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J. Kenji Lopez-Alt does sous vide brisket & some ask, "Who's the snob?"

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  • Harry
    Charter Member
    • Jun 2015
    • 268
    • Wash DC & environs
    • Weber One-Touch Platinum (the discontinued 4-legged, dome hole in the middle model plus a Smokenator when smoking); ThermoWorks TW 3628 & Kintrex IRT 0421 for briskets & other long cooks; Taylor Weekend Warrior (for the lanyard, not the cooktemps) & several ThermoPens for all others. I fully embrace the Minion Method and use Kingsford classic briquettes & Cowboy hardwood charcoal exclusively. Dry woodchips, of course. Beer - Devils Backbone Vienna Lager; bourbon - ALL but Bonded is preferred.

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt does sous vide brisket & some ask, "Who's the snob?"

    Washington Post food writer Tim Carman - no slouch when it comes to food IMHO - comments on a Kenji experiment in which he prepared a beef brisket via sous vide. DISCLOSURE - we have done a chunk of flat in a crockpot with pretty good results so we're not as skeptical as some of the 40+ commenters are. I put this in the category of "yet another technique to try when I crave brisket but it is 20 degrees outside, and there's too much snow to drive to Texas Jack's ".

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...moked-brisket/
  • richinlbrg
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 1812
    • Leesburg, VA. (Northern, VA)
    • We have two weber kettle grills (one LARGE and one small/average), the SnS and the Weber Smokey Mountain 18" smoker. We use both natural lump charcoal and KNB for smoking and measure our temps with a Maverick 733, thermopen and MK4. Favorite beer depends on what is cooking (alt answer is yes).

    #2
    Snob? Neither.

    To me, the writer is a bit closed minded. There are some good points in the comments section.

    Some folks can't barbecue, but that shouldn't keep them from enjoying good food. If Lopez-Alt has a good technique that comes close in taste to the methods we prefer to use, GREAT!

    Most of us enjoy the time and work of our cooks. Not everybody has that time or ability and they want the food we cook. COOL!

    Whatever floats your boat. No rules, right?

    Comment


    • Harry
      Harry commented
      Editing a comment
      Agreed.
  • fzxdoc
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 4740
    • My toys:
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      Camp Chef Somerset IV 4-burner outdoor gas range


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      Fireboard control unit in addition to that in the Extreme BBQ Package
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    #3
    Right on, richinlbrg .

    I've never used Liquid Smoke, though. Serious Eats describes it as

    Liquid smoke really is made from smoke. Chips or sawdust from hardwoods such as hickory or mesquite are burned at high temperatures, and particles of the smoke are collected in condensers. The resulting liquid is concentrated down for a stronger flavor.

    Cook's Illustrated says that Liquid Smoke is fine to use as long as you buy the kind without additives such as vinegar, molasses, and salt. They say it should only have 2 ingredients, smoke and water.

    So I guess I could give Kenji's method a try, but would hate to miss out on all the fun of smoking on my PBC or WSCGC. I'm lucky to have the equipment and the code allowances that allow me to smoke food over charcoal and wood.

    Kathryn

    Comment


    • richinlbrg
      richinlbrg commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, Kathryn! I'll look for it!

    • Danjohnston949
      Danjohnston949 commented
      Editing a comment
      fzxdoc, richinlbrg, Harry, Thanks for the Liquid Smoke Tutorial, Kathryn like You I have never used it! I might change my Mind what little I have left!
      From a Backyard Cremator in Fargo ND, Dan

    • Histrix
      Histrix commented
      Editing a comment
      I have been using this stuff for a few years sans complaints https://www.amazon.com/CedarHouse-Ul...ag=amazi0a8-20
  • Meathead
    BBQ Whisperer, Mythbuster
    • May 2014
    • 1267
    • Chicago area
    • Remember, no rules in the bedroom or kitchen
      Meathead

    #4
    Liquid smoke is a distilled product. So if you hate the idea, put down that Bourbon.

    Comment


    • richinlbrg
      richinlbrg commented
      Editing a comment
      Well, THAT was a low blow, Meathead! LOL

      I think I'll try getting the better liquid smoke and learn how to use it correctly, first.

    • mgaretz
      mgaretz commented
      Editing a comment
      And put down the tomato sauce, ketchup, soy sauce, hot sauce, vinegar, any dried spice etc., basically anything but raw ingredients. Wait, you made brisket and you didn't start with a cow?

    • PaulstheRibList
      PaulstheRibList commented
      Editing a comment
      lolol
  • Nate
    Charter Member
    • Apr 2015
    • 3802
    • Quarantined
    • INFO
      ~Known as: Nate
      ~Location: Cornfield in Southwestern Indiana
      ~Credit Manager for an Agriculture Coop.


      SMOKERS & GRILLS
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      ~Maverick ET-733
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      ACCESSORIES
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      DRINKS
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    #5
    Once again SV causes another fight. SV is the new battle in the BBQ world... Even in the Pit here it can get heated! I honestly think it could be a bigger fight than politics and religion combined in here from some of the stuff I have read lol.

