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This beefy seitan gets fried, simmered, then smoked (or baked,) sliced and smothered in barbecue sauce, topped with caramelized onions, a crunchy slaw and a few slices of jalapeño. It's the perfect combination of smoky, savory, spicy, and sweet!

I came up with these seitan brisket seasonings with two goals in mind: First, ingredient accessibility, and second, using as little wet ingredients as possible. This recipe turned out to be a mashup of the two—as well as a delicious success (IMNSHO 😉) and I hope that wherever you are you can easily find these ingredients or something comparable.

The recipe should yield about 4-6 normal-sized sandwiches (I was able to make 5 as pictured) or about 8-10 sliders.

To simmer this seitan I have tested both my slow cooker on high and my 6qt Instant Pot on the lowest slow cooker ("less") setting. All slow cookers are different, and you can also use a pot on the stove, but whatever you choose you're looking for the broth to barely bubble or your seitan could wind up spongy. This could cause it to take on extra liquid as it cooks which can also make it mushy.

If you don't have a smoker you can add liquid smoke to the seitan, the broth and the baste which will help impart that traditional smoky flavor.

Ingredients

Washing Flour
 1 kg bread flour (approximately 7 1/4 cups)If using all purpose flour, add another 140g/1 cup
 690 ml water (3 cups)You may not need all of this, but if using AP flour you may need a little more.
Broth
 3 tbsp Lipton Beefy Onion Soup Mix*(the rest of one packet)
 ¼ cup your favorite barbecue sauce
 3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
 1 tsp liquid smoke - only use if not smoking
Seitan
 1 tbsp Lipton Beefy Onion Soup Mix*This accidentally vegan soup mix makes a great seitan seasoning and broth base. I picked it up at my local grocery store.
 1 tbsp Porcini mushroom powder I used to grind my own but for me this costs the same without the extra effort.
 2 tsp beetroot powderOptional - for color.
 2 tsp dehydrated soy sauce powder You can sub 1 1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce or aminos instead, but I am loving the flavor this packs in without the liquid!
 ½ tsp ground black pepper
 1 tsp liquid smoke - only use if not smoking
Rub
 1 tbsp chili powder
 1 tbsp brown sugar
 1 tsp garlic powder
 1 tsp smoked paprika
 1 tsp cumin
For Frying
 2 tbsp cooking oil use something neutral like canola or vegetable
For Basting
 2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce I make my own with this recipe but store bought works, too.
 2 tbsp your favorite barbecue sauce
 1 tbsp mustard
 1 tbsp molasses
 1 tsp liquid smoke - only use if not smoking
For Smoking
 I used a combination of Hickory (about 60-70%) and Mesquite (about 30-40%) wood chips
Sandwich Topper Suggestions
 plenty of your favorite barbecue sauce
 caramelized onions
 coleslaw I used this barbecue-style slaw recipe but of course your favorite will work, too!
 jalapeños and/or pickles

*Manufactured in a facility that also processes milk.

**Originally I listed a McCormick brand Worcestershire Pub Mix in this recipe. Before purchasing and creating this recipe, I researched the product and found it was vegan (this included checkfoodlabel.com, questions asked and answered about the product on amazon, etc.) After it was brought to my attention that it may not be vegan, I contacted McCormick directly who confirmed it was not vegan-friendly. I'm upset that I used it in my seitan (and ate it) 😫 and recommended it to all of you. I guess you can never be too careful. Thankfully I only had the recipe up for two days before learning the truth and it doesn't appear that anyone purchased the mix through this site. The new powder I have replaced it with by The Spice Lab is listed as vegan by the company.

Directions

Washing Flour
1

Start by adding about 2 1/2 cups of water and mix it into your flour. If it's not forming into a dough, add a little more. It's easier to wash if it's a little bit sticky as opposed to dry and crumbly, but too much water can make it fall apart when washing. Make sure the water is fully incorporated. You can either knead it into a ball or simply let it rest in the bowl like this for 15 minutes. Then cover it with cool water and let it rest again for about an hour.

2

Wash that flour! If you're new to flour-washing, check out this step-by-step tutorial here. For this I washed to the cloudy/hazy water stage. I try to wash as much starch out as I can because I'm aiming for a slightly chewy, meaty bite, but washing to clear water can make it a bit rubbery.

Once washed, drain your ball of gluten for at least 20-30 minutes.

