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QVQ Medium Rare Brisket - Step by Step

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  • lostclusters
    Club Member
    • Jul 2017
    • 301
    • Oceanside, CA
    • Mak 1 Star
      KBQ-C60
      Char-Griller Legacy Charcoal Grill w/Side Firebox
      WSM 22.5"
      ThermoWorks Smoke
      ThermoWorks Thermapen
      Rock's Stoker II wifi
      Flameboss 500

    #31
    Troutman what was your method of lightning and arranging the coals in your wsm?

    Comment


    • Troutman
      Troutman commented
      Editing a comment
      Minion method with wood chunks buried. I also have fan control, makes a big difference.
  • wcpreston
    Club Member
    • Nov 2016
    • 157

    #32
    I just bought a 50' roll of 15" vacuum bags, so I am ready to try this again. (I was unsuccessful w/the 11" roll. LOL.)

    Comment

    • sos2979
      Club Member
      • Jan 2017
      • 123
      • Lubbock, TX
      • Deep in the MCS zone.
        Currently have
        Gas: Weber Genesis 330
        Charcoal: Weber 22 Premium
        Smoker: PBC
        Toys: DigiQ, Thermapen thermometer, Lodge Griddle/Grill
        Looking to acquire: SNS, and one of everything else

      #33
      Well I'm a bit late posting, but I tried this last week. Here is what I came up with.

      Dry brined overnight and placed in PBC the next evening. This was a prime whole packer I had picked up from Sam's Club. Not very big for a whole packer...around 13.5lb post trimming. Rubbed generously with black pepper.

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      Set back and have a margarita...critical step. Do not skip the drink.

      Click image for larger version

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      Cooked around 2hrs and hit around 125 internal so I pulled it, stuck it in a vacuum seal bag and into the water bath. As you can see below I didn't have much color at this point. Maybe should have added more wood since the PBC usually depends on drippings for smoke and with this only going to 125 I didn't have a lot of juice flowing yet. Anyone else tried or noticed this?
      Click image for larger version

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      Into the water bath it went for approximately 60hrs. (And thanks to the forum for suggesting the Coleman Party Stacker as a container for the cook. Worked like a champ.)
      Click image for larger version

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      I know they said 50 was enough, but I wasn't getting up at midnight to do the second smoke. I added some more seasoning as I had rubbed off a lot of the pepper in the bag. I also added some Chupacabra brisket magic rub Second smoke was again around 2hrs...I might or might not have accidentally left the lid on the PBC cracked and let the temperature get to 400 at one point.... Final result. Click image for larger version

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      Very good. Flat was moist and very tender. Texture was closer to a steak than what I normally associate with brisket but was far from the dried stuff that is only good for chopping up I usually get on thin flats. Point was also excellent but the level of smoke was lighter than usual and again texture was slightly different. Not steak like, but not the same as a fully smoked brisket. For me, I think i will separate them next time. I really liked the juicy flat better than anything I normally get, but the point... It was good, but I think I prefer the burnt ends style with a long smoke. I can't even really explain what was off other than my wife an I both agreed it wasn't quite right. I will definitely keep playing with this. Out of curiosity has anyone tried the recipe Clint has on the free side. He did 155 for shorter time and did SVQ instead of the QVQ. Just curious what others thought of it.

      Comment


      • Red Man
        Red Man commented
        Editing a comment
        Looks great!

      • Potkettleblack
        Potkettleblack commented
        Editing a comment
        155 will yield a more traditional brisket finish.
        And based on my reading, adding wood to both ends of the process on the PBC would yield more smoke.

      • Huskee
        Huskee commented
        Editing a comment
        I must remember not to skip step 2....
    • Troutman
      Club Member
      • Aug 2017
      • 6879
      • Republic of Texallence

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      #34
      Excellent job my friend!! It is a departure from low and slow brisket. Next time I’d suggest just doing a flat, you seemed happy with that result.

      As to Clint’s SVQ, the Pit has jointly gone beyond his and others like his to develop the QVQ alternative. We feel it’s superior in that your first pre-Smoke is key to getting a better finish. Meat, when cold and damp, takes on the most Smokey flavor. Once pre-smoked, you’re ready for the bath. Post smoke simply resets the bark and reheats the meat for service.

      His lacks that critical first step, otherwise it’s basically the same thing.

      Comment

      • brew7353
        Club Member
        • Feb 2019
        • 10
        • near Rapid City S.D.

        #35
        That looks great I can't wait to try it.But I was thinking of using the flat as that tends to dry out sometimes.
        Last edited by brew7353; July 24th, 2019, 05:28 AM.

