Bo Nash

Me and my primary taste tester

Howdy folks,

My name is Bo Nash and I started Sous Vide Techniques as a journal of my own journey into cooking under a vacuum and with immersion circulators. I’ll try to document, as best as I can, what I do, why I do it, and how it turns out.

What I am not:

  • I am not a chef.
  • I am not a restaurant professional.
  • I do not work in the food industry.
  • I am not a full time blogger.

What I am:

  • I am a guy who really likes to cook.

 

8 Comments

  1. Marcus
    August 3, 2017

    In response to one commenter, a “perfect” slice of brisket, like many things, is different for everyone. As a central-Texan native, I consider myself well versed in traditional Texas brisket. I personally am looking for brisket that falls apart a bit. If a slice of brisket just drapes over my fork, that is not my idea of perfect.

    That said, I will say that the pictures of your sous vide smoked brisket look pretty darn appetizing. I’m looking at getting a sous vide circulator soon, and smoked brisket is one of the first meats on my list to tackle with it. I’ve read a few places where they expressly recommend against smoking or cooking before the sous vide bath. Your method is the first I’ve seen that smokes/cooks before the immersion. Have you tried it both ways?

    Reply
    • bo.nash@gmail.com
      October 18, 2017

      Sorry for the slow reply. Somehow this comment got caught up in the moderation queue and I missed it.

      I’ve tried other things the other way around. I have not done the brisket by immersing before smoking.

      My primary reason has been scheduling/logistics. It’s a lot easier to tend to the fire the day before, and only have to mess with the broiler/torch right before serving. From a sheer convenience standpoint, it can’t be beat.

      If I were doing a lower-temperature bath, I would absolutely recommend against the cooking first. But at 180F and up for several hours I’m not worried about “undercooking” in the bag. (Plus I’m still cooking a little afterwards.)

      Reply
  2. Jim
    October 18, 2017

    Bo: Great article (Sous Vide Smoked Brisket). I know timing is not all that critical when using Sous Vide but I do have a small question about your timing.

    In Part 4 you state “Set for 185ºF / 85ºC, throw a lid on your container, and get some well-deserved sleep. — My total immersion time at this temperature was 14 hours. I think anytime after about 10 hours you’re going to get about the same result.”. If you add the 2 hours at 203F that gives you a total time of 16 hours

    In a reply to Craig on November 25, 2015 you state “Though I did 14 hours (12 hours at 85C and 2 hours at 95C) I don’t think I’d cut down the time very much more than to the 10 hour point.”

    So the question is, what is the timing you prefer: 14 hours total (12 hours @ 185F + 2 hours @ 203F) or 16 hours total (14 hours @ 185F + 2 hours @ 203F).

    With my limited experience with Sous Vide I don’t think it would make much if any difference, but experience may show timing is more critical than I would have thought.

    Thanks again for the excellent article.

    Jim

    Reply
    • bo.nash@gmail.com
      October 18, 2017

      Hi Jim,

      It’s been a while since I originally wrote the post, and I’ve done this treatment several times since then. I don’t think two hours difference either way at 185F made too much difference. A little longer meant a little softer… but not a lot. In my experience, I think the time at 203F has more impact on texture than a similar duration at 185F.

      Reply
  3. Tony
    May 31, 2019

    Hi Bo

    I’ve been into Sous Vide for a couple of years now and find it very effective for preparing meat prior to grilling. I particularly like the e-book of Jason Logsdon – “Sous Vide Grilling“.

    I have recently become interested in smoking/BBQ and find the combination of the two fascinating.

    Almost all of the information I have seen combining the two techniques use much lower temperatures for the Sous Vide. I have done several briskets at 68°C for 24–36 hours then 4 hours in the smoker at 110–120°C. They have been good but a bit dry.

    Then I came across your article/post and it seem to make so much sense thinking about the Sous Vide like pushing through the “stall”. The temperatures you use are also more logical when we think about the internal temperature goal for low and slow smoker/BBQ as 95°C.

    I would love to see you and Kenji L-A and others like Jason L, Ballistic BBQ, Fire and Water, AmazingRibs, etc get some definitive research going on this important subject. In the meantime I will try your method (I’ll try smoking before and/or after Sous Vide) and report my findings.

    Thank you for your excellent article. I guess I will find out whether you are still monitoring this blog by checking to see whether you have responded.

    Reply
    • bo.nash@gmail.com
      May 31, 2019

      Thank you for the kind words, Tony. I’m also glad to hear about your results at 68C. I guarantee if you smoke first and sous vide second, you will not find the results dry.

      I recently read that Texas A&M University (which happens to be my alma mater) has begun doing a variety of studies on brisket and the various processes of BBQing them. Perhaps that’s a good place to start with formal studies of sous vide brisket methods, as well.

      Reply
      • Tony
        May 31, 2019

        Hi Bo

        Great to hear that you are still going. Have you contacted the university with your ideas and results? By the way, I am in Adelaide South Australia which is a sister city to Austin Texas. Fortunately we have a fabulous BBQ restaurant (Sneaky Pickle) very close to us. They model themselves on Franklin barbecue and are very good. I have just bought a better smoker (Hark Chubby made in Australia). I previously used a Weber Kettle

        I really believe that the combination of Sous Vide and barbecue is the future. Sous Vide Que. I will let you know how my experiments go over the next month or so. Cheers

        Reply
        • bo.nash@gmail.com
          June 10, 2019

          I look forward to hearing how it goes!

          Cheers!

          Reply

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