Smoked Wagyu Beef Short Ribs

  • By: Jack Mancuso

Smoked Wagyu Beef Short Ribs - Cuso Cuts

If you haven’t had beef ribs before, think of them as brisket on a stick. They have a melt-in-the-mouth appeal and enough fat to keep everything juicy. So when my butcher had some, I couldn’t wait to make a batch of smoked Wagyu short ribs!

Wagyu like this is pricey. An alternative is using Beef Chuck Short Ribs instead. 

You have a variety of choices in pellets for this recipe. If you want intense smoke, use oak, hickory, or mesquite. For something subtler, use cherry, pecan, and apple. 

Wagyu has a fantastic flavor. It’s buttery with a forward umami flavor and a hint of sweetness. Truth be told,  you could eat these without fancy add-ons. Old-fashioned salt and pepper will do the trick. Basically, it all depends on your personal tastes. 

Buyer’s Guide for Wagyu

Wagyu beef comes from specific Japanese cattle, a variety of which is Kobe. The distinct flavor and texture of Wagyu make it one of the meats in demand worldwide. It is rare, being produced in specific numbers. The Wagyu must come from Japanese cattle, typically Black. 

As with many expensive items, there are shady sellers wrapping up meat, labeling it as Wagyu or Kobe, and calling it a day. TIP: it is doubtful you’ll find Wagyu in the beef section with other cuts. “Wagyu-style” is not remotely related to true Wagyu. A trusted butcher is your best bet, and even they may have trouble getting some for you

What About Kobe? 

Wagyu is remarkable, but Kobe is spectacular. During their life, the cows from which Kobe comes listen to classical music at mealtime. They receive sake massages to relieve stress and have a beer-based diet (WOW). Look for a ten-digit ID number, which appears on every cut so it can be traced. These pieces of Kobe have a meat quality score of A4 or A5 and a fat marbling level of 6 or above.

Smoked Wagyu Beef Short Ribs Ingredients

Smoked Wagyu Beef Short Ribs Instructions

  1. Gently slice any fat off the top of the ribs.
  2. Leave the bottom sheath on. 
  3. Use the Sriracha sauce as a binder, rubbing it all over the ribs evenly.
  1. Next, sprinkle the surface with our famous Cuso's Dirt® Seasoning 
  2. Smoke for 10 hours. 
  3. Be very careful not to overcook the meat. You're looking for rare (125-130F) or medium rare (130-140F) at most. 
  4. Slice them apart if you have to (they may come apart with a pull).

PitMaster's Memo: What is Wagyu beef?

In Japan, the word wagyu simply means cow. Pretty spot on (lol). There are four cattle breeds from which Wagyu comes, all native to Japan. Of the four, one has the genetic predisposition to create fat marbling like no other. This is Kobe. 

There is Wagyu, and American Wagyu. The American version is a highbred. Unfortunately, American Wagyu doesn't achieve the umami taste of Japanese Wagyu. Its "melty" quality also pales in comparison.


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