Sous vide is here to change the barbeque game. When my wife added one to the kitchen collection, it was quickly realised succulent and delicious results the sous vide could produce. I used to think this was for the fancy smancy Michlin star restaurants, however, this contraption helped produced the BEST brisket ever cooked. t. It helped achieve delicious, tender, barbecue that melts in your mouth. See how we created smoked and sous vide brisket, but first what is Sous Vide, and how does it work?
How Sous Vide Works
Sous vide is a French technique where food is vacuum packed into a bag and then cooked to a precise temperature in a water bath.Sous vide has been around since the 1960’s. But it used to be an exclusive method practised by chefs because the equipment was far too expensive. It all changed with new, more sophisticated devices being created, so that home cooks could also have their try at sous vide.
Typically when you cook in a grill or a smoker, you need a really high temperature (usually around 400 °F) in order to be able to cook your meat to point, and you also have the dreaded stall, that period of time when the temperature doesn’t increase, and that leads to a lot of people having to wrap their meat in tin foil to speed up the process and avoid meat from getting dry.
The magic of sous vide, is that by submerging the meat into a water bath, with the help of heater known as an immersion circulator, the water is heated to an exact temperature, which lets you cook tender meat, every time. This is precisely the reason why sous vide became popular, it lets you cook food to a temperature you choose and it can never turn out overcooked, as the device won’t go over 132°F. So your food is always near perfect.
Getting That Smoky Flavor in Your Sous Vide Brisket
If you need to add that smoky flavor, but don’t have the time to throw the meat on a smoker, you can always use an electric smoker which is super quick and after lots of testing we find this is the best way to let the smoke can infuse the fibers of the meat,
Sous vide can improve the concept of barbeque, because it has the slow and low approach that makes grilled and smoked meat so appealing, except that with sous vide you never have to worry about over cooking, you can leave the meat for hours in the water bath and let the uniform temperature loosen up the fibers and muscles in the meat, without removing the moisture. The result? juicy, tender beef.
But what about the smoky flavor of barbecue? Yes, sous vide won’t give your food the taste you get when setting the meat on a charcoal grill, or a wood smoker. So this is why you combine it with them. Take for example brisket. A delicious cut of meat, but a tough beef that can be easily overcooked, because, by the time you get to the desired heat, parts of your meat can already be dry. If you leave that same brisket 12 hours in the sous vide, the constant temperature will only tenderize the brisket because there is no risk for the temperature to suddenly rise.
After your beef is out of the bag, you can light up your grill and set the brisket with the lid up, so it gets that delicious smoke from one side at time, and in a matter of minutes, you will have the same taste that if it has been grilling for hours, but with an even bigger bonus, it will be far more tender.
If you want to use your smoker to have that lovely woody flavor, you can place it for around half an hour and let the smoke penetrate the meat. The great thing about this union of sous vide and smoker, is that from only smoking it for a brief period of time, you can get all the taste, without the temperature increasing.
Tools for Sous Vide Brisket
With the modernization of sous vide, we now have plenty of options. From water ovens with digital timers and internal heaters, to models that include the immersion circulator, and even ones that can be used with wifi. So yes, you can control your cooker through an app. It all depends on the space you have and if you prefer a bread box water oven or just rather use the stick type circulators that can be attached to several cooking pots, and be controlled remotely. So you can set your beef, and keep tabs on it through the app.
You will also need bags to seal your food. While sous vide is typically used with a vacuum sealer, it isn’t essential for cooking at home, as you can use freeze safe zipper bags and just letting the air out of them. If you want to, you can also buy vacuum sealed bags, that come with a hand pump to get it sealed just like if you had an at home vacuum sealer.
To ensure you get that tasty smoked flavour the best electric smoker to use is the Masterbuilt 20075315, we have been using it since 2008 and it is still going strong. Ensure you have your drip pan ready for any fat drippings, after all this effort the last thing you want is flare up!
Sauces for the Sous Vide Brisket
You can use the water that builds up in the bag, and the juices that drop out of the meat to turn them into a sauce, just take the liquid into a pan, with a bit of butter and herbs, or use a bit of flour to thicken it and turn it into a gravy.
Safety When Using A Sous-Vide-Que
If you are worried about bacteria and other microbes, you can use sous vide at around 131°F, just to be safe. Because with sous vide the temperatures are significantly lower than let’s say using a grill, this is the ideal temperature to cook low and slow and get rid of bacteria. Most sous vide is done between 120 °F and 130°F, but while that will kill most bacteria, there are some that are resistant to warm water, so the best way to kill them is to cook meat, poultry and pork over 131°F.
Don’t use raw onions, garlic and herbs on your sous vide, the bacteria spores they have are resistant to the sous vide temperature, so you are better off using them, in a cooking pan or before you take the meat to the grill.
If you are concerned about the use of plastic bags and heat, just make sure that your bag is made out of polyethene, which doesn’t contain BPA or bisphenol A, an industrial chemical that is used in some plastics, and that is believed to be carcinogen.
Does Sous Vide Have A Future?
Sous vide is already popular in the restaurant scene, as it allows for massive amounts of food to be cooked ahead of time. Will it be a hit at your home? Give it a try it definitely hasn’t become another gadget hidden in our cabinets?
Sous vide is an amazing technique that will tenderize even the toughest cuts of meat. The only problem with it, is that it does take a lot of time. Much like when doing a brisket or sous vide pork shoulder on a smoker, you do have to plan ahead. But if you take the time to learn the technique and use it right, you can do magic in the kitchen.
Sous-vide-que gives us the ability to have best of both worlds. Using it we have created the most tender meat and the incredible flavors that can come out of our smoker and grill. I know I have grown up when I tell people I prefer to sous vide and smoke meat on a Saturday! This equipment allows us to create restaurant quality beef at the comfort of my own home.
While sous vide is as fancy as I get, what I enjoy even more is bacon jerky, check out our households favourite way to make this delcious snack.