        Comment


        • Polarbear777
          Polarbear777 commented
          Editing a comment
          I think QVQ is the best treatment for the flat.
      • Michael Brinton
        Club Member
        • May 2016
        • 265

        #36
        Just reactivated my pitmaster membership and this thread made it more than worthwhile.

        Comment

        • Donw
          Club Member
          • Jul 2017
          • 2549

          #37
          Just had to comment on what an eye opening thread this has been. On the 3rd I dry brined a brisket flat I had purchased from Porter Road. On the 4th I rubbed it with Hank’s Beef rub and smoked it to 150F. Then put it in the bath double sealed at 155F for several day until pulling it before Saturday dinner so it could spend more time in the smoker.

          It was a hands down winner. Moist, flavorful, and tender with just the right tug. No stressing if I would be ready for dinner time and I got to spend all day with my guests without worrying about what was going on with the smoker. As a bonus I kept using the sous vide bath to reheat bags of pulled pork I had prepared on the 4th for other meals over the weekend.

          This is going to be my standard preparation when I have a lot of guests over for a weekend. Hats off to you Troutman for bringing this subject to our attention and providing clear instructions.

          Comment


          • Troutman
            Troutman commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks Don, know it's up to you to spread the love !!!

          • Donw
            Donw commented
            Editing a comment
            Also want to give a shout out to texastweeter . Did those Cowboy beans per your instructions and they were outstanding. They are going to be a staple around here from now on.🙂

          • texastweeter
            texastweeter commented
            Editing a comment
            Donw well thankya! Glad you enjoyed em. I sure do!
        • Duke139
          Club Member
          • Nov 2018
          • 10

          #38
          Any suggestions on how to adapt troutman's process for a full packer, point and flat NOT separated, exterior fat mostly trimmed off?

          Comment


          • Polarbear777
            Polarbear777 commented
            Editing a comment
            Exactly the same, but you’ll need a bag big enough for the SV step.

          • Troutman
            Troutman commented
            Editing a comment
            Correct. Actually mine was a whole packer, the front flat was cut off for pastrami. The post above by sos2979 was also a full packer. So have at it !!! I'll actually be doing one in August that is dry aging as we speak.
        • Michael Brinton
          Club Member
          • May 2016
          • 265

          #39
          Picked up a flat to finally try this technique. Click image for larger version  Name:	20190725_202611.jpg Views:	1 Size:	3.43 MB ID:	720508 I salted for an hour then cross hatched and rubbed with bbbr. Smoked on the pk360 for about 2 hours until around 120 internal temp. Then i slid it over the coals for a few minutes. The process reminds me of chefsteps and Dave Arnold's pre-searing technique for sous vide steaks. Basically to develop crust/bark no matter the heat level it still takes time to build the maillard reaction crust/bark. So the more times you can expose you meat to the process without over doing it the better the outside will be. Refreshing a sear or simply doing a half sear to build on your final sear is about the same as QVQ. I've also heard enough debate about pre vs post smoke to see the genius in doing both. Click image for larger version  Name:	20190725_203531.jpg Views:	1 Size:	3.82 MB ID:	720509Click image for larger version  Name:	20190725_204416.jpg Views:	1 Size:	2.98 MB ID:	720510 Got it in the bath for the 54 or so hours can't wait to see how the final step goes. 👍🍖
          Last edited by Michael Brinton; July 25th, 2019, 07:06 PM.

          Comment


          • Troutman
            Troutman commented
            Editing a comment
            Your're gonna like it. I have a whole packer dry aging and will be QVQing it to medium rare finish within the next week or two.

          • Michael Brinton
            Michael Brinton commented
            Editing a comment
            That sounds so good. In Pennsylvania flats are sold as "whole packer brisket." You really have to search to find the real thing.
        • Michael Brinton
          Club Member
          • May 2016
          • 265

          #40
          All in all it came out well. 225 was to low for bark development. Next time i would definitely start at least 275-300 +. I over shot the final temp attempting to get the bark set. The brisket available to me locally would probably benefit from 72 hours cooking. I'm planning to do this again soon adjusting those factors. Everyone at dinner thought it was great. Click image for larger version

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          Comment

          • Polarbear777
            Club Member
            • Sep 2016
            • 1529

            #41
            As I’ve said before I have had better luck with a hot finishing step (350 vs 225) to get the bark, others have had better luck going low. I think we need lots more experimenting and eating of our mistakes. :-)

            example of QVQ pastrami...


