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SVQ Brisket Serious Eats (mostly) Recipe

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    SVQ Brisket Serious Eats (mostly) Recipe

    Recently, there was post about using Kenji's sous vide method of cooking a brisket. He used a brisket flat cut in half. I had a full packer in the freezer that I had cut in half between the flat and the point as my freezer is too small to fit a whole packer. After reading that post, and with my new Anova Pro in hand, I went for it - sort of. Here is the link to the Serious Eats article and recipe: Sous Vide Smoked Brisket Recipe (seriouseats.com)

    Here is the post by gdsim1 that got me going: Sous Vide Brisket - HOLY COW!!! 😳 - Pitmaster Club (amazingribs.com)

    Bottom line first: this was the most tender and moist brisket I have had in a long time! And the texture, bark and smoke, for me, was excellent! Here is a pic of the end result plated. I'll go back to the story of the cook after.

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    First big mistake I made was after defrosting the brisket in the fridge for 3-4 days, I decided to leave the point in the bag and sous vide it without removing, dry brining and re-bagging. DO NOT DO THAT! I did not realize that the meat after sous vide would not absorb the salt in my SPOG rub as it would have if I removed it and put the rub on the uncooked meat before sous vide. Lesson learned the hard way.

    So, into the sous vide tank at 155* for 30 hours.

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    After 29+ hours, removed the brisket from the sous vide and into an ice bath for 30 minutes. My plan was to then unbag it, put on the rub and into the fridge overnite before smoking it on the MAK. By the way, the 30 minute ice bath was based on Clint Cantwell's sous vide brisket recipe on the free AR site: Sous Vide And Smoked Beef Brisket Recipe Is Pure Nirvana (amazingribs.com).

    Here is where my mistake comes into play. Because I did not unbag, brine and re-bag, the brisket was covered in globs of semi-chilled blood, liquid and fat from the ice bath. YUCK! I washed and rinsed the meat and dried with many paper towels. here is a shot of it before going into the fridge.

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    And a shot of it where I cut a piece off to see what the flavor and texture was before putting in the frig.

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    Looks dry, but it is not. Obviously more firm than taking the meat to 203-210*, but very tasty.

    Next day, fired up the MAK to 275*. Once it got to temp, smoked the meat for just under 3 hours. Here is another divergence from Kenji's recipe, Clint's recipe and the recent post that followed a similar method. Clint has you smoke at 225* for an hour to get the meat back to 125*. After 1 hour, though, mine was still at 85* IT at a smoke temp of 275*- started at fridge temp of 40*. I used an meat probe with with my Fireboard to measure the IT.

    After the almost 3 hours, my probe was showing 150*, not the almost 200+* the other post reported, nor what Kenji's recipe has after 3 hours. maybe because I used the point end? Dunno.

    Here it is out of the smoker. I highly recommend this approach. I will be cooking the flat end the same way except this time removing from the original bag, drying and dry brining overnight, the re-bagging before sous vide.

    Bon appetite!



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    Attached Files
    Last edited by GolfGeezer; August 8, 2021, 08:36 AM. Reason: Added link to post that inspired this.

    #2
    Thanks for the excellent writeup. It's always nice to see a delicious result and a satisfied pitmaster.

    Kathryn

    Comment


      #3
      "Like" I'm becoming a fan of the QVQ method myself, especially when using the stick burner. A few more steps and technically a longer cook time, but oh so much more convenient and consistent, and you can really get your timing down.

      Comment


      • GolfGeezer
        GolfGeezer commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, although this method does not do a smoke before the SV step, you could easily add a 2-3 hour low temp smoke step before to get a deeper smoke profile than this method yields. You still won't get a heavy bark crust like a traditional method, but my goodness, the texture, moisture and tenderness is just outstanding.

      #4
      I'm not sure if it's too close to lunchtime or what, but I can taste and smell that brisket from the photos. Great work, thanks for sharing!

      Comment


        #5
        Looks like a great job to me. I would give ya a like if that was possible, but the Like button is still not workin' for me...

        Comment


        • GolfGeezer
          GolfGeezer commented
          Editing a comment
          RonB I am able click the Like button using Firefox, but I get the error when I use MS Edge. Might be a cookie/cache issue, but I am not certain.

        #6
        I can't like it, the button does not work.

        Comment


          #7
          @GoldGeezer - I just emptied the cashe for this site, and it did not help. Usin' chrome...

