First sous vide experiment

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by drirene, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. drirene

    drirene

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    At home wannabe pastry chef
    Hi Everyone.
    Got my new sous vide thingamajig and invited a couple to join us for dinner. I told them I was going to be experimenting on them with it. They had no clue what I was talking about; obviously, they don't read chef forums. Lol!
    I would appreciate suggestions for cuts of meat/fish/etc. that lend themselves best to this type of cooking.
    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Chicken breast at 140 for an hour and then a sear is revelatory about that cut of meat. You need to over season somewhat as some of the surface seasoning goes into the juices that accumulate in the bag.

    It's so often bland and dry. Sous vide makes breast a wonderful foolproof dish.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
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  3. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    IMG_0751.JPG This was a piece of chuck. I think I did 131 for around 16 hrs.
    Then re seasoned and seared.
     
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  4. someday

    someday

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    That is a broad question. Would help to know more, like who you are cooking for, are they "foodies," what is your skill level, etc.

    That being said, I agree that chicken breast is a good place to start. This is a common piece of meat that most people have had, and doing it sous vide could and should be a revelation for those who are used to traditional cooking and/or commonly overcooked chicken breast.

    Steaks are also a good place to start. A nice ribeye or strip steak will show you the potential of sous vide (perfectly cooked edge to edge) and probably surprise and delight your guests.

    Once you get a handle on the a la minute cooking things, like steak, chops, chicken, etc, you should move into longer cooking things that are basically impossible to achieve without sous vide...things like chef Bubba's 16 hr beef chuck. It sort of converts a chuck cut (very tough, but flavorful piece of meat) into an almost steak like experience with awesome flavor. Things like pork belly, pork shoulder, etc are all great.

    Seafood is great sous vide too, really nice wild salmon, halibut, etc.

    ChefSteps.com is a great resource, especially for beginners. Lots of cool videos, recipes, and all that. They have a good archive of recipes for free and if you spring for premium it opens up even more. Premium is pretty affordable from what I remember.

    If you have more specific questions also we're here to help!
     
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  5. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    IMG_0789.JPG IMG_0784.JPG The chuck was Very tender.
    Did some bone in center cut pork chops that were very moist and tender.
    Again season with salt and pepper, added a pat of butter and some fresh thyme sprigs. Don't remember off hand without getting up to look but around three hours at 145, shocked then seared just before dinner.
     
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  6. teamfat

    teamfat

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    I'll agree with ChefBubba about beef chuck. Last one I did at 130 F overnight, then hot smoked for a couple of hours. Very tasty, about a 4 yummy rating from the wife.

    mjb.
     
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  7. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I tried chuck. I found it fatty and tedious to eat because of the unrendered fat and gristle. Good flavor but I preferred traditional methods results. What am I missing about this cut? Is there prep I should have done?
     
  8. morning glory

    morning glory

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    I am following this thread with interest. The price of a domestic Sous Vide has come down somewhat and I'm rather hoping to get one for my birthday at the end of November. :)
     
  9. azenjoys

    azenjoys

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    If you decide to go with chicken breasts, Serious Eats has an excellent and very thorough guide: http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/07/the-food-lab-complete-guide-to-sous-vide-chicken-breast.html

    I usually make a few boneless/skinless chicken breasts each week as a nice healthy protein option - it becomes sliced cold chicken for salads and sandwiches, shredded and tossed into pasta or soup (at the end very end so it doesn't then get overcooked), etc. I usually just throw some thinly sliced garlic, cracked white pepper, strips of lemon zest, and a touch of sesame oil in the bag.

    For your dinner party, you could also try using your circulator to make dessert.... tempering chocolate sous vide and then making some nice little after dinner dipped chocolates, or making an anglaise sous vide, or poaching pears... lots of awesome options.
     
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  10. drirene

    drirene

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    Morning glory, I got the smaller unit for under $100. It was $30 off to begin with and then they give you another percentage for being a first time customer. Just wait for the pop offer. Does not come up immediately. https://anovaculinary.com/

    In answer to someday, Dad had a restaurant. I am a foodie - didn't like the food and taught myself scratch cooking as a kid. I wing it. Nothing savory comes out the same twice. No fun otherwise! Most of it is very good. We eat out lots. I can recreate dishes I like, but I'm not nearly as versatile as many of the home cooks here.

    At best I eat meat as a condiment, but cook it because hubby wants it. So, no problem cooking meats for others. The wife of the couple I invited is also a foodie who is as interested in this new technique as I am. Sounds fun!

    My real passion is dessert, not food.

    You guys are amazing. I'm learning so much here - typically how much I don't know! Not sure what I'm serving yet, but will keep y'all posted.
     
  11. drirene

    drirene

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    Azenjoys, that website you suggested is excellent! I will likely make chicken breasts.
    BUT, if I make three or four breasts, do I stuff them into one zip bag or put three or four bags in the pot. That part was unclear to me. Need to re-read.
    And your suggestion to temper chocolate in it is very interesting. So much more fun to make sweet stuff!
    Thanks!
     
  12. drirene

    drirene

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    I did it! Using Azenjoy's link, http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/07/the-food-lab-complete-guide-to-sous-vide-chicken-breast.html

    Starting with an bone-in chicken breast with skin, I seasoned, bagged, and refrigerated the breast. I used LOTS of salt and pepper, a slice of lemon, and a clove of garlic.
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    There were no directions in the appliance's box. I was instructed to download an app, which I did. Not terribly helpful to a total newbie, it had the same info as the website. Still no word on how big (the key word is "deep") the pot should be, and how many pieces could go in a bag at a time. The first pot was too shallow.
    upload_2017-9-26_17-14-16.png
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    I transferred to a much larger pot, and because the water was taking too long to heat, filled the second pot with hot tap water. So, we are starting at about 125 F. I waited, and waited... The temperature is going down! Finally I discovered that I had to push the start button again or a red arrow on the dial to circulate the water. Now it began to heat up. Duh...

    It didn't take too long to get to 140 degrees. Maybe 15 minutes.

    Could not for the life of me figure out how to get the app to time the cooking. Eventually I eventually found the setting, but well after the entire meal was cooked. The temperature dropped a little when I first immersed the bag, but ignoring that, I started timing. The bag was clipped it to the side of the pot to keep the agitator openings clear.
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    After 1 1/2 hour, instructions to pat dry, debone, cool, and grill the chicken were followed. It looked awfully raw to me, but then again, I won't taste meat unless it is burnt. (The 4 kitties get the meat off the bone, so no waste. ;D )
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    After 6 or 7 minutes on the grill (2 minutes longer than advised), it was ready. I will probably use a higher grill setting next time. I like browner.

    My husband absolutely LOVED it. His one comment was that next time he would char it on both sides. (What can I say? I've spoiled him to prefer medium-well to well-done meat.) Nevertheless, it was very juicy and cooked through. It reminded him of food we are served when we eat at the local Community College culinary arts restaurant. (But they don't sous vide; I asked.) Not a meat-eater, I had one small bite and found it very tender.

    Over-seasoning worked very well. The saltiness permeated throughout the meat. We love salt in this house. The lemon slice worked well too. The garlic clove could have been reduced. Next time: cook a little longer, maybe on the grill; two slices of lemon and half a clove. Or some other seasoning. And definitely burn that skin!
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  13. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    There is a mark on the immersion circulator that shows the minimum water height.