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sous vide/smoker essentials: brisket perfected

a recipe by
Andy Anderson !
Wichita, KS

If you are a carnivore, you probably enjoy a good smoked brisket… I know I sure do. The problem is that briskets can be difficult to get right. This recipe does take a bit of time; however, most of that time is spent with the brisket in the sous vide bath. Actually, your hands-on time is less than if you did a traditional smoked brisket. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

serves Several
prep time 5 Min
cook time 23 Hr
method No-Cook or Other

Ingredients For sous vide/smoker essentials: brisket perfected

  • 4 - 5 lb
    beef brisket
  • brisket dry rub

How To Make sous vide/smoker essentials: brisket perfected

  • 1
  • 2
    What will you need? Okay, here is the catch… to make this recipe you will need two specific pieces of equipment: A sous vide machine and a smoker.
  • 3
    What is it? Well, it is beef, and it is a brisket, so let us have a conversation about brisket. Brisket is a very tough cut of meat that hails from the the breast section of the cow beneath the first five ribs and is responsible for supporting most of the bovine’s weight. Because it is well worked it contains a lot of connective tissue collagen, and that is why it is so dang tough. To combat this we use low heat, over a long period of time (8 – 12 hours) that breaks down the connective tissue, delivering an awesome piece of meat. This is a simplistic explanation, but pretty much sums it up. The problem is that a lot of things can go wrong during those 12 hours. Scary things… However, using a sous vide bath, in combination with your smoker, takes most of the guesswork out of the equation.
  • 4
    Point or Flat? A brisket is actually composed two cuts of beef: the flat and the point (sometimes called the deckle). The flat is rectangular with a bit of marbling, and (unless it is trimmed off) a thick fat cap on one side. The point is more triangular, and has much more marbling, and that translates into much more flavor. For whatever reason, points are hard to come by, and they are more expensive. Although the cooking technique would be much the same, we will be using beef brisket flat for this recipe.
  • 5
    Fat Cap Up, or Down? If you want to start an argument, bring that question up with a bunch of chefs that smoke briskets… then stand back. There are a lot of excellent arguments on both sides; however, I will place the brisket in the smoker with the fat cap up.
  • 6
    What to serve with it? There are so many things to serve with a good smoked brisket, one of my favorite items is good coleslaw, or some yummy potato salad. In addition, it makes brilliant sandwiches and hash.
  • 7
    How to store it? You can store this, tightly wrapped in the fridge for 5 – 7 days. If you freeze and vacuum seal it, it will last for over a year.
  • 8
    The dry rub A traditional Texas brisket rub is usually salt and cracked pepper. You can add other spices; however, I prefer to keep it simple, so I use salt/pepper, a sprinkling of brown coconut sugar, and paprika.
  • 9
    Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
  • 10
    Preheat your sous vide machine to 155f/160f (68c/71c)
  • 11
    Add a generous amount of dry rub to both sides of the brisket and rub it into every nook-and-cranny.
  • 12
    Seal it up in a Ziploc bag, squeezing out as much air as possible, or use a vacuum sealer (that is what I used).
  • 13
    If you are not using a thick vacuum bag, but using a Ziploc, I would strongly suggest that you double-bag the brisket, we do not want any leaks.
  • 14
    Add it to the sous vide bath and keep it in there for 24 – 30 hours.
  • 15
    If you bag floats to the top, you might need to weigh it down with something like a brick.
  • 16
    After the allotted time, remove from the sous vide bath, leave it in its bag, let it cool slightly, then place in the fridge overnight.
  • 17
    You can do the sous vide bath several days before smoking. Just make sure it is wrapped and in the fridge.
  • 18
    When you are ready, preheat your smoker to 250f/120c.
  • 19
    Remove the brisket from the bag, pat dry, and sprinkle with more of your dry rub. Place in the smoker and add some wood chips (I like applewood).
  • 20
    About an hour later add a bit more wood.
  • 21
    Remove from the smoker after a total of 3 hours.
  • 22
    Tent with foil for about twenty minutes.
  • 23
  • So Yummy
    Cut against the grain and serve with your favorite sides. Enjoy.
  • Stud Muffin
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.
  • Peace

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