What not to sous vide?

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Bigbbaillie

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To be honest, you sous vide haters sound like people who say that they don't like onions...

How do you guys make hard boiled eggs, I'm actually curious??

What about braised meats, is that a cooking sin as well? Yea, I'm not going to cook a nice rib-eye sous vide, but come on, it's just temp controlled water people.
 
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stringer

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To be honest, you sous vide haters sound like people who say that they don't like onions...

How do you guys make hard boiled eggs, I'm actually curious??

What about braised meats, is that a cooking sin as well? Yea, I'm not going to cook a nice rib-eye sous vide, but come on, it's just temp controlled water people.
One person's hard boiled egg is another person's temp controlled water cooked unfertilized poultry embryo.
 

Grayswandir

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You can also temper chocolate much easier using sous vide, plenty of other applications. In regards to the meat, sous vide allows whatever seasonings you use to fully penetrate your protein which can make very delicious meats. Would recommend you season in the bag next time then grill/sear afterwords.
Is that really true, it permeates to the center of the meat? I've done the long marinades and it doesn't seem to penetrate past a quarter of an inch, and depending on what's in your marinade, it can ruin the texture of the meat if you leave it to marinate too long. It definitely takes experience to make a superior product, that's for sure. I generally don't fool around with marinades all that much anymore. If it takes more then an hour or two, I usually don't fool with it, and usually I just hit up my steak with a little salt, pepper, and olive oil (room temperature) then cook it the way I like. I think I'm going to try brining next. I hear there's some interesting chemistry going on, juices swapping, etc. that make brining a good choice.
 
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btbyrd

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Salt penetrates that way because it can diffuse ionically through tissue. Marinades and rubs will mostly remain on the surface, even if you pull a hard vaccum on them. Most flavor molecules are simply too large to penetrate much further. Subjecting meat/marinade to a vacuum vacuum only marginally enhances brine penetration; tumbling is much more effective. It is true that herbs can be more potent in the bag, but even that effect is overstated.

Brining (or heavily salting and waiting a long time) is a good strategy for some meats, but it changes the texture. Most people don't mind it on poultry and pork, but on tender cuts of beef like steaks, it can create a cured sort of texture that isn't to everyone's liking. But those cuts are tender enough that they don't really benefit from brining anyway.
 

Michi

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I suspect all this depends a lot on both time and the particular molecules that are involved. Different molecules will diffuse at different rates into the meat. And, of course, marinades rarely go for longer than a few hours or overnight, whereas curing solutions are applied for a week or even a month. (I know that at least some flavourings, such as juniper berries, will definitely make their way into the meat, and not just hang around on the surface.)

As far as sous vide is concerned, I suspect that, just because things are in a vacuum bag, they won't absorb flavour significantly faster than they would just sitting in a marinade in a container. At least, that's pretty much been my experience. Sous Vide isn't about intensity of flavour, but precise temperature control.
 

ian

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It’s possible that flavors will penetrate a cooked (and maybe especially a hot) piece of meat more deeply than a raw one, in which case SV could help since you don’t usually keep a piece of meat hot and immersed in a flavoring agent for so long any other way. Idk.

I don’t use SV that much anymore tho.
 

stevessf

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My experience with sous vide is hit or miss. The last sous vide fillet mignon I ate was butter. Just perfect. It was also a very superior cut of meat from probably the most consistently excellent and expensive butcher in town. (To be clear, I was a dinner guest. I'm way too cheap to spend that kind of doe.) However, I've also been very disappointed with the mealy texture sous vide can produce. So now, I eliminate the potential for mealy meat and go with the reverse sear which I highly recommend.
 

