PDA

View Full Version : "Sous Vide on the Cheap" (using a beer cooler)



toddnmd
06-18-2013, 01:19 PM
So, I just came across this method of cooking steaks (45 minutes or so) in hot water in a beer cooler. Does anyone have any experience with this and have suggestions to pass on?

I'm curious about the amount and temp of water to start, as well as amount of meat, and what the final temp came to be. Hey, if I try this and love it, perhaps I'll someday invest in a sous vide machine. This sounds like a fun way to try.

Brad Gibson
06-18-2013, 01:45 PM
I wouldn't sous vide a steak. I'd grill, broil, pan butter baste, or tartar a steak. I like beef rare and don't see how cooking it would benefit anyone. Lol. I do work at a steakhouse though. Maybe someone else would like a sous vide steak. I'd sous vide salmon to start with if I were you.

There is a cool website that I saw with a bunch of tips on doing home made sous vide stuff. I can pm you the site cause I don't want to link something in a post. I don't know if its allowed!

toddnmd
06-18-2013, 02:13 PM
I don't think linking to that site is an issue, so I'll post it here: http://www.chefsteps.com/ Looks like it might be a good general resource. Thanks for sending it.

My understanding of SV is that it lets you have accurate temp control. I know the beer cooler wouldn't be as precise, but it would only cost me the steak, and it would be kind of fun to experiment. I've seen recipes that sear the steak beforehand or afterwards to get a crust. I'd lean toward afterwards, cause I think it might get a bit soggy if done beforehand.

Mucho Bocho
06-18-2013, 02:43 PM
SV is a simple but largely missunderstood cooking technique that just about any protein can benefit from. White fish is questionable. SV can be applied to to animal proteins in two fundamentally different ways.

1.) SV Tender cuts (strip, rib eye, pork loin, chix breast...). This SV approach is used to bring the center of the protein closer to the tempature of the finished product. That way, only a littel heat is required to sear and get a nice mailard crust. Some even use a blow torchs. I like a ripping debuyer with coconut and ghee oil myself.

2.) SV Tough Cuts: (chuck, pork shoulder, jowls, short ribs, lamb shank...) What your trying to accomplish in this approach is to encourage the enzymes already in the meat to to tenderize it. Its not uncommon to cook protiens in this method for over 72hrs. This is what SV chuck looks like. I doub't one could acheive this texture and redness with any other method.

I have the Polyscience unit as well as a PID crockpot. Both work with well. For high temp or quick cooking I use the Polyscience. For long cooking times, the crockpot is quieter and works just as well.

http://i1051.photobucket.com/albums/s426/dennismpintoii/chuck.jpg (http://s1051.photobucket.com/user/dennismpintoii/media/chuck.jpg.html)

Zwiefel
06-18-2013, 09:13 PM
D@MN MuchoBocho!! That looks awesome. I think I'm finally convinced on this SV stuff....time to get a unit.

AFKitchenknivesguy
06-19-2013, 12:26 AM
I wouldn't sous vide a steak. I'd grill, broil, pan butter baste, or tartar a steak. I like beef rare and don't see how cooking it would benefit anyone. Lol. I do work at a steakhouse though. Maybe someone else would like a sous vide steak. I'd sous vide salmon to start with if I were you.

There is a cool website that I saw with a bunch of tips on doing home made sous vide stuff. I can pm you the site cause I don't want to link something in a post. I don't know if its allowed!

Although I agree with you that I would rather grill a steak than sous vide it, and I see you work in a steakhouse, from my understanding there are many steak houses that sous vide their steaks. For one, holding the steak at a specific temperature ensures the steak will not be overcooked and allows a consistant product. Put it in the salamander for 30 seconds each side and poof, perfectly cooked med-rare. This technique also minimizes waste and cuts down on training time for the cooks (learning to cook the steak). Who does this? No clue, it's anecdotal but I have read it before.

Brad Gibson
06-19-2013, 12:40 AM
That is an interesting idea. But a sous vide steak cannot achieve Pittsburg style and that would be a failure in a steakhouse! Haha but seriously, rare gets ordered quite often so I wouldn't recommend the sous vide if you offer a temp choice. For at home maybe it would be a fun experiment because you could pic your temp and have it exact every time.

