Sous Vide. Anyone use it?

Trapper

Author, Writer, Photographer
#1
I’m more of a Dutch Oven with coals kind of cook. I don’t pay much attention to kitchen gadgets that require electricity because I don’t always have power where I cook.

This device intrigued me mostly because trying to make eggs benedict (I like using chorizo or crab instead of ham) for a group is a challenge because of the poached eggs. I also like the idea of slow cooking.

Has anyone used it?

 
#2
Dinner at friends Tuesday night. Sous vide pork loin at 137 degrees for 2.5 hours then seared on the grill. Outstanding! Very tender, flavorful and juicy.
Looking into getting one now.
 

Trapper

Author, Writer, Photographer
#3
I tried to google this question but didnt find an answer. I sent this email to their help desk.

I’m a contract cook. I work on boats and lodges. I typically cook for less than 20 people.

I’m interested in your product.

How do you know when the internal temperature of say a steak is 120°F? If, for example I’m cooking a 16 oz 1” thick steak vs a 16 oz 2” thick petite filet, I obviously can easily know the water temperature, but how do I check the meat itself?
 

dld

Active Member
#4
I got into sous vide several months ago. I did 2" thick pork loin chops last night. Best $100 gadget ever.

I didn't want wifi or bluetooth, so I opted for the Wancle brand, they claim they put more into the circulation pump and heating element instead of the communication features.

Having a torch for touching up searing helps a lot.

I posted a thread about the carnitas I made, and the resulting torta. http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/forum/threads/carnitas.134752/

Definitely check out the 'Serious Eats' blog for tips.

Steaks come out amazing. Roasts take a long time (~24hrs for a pork shoulder, or chuck roast). Fish and shrimp in butter are great. Asparagus is beautiful and sweet.

You really don't need a vacuum sealer, I mostly use the immersion method for sealing bags. I do use this kit: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N1SIDM1/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1 at times, also.

Sous vide is almost like cheating for cooking meats. For instance, last night I put the loin chops on for 2.5hrs, but I neglected to put my roast veggies on, so I just kept the loins going for another 20min while the greens roasted. Took the loins out, put them on the grill to sear, and everything was perfect temp when I sat down to eat.

I've done scrambled eggs in it, but they weren't nearly as good as everyone claims. Then again, I learned how to scramble eggs when I was about seven and have practiced since then.
 

dld

Active Member
#5
I tried to google this question but didnt find an answer. I sent this email to their help desk.

I’m a contract cook. I work on boats and lodges. I typically cook for less than 20 people.

I’m interested in your product.

How do you know when the internal temperature of say a steak is 120°F? If, for example I’m cooking a 16 oz 1” thick steak vs a 16 oz 2” thick petite filet, I obviously can easily know the water temperature, but how do I check the meat itself?
This is the question I struggled with a bit at first. Now I basically follow the time suggestions from the interwebs (Serious Eats, mostly, http://www.seriouseats.com/ --J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is a MIT researcher-turned-food-scientest). These guys have done all the leg-work.

I, also, don't see any reason that you couldn't remove one of the bags from the water bath and probe the item like you would in traditional cooking.
 

Tacoma Red

Active Member
#7
I'm just starting to get into this with my new instant pot ultra. Very excited for the results as I have often read about people raving the best steak ever via this cooking method
 

dld

Active Member
#8
dld. Are the cooking times/temperatures all calculated on weight?
From what I've seen, it is based on thickness. Generally they will give a temperature for something, then say to add X minutes for additional thickness.

It is kind of amazing because the window for properly cooked food is huge. For instance, the window for poached shrimp is about 30min.
 

dld

Active Member
#9

Trapper

Author, Writer, Photographer
#10
From what I've seen, it is based on thickness. Generally they will give a temperature for something, then say to add X minutes for additional thickness.

It is kind of amazing because the window for properly cooked food is huge. For instance, the window for poached shrimp is about 30min.
Thanks. That makes sense. I see there is an App for the Anova. Does that calculate time, temperature, weight, thickness, etc?
 

Trapper

Author, Writer, Photographer
#11
dld.

FWIW. I know a lot of people shy away from cooking bags. I use them extensively especially for Dutch Oven meals because cleanup is a breeze and gravy is a snap.

I have a high end Weston vacuum sealer, so opening the bag to check temp won’t work.

If the temperature of the (example) meat is uniform, could I just place my Thermapen probe on the outside of the bag?
 

dld

Active Member
#12
Thanks. That makes sense. I see there is an App for the Anova. Does that calculate time, temperature, weight, thickness, etc?
I can't say, I haven't used the Anova. The app is what they seem to be known for, so I expect that it is pretty comprehensive. You are way more accomplished than the cooks that they market to.

dld.

FWIW. I know a lot of people shy away from cooking bags. I use them extensively especially for Dutch Oven meals because cleanup is a breeze and gravy is a snap.

I have a high end Weston vacuum sealer, so opening the bag to check temp won’t work.

If the temperature of the (example) meat is uniform, could I just place my Thermapen probe on the outside of the bag?
I expect that the Thermapen probe would work that way.

I really think you'd have no problems with the sous vide. The learning curve is about one meal. What I'm not positive about is whether you'll actually enjoy it--like I say, it is a different approach to cooking and is almost like cheating.
 

dld

Active Member
#13
Thanks. That makes sense. I see there is an App for the Anova. Does that calculate time, temperature, weight, thickness, etc?
I just looked up Kenji's pork chop article, he says:

"It's true that timing for sous vide cooking is much more forgiving than with traditional techniques—your window of well-cooked meat opens up from seconds or minutes to hours—but even so, it is possible to over- or undercook the meat. My general rule of thumb is to allow around 15 minutes of cooking time per half inch of thickness, adding on an extra 10 minutes or so just to be safe. This is enough time to allow the meat to achieve thermal equilibrium and get cooked through to the same temperature as the water bath. Beyond that time, the meat will not lose much juiciness, but eventually, as muscle proteins break down, it will become somewhat mushy, shredding as you bite rather than tearing"

Full article: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2016/04/sous-vide-pork-chops-recipe.html
 

Trapper

Author, Writer, Photographer
#14
dld. I am always open to try new cooking techniques even though I have a fair anount of experience. One of the appeals of this technique is, like using multiple dutch ovens on coals, I can use it like an extra oven. Also because of the slow cooking times (I am in the low and slow camp) I have a little leeway in order to plate the meal with various side dishes.

Thanks for your input. I’m placing my order now.
 

dld

Active Member
#15
dld. I am always open to try new cooking techniques even though I have a fair anount of experience. One of the appeals of this technique is, like using multiple dutch ovens on coals, I can use it like an extra oven. Also because of the slow cooking times (I am in the low and slow camp) I have a little leeway in order to plate the meal with various side dishes.

Thanks for your input. I’m placing my order now.
Happy to have helped. You won't be disappointed in the results.

A couple more tips for you going forward:

1. I use a clear polycarbonate food transport tub for cooking.

2. Cover the water--especially for the longer cooking times. When I first got the sous vide, I used a stainless stockpot with no covering. The water level would fall too low a couple of times in my 24hr roasts. I now have a cover for my tub that I cut out for the machine and for the clips. Some people use ping-pong balls.

3. Get clips. Clipping the bag to the side of the container is almost mandatory.

4. Make sure the food is completely immersed. I often use stainless tongs to hold bags underwater. Just prop them outside the bag for weight.
 

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