Sous vide brisket?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by tallen234, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. tallen234

    tallen234 Newbie

    Has anyone tried making a "traditional" BBQ brisket using sous vide technique and smoking? My goal is to have a true medium rare bbq brisket, as opposed to a traditional well done (after the connective tissues melt at 200+F) I'm thinking about smoking a whole brisket on my Komado with wood (probably Oak) as low as it can go (probably 200F) for two hours, then vacuum sealing it and water bath it for 48 hours at 134ish. I believe holding the temp this long will allow the collagen to denature to gelatin. I may finish the exterior with sear from a hot grill or a blow torch.


    Any insight?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Hello.  Welcome.  I see this is your first post.  Please take some time and swing over to Roll Call and introduce yourself so that we may give you a proper "Hello".  All info you can provide us with such as smoker type, location and so on will help us answer any questions you may have.  As for your question:  Here is my opinion for what it is worth.  Others may have different advice.  This is only my opinion.  I have never tried this method.  2 hours smoke will not give much flavour on a large brisket.  Are you talking about a full packer brisket or just the flat?  Are you thinking water bath for the whole brisket or just thick slices?  It's the 48 hour thing that makes you idea intriguing.  In my mind I could possibly see this working for a flat but not for the flat and point.  I may be wrong ( have been before ).   As I have never tried this before I am only guessing but I would try it using a very small brisket because it can only turn out 2 ways:  REALLY GREAT, or tough as shoe leather; which I am sure you already knew.  Hopefully someone will come along and educate both of us.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

    Danny
     
  3. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It would work. Just make sure you're extremely careful that everything is fresh, cold and clean before you start. Sanitize all work surfaces and be manic about everything!! Make sure the water bath is at least 130˚ before you put the food in, and make sure it stays above 130˚ for at least 3 hours. If I were going to try this, I'd probably do the sous vide step first, chill overnight, then smoke the next day. (chill the sealed vacuum packed meat in an ice bath to get the temp down quickly) Seems like you could keep a tighter control on time and temperature that way. A couple hours in a smoker, then right into a sous vide bath seems risky to me. You could essentially do a reverse sear on day 2, as you're starting off with chilled meat that's already very tender. I'd smoke with a pretty strong wood like hickory or mesquite for a couple hours until you hit 125˚ internal, then onto a screaming hot grill. Let us know how it turns out!!

    By the way, I'd also drop Chef Jimmy J a pm to check with him on the safety aspect. He's the one to ask about such things.
     
  4. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

  5. dcarch

    dcarch Smoking Fanatic

    Sous vide brisket is a fairly common cooking method. I do that every time I have brisket.

    You do get fork-tender medium beef with sous vide, not just fall part. I don't consider falling apart to be the same as fork tender.

    I have done this side-by-side test, using the same piece of meat cut in two, same seasoning and rub.

    The sous vide method resulted in 5.17% less shrinkage, that of course means juicier meat and also 5.17% cheaper meat.

    dcarch
     
  6. tallen234

    tallen234 Newbie

     
  7. ppgflyer

    ppgflyer Newbie

    tallen234,

    I've been mulling this over for a while, didn't do it yet as my sous vide controller project seems to have stalled, actually I got sidetracked by a motorcycle [​IMG]  but have almost finished the re-build so I will be back to finishing the controller next.

    I would have thought the "point" would be good to start with as it has more internal fat and connective tissue as well as being smaller than the flat. You can get individual flats and points at Smart & Final. Cross hatch the fat or remove for better penetration of smoke in to the meat, you can always put the removed fat it in the bag with the meat.

    Smoke wise I would have said that should be the first step for the penetration factor, smoke doesn't penetrate cooked meet well and you won't get that nice "smoke ring" either if you wait until it's cooked sous vide first.

    Maybe a good searing on a screaming hot grill before it goes in to the sous vide, that should take care of any bacteria still surviving the short low temp smoking phase. Add any extra rub/seasoning you desire and sous vide at chosen temp/duration. No bark but another searing on the grill should help a bit.

    Did you cook last week end, if so how did it turn out? Or are you waiting for super-bowl to wow your guests? 
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014
  8. I was hoping to do this for Super Bowl, but it appears that my Anova sous vide circulator won't be here in time [​IMG]

    My thoughts based on the plan I intended to do:

    1) Trim it *very* tightly. The fat cap won't render at sous vide temps, and it's not like you need the fat cap to help retain moisture. And I'd use the flat, rather than a full packer or the point.

    2) I'm shooting for the 147 temp for 48 hours. I've read up on it, and it's the temp/time favored by Thomas Keller. My understanding is that certain fats will start to render at 145, but that's below the temp at which the meat starts to shrink and squeeze out all the moisture. Plus, most of the people I'd likely serve it to are not as big fans of medium-rare as I am, so medium is probably better anyway. YMMV, of course, and it's not like I've tried it yet ;-)

    3) About 2 hours prior to the end of the cook, I'll likely drop the temp to 130. The only purpose here will be to lower the IT a bit so that when I sear it on the grill, I am less likely to overcook it.