Zwiefel
06-19-2013, 12:53 AM
Pittsburg styleWTH is that?

labor of love
06-19-2013, 01:19 AM
WTH is that?you dont want to know

Zwiefel
06-19-2013, 08:10 AM
you dont want to knowI was a nursing assistant for 6 years, 2 of those spent in the only lvl 1 trauma center in the state....surely I've seen worse?

scotchef38
06-19-2013, 08:34 AM
you dont want to know

Its the same as black and blue isnt it?

Brad Gibson
06-19-2013, 12:44 PM
So, the steel workers in Pittsburg would bring raw steaks with them to work. They would sear it on their metal working stuff... I don't know the names of it. And char the steak but it would still be raw.

Pittsburg style is just charred on the outside and rare as can be on the inside. Or yes you can call it black and blue.

3200+++
06-19-2013, 02:40 PM
i love sous vide meat cooking. i have been working with it since my early learning in various famous restaurants in paris. the results are astonishing if you can control temperature and if you proceed good.

the only goal for me in this type of heating process is to keep the temperature regular across all the product to make protein change state slowly, keeping all (well... most of) water naturally present in the product (less weight loss, better texture), and forcing flavours in (you can use a non salted glace or "get coloured" the meat to force the taste). Also, sous vide gives total control on stopping a thing from continuing cooking, being somehow at the limits all the time.



a steak should be doable if you heat it around 50°c to 60° regularly, and then, without letting him cool down, make a crust in some hot butter or other grease (and use salt at this point only) just before serving it.

i've been myself head barman (as restaurants complex manager i had to learn what i didn't know) in brussels for a while. beer coolers water bath move in temperature in function of the charge (the more beer you serve within a limited time, the more hot it gets, and at a certain point beer too) making the temperature impossible to control, unless you want to drink al lot of beer :) . the water there is also contaminated and not food friendly, so you should avoid the contact with food (even in closed sous vide bags) because except if you wash them carefully with some bactericide, crap around the bag is gonna touch inside by the tool you open it with. i wouldn't either.

sous vide is a nice mean to control the uniformity of the heat treatment, no point if you have no control on heat.

Mucho Bocho, what a nice mastery of sous vided meat!!! i just dined, but i'm willing to eat that too, just how i like meat :p

sorry if if i m hard to understand, english is not my native language and i've never worked in english speaking country so i lack technical terms in english :s

PS:i understand pittsburg style is black (brown i hope) and blue (i love that) but has it to be warm on the inside like french "bleu" meat cooking?

AFKitchenknivesguy
06-20-2013, 02:52 AM
3200 welcome!

Duckfat
06-20-2013, 08:48 AM
Its the same as black and blue isnt it?

Exactly the same.
3200 Pittsburgh Rare is not brown on the exterior. It's charred.
I wouldn't Sous Vide my steak but some cuts of beef might benefit from it. I don't think there are many (if any) steak houses are using Sous Vide aside from a few select items. It's just impractical on a broad spectrum.
Jason Salamanders are for melting cheese or other light tasks. Steak Houses use swing broilers or Char Grills. Sous Vide should not have any effect on waste. There's nothing difficult about cooking steak. Having two double stack swing broilers rocking is a challenge but nothing a skilled cook can't master.

Dave

3200+++
06-20-2013, 09:05 AM
thank you for explaining.

i don't understand why a meat could be charred. in my opinion, black is burnt. as soon as you can taste the bitterness its over. we say ferré in french.
without sous vide, colorating a steak to create a nice crust on both sides is pretty easy, the mostly unknown part is to have a tempered meat before cooking, to make protein state change most regularly, and to leave it under an aluminium sheet in a warm place (about 30 to 50°c) for the 1 to 3 minutes it has been heated. then the blood spreads across the piece of meat and the cooking stops slowly as the heat comes down and i guess this is my two cents in achieving a satisfing texture.

the picture of mucho bocho's sous vide meat are a good example. the colour is regular across the meat, and a nice crust is present everywhere on the outside.