Retherming Brisket in CVap®

retherming brisket

Brisket. Is there a better product to cook to celebrate May’s National BBQ Month? Brisket is incredibly popular, with a 23% increase in menus over the last decade. Whether you’re preparing these babies in-house, or are opting for commercially produced products, CVap ovens are great for retherming brisket without sacrificing quality.

retherming brisket
retherming brisket

To test the full range of products, we rethermed two brisket types. The first was a fully cooked, house-smoked, whole unsliced brisket. The other was commercially produced Hormel sliced brisket. Notably, both briskets were whole, smoked, and fully cooked. But the commercial product was smaller, roughly seven pounds. Additionally, it came presliced. On the other hand, the homemade product is unsliced and was about 14 pounds. We set them up in the same CHV7-05UV oven, with the same program: Vapor 170°F/Air 200°F. We wrapped both briskets in foil and placed them into the preheated oven.

Retherming Brisket - The Same, But Different

Although these were both whole briskets, they fell under different Food Code 3-403.11(C) requirements. The code requires that rethermed proteins hit their required safe temperature in two hours or less

Because the Hormel brisket was a commercially produced product, the code requires it to reach the minimally safe temperature of 135°F. Our CVap oven easily hit the mark. The Hormel brisket reached safe temp in a little under two hours. Clearly, the lower retherming temperature requirement, coupled with CVap’s high humidity retherming program, and the added ingredients (like phosphate) helped keep this pre-sliced brisket perfectly moist.

However, the food code requirements for previously cooked homemade brisket are more stringent. Code dictates that it must reach a minimum safe temperature of 165°F for 15 seconds. Our initial test reveal that this much larger brisket missed the mark on cook time. Unsurprisingly, this brisket, being twice as large as the Hormel product, took nearly twice as long to hit 165°F in the thickest part of the roast, between the point and flat. But no test is a failure, even if the results are not what we wanted. We headed back to the drawing board.

The solution was simple. We separated the whole brisket into the point and flat and wrapped them separately. Consequently, the two smaller cuts reached the required temperature within the two-hour limit. Although we didn’t test it, you could probably optimize the program by either decreasing the vapor and air temperatures or minimizing the temperature differential between the two (for example, Vapor 180°F/Air 190°F, or Vapor 190°F/Air 200°F).

Why Retherm?

What’s the practicality of retherming briskets instead of serving scratch cooked? Time. Briskets are a classic example of a protein you must cook low and slow to achieve the best results. Unless you can perfectly predict how much your operation needs on a given day (and plan accordingly), it is impractical to cook on-demand. But cooking ahead of time and properly refrigerating reduces the time it takes to retherm and serve. Think of it as a form of staging. Ultimately, anything that helps you serve faster and turn tables is beneficial.

CVap Sous Vide Barbecue, Sort Of!

smoked bbq ribs
Removing Bagless

As the weather heats up, many folks begin daydreaming about barbecue. But not just any barbecue,…sous vide barbecue. May is National BBQ Month – an entire month focusing on the delicious ways we’ve discovered to make proteins their savory, smoky best.

Barbecue has been a frequent topic in our blogs, for a couple of reasons. First (obviously) is that barbecue is freakin’ delicious. But another huge reason is how perfect CVap® Staging technology is at bringing the lip-smacking best out of barbecued meats and veggies. I’m amazed (but not surprised) at just how many calls we get at Winston asking about how to prepare a barbecue in CVap. (For a quick, quirky video about CVap® Staging and sous vide, click here).

Sous Vide Barbecue or Smoked

CVap technology positively impacts your BBQ recipes in many ways. Cook amazingly tender briskets in a CVap Cook & Hold. Add a Winston Smoker Box to your CVap Holding Cabinet to smoke bodacious Boston butts in a CVap holding cabinet. You can even Sous-Vide-Que your ribs using the method outlined on the Amazing ribs website. In our most recent BBQ test, we prepared baby back ribs using two different methods of “sous vide” – bagged and bagless, simultaneously in the same unit, our new CVap RTV5-05 Retherm Oven.
Rubbed Ribs

Ingredients

 

Procedure

  1. Remove membrane from ribs and rinse.
  2. Rub mustard on all sides of the ribs.
  3. Liberally sprinkle Memphis Dust on all sides of ribs.
  4. Weigh each slab of ribs.
  5.  
ribs smoked precook bgy

Smoking and Sealing

First, smoke the ribs in preheated CVap Holding Cabinet to 170°F food temp and 170°F air with smoker box set for two hours. In this case, we used hickory chips.

Next, vacuum seal three slabs of ribs in a vacuum sealer, using high temp bags.

