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Prep. Trim off most of the fat cap but leave about 1/4-inch. Season the brisket with kosher salt. If you can, refrigerate the brisket uncovered for 12 to 24 hours to give the salt time to be absorbed. The process of salting in advance is called dry brining. The rule of thumb is 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat.
Prepare a sous vide immersion circulator, such as Joule by ChefSteps or Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker, according to the manufacturer's instructions and set the water temperature for 150°F.
Place the whole brisket in a jumbo (2 or 2.5-gallon) sealable storage bag. Alternatively you can divide the brisket into two halves and place each half in a separate gallon size sealable freezer bag. Carefully submerge the freezer bag in the water bath until most of the air has been removed and then seal the bag. Completely submerge the sealed bag, and cook the brisket for 30 hours.
Once the brisket has finishing cooking, remove the bag from the water and submerge in a large container filled with a 50/50 mix of ice and water until the meat’s core temperature reaches a safe range of 34-38°F, at least 30 minutes. At this point, the brisket can be refrigerated until you are ready to grill (up to two days ahead of time) or frozen for future use. Thaw before grilling.
Fire up. Prepare a smoker for indirect cooking, adjusting the vents to maintain a temperature of approximately 225°F. If you’re using a charcoal grill, prepare it for 2-zone cooking by placing a chimney full of pre-heated charcoal briquets on one side of the charcoal grate to create direct and indirect cooking zones. Adjust the grill vents to bring the temperature to about 225°F. Add 2 to 3 chunks of your favorite smoking wood to the charcoal for flavor. On a gas grill, adjust the temperature knobs so that one half of the grill is off (the indirect side) and the other half is heated enough to maintain a temperature of approximately 225°F on the indirect side, adding wood chunks or chips to the direct side.
Cook. Once the smoker or grill is ready, remove the brisket from the freezer bag and season liberally with either coarse ground black pepper for a traditional Texas-style brisket or Big Bad Beef Rub. Place it on the smoker. The liquid in the bag can be refrigerated for future use. If you’re using a grill, place it on the cooler side of the grill as far away from the heat source as possible. Set the lid on the grill with the top vent fully open and positioned directly above the brisket in order to force the smoke over and around the meat. Allow the brisket to smoke until it reaches an internal temperature of 125°F, about 1 hour. Note that the interior of the brisket will already be perfectly cooked from the sous vide step. The goal is to simply reheat and smoke the brisket without overcooking it.
Serve. Remove the brisket from the smoker or grill, slice it against the grain, and serve immediately.