I’ve been conducting some sous vide experiments lately. My sister bought me a deep fryer a while back, and I decided to convert it into a sous vide machine. I guess it can still function as a deep fryer, but I’ve been cooking food in water instead of oil..
I’m pretty new to this, so I expect to have some not-very-good food. This was my brisket experiment, inspired by some delicious smoked brisket at a recent birthday BBQ.
Here’s the raw cut of meat, about 1.6 pounds. The other side of the brisket did not have much of a fat cap, I guess it had been trimmed away? I seasoned it with a bit of salt and pepper and sugar. I think next time, I will skip the salt.
I put the brisket in the sous vide cooker at 62.2C for 46 hours. Douglas Baldwin has a couple of suggestions for brisket, and I chose a temperature close to the French Laundry’s. I elected not to brine, because, well, I didn’t feel like it. I added 1.5 tablespoons of butter to the bag and put it in the machine.
Here’s the beef after 46 hours. It shrank to about 60% of its original size.
I saved the liquid left over for gravy: I browned an onion and then mixed the liquid in and let it reduce for a while. I dried off the meat with paper towels and then seared with a blowtorch.
The blowtorch method is new to me, but I think worked pretty well.
The beef was a little grey; I think it was cooked about medium to medium-well. Some of it was starting to become flaky.
It tasted great, but was a bit dry. But not too dry. It was probably comparable in texture to the brisket that I had from the smoker. Paired with the gravy, it was delicious.
My brisket recipe:
- Season with salt, pepper, and a bit of sugar before sous vide
- Sous vide for 46 hours at 62.2C
- Use the liquid for gravy
- Dry, then sear with blowtorch
Changes for next time:
- Try to salt after sous vide – maybe it will be moister?
- Lower temperature (57C) or higher temperature (80C)
- Omit the butter next time?