Snake River Farms Review

snake-river-farms-review

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Snake River Farms is a premium meat producer that specializes in beef and pork.

Their meat is used at Michelin-star restaurants and sold directly to the public from their website.

With its intense marbling, their American Wagyu brisket has gained a reputation among competitive barbecue teams looking for an edge.

I decided I had to see what all the fuss was about and ordered a 9-12lbs full packer black grade Wagyu brisket.

Snake River Farms Overview

Snake River Farms is part of Agri Beef, a family-owned business specializing in producing high quality beef and pork.

They’ve been around since 1968 when they started as a ranching and feeding operation.

Today they manage the whole beef life-cycle, including taking orders from the public on their website.

Among barbecue enthusiasts, they are most famous for their American Wagyu which comes from crossbreeding imported Wagyu cattle with American Angus.

“American Wagyu beef raised in the Northwest’s mild climate produces briskets with naturally rich marbling and superior taste.”

Snake River Farms

The cattle are raised using Japanese feeding methods which can take up to four times as long as traditional cattle production.

Obviously, we’re fans of anything that takes a long time around here.

For a full break down of my experience ordering Snake River Farms brisket keep reading, otherwise, I’ve summarized the experience below.

What I liked:

  • Insane quality – I ordered the Black grade American Wagyu which is rated higher than USDA Prime. They also sell an even more expensive Gold grade that is rated BMS 9+.
  • Convenience – If you don’t have a good local butcher finding top quality brisket can be difficult. Ordering from Snake River Farms was easy and I liked how you could choose your delivery date.
  • Safe Packaging – The meat ships frozen packed with dry ice and is supposed to arrive either frozen or partially thawed.

Any drawbacks?

  • High price – This beef ain’t cheap. Don’t get me wrong, it tastes amazing, but it will dent your wallet a little bit.
  • Meat is frozen It’s always better to buy fresh meat if you can. When meat freezes the water inside it expands causing cells to puncture. But frozen is the only safe way to ship meat, and it didn’t seem to affect the taste in our test.

For a special occasion, or barbecue competition I would highly recommend ordering the Wagyu brisket from Snake River Farms.

They also sell a range of steaks, roasts and Kurobuta pork.

I haven’t yet tried any other cuts of meat, but I have no doubt they would be similar quality.

If you’re ready to give Wagyu brisket a try you can find out more and order at the Snake River Farms website.

Ordering meat online

I’ve never ordered meat online before, so I was interested to see what the experience was like.

The Snake River Farms website was easy to use from browsing and choosing your meat to placing the order.

For the Black Grade American Wagyu Brisket, you can choose from five different weight ranges:

  • 9-12 lbs
  • 12-14 lbs
  • 14-16 lbs
  • 16-18 lbs
  • 18-20 lbs
  • 20 lbs+

All weights come as full packer cuts, including the point and the flat.

All the brisket is graded higher than USDA Prime, BMS 6 to 8.

I selected the smallest size 9-12lb brisket and proceeded to order.

You can choose the date you want the brisket delivered.

The delivery fee is $9.99, unless you want overnight or express.

Receiving the brisket

My brisket showed up in a bulky looking thick-walled cardboard box.

It was 6:30 pm by the time I got home, so the box sat outside from the time it was delivered (about noonish) until then. This is an important note as I was interested to see whether shipping cold meat is a concern or not.

What’s in the Box?

  • Tons and tons of insulated material
  • Dry Ice
  • Beef Brisket
  • Complimentary insulated bag
  • A card describing freezing and thawing information for the brisket

Should you be concerned about shipping frozen meat?

Absolutely not! This hunk of meat was STILL FROZEN SOLID. Seriously, there was not an inkling of indication that the meat was beginning to thaw out.

Some of the dry ice was still intact as well. There was nothing I could fault Snake River Farms on with the packaging.

Time to inspect the meat

After a quick inspection I could tell this brisket was a beauty.

It had a nice ¼” to 5/16” fat cap.

The intramuscular marbling was also impressive. If you look closely at the photos below you can see white specs of fat. This is what’s going to make the brisket tender.

The brisket looked to be a wonderful specimen with a delectable texture and I couldn’t want to get it on the smoker.

I decided to score the fat cap with a cross hatch pattern and apply a thin coat of molasses to hold the rub.

I then applied my seasoning rub and placed it on my Pit Boss 5 Series Vertical Pellet Smoker.

How the brisket turned out

Oh man, the Snake River Farms Brisket was probably the best brisket I’ve ever tasted.

It was super juicy and super tender.

Even after letting it rest for 3 hours, you can see in the photos just how juicy it was.

The melted fat cap basted the meat very well throughout the cooking process.

The brisket had a slightly sweet, slightly smoky beef flavor from the seasoning rub, the beef itself, and the Pit Boss Competition blend pellets that I decided to use for this cook.

I took this brisket to a party and tried it on a bunch of unsuspecting victims. Needless to say, I returned home with nothing left and a lot of compliments.

For flavor, juiciness, and tenderness: this beef is top-shelf quality. It’s as good as it gets. But, with anything that is worthwhile, it comes at a cost.

Why would you buy this?

If you are competing in a barbecue competition or are planning an important soiree, this is your beef!

When only the best will do, choose Wagyu (Hmm, poet and didn’t know it!).

Snake River Farms provides you with premium cuts of American Wagyu beef in a convenient online shopping atmosphere.

Buy cheaper briskets to practice on. Then, when the important occasions come along, opt for the good stuff from Snake River Farms.

Ryan Black

Ryan Black

Growing up in a bbq'ing family in the backwoods of Tennessee, we approached our food with passion! When I wasn't at school, I was working at the family restaurant smoking meats, searing steaks, and grilling burgers.Although the restaurant has long been retired, those family traditions and recipes still live on through backyard bbq's and grill outs. I still love experimenting with new recipes and methods. Being a techy kinda guy, I also enjoy trying new gadgets that aid in the overall experience. 

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