    Remember the good old days when the battles were between Charcoal and Gas... then the stick burners came in and shut them both up... (except for KBQ... those guys don't count) lol...

    Then the battle with the boiling rib terrorist was waged and is now being won. Always funny to see AR Pit Masters and Followers troll the online videos and articles that have someone talking about boiling ribs.

    Or when we finally progressed to the war of Beer Can Chicken when Meathead launched an attack on that school of thought.

    Don't forget the war of whether or not things like BBQ Guru should be allowed as well...

    Our fights to hold on to some sort of heritage and tradition in BBQ are always advancing as technology advances.

    I have not yet jumped on the idea of calling SV done stuff BBQ however I do see the merits of SV cooking indoors especially since I live in an area where it can dip into the negatives in winter but I still want an awesome steak... etc.... That being said I am anxious to see what comes of Meathead's trip to Washington to do some SV to Grill development. However, I still know very little about it and haven't studied it too much.

    I agree there are different ways to cook things and that Kenji doesn't call what he is doing BBQ (disclosure: I own the food lab book and like a lot of his work)... I'm also not a fan of when people do a pork roast or ribs in the crock pot, toss some BBQ sauce in there and call it BBQ... just not the same... I've read Meathead's article on "real or traditional bbq" and know there is not a definitive answer so to speak but SV seems to be the newest in a long line of debates.

    Comment


    • EdF
      EdF commented
      Editing a comment
      Well, you know what Mose Allison said: "Moderation in all things. And Moderation is the first to go"!

      I've used SV in conjunction with real BBQ for a big cook, and it was awesome. But this is about the right tools for the effect you want.
  • Mosca
    Charter Member
    • Oct 2014
    • 3038
    • PA
    • Large Big Green Egg, Weber Performer Deluxe, Weber Smokey Joe Silver, Maverick 732, DigiQ, and too much other stuff to mention.

    #6
    People always lose sight of the goal. The food either tastes good or it doesn't. How you got there is interesting, but in the end the goal is good food, not perfect process.

    Comment


    • Dewesq55
      Dewesq55 commented
      Editing a comment
      Exactly, Mosca ! I was thinking that when reading through the thread. It doesnt matter what you call it. It matters what it tastes like. I really like sous vide. I don't call it barbecue. It makes the best steaks I've ever cooked.
  • ribeyeguy
    Charter Member
    • Jun 2015
    • 1287
    • S. E. Wisconsin
    • Weber Platinum Performer, 18"WSM, Smokenator, Slow 'n Sear.

    #7
    To me it sounds like drinking a Diet Coke. Artificial ingredients are added to make it taste like the real thing but in the end it falls short, even if by just a hair. My guess is that sous vide brisket would be the same, might be close but I'll always choose the original.

    Comment

    • Atalanta
      Club Member
      • Jul 2016
      • 430
      • Barnsley's Ford
      • Grills: 22" Weber (wood handles) (another Weber on the way), Lodge Sportsman "hibachi"
        Smoker: None yet, part of why I joined
        Thermometer: 10+ yr old Taylor digital thermometer with remote
        Sous Vide: Anovo Imersion Circulator (1st gen)
        Coffee Roaster: Hot Top Coffee Roaster
        Adult Beverages: Fighting Cock Bourbon, Leinny Shandy, Troegs Mad Elf

      #8
      Believe it or not, some of the best smoked food I have on the street where I live (and I haven't even started smoking yet!). The couple down the street, the main reason I go to their picnics is for some of her smoked whatever (though I'm not crass enough to just follow my nose when she fires up her smoker). And the other way is a great german restaurant. You would not expect them to be fantastic smokers, but their chef Edith (from Germany) makes a melt in your mouth brisket (I want her to teach me how she does it). And the smoked trout, fresh out of the smoker, incredible. Those two ladies are part of why I'm here.

      I too am a fan of Kenji (read his book from the library). He's my go-to for sous vide info. I don't agree with the use of liquid smoke (never tasted right to me) but I do concur that cooking meat that way has its advantages. But it's a TOOL to go with all the other TOOLs we use to make yummy food.

      Comment

      • Potkettleblack
        Club Member
        • Jun 2016
        • 1887
        • Beautiful Downtown Berwyn
        • Grill: Grilla Original / Weber Genesis EP-330
          Thermometers: Thermapen / iGrill 2 / Fireboard
          For Smoke: Chunks / Pellet Tube / Mo Pouch
          Sous Vide: Joule / Nomiku WiFi
          Disqus: Le Chef - (something something something)

        #9
        I actually made the ChefSteps Brisket last year, which is a bit more involved that JKLA's method.
        https://www.chefsteps.com/activities...smoked-brisket

        It came out great.
        Click image for larger version

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        This is the rub, pre-blend. I think BBBR is probably better, but this has a lot of smokiness in it to make up for the fact that this is smokerless.

        Click image for larger version

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        These are my brisket pieces, glazed and then rubbed, ready for the oven.