          I can't like a post or comment on a reply.

          Comment


          • GolfGeezer
            GolfGeezer commented
            Editing a comment
            Heh-heh, I’m now a happy camper ‘cause I’m now a GOLD geezer. Thanks RonB!

          #8
          I love doing SV brisket, I have one aging that I'm going to do toward the end of the month. I've gotten away from doing the QVQ pre-smoke on a brisket I take up to higher finishing temps. Typically the post smoke is all you need, there's no appreciable difference unless you are going for a medium rare finish and can't exceed a medium rare internal temp.

          Regardless, your brisket looks beautifully cooked. I'm still liking the bark from a low and slow brisket a bit better but oh the tenderness and moisture of sous vide cooking is hard to beat.

          Comment


          • GolfGeezer
            GolfGeezer commented
            Editing a comment
            Troutman Thanks. I am totally impressed with the results. I should have noted in my write up that I probed around with my Thermapen and found a range of finish temps - not unusual for the point half I used. My wife, who does not like smoked food, was happy. Wants me to do the flat SV, but use the oven finish method. We’ll see how that goes.

          #9
          GolfGeezer , just to clarify, you pulled the brisket at the Kenji-recommended 3 hours and its final temp was 150° ? Did you faux cambro it or just let it sit for the 30 min that Kenji recommended?

          I'm curious.

          Thanks in advance,
          Kathryn

          Comment


          • GolfGeezer
            GolfGeezer commented
            Editing a comment
            fzxdoc Kathryn, I had a Fireboard probe in the flat portion of the meat. I pulled the brisket at the 2 3/4 mark when that probe was at 150*. I then put it on the cutting board and tented for about 15-20 minutes. I then probed around various areas with the MK4. The top of the point end probed at 180-ish. Other parts were at 150-160*. But all the areas were tender and moist. I think the fat content of this particular brisket helped that happen.

          • GolfGeezer
            GolfGeezer commented
            Editing a comment
            fzxdoc I also ended up cubing about a 1 lb (it started at 5+) and freezing for making chili down the road. That top portion of the point was definitely more "done", almost shredable (is that a word?).

          • fzxdoc
            fzxdoc commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for your feedback, GolfGeezer . Let us know how the flat works out, using Kenji's recipe of doing the Q portion by time, not temp. I'm not surprised that the point turned out nicely with this method. It is, after all, the point. The flat will be the true test of Kenji's recipe. It's great, though, that you separated the brisket, though, so we all can see how well this recipe does for point and for flat.

            Thanks!

            Kathryn

          #10
          I've been following the posts on this Kenji Brisket Flat recipe for fun. What intrigues me the most is that Kenji does not state the final temperature of the meat before it is pulled from the smoker in the "Q" portion of this SVQ method. He instead goes by time. In the comments section, people state that they have used the 3 hours-on-the-smoker time regardless of the initial weight (or thickness) of the brisket flat. Kenji calls for a 5 lb flat with a fat cap, and as marbled as possible in his recipe. He calls for the grill/smoker to be set to 275° to 300°. From the few comments that actually measured meat temps for this recipe the ave temperature of the meat was 150-180ish° at the 3 hour point.

          What intrigues me about this recipe and those here who have tried it is that one of the most often-heard caveats about SVQ--that, in the Q portion of the SVQ cook, the meat should not be taken to a temperature higher than what it was SVd at. So, say that you follow Kenji's recommendation of 24 to 36 hours at 155°F or 36 to 72 hours at 135°F, then the meat should not be taken higher than either 155° or 135° (depending on which SV paramaters were used) in the "Q" part of the SVQ cook, according to the SV "maxim".

          However, gdsim1 showed us in this topic on the Kenji brisket flat recipe that you can get a really tasty, tender, and juicy SVQ Choice flat by taking it all the way to 197° at 2.75 hours in a PBC (yay PBC!) whose temps hovered between 250° and 280° and resting it on the counter for 30-45 min. before slicing. He broke the "keep meat below the SV temp" maxim for brisket and had amazing results.

          Hmmmm, I thought. How can this be?

          A week or more later I found a possible explanation: on another topic, Potkettleblack mentioned that he has taken large cuts of meat like brisket to temps higher than that at which they were SVd because the collagen has already been broken down by the SV process. So basically, if we want a good bark on the SVd brisket, then go for it, without being constrained by rules. I highly recommend that you click on the link in the first sentence of this paragraph and read PKB's comment in its entirety.

