Smoked brisket: Ridiculously long cook. Ridiculously excellent results

There aren’t a ton of brisket recipes for the APO, so I decided to try SV mode to appropriate an immersion recipe. I used my own rub and smoking techniques, so I basically looked at cooking times and temperatures and mostly ignored the rest.

Specifically, this SV recipe (Sous Vide Brisket) calls for 50 hours at 135 degrees. Sounded completely ridiculous. So, of course, I tried it.

  • Started with a brisket that was 5-6 inches thick at the thick end
  • Rubbed the brisket with Montreal Steak Spice and left it tightly-wrapped in the fridge for a couple of days
  • Did the 50 hours at 135 in SV mode (100% steam)
  • Popped it onto the smoker over a 2:1 mix of hickory and mesquite for five hours. It coulda gone longer, but I was hungry.

I did let the heat in the smoker get too high at the beginning (+/- 250) and struggled to get it back down below 225, but the results were still absolutely spectacular. When I cut into the brisket, it just ran with juice – it looked like I had sprayed it with cooking oil. The meat had just the right bit of chew to it – it did not completely fall apart on my fork – and was tender, juicy, and no sign of gristle or unrendered fibres.

Worth noting:

  • At that temperature in SV mode, the water level barely moved, and there was zero moisture in the drip tray.
  • A cook this long makes it absolutely worthwhile, and, given the low temperature, probably absolutely necessary, to use the app to turn off the light.
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In the future, as a suggestion, smoke before you sous vide the brisket. Cold meat takes on the flavor of smoke far better than warm/cooked for several reasons. ( has a lot of data on this).

I suggest get your smoker running at the lowest possible heat you can for the richest smoke. Set your bark/crust on the brisket and then, once that is done, remove it and transfer to SV.

You will get a noticeable difference in the amount of smokiness on the meat.

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Thanks for the tip!

Do you not find that steam cooking erodes the crispness of the bark? Remember that I’m using the oven, not the sous-vide wands.

Of course, I suppose I could doble-smoke it!