Contributors to this thread:
So who has jumped on the "sous vide" cooking method?
I've ordered one and looking forward to making prime rib for my first time. What say you?
Bought one for my wife. You'll like it.
What was it you ordered and from who? Bags come with it? Do you need a vacuum sealer?
I love that outside edge crisp too much
My wife bought me one for Xmas but I haven't used it yet. I need to figure out what type of water vessel to use. Really looking forward to trying it. I've watched a lot of videos on you tube on the process.
I bought one like this on Amazon for $75. You can use vacuum sealed bags or ziplock bags.
APauls: AFTER taking the meat out of the sous vide you "reverse sear" the outside with grilling, broiling or a torch.
I also was intrigued by someone who used the portable clip on circulator and cut a hole in a cheap cooler. That way you had the best of both options, 1) insulated bath & 2) be able to accommodate any sized hunk of meat. (Wish I would have seen that before ordering the crock-pot looking one.)
forgot the photo.....
For those of you that want to "try it" before you buy it.... you can do the same thing in a beer cooler. 1)Place your steak in a ziplock bag with the air removed. 2)Heat up water to 140 degrees in a pot on the stove. 3)Add the hot water and ziplocked steak to the cooler for 1.5-2 hours. Monitor the temp, if it falls below 130 degrees, add hotter water till back up to 140 degrees. 4) Take the steak out and sear it. 5) EAT!
You will love it! It makes average cuts excellent. One of my favorites is pork loins. They come out extremely moist and full of flavor. And it can cook anything- not just meat. We will make perfectly hard boiled eggs to whatever texture you like. The one I have syncs to my phone, comes w a free app full of recipes and allows you to control the temp and timing plus gives photos of the finished production at the different temperature settings so you can determine how you like it.
osage - It's an Anova. I can try to check which model.
APauls - What snapcrackpop said. You can take your vacuum sealed or Ziplocked frozen, spiced or marinated meat, drop it in a pot of water with some ice in the morning with the sous vide heater and depending on the model, put it on a timer or turn it on at the proper time using your phone. The meat will be cooked as you want it when you get home. Then you just pan sear it or skip it across a grill.
Sorry. forgot to take the 's' off the https in the link.
I thought that this style was more adaptable because it can be used in any container that you can clamp it to.
Previous thread mention this style of cooking. Perked my interest but a goggle search at the time, revealed somewhat pricey option. Today just happen to see this one offered in store and think will give it a try.
Thanks for the info - gonna have to give it a try. BTW when I smoke a brisket I usually take it out of the smoker, wrap it in foil and let it rest in an ice chest for a couple of hours. Good way to finish it off.
Amazing cooking method especially for lean wild game
I got one for Coach for Christmas. One of the clamp on circulating widgets, Anova I think, has a phone app to control it. Went over like a fart in church. Think..... "Look Honey, a BRAND NEW IRON!" Or vacuum cleaner....
Anyway, thawed out a pretty basic axis hind roast, added some dried thyme (I think?) and a bay leaf in the ziplock bag. Set the temp to 125. Walked away and left it.... for 24 HOURS. Take it out, sear it good in a real hot pan.....
It was hands down the best venison I've ever had. Perfectly cooked just right (rare for me, might push the edge and make it 128 next time for the rest of the family) from middle to the edges, exactly the same. It was like cutting and eating a prime rib. Seriously. Coach always gets these cheap pork cutlets I think they call them. Like eating cardboard most the time. They come out of the "tank" juicy and perfect. I'm sold.
And I'm back to my normal Hero status with Coach.....
I don't think you can overcook anything with them, overcooking game is the worst thing you can do to it. They cook to your set temps and hold it there. The bag holds all the moisture in the meat. Awesome. You want to watch the seasonings, some don't care to be "soaked" that long. Avoid salt as the salt over that time will draw the moisture out of the meat. It was recommended by many to season the meat just before you sear it. Other recipes have marinates you cook the meat in but I haven't tried any of those yet.
Cleanup is for lazy folks like me, just wipe everything down and dry it. It's just plain ol' water. The only thing that touches any food or juice and gets dirty is the bag, which you throw away when it's done.
