Two Brisket cooked very differently (Including Sous Vide)

Discussion in 'Beef' started by bmaddox, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I carefully watch the brisket prices in my area as the are typically too high for me to justify buying one. This week the local butcher had Prime briskets for $3.99 a pound which is about the cheapest they get. I decided to pick up two and do some experimenting.

    Brisket 1:

    17LB prime brisket

    I decided to keep it simple with this one.


    Trim brisket, slather with steak sauce, and rub with salt and pepper


    4:00 AM - went on the smoker at 275 degrees

    10:00 AM - IT is 165. Wrapped in butcher paper

    3:30 PM - IT is 195 in the point and 200 in the flat. Removed from smoker

    4:00 PM - Cut a portion of the point into chunks and returned to smoker for burnt ends

    5:00 PM - Sauced the burnt ends and moved them into the oven at 275 (I had too much going on the watch the smoker anymore)

    6:30 PM - Burnt ends or done

    This brisket turned out great. A pretty traditional cook with moist slice and delicious burnt ends

    I didn't take a lot of pictures of the first brisket as I was focused on the second.

    Burnt ends in all their glory 

    Brisket #2:

    This is where things got a little off the rails. I decided I was going to separate the flat and the point first then Sous Vide the flat and smoke the point.

    16LB Prime brisket


    Trim brisket then carefully separate the flat from the point (I did an adequate job of this but it was not very pretty)

    Slather point with steak sauce then rub with salt and pepper

    7:00 PM - Lightly season flat with salt and pepper, vacuum seal, then place into 160 degree water bath


    4:00 AM - Point goes on the smoker at 275

    9:00 AM - Point is at 170 degrees. Wrap in butcher paper then back on the smoker

    11:00 AM - Point is at 195 degrees. Wrap in foil and place in cooler

    3:00 PM - Remove flat from water bath, pat dry and season with more salt and pepper. Place on smoker

    4:00 PM - Take point out of cooler, cut into chunks, season with rub and place on smoker

    5:00 PM - Take burnt ends out of smoker, sauce them, and place in oven

    5:00 PM - Flat is at 170 and has a good bark. Pull from smoker, wrap in foil and place in cooler

    6:30 PM - Burnt ends done

    7:00 PM - Serve everything up and enjoy

    The point trimmed and seasoned

    Flat trimmed and seasoned. I didn't leave much fat since it would be cooked Sous Vide. 

    Vac sealed and ready to go. 

    I had to improvise a lid using plastic wrap and a towel to keep the heat in. 

    Smoker chugging along. I can't wait for my wireless thermo to arrive so I don't have to deal with all these wires. 

    The point wrapped in paper

    The flat after its long warm bath

    Here is all the juice that was in the bag. Normally this would have all just disappeared during cooking. 

    The point after resting in the cooler

    Ready to go back on the smoker

    Here is the flat sliced up. It was very different than a traditional smoked brisket.

    All served up and ready to go. 

    The sous vide was not as good as I had hoped. I think the 160 degrees overnight was too low of a temp for that short of a time. There was a lot of collagen that had not broken down yet. The texture was good but was more like a steak than a regular brisket. It took on a good smoke flavor during its short smoke (more than I thought it would). I am going to try this again but with a few changes.

    Thanks for looking. 
    crankybuzzard and floridasteve like this.
  2. floridasteve

    floridasteve Smoking Fanatic

    Great read! It all looks delicious!
  3. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Now that was an interesting experiment!

    So, if you were to do a flat like this again, what temp would you set the sous vide bath at?  180° keeps running through my head, but what are your thoughts?

    [​IMG]  for the experimentation!
  4. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I did a Brisket Sous Vide style for this years UK get together. Sous Vide it, chilled the smoked on the day for 4 hours. Was not that impressed with the result.
  5. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Yes 180 will be the target temp next time. There are plenty of conflicting recipes online for sous vide brisket, some cooking as low as 135 degrees. I am going to try 180 for 16-24 hours to really break down all the collagen and fat then smoke it for a few hours and see how that goes. 
  6. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    What temp did you cook it at and for how long?

    I would say that mine was good but not great. It was a lot easier than smoking it for 12 plus hours but not nearly as tender. 
  7. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looking forward to the experiment!
  8. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Beautiful smoke .. Let's talk smoker .. Is that one part wsm one part silver and one part
  9. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for sharing the experiment.  Nice smoke!

  10. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Interesting and informative Thumbs Up However , I've found what I like in total "Smoki ng" in my Pit and don't intend to change things .:cool:

    I know not open minded , but :dunno

    Have fun anyway , and . . .
  11. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    That is a UDS that has a bunch of donor parts (including the lid) from a Weber kettle
  12. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    That's why I did one brisket the traditional way. My dad wanted some of the brisket and I knew he wouldn't like my experimental one (it's not for everyone). 
  13. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

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