Pork brisket is a butcher’s cut we should all be taking advantage of. This cut is on the tougher side and full of flavor, making it perfect for a low and slow treatment. I like to combine sous vide and smoke to make the best pork brisket you’ll ever have.
Brisket in general is the barbecue darling, but the brisket you typically see on menus and maybe even cook at home is usually beef brisket. Pork brisket is a lesser known cut that’s just as worthy of your attention.
Pork brisket is a butcher’s cut that comes from the pectoral muscle of the pig (the leg). This cut tends to be tougher and is full of flavor since it comes from a muscle that regularly gets a workout. A cut like this is perfect for sous vide because we can easily cook it low and slow.
Why Sous Vide AND Smoke?
You’re likely thinking one of two things at this point:
- Why can’t I just smoke and skip the sous vide part?
- Sous vide is the perfect companion to your smoker. You can cook something in the water bath for hours on end without babysitting a smoker, using obscene amounts of expensive pellets, or potentially drying it out. By finishing it on the smoker, you still get that incredible smoky flavor and bark on the outside of the roast.
- What if I don’t have a smoker?
- That’s okay! After sous viding, brush on some liquid smoke and finish in the oven for 3 hours at 250 degrees F, until a good bark has formed.
Where to Get Equipment and Ingredients
You will need a few gadgets to pull this off. You can skip the smoker and finish this pork brisket in the oven if you’d like, but a smoker is great for achieving that classic brisket flavor.
- Immersion circulator for sous vide. I’ve been loving the Joule lately!
- A vacuum sealer. I’ve been using one from Mueller that works well.
- A large container for the water bath. You could use a cooler – I like to use Cambro containers. You can also get these at restaurant supply stores.
- A smoker. We have the Green Mountain Grill Davy Crockett – it’s the perfect size for our tiny balcony!
In terms of ingredients, you don’t need much!
I get most of my meat from Porter Road, an online butcher based in Nashville. They have a wide variety of excellent quality butcher’s cuts, including pork brisket.
The Brisket is the pectoral muscle of the pig. This muscle gets a workout because of the pasture and forest raised lifestyle of our animals, making the cut very tough and extremely flavorful, which is why it’s perfect for slow-cooking methods like smoking. The Pork Brisket consists of two different muscles connected with a nice strip of fat that cooks down, leaving you with an incredibly moist cut with deep flavor.
They also have a good seasoning blend for smoking but you can use any barbecue seasoning blend with this recipe! This Spice Lab set will have any blend you could ever need.
Sous Vide Time and Temp
The ideal time and temp for sous vide pork brisket is 145 degrees F for 12 hours for a 1-3 pound brisket. If you’re brisket is 3-6 pounds, increase the time to 18 hours.
I like to finish on the smoker at 175 degrees F for 3 hours, until I’ve got a good crust on there.
How to Make Sous Vide Smoked Pork Brisket
Preheat a water bath using an immersion circulator to 145 degrees F. Season the pork brisket with a barbecue seasoning of your choice. Season it really well – get into all the nooks and crannies! Then vacuum seal or use another air removal method of your choice.
Then cook in the preheated water bath for 12 hours. This is a long cook and long cooks = more gas and air releasing in the bag, which means it’s more likely to float. I use sous vide magnets and ceramic plates to keep my food submerged.
Once the pork brisket is done sous viding, you can refrigerate right in the bag and smoke within 3 days or smoke immediately. I like to smoke at 175 degrees F for 3 hours, until a nice bark has formed.
Slice and serve! I like to serve mine with a mustard based BBQ sauce, also called Carolina BBQ Sauce. My favorite is from Red Duck!
Sides for Pork Brisket
Don’t worry, I’ve got your side dish ideas to round this out into an incredible spread!
- Skillet Cornbread
- Not Your Average Mac and Cheese
- Sous Vide Mashed Potatoes
- Perfect Dinner Rolls
- Easy Baked Beans
Looking for a DIY BBQ sauce to baste with? Try my Plum BBQ Sauce!
View the recipe in a step-by-step web story here.
Sous Vide Smoked Pork Brisket
- Preheat water bath using an immersion circulator to 145 degrees F.
- Thoroughly season the pork brisket with your barbecue seasoning of choice. Get in to all the nooks and crannies!
- Add to the preheated water bath and cook for 12 hours. Make sure to keep the bag submerged using sous vide magnets, weights, or just a ceramic plate or bowl.
- After the pork brisket is done sous viding, you can refrigerate for up to 3 days or finish right away.
- To finish on the smoker, smoke at 175 degrees F for 3 hours, or until a good bark has formed. To finish in the oven, brush with liquid smoke and cook at 250 degrees F for 2-3 hours, until bark has formed.
- Slice and serve with your favorite bbq sauce.