Drawbacks....... it's not a microwave. Or even an oven. You have to plan ahead as it takes a good deal of time to cook. Like I said, my venison roast was 24 hours. Most things require the second step of searing. (they even sell a torch made to sear)
I used to do roasts in the bbq (not a "grill", a real wood oven bbq smoker) then cool them and cut them up with a meat slicer to make sandwich meat and such. Worked pretty well, I might still do them from time to time. But that sous vide is a game changer.... gonna get a regular workout. I'm thinkin' lobster is next....
Love mine! My wife cooked Coues Deer in it tonight. Tastes excellent!!!
Got the Anova unit recently ... and wow! Venison is excellent -- the best ever. But we've also had pork, pheasant, and even rabbit using the Anova, and I'll tell you this: If we're having people over for a meal, we're using it every time. The only downside is the mess from reverse searing, but I think that's a learning curve thing. Certainly not a deal-killer, and it would be a "nothing" if we'd get a torch.
I have a digital line voltage thermostat I plug my crockpot set on high into this . Works great! I use this stat for a number of things including regulating the temp on my electric skull cooker.
I've got the same unit Grubby has, the "poor man's sous vide." Love it for meat, perfection every time. You can also make things like crème brulee in the sous vide cooker. IMO, because drying out game meat ruins it, a hunter-cook should have one in his kitchen. It makes cooking a deer steak foolproof.
Damn it, I'm just getting used to my pressure cooker :)
I read some of the recipes....... 48 hours cook time?! That is a long time to plan for a meal. Looks really good though.
Is the Wi-Fi option worth the extra cost on the Anova?
midwest, I think so. That's the one I have. The WiFi option allows you to not be tied to the limited range of Bluetooth.
Thanks, Bob, but what would I need the Bluetooth for? Don't you just set the temp and let 'er go?
What if you just put the bagged meat in a crockpot? Seems like it would be the same thing.
Osage, you need to regulate the temp, you would need to add a thermostat to your crockpot
You don’t need the WiFi stuff. Midwest, you’re right: set it and forget it. Yes, steaks take a little longer, around a half hour minimum but the cool thing is the window of time I have. I can wait up to four hours. If people are coming over, I cook the steaks before they arrive, and when we want to eat, we sear them. Very convenient.
Here’s how I control the crockpot
Searing.....propane, butane, or oxy acetylene? lol
I've only had mine since Christmas...so I guess if you always just want to just set the time and go you don't need either WiFi or Bluetooth...I have been using recipe's, so from my phone I just select the internal temp for the meat and start...monitor from my phone.
The phone app has a timer as well? I thought Coach told me it did? Doesn't shut the unit off.... just lets you know when you're set time is up. Or maybe she just sets a timer on her phone? Have to ask her again.
One thing about the dedicated units, they have a small water pump that circulates the water all over the tank so the temps are equalized around what you are cooking, side to side and top to bottom. It's more than just making the water hot. Or at least that's what the manu's are saying.....
Bowsiters are always costing me money! ;^)
Sous vide is almost cheating...but well worth it!
This was my first time using mine...
So the water doesnt evaporate, or do always have a lid on it? cooking for 24 hrs with water seems like a long time. You guys have made me want one now tell me it wont burn down my house while i'm out fishin..
Got my wife one for christmas. Love it. Our animals would die twice... once when we killed it and again when we cooked it. My wife won't eat anything still bleeding. With sous vide it is juicy and cooked to perfection. More importantly, my wife loves it.
Empty Freezer, if it has a lid on it, it's fine. The Anova kind has a high & low water mark that you must monitor.
I read that some use ping pong balls in the water to reduce evaporation. ???
Seems great, but I like my steak blue - hot on the outside and cold on the inside. I love venison tartar and often eat my TLs raw right out of the chest. Won't work for raw. But if you want to cook a piece, it seems great. I'll have to get one.
They make a "kit" of floating balls that kind of look like ping pong balls, I think they are smaller though? Not sure, just going off of pics. I just covered my pot with foil. Checked it at about 20 hours and it was down an inch, maybe less. Still fine but I added water to the top again. In just a few minutes it was back to set temps. They make plastic tubs with snap on covers designed to work with specific units too. For now I'm using the foil. Gives me something to get for myself.... er, I mean Coach, for Christmas next year.....
"I really love cooking venison in my sous vide...." is right up there with "I really need to upgrade my laser rangefinder...." in things I thought I'd never, ever, say......
This seems like a good option...
I just saw this method yesterday and thought to myself, is this a gimmick, well I guess not, I'm going to have to invest in one...
