Sous Vide Brisket

As a fan of all cooking, I decide to attempt to Sous Vide and then smoke a brisket. I have seen many people post about how great it turns out. My brisket was a 12.5 full packer and was too large to fit in my Sous Vide container. I trimmed it and removed the point section, which I used for burnt ends, and documented on the previous post. I took the flat section and seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic. I then sealed it in my Foodsaver and added some liquid smoke to add some smoked flavor.

raw brisket flat

I had planned to smoke it after the Sous Vide process, so I chose to do the recommended 155 degrees for 24 hours. As with most products you Sous Vide, there will be shrinkage of the product and liquid given off which stays in the bag. When you are cooking for a long time, it is important to keep the product full submerged for even cooking. I monitored it after a few hours in and at the 8 hour mark. There was a lot of air in the bag an a lot of liquid. I was concerned about keeping it submerged for 24 hours, so I removed it. I then cut the bag open, removed the liquid and re-bagged it.

The brisket then went the additional 16 hours and was removed. The recommended process then called for the rapid cooling of the brisket followed by refrigeration to bring it as low as possible prior to smoking.

brisket flat after 24 hours at 155

The brisket stayed in the refrigerator for about 3 hours. The process calls for a rub to be applied to the brisket before putting it on the smoker. As I removed it from the bag, I realized that I made a mistake of not immediately removing it from the bag. A brisket has a relatively high fat content that rendered and it was in the bag. After refrigeration the fat was caked all over the brisket. I did my best to remove it, pat it down and rubbed with some Jack Daniels Beef rub.

brisket rubbed prior to smoke

I already had my Weber Smokey Mountain going with the point section cooking and I added the flat to the bottom grate. The temp was 225 on the smoker when the brisket was added. I added some post oak wood for flavor. The plan was to get the now cold brisket back to an internal temp of 155 degrees, (the same temp it prepared in the Sous Vide). The brisket took about 3 hours to reach back to the 155 degrees and it was removed, covered and rested for 30 minutes before slicing.

brisket flat after Sous Vide and 3 hours smoke

The presentation and aroma of the brisket was good. Normally smoked, it would have better bark creation, but since it was only on the smoker for 3 hours, that was as good as it was going to get.

brisket flat completed and sliced

The brisket had a decent flavor, and sliced well, but I could definitely tell the difference between a standard smoke only brisket that was taken to 203 degrees. Although it was edible it lacked the flavor and consistency of a smoked brisket. I am not sure if removing the original liquid had any effect on the outcome of the brisket, but I will never know. I would not repeat this cooking process a second time. I have long ago mastered the art of the smoked brisket and it is hands down better than this method. Worth the try, but they can’t all be winners.

brisket flat cooled and sliced.

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