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            Comment


            • Michael Brinton
              Michael Brinton commented
              Editing a comment
              Nice bark! I think I over did it with the rub as well. I didn't dry it off after the sous vide step, just added more rub.

            • Potkettleblack
              Potkettleblack commented
              Editing a comment
              I'm in the slow for the first Q and hot for the second camp.
          • AZ Fogey
            Club Member
            • May 2019
            • 114
            • Surprise, AZ
            • Mike O'
              RecTec Stampede w/ Grill Grates
              Makers Mark on ice with a dribble of water.

            #42
            OK, here's my question. Why put it in the smoker for two hours first? I've been cooking sous vide for a number of years, albeit only steaks and fish and veggies, but I've never pre seared any of it because invariably, whatever is in the bag is soaking in fluid by the time it's taken out of the bath. I would think that it would be very detrimental to whatever bark had formed during the initial smoke. Has anyone tried first cooking it sous vide for 48 hours at maybe 120°, then putting it in the smoker either low and slow or hot and fast until the desired internal temp?

            Comment


            • Polarbear777
              Polarbear777 commented
              Editing a comment
              The first Q is just for smoke, not really bark. The “V” (SV) step then takes care of the collagen conversion and tenderness. The second Q gives you the bark and additional smoke.

              Smoke sticks to cold and wet and you get to do that twice with QVQ.

            • T-bone
              T-bone commented
              Editing a comment
              +1 on what Polarbear777 said.

              From what I learned at a recent SV Summit...

              - A SV pre-sear adds flavor, it’s not for bark.

              - 120 is too low for long cooks because there’s too much of a chance for bacterial growth. I believe CREA recommends 127 as a minimum and our fearless leader, Meathead, recommends 131.

              - An ice bath and chill is recommended after SV long cooks. It helps in developing additional flavor.

            • Troutman
              Troutman commented
              Editing a comment
              Nothing to add, good responses above. We as a group have developed the QVQ method on various proteins over the last couple of years. Try it, if you have the time, it’s a nice improvement over SVQ.
          • AZ Fogey
            Club Member
            • May 2019
            • 114
            • Surprise, AZ
            • Mike O'
              RecTec Stampede w/ Grill Grates
              Makers Mark on ice with a dribble of water.

            #43
            Polarbear777 T-bone,or Troutman Thank you all for your answers. I get it now. I'm absolutely going to try the QVQ method cause I've got lots of time on my hands. On a side note, AmazingRibs.com is astounding for the aggregation of BBQ knowledge that resides on this site. Thank you Meathead for coming up with the idea, and thank you to all active participants who willingly share your knowledge with newbies like me. You're an invaluable resource for folks that love BBQ.

            Comment

            • JeffJ
              Charter Member
              • Feb 2015
              • 2382
              • Michigan
              • Jeff

              #44
              Very interesting technique. For the Michigan v MSU game my plan was to take Friday off and smoke the 13# prime packer I've got in the freezer. Then, chop shred after cambro (I'll cube some of the flat, freeze it and use it 2 weeks later in chili for the OSU game) and mix with some sauce, peppers, mushrooms and onions and set in the 'fridge overnight. Then, with it tightly covered I just need to warm it during the tailgate for brisket sandwiches. But, I also really like the idea of finishing it in the smoker at the tailgate and this QVQ method would work great for that.

              These kinds of decisions are so difficult.

              Comment

              • Duke139
                Club Member
                • Nov 2018
                • 10

                #45
                I have a packer that has had steps 1 and 2 done (bath at 131) in my fridge. How best would I do step 3 if I want to pull it rather than slice it?

                Comment


                • Troutman
                  Troutman commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I've never pulled medium rare brisket, the idea is to have and slice it like steak. But if you insist I would treat it like a regular brisket cook at this point and get it probe tender. I really would re-think that however, starting at 131* you really need to end there. Plenty of regular SVQ recipes for pulled brisket.

                • Potkettleblack
                  Potkettleblack commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I would have Sous vided hotter. Like 155 or so.

                  Longer SV than 72 hours, never seen that, so dunno if that will result in pullable. So maybe it’s just smoke it hot to probe tender.

                • Polarbear777
                  Polarbear777 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Chuck is pullable at 72+ hours at 135F.

                  I’ve not tried brisket beyond 72 hours but still sliceable at that point.

                  Longer may result in undesirable enzymatic changes (falls to pieces not gracefully). Probably could go a bit hotter and get it pullable.

                  You can always “pull” what you are able to, put the chunks in a Dutch oven with all the juices and braise in the oven covered until it’s tender enough to completely shred.

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