Grayswandir

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My experience with sous vide is hit or miss. The last sous vide fillet mignon I ate was butter. Just perfect. It was also a very superior cut of meat from probably the most consistently excellent and expensive butcher in town. (To be clear, I was a dinner guest. I'm way too cheap to spend that kind of doe.) However, I've also been very disappointed with the mealy texture sous vide can produce. So now, I eliminate the potential for mealy meat and go with the reverse sear which I highly recommend.
I've been eating New York strips recently (I've had two in as many months) and I really enjoy them. I used to prefer fillet mignon and rib eye, but I think a good strip steak is right up there in terms of flavor and texture. I'm pretty simple when it comes to steaks, olive oil, salt & pepper is all I need. and maybe a little Merlot sauce or A1 when I'm in the mood. I do love bearnaise sauce, but it's a pain in the butt to make. Knorr actually makes an instant bearnaise that's pretty good, I use that from time time. I've never had anything sous vide, so I can't relate to the mealy texture your talking about, but it doesn't sound good at all.

What's a reverse sear?
 

stevessf

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I've been eating New York strips recently (I've had two in as many months) and I really enjoy them. I used to prefer fillet mignon and rib eye, but I think a good strip steak is right up there in terms of flavor and texture. I'm pretty simple when it comes to steaks, olive oil, salt & pepper is all I need. and maybe a little Merlot sauce or A1 when I'm in the mood. I do love bearnaise sauce, but it's a pain in the butt to make. Knorr actually makes an instant bearnaise that's pretty good, I use that from time time. I've never had anything sous vide, so I can't relate to the mealy texture your talking about, but it doesn't sound good at all.

What's a reverse sear?
Heat the oven to around 225 - 250f and monitor, put in the meat, and then monitor the interior temp. For medium-rare take out the meat at 125 - 130f and rest 10 minutes covered with foil. Then place on a hot grill or cast iron pan (oil and season per your personal taste) and apply a quick, deep char to each side, maybe two minutes each side. I use this method on those 2" thick tomahawk steaks and the result is a steak eater's dream. And I have witnesses. (-:
 

FishmanDE

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… you can find the clip under Culinary Institute of America.

Somebody should tell these guys that they are “people who do not know how to cook”’. I guess they might as well shut down their schools and the graduates should send their diploma’s back and get jobs as Uber drivers.

The older I get the more I realize how little I know about most everything.
To be fair, idk if you’ve ever met a CIA grad, but they most certainly cannot cook. That leads me to believe the teachers themselves may be lacking… lol sous vide definitely has a place in kitchens though, no debate. You will never find a better way to cook an egg (at the very least)
 

JASinIL2006

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My experience with sous vide is hit or miss. The last sous vide fillet mignon I ate was butter. Just perfect. It was also a very superior cut of meat from probably the most consistently excellent and expensive butcher in town. (To be clear, I was a dinner guest. I'm way too cheap to spend that kind of doe.) However, I've also been very disappointed with the mealy texture sous vide can produce. So now, I eliminate the potential for mealy meat and go with the reverse sear which I highly recommend.
I cook a lot of steaks sous vide, and the only mealy textured steaks I've had were those that were cooked way too long.
 

Brian Weekley

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To be fair, idk if you’ve ever met a CIA grad, but they most certainly cannot cook. That leads me to believe the teachers themselves may be lacking… lol sous vide definitely has a place in kitchens though, no debate. You will never find a better way to cook an egg (at the very least)
I take your point but you’re kind of missing the point I’m trying to make. If you have a source of heat you can cook with it. Ergo … you are a cook; good, bad or indifferent. Practice your trade and you will become a better cook, regardless of your source of heat. Am I a CIA, grad … no, do I work in a commercial kitchen … no. BUT … I have been cooking with enthusiasm for over fifty years … I am, therefore … a cook by any measure. Part of my pleasure is working out new methods and techniques. I never took up water bath Sous vide because I didn’t want to deal with all of the paraphernalia involved … but I was aware of the technique and Anova’s products. I was also aware of the use of Combi ovens used in many commercial kitchens. A friend, KKF member AND a well known chef alerted me to the Anova Prevision Oven when it was announced. I ordered one of the first batch and when it arrived got busy using it. I liked the idea of cooking with controlled steam. When the Oven manual referred to cooking in 100% steam as sous vide cooking I wasn’t prepared to argue and got to work cooking “sous vide style”. I’ve been using the oven in sous vide mode for about six months and can say that I’m getting good results. Is it better or worse than cooking with some other heat source? That’s not the point with me. The people who eat the food I prepare vote on the quality of my product and I won’t put anything on a table for others to eat unless I personally find it palatable.