Idyll ... it works fine for "raw" ... you are basically setting the internal temp. You like 104 degrees? Set it there, then sear. (104 is just venison with a fever -- practically raw). You can set it on any temp. You might say it does "raw" better than the refrigerator.
Osage, crockpots likely won't be able to regulate the temperature to the level a true immersion circulator will when cooking sous vide. There's a good chance that even the lowest settings in a crockpot will also be too hot for cooking sous vide.
Idyll, I don't know if I'd say it wouldn't work so to speak for something raw, I would say it's unnecessary. The Idea behind cooking with an immersion circulator is that you get the temperature exactly (or just under) the final temperature you want to serve the meat at. Raw is already there.
With respect to evaporation, you will get some but most of the cooks I've done have only been for a few hours and the temperatures are really not that high to get much evaporation. Remember, you're cooking the food at the final internal temperature you want. For a medium rare piece of meat, that's somewhere in the range of 130 degrees. This is just above a hot bath. Water boils at 212 degrees for reference.
Just to reiterate a few things, the best thing about sous vide is that it is essentially impossible to overcook a piece of meat. The meat will never get above the temperature of the bath and you are guaranteed the entire piece of meat will be at that temperature, not just the very middle. This will also allow you to cook some very thick cuts of meat and ensure that the entire cut is at the temperature you like. Try cooking a 3" ribeye on a grill and not having a huge gradient with regards to the "doneness" of the meat. It's a piece of cake with a sous vide.
Sous vide is also great for a number of other foods besides meat. You can cook vegetables to the perfect level of crispness. As a previous poster mentioned, you can do incredible things with eggs as well. There are some cool charts that show how an eggs yolk and whites change by varying the internal temperature by a degree. With an immersion circulator, you can get the egg to cook to that exact temperature -- something that would be almost impossible if you tried to boil an egg without the temperature control. You can create the perfect soft boiled egg easily. You can also land an egg somewhere between soft boiled and hard boiled to where the yolk is spreadable like a thick butter. It's quite incredible.
Here's the chart I referenced regarding eggs.
The only problem I've had is the splatter of oil while searing the meat after cooking. (I don't have a torch for this -- yet) ... Does anyone have a cure for that? Do I really need any oil at all in the cast iron skillet? (I need to know in the next 5 hours!)
This technology is killing cooking! This is literally the crossbow of the culinary arts! :)
Damn those steaks look good! One more thing to add to my list thanks to Bowsite.
Almost all the videos and posts about "searing" say the key is to pat the meat dry with paper towels before searing. That will help a bunch.
searing a steak with a torch!!! gotta love this place!!!!!!!!!
My son had me over for a venison dinner just last week. It turned out perfect. I am very impressed.
Yeah, I'll try that tonight ... I was using some canola oil but it splattered terribly. Drying the meat should help, and maybe just a spritz of oil instead of pouring it in.
OK you guys, I bought one (I mean for my wife's birthday). $79 at Walmart. Only a 60 day warranty, so she is getting it early.
Deertick, would one of these screened frying covers help?
Bingo, pat it dry, completely dry. It sounds like the splatter is from water.
Very hIgh heat, only about 30-45 seconds per side in the cast iron skillet.
Here is the circulator with a cooler hack. If Id known then what I know now, I would have gone with this method or the in-line digital controller that Grubby posted and just hook it up to my crock-pot.
What size is that cooler snapcrack?
No idea, Its from a google search "sous vide cheap cooler"... Id say 3 cases of beer worth.
Just ordered the Anova. Bought it off their web site through orion's link above. You'll get a pop up for 20% off. Free shipping and ends up a little cheaper than off Amazon. Stoked to give it a go!
Here is the article about sous vide that me over the edge to buy one...see attached link.
***EDIT*** I would not do bear this way. I checked around & bear trichinosis is tougher than pork trichinosis.
Has anyone tried using an induction too with temperature controls? This is a picture of a portable one I have. You have to figure that if you can set the heat of the top that the water would reach that temp max, therefore doing essentially the same thing. I guess all if the temp controls are accurate. Just curious if anyone has tried that. Picked this sweet induction top up for like thirty-some cdn dollars.
Question on trichinosis. Over the years reputable people on this site have indicated the the trichona bear get is different from that in pigs and tougher to kill (e.g. comments bear trichona cannot be killed by freezing). Which are the links above referring to?