    One of my contacts on Google+ has been doing a LOT of smoked SV brisket, and loves the technique. He has a cold smoker setup, so he smokes it at ~150 degrees for a couple hours instead of the 200-225 that those of us with hot smokers can do. But I think we'd be fine either way.

    If you get to this experiment before I do, let us know how it goes!
     
  9. tallen234

    tallen234 Newbie

    Interesting point regarding the SV temp. I wonder if there is a magical temp to render the fats or if it is also partly related to time.

    I'm still on the fence regarding doing it sous vide or doing it traditionally. Since it is for the Super Bow,, I don't really have a good margin of error.

     
  10. I'm no expert. But I have read that there are multiple types of saturated fat, palmitic and stearic. Palmitic melts at 145 and is >50% of the saturated fat in brisket, while stearic doesn't melt until 157.

    Most of the proteins that cause the mat to shrink and squeeze out water apparently start doing so above 150.

    My goal would be to get at least some of that fat to melt, but avoid going above 150 where I could start drying out the meat. Hence, 147.
     
  11. Here is a pic of the point after sous vide for 72 hrs at around 138 for 72 hrs than 3 hrs of a cold smoke .. I wish I had pics of the flat as it was equally good but not put on smoker ... Significant diff in flavor ....I love the smoke kissed so much better !!


     
  12. wolfman1955

    wolfman1955 Master of the Pit

    What temp did you cold smoke at? I am planning on putting my flat in the circulaor this afternoon{thursday} and smoking Sunday for the game.
    Keep Smokin!!!
    Wolf
     
  13. Wolf, I started that point at 168 and in the third hour let it drift to almost 220 when I took it off... I'm doining a small packer , about 11lbs for super bowl too ... Original plan was to throw on smoker yesterday but work interfered ... So I dropped in bath this morn and like you will put on smoker Sunday !! I did a 7 blade chuck roast sous vide they came out great too ....post your pics Sunday !! Brad
     
  14. wolfman1955

    wolfman1955 Master of the Pit

    luv2putt


    Will get some pictures Sunday. Hoping all goes well!!

    Keep Smokin!!!

    Wolf
     
  15. Nice, looks good

    Gary
     
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    Hi, I read in a recipe that pre searing does not last when sous vide prepared; it turns ugly and the flavor diminishes. It's best to finish with the process.  

    A sous vide machine maker posts that post-sous vide is the best for applying smoke.

    http://blog.sousvidesupreme.com/2014/08/smoking-and-sous-vide-the-great-debate/

    I will try the suggestion of Mdboatbum (Dr. Boat Bum?) of chilling and building the crust and smoke the next day. I think that may add a balance of tenderness with traditional texture. With that said, I’ll sous vide at 135 to retain moisture needed for a smoke ring to at least start to form.  That would still require quite a bit of time on the smoker to finish.
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  17. Wolfman, great post.

    To the smoker right after sous vide or did you cool the brisket in between? If cooled, how long (or to what temp etc.). Thank you much!

    Scoobs
     
  18. I put it straight to smoker .. If you look at my posts I've done two briskets .. I've left them on smoker for three hours ... While it really does t build a crust my second one came out looking a lil more traditional crust wise ... Tenderness and flavors amazing...
    I just did some chicken theighs were I smoked first until I ternal temps hit about 140 ... I then put in SV for 3 hours at145... Flavor was great , you still need to resear if you want to crisp skin ... I wasn't eating skin so I didn't care ...pre smoke gave the chicken nice mahogany color...
     
  19. andrewc

    andrewc Newbie

    I'm doing a brisket (first cut), short ribs (off the bone) and baby backs this weekend. I've done it before. The last time I seasoned everything, vacuum sealed and refrigerated overnight. This morning (8am saturday) I set my sous vide at 146. I'll let everything sous vide until 3pm tomorrow. Will likely just add water as needed to the pot to deal with evaporation. Tomorrow i'll smoke for 3 hours at 200. So that will be 18 hours pre sous vide seasoning. 30 hours sous vide at 146 and 3 hours of smoke at 200. I did the same thing last time except i did 27 hours of sous vide. Everything was very tender and had plenty of smoke flavore and even a little ring too. Just adding 10% more sous vide time to try more tenderness. Two other steps. I double bagged the meat this time. I was worried about the bags leaking last time. Also after taking out of sous vide, give it a few minutes (maybe 20-30) to rest before putting on smoker to make sure as much juice reabsorbs as possible. I uee any residual juice to make a bbq sauce. Hope this helps.
     
  20. andrewc

    andrewc Newbie

    Also, pre sous vide smoking is a bad idea imho. Pre cooking anything sous vide is bad. Sous vide will ruin any exterior texture you establish. Have to finish exterior AFTER sous vide. Cooked meat not absorbing smoke is nonsense imho. I got plenty of smoke flavor and plenty of bark after over a day of sous vide. Just have to add a little rub b/t sous vide and smoker for the bark.
     

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