We have Helen’s work Christmas Party at our place next weekend, so the smoker will get a bit of a workout. The recipe below caters for 10 people using a 2.25kg brisket. Of course the best way is to go all out in your smoker, but I may be pushed for time on the day so this will help out. After all if I do a full smoke i need to be up at 2am to start cooking so it’s ready for 2pm that day… Not sure that will happen, this way I can prep it the day before and finish on the day.
Depending on the temperature you set your water bath to and the amount of time you leave the meat in it, you can achieve a wide range of textures in the finished brisket.
Recommended Sous Vide Barbecue Brisket Temperatures
57ºC for 36 to 72 hours – firm and meaty, like a tender steak
68ºC for 24 to 36 hours – extra moist with traditional texture (This is the option I’m going with)
Ingredients for 10
- 1 flat- or point-cut brisket, about 2.25kg
- 55g coarsely ground black peppercorns (about 1/3 cup)
- 65g kosher salt (about 1/4 cup)
- — OPTIONAL —
- 20g Chilli flakes (for those that like it hot)
- 1/4 tsp / 3g liquid smoke (optional if your finishing in the oven)
- 10g pink salt (optional)
- Dill pickles, sliced yellow onion, and white bread, for serving
Start by grinding a half cup of whole black peppercorns using a burr grinder, a pepper mill, or a food processor. You’re looking for a coarse grind, but not so coarse that identifiable peppercorns remain.
Chances are your brisket will be too large to fit in a single vacuum or resealable zipper locking bag. Split it in half crosswise to allow it to fit.
Place the brisket inside a vacuum sealer or resealable zipper locking bag. (Fold over the top while you add the meat so that no juices get on the edge of the bag, which can weaken the seal.) Seal the bag using a vacuum sealer. If using pink salt, let the beef rest for three to four hours in the refrigerator before proceeding.
Set the temperature on your Precision Cooker to 68ºC for traditionally moist and tender brisket, or for 57ºC for brisket that has a meatier, more steak-like texture.
Add brisket to water bath and cover it with a lid, aluminum foil, or table tennis balls, these help stop evaporation. Cook for 24 to 36 hours at 68°C or 36 to 72 hours at 57°C
When the brisket has finished cooking, remove from bags and carefully blot dry with paper towels. (Liquid from bags can be added to your favorite barbecue sauce and simmered down to provide extra flavor.) Allow cooked brisket to cool at least to room temperature before proceeding (an ice bath can speed up this process). Brisket can be stored in the refrigerator at this stage for up to 1 week before finishing. This is handy if you will be pushed for time on party day….
Finishing Steps – SmokerStep 1
Pre-heat smoker to 135°C, when hot add your preferred wood chips. I’m using peach chips that have been soaked in bourbon, they’ll add a rich but sweet smoke to the meat.Step 2
Place the probe from your digital thermometer into thickest part of the meat and place in your smoker. Remember that your smoker will have different heat zones depending on size, fuel source and ambient temperature. The dial thermometer is not always accurate so a rule zone thermometer is idea to help monitor both meat and cavity temp. I place the cavity probe on the shelf the meat is on.Step 3
Transfer brisket to a cutting board and tent with foil. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. Slice against the grain into thin strips and serve.