I was given an Anova Sous Vide cooker for Father’s Day. I’d asked for it partly because of references to sous vide here, but now I’m wondering if was a good idea. Essentially it seems to mean that a ribeye (for example) that used to take maybe 40 minutes using reverse sear will now take two hours plus. So… can you folks help me with a few basics on why sous vide is worth it and what specific things it’s best used to cook? TIA
I’ve had a sous vide machine for a few years now, and I agree, for steaks for a few people it doesn’t really make sense. Tougher cuts of meat, on the other hand, is where sous vide really shines. I’ve done beef tongue, beef cheeks and other cuts with great results. And vegetables! Carrots, potatoes, asparagus…
start with carrots.
then a chicken breast you dice and throw into a dish. Not exactly a summer dish, but this is how i do chicken alfredo in the winter.
proteins look like cadaver flesh coming out, so you need to add some grill time if they are the main course.
then shrimp and I happen to really like my fish done this way.
I love doing ribeyes sous vide. You have to plan ahead, but it’s mostly hands-off until you are ready to eat. And you also are ready to go fairly quickly once you want to eat. You get meat cooked evenly, from top to bottom at your desired doneness. Just sear it on a smoking hot cast iron skillet for a minute before serving. I also have done sousvide and then fried chicken wings that were very good.
The real winner for me was sous vide then deep fried (the next day) turkey this past Thanksgiving. I’ll never do turkey any other way again.
I can also see the points in your questions of its necessity. It is a non-essential kitchen tool. It’s more of a gimmick thing for me. Prob use mine once per month. Max.
Another usage is par cooking for a party. Sous vide a piece of meat or individual servings to medium rare or whatever minimum you want and it holds at that temp until you are ready to finish cooking.
Use it to “hold” a second course until you are ready to finish, or custom finish to different “doneness”
Ribs, poultry, fish, and vegetables. You can make magic in that bag. If you can’t see the advantage of rendering collagen and not fat in a sous vide bag then a lot of this is over your head. You can literally make a perfect sauce in the bag aside from your protein with very little reduction. Salmon can be cooked to a silky smooth rare temp then seared to perfection. Thanksgiving turkeys can be broken down and white and dark meat cooked separately to perfection, then refrigerated before being broiled to crisp before holidays. Pulled pork is a snap. Short ribs can be cooked to such a state after 48-72 hrs that they still hold shape but are the most intensely beefy cuts of meat you might ever eat. Vegetables are cooked but by not obliterating pectins remain crisp, and cooking in their own juice intensifies flavor. You can dial a rib rack to any texture you want by simply adjusting temp and time while they infuse with any seasoning you want, then the bag sauce is just a bonus. You can throw a frozen freaking turkey half in there at night and the next morning pull it and have the best turkey cold cuts for a week for almost no effort. You can make a red wine mushroom side dish and sauce without having to mess with a dutch oven for 8 hours. You can do scallops ahead of time to a perfect temp then sear to perfection. You can infuse asparagus with wonderful garlic and lemon, while remaining perfectly crisp, only to sear quickly and sacrifice zero amount of freshness. The possibilities are only limited to your imagination, level of food science knowledge, and ability to simply google.
Can we make Kenny’s post into a sticky?
Cooking chicken breasts in here has been amazing. I marinate chicken, remove from the bag and rinse off chicken, added S&P and sous vide at 145 for 60 minutes. Your chicken is perfect temp and you can either sear in a pan or on the grill for color/texture. The most moist chicken you’ve ever had.
This also helps a lot with meal prep if you’re trying to eat clean during the week…sous vide a few breasts on sunday and use in various dishes during the week.
Even if it was for the most carrot-y carrots ever it would be worth it. Otherwise see Kenny’s post above. And add that he forgot pork tenderloins. Such an easy thing to overcook becomes sublime.
I haven’t used it enough for desserts either but it can really shine there. Less for better results than you could otherwise get but for the same results with next to no effort. Dulce de Leche, Crème brûlée and Pot de crème type desserts are a snap.
It’s not for everyone. I find many things cooked in it end up with an odd texture that is unappealing to me.
I dont use it for high quality steaks. But for meats that can/do get tough or dry easy… pork chops, tri-tips, etc. also bacon burgers, eggs, pork belly… plan to do some short ribs soon.
Dont love sous vide chicken texture, and haven’t tried vegetables yet, but will get around to it.
Pork Chops are the gateway drug IMO
Sorry not trying to be flippant Peter. Pointing out that an understanding of certain food science aspects is why it can be such a useful tool but if you are unaware of them it is irrelevant.
Scott brought up a good one. Scrambled eggs are superb in a sous vide provided you love that custardy style as opposed to dry and hard.
Im apparently misunderstanding your intent… i’ve read about the use of sous vide for certain tough cuts of meat and it’s not hard to understand the science behind it. I just don’t get why you’d be so quick to suggest that someone new to the method can’t or wouldn’t want to learn about it. “Over your head” and “irrelevant” both seem to be unnecessarily dismissive.
Good grief I forgot eggs! Eggs to any consistency you want cooked in the shell, simply cracked and extracted afterward. Yolk porn for days.
start with an egg. The Egg Calculator | Science | ChefSteps
move on to duck breast. Chef and Sommelier: Sous Vide Duck Breast with Balsamic Honey Sauce I don’t do the sauce in this link I use this sauce https://www.finecooking.com/recipe/sear-roasted-duck-breasts-with-grapefruit-balsamic-sauce
those are my 2 favorite things to sous vide.
Not what I said. Saying something might be over someone’s head is entirely different than suggesting they can’t or won’t learn. It used to be over my head, and so my language of pectins, collagen, etc, would have been useless.
My intent was to answer your question and I did. Catch that part?
Game! Thanks Suzanne forgot game. Perfect temperature on duck, pheasant, squab. Delicate cuts that require very fine temperature control and allow you to get uniform temperature without compromising texture. Making confit duck leg is a total snap! Out of the sous vide and straight onto your plate or into your freezer for years.
I certainly did catch that and do truly appreciate all the information. Sorry if I seem unduly sensitive but language is often critical.
I really don’t want to dig the hole any deeper but I would submit the following for future reference: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/over-your-head