Combining the flavor of smoking meat with the tenderization power of sous vide results in amazing briskets. I always struggled making traditional smoked briskets, but using sous vide ensures that they turn out amazing every time.
You can pick and choose the temperature you want, ranging from a steak-like 131°F (55°C) up to a more traditional 176°F (80°C). This recipe is for 156°F (68.9°C), which results in a firm, but still moist and tender brisket. The timing will really depend on the specific brisket, but I've found 18 to 36 hours is usually a pretty good range.
You can either smoke the meat first and then sous vide, or do it in the opposite order. There is a little more smoke flavor that comes through when you smoke it first, but you get a better bark if you smoke it afterwards.
I provide a favorite spice rub of mine you can use, but feel free to substitute any that you prefer.
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Preheat a water bath to 156°F (68.9°C).
Mix together the spices in a bowl. Lightly salt and pepper the brisket then sprinkle with the spices. Place the brisket in a sous vide bag then seal. Place the bag in the water bath and cook for 18 to 36 hours, until tenderized. Remove from the sous vide bath and chill in an ice bath for at least 30 to 60 minutes.
For more information on the cooking times you can read my detailed article which addresses why is there a range in sous vide cooking times.
Prepare a smoker to 200°F to 250°F (93.3°C to 121.1°C)
Remove the chilled brisket from the sous vide bag and dry thoroughly using paper towels or a dish cloth. Lightly salt the brisket then add it to the smoker. Smoke the brisket until the middle reaches 140°F to 150°F (60°C to 65.6°C) then remove from the heat. Cut the brisket into slices and serve.
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