December 20, 2019

Paul’s Brisket Recipe: “Happy bellies make for happy owners, managers, and employees.” 

Sliced barbecue brisket -- well fed employees are happy employees

During our AADOM Live! event here in Tucson, we had catering brought in from one of our favorite local vegetarian places called Tumerico. Still, we wanted to offer a little meat for our omnivorous guests that day, as well.

Many of you may know me as an HR expert and the Co-Founder of CEDR, but at my age there have been a couple of past careers. I owned and operated a music venue in North Carolina for a number of years. At one time I was a Chef. I am also a BBQ champion and I take great pride in cooking everything from the most complex to something as seemingly simple as brisket. Our friend Paula Thomasson, who is the AADOM Chapter President in Phoenix, asked for the recipe for the brisket I served at the AADOM event, so I thought it would be a good idea to provide it here.

At home sous vide setup in clear plastic tub

Paul’s simple sous vide setup at home.

What does this have to do with HR?

You might ask, “What does this have to do with HR?” and rightfully so.

Since work and family take up so much of our time, many people fail to properly and nutritionally fuel themselves each and every day, which affects their ability to function at full capacity on the job and interact in a positive way with one another (Hangry anyone?).

In this article, I highlight the use of Sous Vide (underwater) cooking, which can greatly increase your ability to provide great food with VERY little effort. And

the technique isn’t just for meat. You can cook root vegetables and practically anything else Sous-Vide style WHILE YOU ARE AT WORK. 

But, unlike your crock pot, the Sous Vide method does not cook your food to pieces. You could drop two frozen and sealed chicken breasts (or carrots, potatoes, and just about anything else) into the Sous Vide in the morning right before work and come home anytime that evening to find a perfectly done and ready-to-eat meal waiting for you. 

Happy bellies make for happy owners, managers, and employees, so there you have it. 

I combined BBQing with a technique called Sous Vide to create my brisket. Here is the recipe:

Paul’s Brisket Recipe:

I like to purchase my Brisket from Costco because I can get just the point cut.

The Rub:

2 tablespoons salt 

2 tablespoons pepper. 

1 tablespoon paprika (Secret = Beef loves paprika) 

1 teaspoon mustard powder 

1 teaspoon ground cumin  

3/4 cup of brown sugar. 

The Process:

Rub your brisket and place on a charcoal grill at about 275 degrees to let it BBQ. If you can, get a little smoke on it. Indirect heat on the grill is preferred. BBQ on the grill for about 2 to 3 hours. The goal is to see a little caramelization take place.

If you only have a gas grill, that’s fine too. Consider reducing the heat a bit and make sure that the meat closest to the fire does not burn. If you have neither, slap it in the oven at the same temp. It’ll be good, but won’t have a BBQ flavor.

Hint: check the size of your seal bags before you put your meat on the grill. If your bags are small, then you need to cut your brisket to size BEFORE you start grilling. If you cut after the BBQ grill

brisket in sealed bags after sous vide cooking

Remove the bags from your immersion cooker and allow to set for 40 minutes.

you will end up letting all the juice out.

Sous Vide:

Sous vide requires an immersion cooker, a vessel, and one of those meal-a-seal vacuum bag thingy’s. Here is a link to the Anova Immersion Cooker that I like.

Fill up your water vessel and set your immersion cooker to 185 degrees.

Take your meat off the grill, put it in a bag, and vacuum seal it. 

Gently drop the bag into the water and walk away!


I like to cook mine at least 24 hours but it’s OK if it goes longer (as in two days).

40 minutes prior to serving, take it out of the water and the bag and put it on a

platter to let it rest. 5 minutes before serving, slice. The texture is going to be pretty soft and almost pot roasty!

If you would like your meat to fall apart less, lower the temp to 165 degrees during the immersion cook.

If you really want to blow people’s minds, take the juice from inside the Sous Vide bag and pour it off into a small saucepan. Add ½ cup of red wine and reduce by half (you could add a few sauteed mushrooms if you like). Serve along side your brisket,




Friendly Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and is not intended to provide legal advice or replace individual guidance about a specific issue with an attorney or HR expert. The information on this page is general human resources guidance that is believed to be current as of the date of publication. Note that CEDR is not a law firm, and as the law is always changing, you should consult with a qualified attorney or HR expert who is familiar with all of the facts of your situation before making a decision about any human resources or employment law matter.