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  1. #1

    "Sous Vide on the Cheap" (using a beer cooler)

    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.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Brad Gibson's Avatar
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    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!
    "A recipe has no soul. You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe." -Thomas Keller

  3. #3
    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.

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    Senior Member Mucho Bocho's Avatar
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    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.


  5. #5

    Zwiefel's Avatar
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    D@MN MuchoBocho!! That looks awesome. I think I'm finally convinced on this SV stuff....time to get a unit.
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  6. #6
    Senior Member AFKitchenknivesguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Gibson View Post
    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.
    Jason

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    Senior Member Brad Gibson's Avatar
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    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.
    "A recipe has no soul. You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe." -Thomas Keller

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    Zwiefel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Gibson View Post
    Pittsburg style
    WTH is that?
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

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    Senior Member labor of love's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwiefel View Post
    WTH is that?
    you dont want to know

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    Zwiefel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by labor of love View Post
    you dont want to know
    I 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?
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

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