Combining modernist cuisine with “tried and true” BBQ is no easy task. Figuring out how to fuse new world with old world techniques is a great challenge and one I took on this past weekend. Thinking through the best way to use my Sous Vide Supreme with a Brisket Flat has been on my todo list for awhile. Certainly cooking the flat using the sous vide machine would produce moist and tender brisket, but how would I get that traditional smoke flavor? Smoke it first then sous vide or the other way around? Well, this post will walk you through the process and report the results. Now sit back, grab an ice cold Lone Star beer, and enjoy this post for Smoked Sous Vide Brisket Flat.
Smoked Sous Vide Brisket Flat
One of my favorite food blogs is Serious Eats as they give the why along with the how to the recipes and techniques they post. One such article focused on cooking a brisket flat using a sous vide machine. In this article, they cooked the flat in the sous vide machine before finishing off on the smoker. I followed their advice and the recipe below was born.
Trim the flat until you have 1/4″ fat cap on one side and the meat exposed on the opposite side.
Cut the flat into two separate pieces so you can fit them into your sous vide environment.
Pick your favorite rub for brisket and apply liberally to all sides of the flat. For this cook I used the new (and incredibly delicious) Fat Henry’s Classic Rub from Four41 South BBQ.
Once the brisket flat is evenly covered in the rub, seal in plastic using a vacuum sealer.
Preheat your sous vide to 155° and when ready, submerge the brisket inside. To get a traditional brisket texture let the flat cook for 36 hours in this environment.
After 36 hours take the sealed brisket out of the sous vide and place in your refrigerator overnight to cool. When ready take the brisket out, reserve the liquid from the bags, and dry off the halves of the flat while you set up your smoker.
For this cook, the Big Green Egg was set to indirect cooking, preheated to 250°, and filled with chunks of hickory and pecan wood for the smoke. In addition, there was a drip pan filled with water to help keep the environment moist.
After 3.5 hours in the smoker, the brisket flat measured 185° internal temp, it had formed a beautiful crust, and was ready to get pulled. I let the flat rest under a foil tent for 30 minutes before slicing.
The sliced brisket flat was served with some brats smoked along with this cook, baked beans, onions, pickles, and homemade BBQ sauce from the beef drippings.
I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of this brisket compared to others I have cooked before. The sous vide technique did produce a tender brisket flat and the smokey flavor from 3.5 hours in the Big Green Egg was good. I think the next time I try this, I will smoke the brisket first, cool, seal, and then sous vide, and then finish on the smoker for the crust. More to come…
- 5lbs Brisket Flat
- BBQ Rub
- Pickles, onions, baked beans for garnish
- Trim the brisket flat down to ¼" of fat cap
- Slice the flat in two equal pieces
- Cover with your favorite BBQ rub
- Seal each piece in vacuum sealer
- Preheat sous vide to 155°
- Submerge brisket flat in sous vide for 36 hours
- Remove brisket pieces and place in the fridge overnight to cool
- Remove brisket pieces from vacuum seal and reserve juice for mop and/or BBQ sauce
- Preheat Big Green Egg to 250° using indirect cooking
- Add wood chunks and wait until thin blue smoke is billowing from the BGE (about 30 minutes)
- Place brisket in the smoker and let smoke for 3-3.5 hours until bark forms and brisket measures 185°
- Pull and let rest for 15-30 minutes under foil tent
- Slice and serve