          I'm sure that others may have had the same findings as PKB and gdsim1 and posted them somewhere here on The Pit, but this was the first time I had come across it. I love it when I read something here and a light bulb goes off in my brain. Up until now I've been doing the last portion of the SVQ or QVQ brisket or pastrami cook at 350° smoker temp, taking the meat no higher than 135° to set the bark and it has worked well. This is Polarbear777 's method.

          So here's my point: Hooray for The Pit and its members. I learn something new nearly every time I log in. My next SVQ or QVQ brisket will be done with, as Potkettleblack says, the end result in mind. That will be SVing at 135° for 72 hours and then Qing it until the bark looks perfect, very likely much higher than 135°. This is going to be fun.

          Kathryn
          Last edited by fzxdoc; August 10, 2021, 02:00 PM.

          Comment


          • fzxdoc
            fzxdoc commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for that clarification, Potkettleblack . I've never been a fan of medium rare brisket or chuck roast. For me that's what a good ribeye is for.

            Kathryn

          • Potkettleblack
            Potkettleblack commented
            Editing a comment
            If you don't want the med-rare brisket, may as well sous vide hotter and faster, like 155x24, shock and smoke at 275 to bark quality. My last brisket did like that, and took to 200... Wife's favorite. Pre-smoke might've improved it, though.

          • fzxdoc
            fzxdoc commented
            Editing a comment
            Potkettleblack , I usually QVQ my briskets and pastramis when I want to sous vide instead of go old school. I like the smokiness that I'm thinking the first Q brings to the party, especially when done on the PBC.

            I'll give SVing hotter and faster a try, even though I've had really good luck with the 135°X72h method with QVQ. It would be nice to shave 2 days off the process.

            K.

          #11
          That looks amazing!

          I'm doing a riff on Kenji's recipe right now as well. I'm using a point cut, about 7 lbs. I managed to get the whole thing into a single sealed bag and into the SV. I'm shooting for just under 48 hours, so another day-ish to go.

          I misread the part of his recipe with the pink salt - I put it in my rub (as it states) but I didn't let it cure for a few hours in the fridge, and instead put it right in the SV. After realizing my error, I removed the meat from the bag and thoroughly rinsed it off, and re-seasoned it with another rub without the pink salt. Should be ok, I think.

          Comment


            #12
            Ok, so I convinced I should do SV for an upcoming event that I need to cook for. In the RV I carry a GMG Davy Crockett. I can fit two smaller full packers, but separating the point from the flat and I won’t have enough room. I will need to SV a day or two in advance, no pre smoke. If I understand the consensus here, I can cook at something like 155° for 24-36 hrs. Refrigerate, then smoke to establish some bark and take the meat all the way to 200°? Is there any reason or need to re season for the smoke portion? If I need to hold after the smoke portion, I can wrap, but not necessary?

            Comment


            • rickgregory
              rickgregory commented
              Editing a comment
              "... I can cook at something like 155° for 24-36 hrs. Refrigerate, then smoke to establish some bark and take the meat all the way to 200°? "

              Yep.

              "Is there any reason or need to re season for the smoke portion?"

              Any rub you apply prior to the SV will wash off and become one with the purge (the liquid that you get during the SV process). I'd remove the brisket, wash and trim, dry brine then SV. Apply rub for smoking. Watch the salt in the rub since you have dry brined during SV.
              Last edited by rickgregory; September 7, 2021, 02:06 PM.

            • GolfGeezer
              GolfGeezer commented
              Editing a comment
              SierraBBQGuy I would definitely go with 30-36 hours. You will get a much better texture with the longer SV time. Definitely chill and refrigerate before the final step. Kenji's recipe calls for 3 hours at 275* - it does not pay attention to the final meat temp, and in my cook, neither did I. The IT still came close to 180*-200* surprisingly (depending on where you temp it).

            • klflowers
              klflowers commented
              Editing a comment
              Question for you does the Davy Crockett fit in the RV basement? What do you have? I have a Tiffin 34’ gasser and my Chimp won’t fit sitting up with the legs folded down

            #13
            No, the Green Mountain Grills Davy Crocket, Doesn’t fit in my basement. I have a Travel Trailer, so the smoker rides in the truck bed.

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