Broth
3

While it's draining, start heating up your broth in a slow cooker or Instant Pot on the slow cooker "less" setting. I had my slow cooker set to high, which produces a low simmer, but all slow cookers vary so keep an eye on yours that it does not bubble too much. If using an Instant Pot, set the slow cooker function to "less." If using a pot on the stove, make sure it barely bubbles.

The broth will need an hour or so to come up to temperature.

Seitan
4

Give your drained gluten a good squeeze to remove any excess water, add it to a food processor or blender along with all of the seitan ingredients and blitz. If you don't have a processor you can use a knife or kitchen scissors to cut the mixed seasonings into the gluten. Place the seasoned gluten on a cutting board with grooves so it can drain a little more if it needs to and let it rest like this until it is strong enough to stretch, usually about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

5

While it's resting, mix the rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Once the seitan has rested, stretch it it as long as you can and sprinkle all sides with about half of the rub mixture. Then twist and tie the dough in several knots and press it somewhat flat again to about 2 inches thick (like a brisket.) Heat the 2T of oil on medium heat, and add the knotted seitan. You're looking for the dough to start to brown, but you want it to actually absorb the oil, not crisp up too much.

6

Add the fried gluten to the hot broth in the slow cooker, Instant Pot or pot on the stove. Cook this way for about 2 hours, occasionally flipping in the broth. The seitan should feel pretty firm when fully cooked.

7

Pull the seitan out of the broth and allow it to come to room temperature, then let to rest in the fridge overnight. Hang on to that broth! The next day, or when you're ready to serve, pull the seitan out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. I used an electric smoker with a combination (about 65/35) hickory and mesquite wood chips set to 200F/93C.

If baking instead of smoking, preheat your oven to 300F/148C.

8

Mix together the baste ingredients. Coat the brisket with the remaining half of the dry rub, followed by about half of the baste ingredients on all sides. If you have a steam pan in your smoker, you can add some of the leftover broth or plain water so it doesn't dry out too much. Place the brisket in your preheated smoker for 1 hour, then baste again with the remaining half of the mixture and smoke for another hour.

If baking, cook for a half hour directly on the oven grate. Baste again, then cook for another half hour to finish. You can add a drip pan on the grate below so nothing drips onto the bottom of your oven.

9

In the smoker for 2 hours the brisket developed a nice outer crust. If that doesn't happen for you in the oven, you can broil for the last minute or two on both sides. After cooking the seitan is ready to slice for sandwiches, however, letting it rest again in the fridge makes it nice and firm for slicing. Fry the slices in just a little more oil and top with the remaining broth heated up to serve as a platter, or load up a sandwich with barbecue sauce, coleslaw, caramelized onions, and peppers just like the photo. Enjoy!


More Beaf & Washed Flour Recipes

Shish-Kabob and PastramiBy bigassveganThis one recipe yields both a middle-eastern beef shish-kabob seitan AND a pastrami seitan (see instructions on how to finalize). It is completely up to you if you want to make it just be kabobs, just the pastrami, or both. The taste is there to serve both needs and depending on how you slice or finalize it, it will become two different and unique mock meats. In the notes, I also included the recipe for the traditional crispy Serbian cornbread, because this goes with it like you won't believe.
Vegan Shepard’s PieBy JenThis Vegan Shepard's Pie starts with delicious seitan shreds from washed flour which get dusted with flour and fried, cooked with veggies in a beefy broth, and piled high with the creamiest vegan garlic mashed potatoes you will ever try!
1 2 3 12

Ingredients

Washing Flour
 1 kg bread flour (approximately 7 1/4 cups)If using all purpose flour, add another 140g/1 cup
 690 ml water (3 cups)You may not need all of this, but if using AP flour you may need a little more.
Broth
 3 tbsp Lipton Beefy Onion Soup Mix*(the rest of one packet)
 ¼ cup your favorite barbecue sauce
 3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
 1 tsp liquid smoke - only use if not smoking
Seitan
 1 tbsp Lipton Beefy Onion Soup Mix*This accidentally vegan soup mix makes a great seitan seasoning and broth base. I picked it up at my local grocery store.
 1 tbsp Porcini mushroom powder I used to grind my own but for me this costs the same without the extra effort.
 2 tsp beetroot powderOptional - for color.
 2 tsp dehydrated soy sauce powder You can sub 1 1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce or aminos instead, but I am loving the flavor this packs in without the liquid!
 ½ tsp ground black pepper
 1 tsp liquid smoke - only use if not smoking
Rub
 1 tbsp chili powder
 1 tbsp brown sugar
 1 tsp garlic powder
 1 tsp smoked paprika
 1 tsp cumin
For Frying
 2 tbsp cooking oil use something neutral like canola or vegetable
For Basting
 2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce I make my own with this recipe but store bought works, too.
 2 tbsp your favorite barbecue sauce
 1 tbsp mustard
 1 tbsp molasses
 1 tsp liquid smoke - only use if not smoking
For Smoking
 I used a combination of Hickory (about 60-70%) and Mesquite (about 30-40%) wood chips
Sandwich Topper Suggestions
 plenty of your favorite barbecue sauce
 caramelized onions
 coleslaw I used this barbecue-style slaw recipe but of course your favorite will work, too!
 jalapeños and/or pickles