Pork, that's the difference.
Probably not safe to eat bear thia way...
"Our animals would die twice... once when we killed it and again when we cooked it."
That reminds me! I have to go to my in-laws' house for dinner next weekend :(
I'm dying to try sous vide, I've heard all kinds of great things about that method. Some good-looking food pics on here guys!
Got mine yesterday. Food porn pics coming soon!
just a word of caution from a food safety pro. I do NOT recommend the 140 degree water in a cooler method. Sous Vide correctly done is safe. Sous Vide done half-assed can kill you.
Fuzzy....can you elaborate?
CDC says to cook bear to 160 to kill trich. That is a long way from the 128 recommended for the preparation of pig some recommend. I wouldn't touch any bear meat sitting in a 128 degree bath for 8 hours when the temp rate to kill it is higher. Especially if it can "kill" you lol.
Trichinosis medication is $$$$ REALLY expensive.
$5k from the pharmacist & $5 from a vet. Valbazen
We have an ANova sous vide machine. Brother in law has been using one for a couple years now to great success with cheap cuts of beef. We are cooking venison mostly with ours. I vacuum seal my venison. You can buy the ANova on Amazon for $100 these days if you watch the prices.
Sealed and still frozen bag of Venison Chops or steaks goes directly into the pot with ANova set to 140F. Cook for 1.5 hours. Take out and sear meat on pan briefly for color/texture with a bit of salt and pepper. Eat.
My wife recently took a larger shoulder roast and put it in the water bath with ANova machine for 10 hours at 140F. Again seared the meat on a pan with salt/pepper. It was excellent.
I don't know where my brother in law gets his recipes, but the beef roasts he has cooked all go for 10-16 hours as I recall, probably 140F or similar temps, but he cooks in ziploc bags with various herb combinations added to the meat while it is cooking in the water bath. He follows it with a quick sear on the pan or grill. Every time it has been excellent to eat!
Sous Vide consistently results in perfectly cooked steaks. One tip is to use Ghee which is a class of clarified butter when searing the outside of the meat. Ghee has a much higher smoke point than plain butter.
Huntcell 's Link
Only thing I would use 160 cooked game for (as the article recommended for all game) would be as a doorstop..... right next to that fruitcake from 3 years ago.......
Here a link that goes in depth about cooking steaks with this method form types and size of cuts to flavors to searing. Presents a lot of options and variations to the process. A very detailed write up on steaks and the explanation of the concepts to making a great tasting steak.
A nice quote from the article :
“ Sous-vide is not a silver bullet or a panacea meant to solve all of your cooking problems or to replace more traditional methods: It's a tool meant to expand your options.”
I’ve been craving a steak since seeing this thread. Decided to break out the sous vide tonight on a couple of thick t-bones. They weren’t terrible :-)
Wait till you try chicken breasts....145 deg. for 2-1/2 hrs. Most tender, juiciest I've ever had!
Best on this thread we got the Anova unit off or Amazon. So far the results are flat out amazing. We have done some of the toughest elk steaks that have come out better than any tenderloin I have ever made. We have also tried chicken and salmon with great results as well.
Recommend searing with Ghee as mentioned earlier and also keep it simple. You don't need to add a lot of spices or seasonings.
“ Sous-vide is not a silver bullet or a panacea meant to solve all of your cooking problems or to replace more traditional methods: It's a tool meant to expand your options.”
True to a degree.... but my guess is this person doesn't deal with wild game much.... With wild game it is very much a "silver bullet" that solves a TON of cooking problems for the less than professional.
And yeah, some cardboard chicken breasts and pork cutlets, regularly some kind of dried out overcooked stuff that some sauce or gravy is necessary to make it edible.
I will elaborate. #1 if there is ANY possibility of thichinella (ie bear, hog, raccoon, bobcat cougar, etc) you MUST have a minimum 160 degree destruction step in the process. Every part of the meat has to make 160.
