Sous Vide BrisketThe best way to get a medium-rare beef brisket that melts in your mouth is to use our special brisket rub and cook it sous vide.
The reason sous vide is such a great way to cook beef brisket is for the way it creates a tender medium-rare brisket full of rich, complex flavors that melt in your mouth.
The advantage of cooking brisket this way is how it creates a supple texture while locking in the beef’s juices and flavors.
Getting to Know Brisket
Brisket comes from the lower chest area of the cow and is one of the nine primal cuts of beef. For a long time, it’s been a favorite cut for smoking or slow-roasting in the oven.
What we love about this recipe is how the long cooking time makes everything incredibly tender while the low temperature keeps it a nice medium-rare. This is the type of recipe that shows off sous vide’s capabilities creating a dish that can’t be done with other cooking methods.
We recommend looking for a beef brisket that has a nice mix of meat and fat. If you’re breaking down a whole brisket, say the type popular at Costco or other superstores, try to mix and match the leaner parts of the brisket with those that have lots of fat.
No matter how the brisket is being cooked, it’s important to leave the fat on during the cooking process to keep the meat from drying out. The best time to trim off any extra fat is right before serving.
Our rub will work whether the brisket is cooked sous vide, smoked, or roasted. The liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, and smoked paprika give the beef a deep smokey flavor. The biggest difference between the three cooking methods is the unique texture that comes from sous vide.
How to Cook a Brisket Sous Vide
To find the best way to cook brisket sous vide we tried multiple combinations of time and temperature. Based on our testing, the best time and temperature combination for sous vide brisket is 133℉ for 48 hours.
The briskets we cooked at 131℉ ended up being too rare for some testers, any more than 135℉ and the brisket lost that sweet medium-rare spot that makes this recipe special.
We also tried a number of different cooking times, at 24 hours the brisket was good but wasn’t as soft and supple as it gets at 48 hours. There wasn’t enough difference between the 72 hour brisket and 48 hour brisket to justify another day of cooking.
The finishing step for this recipe can be done using the grill or the oven. Our preference is to finish the brisket on the grill for the way it adds a little char and crisps up the outside and because it’s fun to play with fire.
To finish the brisket on the grill place it on a medium-high fire for 8 to 10 minutes, turning it regularly. The goal is to get a nice char without overcooking the meat and not letting the drippings light up like a roman candle.
To finish the brisket in the oven, place it on a broiler pan in a 400℉ oven for 8 to 10 minutes, turning it once. Using a broiler pan gives the juices a place to go, helping crisp up the outside of the whole brisket.
If you need more information about how to cook sous vide read Getting Started Cooking with Sous Vide.
This recipe is a great way to feed large groups of people a dish they’ll remember. If you’re going to go through the time to cook a brisket make sure to serve it with a BBQ sauce that has a little sass, our favorite is Old No 44.
- 3 tsp smoked paprika
- 1-1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp mustard powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Start by rubbing the brisket down with a mixture of liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce.
- In a small dish mix the smoked paprika, garlic, onion, and mustard powders with the salt and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the brisket.
- Seal everything up in a bag and drop the brisket into a 133℉ water bath for 48 hours.
- Finish the brisket on a medium-high grill for 8 to 10 minutes, turning the brisket regularly. The goal is to get a nice char on the brisket without overcooking the meat and not letting the drippings light up like a roman candle.
- To serve the brisket, thinly slice it and serve it would a good BBQ sauce on the side.
- On the rare occasion when there are leftovers, we like to make Big Bad Brisket Sandwiches.
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