”) consists of registered Kobe breeds that are raised in the US. Ours is from Tajima breeding stock exported from Japan and raised in Idaho.
As we pulled it from the smokehouse, it was literally sizzling in juices. The fat content – healthy fat, according to the wiki page – is high. In beef, fat is savory. Think of comparing cream to straight milk. In jerky, however, fat adds challenges. Fat does not cure in the way beef does. This will have a slightly shorter shelf life.
Lately, we’ve been working more with re-heating jerky. Warm smoked meats – especially those with moisture content and fat – are truly an experience. All who try it are shocked at how the flavors are enhanced. This Wagyu beef will be incredible when warmed.
Wagyu steaks can get up to $50 for about 4 oz in Japanese restaurants. Kobe jerky will definitely be more expensive, but not terrible. Probably about $40 per pound when we package it next week. This first batch will go fast with just 50 lbs made.
Reheating Smoked Meats
The trick with reheating is to avoid over-drying or altering the texture. Smoked meats target a 160 degree temp, so that would be the max you would set any device to. Try these methods:
- Crock Pot. Set to low, add a couple tablespoons of water. Keeps it hot for the entire ball game. (Risk = too much moisture)
- Conventional Oven. Set to 150. Many ovens won’t have a setting that low. This method takes longer, but gives you more temp control. (risk = over-drying)
- Microwave. Careful here. You’ll have to experiment with the timing. Ours takes just 4-5 seconds. Easy to over-do it, making the meat too hot and a bit rubbery.