Then, allow ribs to rest in the refrigerator for a minimum of six hours.

rib-in-smoker
Ribs-done-Bagless-close-feature
  1. Preheat CVap RTV5-05UV to 190°F water temperature and 240°F air temperature.
  2. Place prepared ribs into oven and cook until ribs reach 203°F.
  3. Remove ribs and weigh for yield.
  4. If preferred, place on grill and crisp, then finish with another dusting of Memphis Dust.
 
 Weight InWeight OutYieldTime to End PointEnd Point
Vacuum Sealed3.607 kg3.207 kg88%2 hours, 23 mins203.1°F
Bagless3.087 kg2.657 kg86%3 hours, 10 mins201.7°F

Observations

  1. Ribs that were vacuum-sealed in the traditional sous vide style cooked more quickly and had a slightly higher yield.
  2. Both ribs were highly acceptable relative to taste, tenderness, and juiciness.
  3. Ribs cooked in the bag were slightly more tender; ribs cooked bagless were slightly more toothsome.
  4. The ribs cooked in the bag had a less-defined outer bark and more of a wet finish.
  5. Ribs cooked bagless in CVap had better bark and a more defined rub taste.
ribs-done-bagless
Soon, we plan to attempt to duplicate Amazing Ribs Sous vide Que. CVap® Staging is a revolutionary process that brings food to a precise temperature and keeps it there, for a quick finish on a grill, griddle, or fryer. Traditionally slow foods can be served in a flash. Think sous vide, but don’t think you have to use the bags if you don’t want. It’s your call!

Caracas BBQ Smokehouse

Caracas BBQ Smokehouse in Venezuela

Caracas BBQ Smokehouse

Caracas BBQ Smokehouse is a well-established pizza chain in Venezuela. Co-founder and co-director Alejandro Diaz Siso understands good equipment and good partners are key to being successful. In this video he describes the equipment they use to prepare their American smoked barbecue. Key among them are CVap® Holding Cabinets, where they can stage smoked proteins with consistent quality.

Winston Smoker Box

smoker box
Power Box Front

Convert your CVap® oven into the smoker of your dreams with a Winston Smoker Box! It allows up to six hours of continuous smoking to create tender meats with that smoky flavor your customers love. Consequently, smoke without the expense of another piece of equipment! Add delicious smoke flavor to any grilled meal. You can use wood chips or pellets. Infuse your food with a hint of hickory, apple, oak, or cherry wood.

Great for more than just protein! Add veggies or herbs to your smoker to create amazing flavor throughout your menu.

The Winston Smoker Box is a must-have with easy installation onto the CVap Cook and Hold Oven or Retherm Oven.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind if you’re considering adding the smoker box. It does require an independent 120V power supply. Critically, utilizing the Winston smoker will require placing the oven under a vent hood.

Purchase yours here: PS3145 Winston Smoker Box.

Smoker Box
smoker box meat

CVap Smoked Ribs on a Green Egg

Ribs smoked on a Green Egg and finished in a CVap oven

Ribs on a Green Egg are fall off the bone, full of texture with every bite. Baby back or St. Louis Style? Dry rub? Sauced? Grilled, baked, boiled – don’t even go there! Everyone has an opinion on how they like their ribs. My favorite recipe involves a wood smoker and CVap® cooking. It’s a combination of techniques that I am proud to share.

I have tried making my own rub and tried store-bought. My go-to is Meathead Memphis Rub and it will make your ribs OUT OF THIS WORLD! I started using this dry rub a few years back and haven’t changed since.

Next, go with your favorite rib, I’m using St. Louis style. Trim excess fat and shiny membrane from the back. Using a paper towel to pull off the silver skin makes the job easier.

After that, generously cover with Meathead Memphis Rub.

Start your smoker!

I’m using a Big Green Egg. Light high-quality lump charcoal and bring the smoker to 225-250°F. For this recipe, I like a mix of hickory and applewood. Add whichever wood chunks you prefer and let’s get smokin!

Once smoke is billowing out, add the ribs. Cook for 2.2 hours on the smoker. Add wood chunks as necessary.

I have found that smoking ribs on a Green Egg for four hours can result in dry ribs. After smoking, I moved them to a CVap Cook and Hold Oven for the perfect balance of smoke, bite, and tenderness. Cook in the CVap oven for 1.5 – 2 hours at 180 degrees Food Temperature and +40 Food Texture (Browning). CVap has the ability to precisely finish cooking. You’ll have tender moist ribs, still with a little bite. YUM!

After CVap cooking, place the ribs on foil, top with a drizzle of local honey and a few tablespoons of butter. Put back on 350°F grill to heat through and to melt the butter and honey. Serve immediately. If you like sauce, sauce on the grill, flip, and sauce on another side.

If you want to serve the next day, after CVap, chill and reheat the next day following the above grill instructions.

We are here to please all smoked ribs lovers!

ribs smoking on a Big Green Egg