BBQ & Sous Vide - The Best of Both Worlds | Anova Culinary

BBQ & Sous Vide – The Best of Both Worlds

There aren’t many things better than enjoying a platter of perfectly prepared BBQ with friends and family. Smoky, tender meat just falling apart and moisture dripping down your chin. It’s great. But what if there were a way to make it even better? Grab your trusty Anova Precision Cooker and unleash the secret to superior ‘cue.

Meet these smoky sous vide nerds below and see how they dish up better BBQ using the best of both worlds.

Russel Wong; San Francisco resident and works next door to Anova

“Smoke for flavor, sous vide for precise doneness/tenderness and texture.”

BBQ is all about low and slow, with sous vide being even lower and slower. I feel I’ve been able to combine the best of both worlds to get the best results by using my Anova in conjunction with my pellet grill. Here’s my method:
  • Season before smoking
  • Smoke as low as possible, around 150°F-180°F
  • Don’t let the meat’s internal temp exceed the target sous vide bath temp when you’re smoking (either before or after)
  • SV temps depends on what you’re cooking but a good general rule of thumb for tougher bbq meats (brisket, beef ribs, short ribs, etc) – 132°F-165°F for 24-48 hours depending on the texture you prefer
  • Finish under a broiler to get the crust back
  • For more smoke, better crust, ice bath, then chill so you can smoke again back to sous vide bath temp, you can season again before this step too if you want.
One of my favorite meats to cook sous vide and BBQ is pastrami. You can find that recipe here:

Darrin Wilson; Clearwater, Florida

“Don’t let anyone tell you that sous vide is only good for steak!”

I immediately fell in love with sous vide BBQ (including grilling AND smoking) and started experimenting and testing all kinds of meats and processes. Below are some of the “basics” of sous vide BBQ I have learned over the last three years:
  • Don’t let anyone tell you that sous vide is only good for steak! I have done many different kinds of meat, even some exotic stuff, using these methods combined.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment! Trying to make some things like pork butt or brisket at different times and temperatures using sous vide can totally change the way you think about barbecue!
  • Make sure you use a good guide or recipe. Although I encourage you to experiment, sous vide is not very good when you just try and “Wing it” so you should still use some basic rules.
  • Some things will come down to “Personal Preference”. Sometimes there is no “right or wrong” answer, it is just preference and a matter of opinion. I always suggest trying things multiple ways until you find what works best for YOU.
  • You can do Sous Vide BBQ without a grill or smoker! Believe it or not, there are many recipes out there that can help you get very close to real bbq taste by using the sous vide and your oven!
Head here to check out my famous sous vide and smoked chicken!  

Michael Audo, recent sous vide and smoke convert from Iowa City, IA

“I’ll never do brisket another way.”

So I’ve been a pretty avid user of the electric smoker over the last 5 years or so. Mastered the art of the pork butt, beef ribs, turkey breast, and St Louis ribs. Time and time again though, I failed in my mission to properly create the mecca of smoked meat…the brisket! After doing a little research I decided that the Anova was going to be where I made my last stand. I had only 2 endgames; a perfect brisket or I was done…never to attempt one again. I took the plunge and bought a 9-pound hunk of beef. After a good coating of Oklahoma Joe’s brisket rub, I threw it in a 132° bath for 50 hours. Upon removal, on Saturday morning I gave it a quick ice bath and a fresh coat of seasoning before tossing it in the smoker for 4 hours of hickory smoke at 235°. It did not disappoint. Everything and I mean everything, from the taste to texture, to color was absolutely perfect. Had some BBQ snob friends over and they said it was the best homemade brisket they had ever had. Long story short…I’ll never do brisket another way. You need this brisket in your life. Here’s the recipe:  

Matt Pittman, Award Winning Pitmaster from Waxahachie, TX

“Sous vide plus smoke is the ultimate combo!”

I am as hardcore of a BBQ man as you can get. I also love my Anova, so why not combine the two and take BBQ to the next level? I love smoking chuck roasts because they are a very economical way to make dinner. A decent size chuck roast only runs you around $15 and is a much cheaper alternative to buying a whole brisket and the end result is very similar. I prefer to smoke the meat first for a couple of hours, then place them in the sous vide until they are fall-apart tender. This also helps the smokiness permeate throughout the protein. The thing I love about this method is that I can meal prep on a Sunday and have quick and delicious meals all week. I can smoke several different types of meat, chill them in my refrigerator and then drop them in the sous vide the day I want to serve them. Peep that chuck roast recipe here! Thanks to our crew of #anovafoodnerds who shared their secrets to smoky sous vide success. Be sure to head to if you’re seeking more sous vide inspiration.