My name is Brisket, Chuck Brisket

Tailgating season is approaching quickly.  Preseason starts just a few short weeks from now, so it is time to get some recipes worked out. Even with the success of the brisket over the holidays, I wanted to try a cheaper cut of meat. I have seen several articles on using chuck roast in place of brisket. I happened upon a cut on sale at The Krobar and accepted the challenge.


Serious Eats has a recipe for chuck roll ( a 4-5 lb cut instead of the simple chuck roast I had purchased ) that cooks at 155°F ( 341.5 Kelvins ) for 24 -48 hours. That sounded about right for transforming the ingrained fat into juiciness. The brisket cooked about the same time but at 145°F. Not quite sure why they are different, but that just means I need to test more!

I made a seasoning mix of

  • a lot of kosher salt
  • a good bit of black pepper
  • a good bit of granulated garlic
  • a big pinch of pink salt

and put it in a shaker. I GENEROUSLY coated chuck with the mix ( and should have used more! ) prior to bagging for sous vide. I also added a “splash” of liquid smoke to the bag.

I set the sous vide to 155°F and put the roast in at 11 am on a Sunday. This was MLK weekend, so I was aiming for it to be ready for Monday night. I let it cook for about 30 hours and pulled it out 5 PM on Monday.


The next step is to develop the bark and add some smoke. Since I am testing for tailgating, I am using the Coleman Roadtrip as the smoker. I have a pellet tube smoker that I place in the bottom of the Roadtrip to provide the smoke.

Instead of using a foil tray like I did with the brisket, I used aluminum foil as a tent to capture the smoke around Chuck and focus it to work before it escaped. I am using hickory pellets, but have no particular religious reason for that choice.

I turned the far burner on low to facilitate indirect cooking and let it smoke for about 45 minutes. Then I turned it over and let it continue for another 45 minutes. The meat was falling apart, so I took great care when moving it around.

( NOTE: I meant to use the meat juices to baste Chuck while it was smoking, but I was busy doing something else and forgot. I will remember next time as I got some drier parts around some of the edges. )

The results were outstanding. It tasted like a strange combination of steak and BBQ. I didn’t try any sauce as it was so tasty. It could have used a little more seasoning and basting, as mentioned above, but it was really good even though.


Next time, I will try to get a chuck roll at Costco or something and try that. This recipe was a big success.


  • Heat sous vide bath to 155°F
  • Season Chuck Roast generously with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and a pinch of pink salt.
  • Put Chuck Roast in bag and add a splash of liquid smoke
  • Seal Chuck Roast and cook for 30 hours sous vide
  • Create a smoker environment
  • Smoke for 90 minutes, turning in the middle, or until desired bark is produced.
  • Enjoy!


Sous Vide Beef Brisket

I got a nice beef brisket at Costco while doing some stocking up over Christmas. Since I hadn’t done one before, I volunteered to make it for some friends on Christmas Eve. I like to try new things out at home before taking them to the more difficult tailgating environment.

Like so many of my recipes, this one was created from several sources on the web. My normal list is ChefSteps, Serious Eats and the Sous Vide Everything youtube channel. The ingredient amounts are sketchy since the rub depends on the size of the meat and how much is adhering to the brisket.


  • 4.5 lb Beef Brisket ( USDA Choice from Costco )

Seasoning Rub

  • Kosher Salt ( lots )
  • Crushed Black Pepper ( lots )
  • Granulated Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Prague Powder #1
  • 1 Tbls Liquid smoke ( Figaro Hickory )



  • Apply rub ingredients. I do this individually straight from the container and add the liquid smoke when bagging.
  • Bag the brisket and vacuum seal.
  • Cook sous vide for 27 hours at 145°F.
  • Remove brisket from bag and reserve juice.
    • ProTip – just cut a corner off the bag to remove meat juices before removing the meat.
      • ProTip+ – do this over the sink and make sure you are prepared to maneuver the hot 5 lb slippery bag in a way that the juice will drain into the container and not all over your stove, floor or dog.
  • Dry the brisket and reseason with salt and pepper.
  • Smoke brisket for 1.5 hours to develop flavor and bark.
    • My technique – Used Roadtrip grill, pellet smoker tube and aluminum foil pan to apply smoke.
      • ignited smoker tube to make smoke
      • placed brisket on one half of the grill
      • covered with foil pan
      • placed smoker tube under pan. This can take some maneuvering to try and get the smoke to flow over the meat as much as possible. You may need to shape the foil to try and direct the airflow.
      • after 45 minutes, turned on the other half of the grill to low. Probably should have had this on for the whole 1.5 hours.
      • Used torch to “bark up” the fat side and briefly on the lean side
  • During the smoking, reduce the reserved meat juice to make a sauce.
    • Deciding what to add to the meat juices is personal taste preferences. I added a little Hoff & Pepper BBQ sauce, adjusted the seasoning and probably reduced by half.
  • Serve with meat juice on the side. Or, if you want to be classy like me, in a squeeze bottle.



Be assured this was not the first piece I ate, nor the second.