Directions

Washing Flour
1

Start by adding about 2 1/2 cups of water and mix it into your flour. If it's not forming into a dough, add a little more. It's easier to wash if it's a little bit sticky as opposed to dry and crumbly, but too much water can make it fall apart when washing. Make sure the water is fully incorporated. You can either knead it into a ball or simply let it rest in the bowl like this for 15 minutes. Then cover it with cool water and let it rest again for about an hour.

2

Wash that flour! If you're new to flour-washing, check out this step-by-step tutorial here. For this I washed to the cloudy/hazy water stage. I try to wash as much starch out as I can because I'm aiming for a slightly chewy, meaty bite, but washing to clear water can make it a bit rubbery.

Once washed, drain your ball of gluten for at least 20-30 minutes.

Broth
3

While it's draining, start heating up your broth in a slow cooker or Instant Pot on the slow cooker "less" setting. I had my slow cooker set to high, which produces a low simmer, but all slow cookers vary so keep an eye on yours that it does not bubble too much. If using an Instant Pot, set the slow cooker function to "less." If using a pot on the stove, make sure it barely bubbles.

The broth will need an hour or so to come up to temperature.

Seitan
4

Give your drained gluten a good squeeze to remove any excess water, add it to a food processor or blender along with all of the seitan ingredients and blitz. If you don't have a processor you can use a knife or kitchen scissors to cut the mixed seasonings into the gluten. Place the seasoned gluten on a cutting board with grooves so it can drain a little more if it needs to and let it rest like this until it is strong enough to stretch, usually about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

5

While it's resting, mix the rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Once the seitan has rested, stretch it it as long as you can and sprinkle all sides with about half of the rub mixture. Then twist and tie the dough in several knots and press it somewhat flat again to about 2 inches thick (like a brisket.) Heat the 2T of oil on medium heat, and add the knotted seitan. You're looking for the dough to start to brown, but you want it to actually absorb the oil, not crisp up too much.

6

Add the fried gluten to the hot broth in the slow cooker, Instant Pot or pot on the stove. Cook this way for about 2 hours, occasionally flipping in the broth. The seitan should feel pretty firm when fully cooked.

7

Pull the seitan out of the broth and allow it to come to room temperature, then let to rest in the fridge overnight. Hang on to that broth! The next day, or when you're ready to serve, pull the seitan out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. I used an electric smoker with a combination (about 65/35) hickory and mesquite wood chips set to 200F/93C.

If baking instead of smoking, preheat your oven to 300F/148C.

8

Mix together the baste ingredients. Coat the brisket with the remaining half of the dry rub, followed by about half of the baste ingredients on all sides. If you have a steam pan in your smoker, you can add some of the leftover broth or plain water so it doesn't dry out too much. Place the brisket in your preheated smoker for 1 hour, then baste again with the remaining half of the mixture and smoke for another hour.

If baking, cook for a half hour directly on the oven grate. Baste again, then cook for another half hour to finish. You can add a drip pan on the grate below so nothing drips onto the bottom of your oven.

9

In the smoker for 2 hours the brisket developed a nice outer crust. If that doesn't happen for you in the oven, you can broil for the last minute or two on both sides. After cooking the seitan is ready to slice for sandwiches, however, letting it rest again in the fridge makes it nice and firm for slicing. Fry the slices in just a little more oil and top with the remaining broth heated up to serve as a platter, or load up a sandwich with barbecue sauce, coleslaw, caramelized onions, and peppers just like the photo. Enjoy!

Vegan Smoked Brisket | Washed Flour Seitan