        Click image for larger version

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        direct from the oven. Steam blurred the picture.

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        Side view. I probably could have let this go longer, but it was smelling really good and it was the culmination of a somewhat frustrating week of a cooking vacation (the ChefSteps Ribs did not come out that well, but I think it was my fault to some extent, and the insanity of turning onions and garlic to coal as an ingredient of the rub... Meathead diplomatically said that he prefers a sweeter rub on ribs), so I was looking for a success.

        Click image for larger version

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        Different level of probe tender, but had all the jiggle/wobble/of any brisket I've ever had.

        Click image for larger version

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        If I just posted this pic, you'd never know, would you? You'd see a well defined, deep smoke ring, a beautiful glisten to the meat, a reasonable bark, and you'd never know it never saw wood smoke, save for the liquid smoke. Smoke ring gotten with curing salt in the brine.

        To be honest, I've had better brisket. Not moister, but better smoke, better bark. Now that I'm a lot further along with the gasser, and have the community here for how to butcher the brisket without butchering it, I think I could find the perfect synergy to make the perfect Sous-B-Cue brisket. But this was a great first run.

        -----
        Now, based on my signature, you can probably tell that I'm a bit more serious about sous than smoking. City boy, apartment, condo patio, and so on. But, here's how I see it. BBQ folks like to talk about low n slow, maybe 18 hours at 225*. If I go lower, say 155* and slower, say 36-48H, while it's not stick burning, it's plenty low and plenty slow. I've always loved 'Cue. School in Austin, grad school in St. Louis, some months working across the street from Jack Stack in KC, and more, but sous spoke to something in me, the precision and the results. And sous brought me back to 'cue. At the end of the day, we're all low and we're all slow.

        Comment

        • Potkettleblack
          Club Member
          • Jun 2016
          • 1887
          • Beautiful Downtown Berwyn
          • Grill: Grilla Original / Weber Genesis EP-330
            Thermometers: Thermapen / iGrill 2 / Fireboard
            For Smoke: Chunks / Pellet Tube / Mo Pouch
            Sous Vide: Joule / Nomiku WiFi
            Disqus: Le Chef - (something something something)

          #10
          On a related note:

          https://www.chefsteps.com/activities...ndoor-barbecue

          Comment

          • GadjetGriller
            Club Member
            • Dec 2015
            • 730
            • Lubbock tx
            • I have 3 outdoor devices (plus a couple indoor items) Starting with the PBC, Faux Kamado Kooker,(Akorn metal Kamado) & Oklahoma Joe offset grill and smoker. I use the FireBoard WiFi Thermometer. IQ110 (heat control device for akorn) recently acquired a Char-Broil Big Easy TRU-INFRARED 3-in-1 Roaster, Smoker and Grill, I also have A Anova & Joule Sous Vide Wands and The Steakager ( a unit for Dry aging big hunks of meat!)

            #11
            I Think that you can have the best of both worlds! I have not tried it yet but great pit masters like Jerod Broussard have S/V Brisket for 24 to 36 hours and then finish it on the smoker for the bark and smoke flavor. I think it may make a lowly Select grade Brisket (IE: Cheap meat) Juicy and Tender all you need is time, Granted a lot of time but it does seem to be worth it cause guys keep doing it.

            Comment

            • Jerod Broussard
              Moderator
              • Jun 2014
              • 9431
              • East Texas
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              #12
              I'd be surprised if you could sous vide a Select and smoke it and still have a moist product. Kinda hard to make something that it is not.

              I do want to try wet-aging a Select for 40 days and then try it and see because I've never been able to wet-age one that long.

              And the two Choice I did were out the park awesome.

              Comment


              • GadjetGriller
                GadjetGriller commented
                Editing a comment
                So what do you mean by Wet aging? is that just leaving it in the cryo Bag it came in for 40 days or do you take it out and put in some sort of brine? ( I know some like to leave the meat in the cryo bag for a few days even weeks before they cook it suppose to break down connective tissue)

              • Potkettleblack
                Potkettleblack commented
                Editing a comment
                Interesting idea. But you could warm age it for similar results in a much shorter time with the sous-er.

                With the select, if I were worried about moisture retention, I would use a lower temp and a longer time. Lower temp expels less juice.

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            masterbuilt gas smoker

            Our founder, Meathead, wanted the same steak knives used by steakhouses such as Peter Luger, Smith & Wollensky, Morton's, Kobe Club, Palm, and many others. So he located the manufacturer and had them stamp our name on some. They boast pointed, temper-ground, serrated, high-carbon stainless-steel, half-tang blades with excellent cutting edge ability. The beefy hardwood handle provides a comfortable grip secured by three hefty rivets. He has machine washed his more than 100 times. They have never rusted and they stay shiny without polishing. Please note that we do not make, sell, or distribute these knives, they just engrave them with our name.

            Click here to read our detailed review and to order


            Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

            fireboard bbq thermometer

            With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.

            Click here to read our detailed review


            Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

            Green Mountain Davey Crockett Grill

            Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

            Click here to read our detailed review and to order