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How to Sous Vide Beef Brisket

A classic of Texas BBQ, brisket is a slow-cooked cut of beef that’s worth the wait. A brisket is a large cut of meat found on the lower chest of a cow. The cut is packed full of connective tissue and as a result, it can be extremely tough unless it is cooked for hours at low heat. Using the gentle and precise sous vide method, we cook the brisket at a low temperature for several hours. This breaks down the tough connective tissue resulting in perfectly tender and flavorful brisket.

Temperature and cooking times for sous vide beef brisket

TemperatureTimeResult
135°F*36-48 hoursSteak-like texture
155°F24-36 hoursVery tender

*Please note that some of these temperatures are lower than what the FDA recommends. Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of food-borne illness.

Brisket is a tough cut that requires a long cook time at a low temperature. To get the best out of brisket you’ll need to cook it for at least 24 hours to break down the connective tissue and start rendering the fat. Because of the long cooking times and for food safety reasons we do not recommend cooking brisket at any temperature lower than 131°F for more than 2 hours.

Ingredients and Tools

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs beef brisket
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/4 cup BBQ spice rub (optional)
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke (optional)

Tools

  • Immersion circulator
  • Large pot or water bath
  • Baking tray

Directions

Preheat your immersion circulator to the desired tempurature.

Pat the brisket down with a paper towel and if necessary cut into two equal sized pieces.

Season generously with a dry rub (you can find three BBQ rub recipes here). For a more traditional taste season generously with lots of salt and pepper. Rub the spice mixture over the brisket being sure to work it into any crevices or folds.

Place each piece of brisket into their own bags. If using, add a few splashes of liquid smoke to each bag. Vacuum seal the bags.

Place the bags in the immersion circulator and leave to cook. In order to prevent excess water evaporation, cover the pot with a layer of aluminum foil.

Once cooked, remove the brisket from the water bath and either cut and serve, or chill in the fridge.

Finishing

Once the brisket has chilled remove it from the bag and pat dry with a paper towel.

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Apply another layer of spice rub to the brisket.

Place the brisket on a rake in a baking tray. Roast the brisket for roughly 10 minutes.

Once the outer layer starts to darken, remove it from the oven and rest for 10 minutes.

Slice against the grain and serve.

Recipes to try

Brisket and Onions

Leftover Brisket Sandwiches

FAQs

Can I use Suvie?

Unfortunately, no because of the specific temperatures and long cooking times this method will only work with a regular immersion circulator. If you would prefer to use your Suvie we have several delicious slow-cooked brisket recipes to choose from above.

Is the rub necessary?

No, the dry-rub step is entirly optional. If you don’t use a dry rub we do recommend at the very least that you season the brisket with a generous amount of salt and pepper before cooking.

Can I skip the finishing step at the end?

You can, the oven step is optional but does add a nice bit of charred flavor to the mix.

The water level keeps dropping, what do I do?

This is a common problem when cooking sous vide for long periods of time. As the water heats, it will evaporate and when you’re cooking for days rather than hours this can be a problem. We suggest covering the top of the water bath with a layer of aluminum foil.

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