Being kind, I will just say that making broad and blanket statements often reflects a lack of personal experience. After you’ve gathered the experience, blanket statements about this or that tend to go away.

Don’t like sous vide or TF knives?… That’s fine, but recognize that other worthwhile people do, and just maybe know something you have yet to learn.
 

stevessf

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I cook a lot of steaks sous vide, and the only mealy textured steaks I've had were those that were cooked way too long.
Good point. I always use the recommended time. But I think I'll reduce that time by maybe 30% and see how it goes.
 

adyu

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To be fair, idk if you’ve ever met a CIA grad, but they most certainly cannot cook. That leads me to believe the teachers themselves may be lacking… lol sous vide definitely has a place in kitchens though, no debate. You will never find a better way to cook an egg (at the very least)
Lol, c'mon. One in five Michelin starred restaurants are helmed by CIA grads, such as Grant Achatz.
 

FishmanDE

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Lol, c'mon. One in five Michelin starred restaurants are helmed by CIA grads, such as Grant Achatz.
I call BS on that. Where are we getting that information from? Also define helmed? Like, head chef on paper? Or the chefs who actually run the place?

I live and work in NYC, worked in a Michelin star place pre pandemic and have staged at many many others. Most schooled chef I’ve met so far went to ICE.
 

adyu

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I call BS on that. Where are we getting that information from? Also define helmed? Like, head chef on paper? Or the chefs who actually run the place?
.

The chef that actually runs the place, so they credit places like Le Bernardin to Chris Muller and Atelier Crenn to Jonathan Black.
 

FishmanDE

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.

The chef that actually runs the place, so they credit places like Le Bernardin to Chris Muller and Atelier Crenn to Jonathan Black.
See, that right there is misleading. Grant is to Alinea as Eric Ripert is to le Bernidan. And he most certainly didn’t go to CIA. This post is also from 2018. I’d love to see the post pandemic comparison.
 

adyu

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See, that right there is misleading. Grant is to Alinea as Eric Ripert is to le Bernidan. And he most certainly didn’t go to CIA. This post is also from 2018. I’d love to see the post pandemic comparison.
Chris Muller did leave Le Bernardin last year, but he was very much running day to day operations at the restaurant as Eric Ripert's second in command. Eric Ripert, as you say, has been the head chef on paper for many years now while Chris Muller was operating in the trenches. Chris is also reportedly a nightmare to work with - a shouty, Ramsay type - so it doesn't actually reflect well on them either.

To be fair though, I don't know if Grant Achatz is still working the pass at Alinea - I'd be surprised if he did - but he is still heavily involved in dish development, and I'd still very much say he can cook.

I'm not sure what you expect to have changed. The pandemic has been transformative to the restaurant industry, but the Michelin guide hasn't shifted around more than usual. Most of the restaurants that lost stars were the ones that closed, which is not at all a reflection of the talent of the chefs or the quality of the food.
 
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FishmanDE

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My last word on this, as I’m not looking for an argument, is that you can’t compare all CIA graduates to Grant. Obviously he can cook, I meant it as a more blanket statement that, pound for pound, CIA grads can’t cook. And if you look at the cost of enrollment, I think you can see that certain types of chefs go to CIA because they are the only ones who can afford it (Grant being a different era). And beyond that, I firmly believe all culinary schools are shams and offers very little more that on the job experience.
 

FishmanDE

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Also, to be clear, 1 star Michelin is more of a reflective of the service and selection than actual execution of the food. I think if you cut 1 stars out of the equation, that “1 in 5” boast shifts significantly
 

Delat

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Good point. I always use the recommended time. But I think I'll reduce that time by maybe 30% and see how it goes.
I do around 1 hour per inch, typically about 1.5 hours for the steaks I normally get.

Kenji tested the effect of extended sous vide time on steak and found that it starts to break down around the 4 hour mark, which would probably give the “mealy” effect mentioned.

 

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