#2 "Sous Vide" means without air. The way to transform Clostridium bacteria from nasties that'll make you puke, into nasties that'll kill you, is to let them grow in an airless environment. Clostridium ( whether Perfringens or Botulinum) " like it hot" They'' survive up to 135 degrees F and thrive up to 120 degrees F. If you shut off the air and heat and hold that meat between 135 and 150 F you're gonna have juicy, tender meat. If you shut off the air, get some of it up to 135-150 F but some of it doesn't quite make it, and maybe your temps dip down into the 120's off and on while you're playing Frisbee, sipping a cold one, watching football or patting the wife's fanny, well then you just might be brewing botulin toxin, the deadliest known natural toxin. You won't know til you and your guests are in the ER and/or the morgue.
Not likely to happen, but could happen.
Sous Vide takes some knowledge and tight controls.
Don't take the word of some random guy (me) on the internet, even if he claims to be a food safety expert. . Google "sous vide/ botulism" and read what pops up.
If you are interested, here's how I do sous vide without an expensive machine:
1 ) trim and prep your roast/steak
2) Marinade in the fridge for 1-2 hours in a good game marinade. Dale's is good, I make my own with 1 cup dry red wine, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1/4 cup soy sauce and a pinch of rubbed sage and garlic powder
3) Vaccuum seal
4) Preheat 1" of water in a slow cooker or crockpot on high for 15-20 minutes then add the roast, and enough 160 degree water to cover
5) Weight the roast with a plate or bowl to keep it submerged, and turn the crockpot/cooker to it's lowest setting. After 1 hour verify that the water temp is >135 F (most are 140-150ish)
6) After 6 to 8 hours remove the bag OPEN IMMEDIATELY, vent steam, reserve juices and let rest 5-10 minutes.
7) Pan sear, slice and serve. (you can also sear on a hot grill or under the oven broiler BRIEFLY) Reduce the bag juices in a small pot on cooktop/range on high for 5-10 minutes while the meat is resting and searing... serve over the meat or on the side for dipping
I bought the Walmart Sous Vide cooker thing, it was $79. It's worked like a champ, and everything we have tried has come out great. Best Lamb chops I ever ate, super moist Pork Loin, awesome lobster tails ... Can't wait to try a roast, and some steaks.
I made soft eggs with mine today. Perfect! Next will be chicken breasts if the weather holds this weekend. Steaks are on the agenda.
Who’s got a good Sous Vide chicken recipe? I’ve done it a handful of times and, frankly, it’s left me underwhelmed.
bigeasygator, I'm not a fan of sous vide chicken, I just don't think it's a good combo
Anyone have any concerns with heating food up in a plastic bag? I have always wondered about chemicals leaching into the food. Made me stop heating up food in the microwave with plastic bowls, etc. Nothing that will acutely cause issues but I worry long term what effects there may be.
The temps are well below boiling Drop, I don't think you have anything to worry about.
Sous Vide Bacon: Flat out amazing! Try it, you will thank me later.
Had a Rib Roast done Sous Vide last night, damn good as well.
Interesting discussion on Sous Vide cooking and a test of the units in a recent Cooks Illustrated. Worth checking out (at link). My girlfriend is totally sold on this cooking method now, she just ordered the Joule Unit they rated highest in that test.
Tried Sous Vide for the first time last night. It was the best deer steak I have ever had!! Medium rare, just perfect and so easy. Fork tender. I use a Wancle brand, read the reviews on Amazon. You will not be disappointed.
We buy lean skinless chicken breasts. In vacuum bag we add either ranch dressing or a favorite dry rub. Set temp to 146 for 1-2 hours. Pat dry from bag, and then sear on a grill or a cast iron skillet. We actually prefer the cast iron skillet seared in ghee.
We love making chicken this way. We do up a batch on the weekend along with venison steaks and we are set for the week.
Anyone tried duck breast?
Come on. If there is something that can use help, it's ducks. What are the results?
I can make it taste pretty good, it's just tough.
After reading this post I bought an Anova. I did some venison backstrap seasoned with Kosher salt the 1st go around for 1 1/2 hours at 128 degrees. Finished off on the barbeque with some butter and pepper. it was OK but I wasn’t that impressed.
Tonight I did some antelope backstrap seasoned with some dryrub and only did 1 hour at 128 degrees because it was getting late. Finished on a hot skillet with a tablespoon of canola oil and a tablespoon of butter. It had a much better char and was flat out fantastic!
So based on just these two attempts, IMO finishing off in the skillet makes a big difference in the finished product. I say that even though I would say my venison head-to-head with this particular antelope when cooked conventionally on the grill was more tender and more flavorful.
Thanks to everyone for their contributions to this post!