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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I posted in the grilling thread about sous vide'ing a steak and got asked for a little write-up on my setup. So, I'll try to keep this short and then if people are interested, I'm happy to answer questions. Sous vide is French for "under pressure." The idea basically is to vacuum seal food/remove the air (put it "under pressure), then submerge said food in a water bath at a given temperature for an extended amount of time. This allows the entirety of the food to eventually be cooked from edge-to-edge at the same temperature as the water bath that you've placed it in. Here's probably the best "Getting STarted Guide:" http://www.seriouseats.com/sous_vide_101

Materials needed are pretty simple. Primarily you need a water circulator. There are two main varieties. The most popular kind is one that clamps or sits in a stock pot, cooler, or other vessel. The two most popular of this variety are the Anova Precision Cooker and the Joule. Anova has been around longer (and is what I use), Joule is the "new kid" with some fancy bells and whistles (you can submerge it in water, it's magnetized, completely controllable from an app, etc).
Anova: https://www.amazon.com/Anova-Culina...654329&sr=8-1&keywords=anova+precision+cooker
Joule: https://www.amazon.com/ChefSteps-CS...=1499654375&sr=8-2-spons&keywords=joule&psc=1

Both work fine and are solid units. Can't go wrong. The other style is a self-contained unit that incorporates the circulator with a "pot" of some sort (https://www.amazon.com/Sous-Vide-Su...TF8&qid=1499654424&sr=1-17&keywords=sous+vide. I'm not a huge fan of these b/c you're limited on size and have a new kitchen appliance to store. Not fun.

Sous vide'ing is great for a number of different foods. Generally it is really good at a few things. 1) Cooking foods that need to be cooked to a precise temperature edge-to-edge (e.g. steak). 2) Foods that dry out easily (chicken breast). 3) Foods that become better when cooked for a long time. I'll try to give an example of each.

1) Steak is the classic example here. I usually drop my steak w/some salt and pepper into a freezer bag and submerge it into the water bath at 128F. Let it cook in there for about an hour and a half (but it can be 1-3 hours really). Take it out, pat it dry, then throw it on a rip-roaring grill for about 90 seconds per side solely to sear the outside and get a nice crust.


2) Chicken breast is the jewel here. Typically you cook chicken breast to 165F. This allows yout o nuke all salmonella instantly. Turns out, you can cook at a lower temp for a longer time and kill all the bacteria and keep your chicken from drying out. So, salt and pepper your chicken breast (I think bone in works better), seal it up in a freezer bag or vacuum bag, and throw it in at about 150-155F for 3-4 hours. YOu can actually go as low as 140-145 as long as you cook it for 4+ hours, but I think the texture is funny. At 152, it's still moist. Again, I typically sear it for a minute in a pan when I finish.

3) I've done cow tongue for 2 days in the sous vide. Made for some awesome tacos.




I've also done veggies (carrots work great). And then, you can also do larger cuts of meat. Last Thanksgiving, I bought a whole NY Strip, cut it in half (2 5# chunks) and put in the sous vide at 128F for about 4 hours. Seared it on the grill. Also smoked a turkey. Turned out like this:



Let me know if you have questions!
 

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Looks tasty and great write up. I've heard a lot about these in the BGE forum. I like the set it and forget it mentality and the fact that's it's really hard to get something wrong(over or under cooked).

I think it would take a few drinks to swallow down that beef tounge.
 

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^ so hard to find tongue. I always wonder what they do with it. Beef hot dogs?

For those that want to try this without buying stuff, get a small cooler and place some tap water. Then add boiling water and a oven thermometer to get the desired temp (120F). Add the steaks sealed in the ziplock bags and close the lid. Watch the temp, if it drops below 110, add more boiling water.

It is great if you are hosting a party, since the steaks will be cooked/ready and the grill is just to make it look good or to cook it well done for that one guest (don't invite them again).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
G-Man is right...Cooler is great for a cheap set it and forget it.

For people who like their steaks more cooked than medium rare? Well...I've converted my wife:) But in all seriousness, I'd probably cook it to 128F in the sous vide, then just leave it on the grill for an extra minute or two...you could also stick them in the oven for a couple minutes at the end. Or, if it's your kids (like mine), I just stick it in the microwave for a few seconds to nuke it:)

The beef tongue is surprisingly good. My wife wanted to gag when I was preparing it...but after you chop it up and put it on tacos? Tastes just like any other kind of beef!
 

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Ware said:
This may be a dumb question, but what if you were cooking for several people who liked their steaks cooked to a different temp?
Just a suggestion because I've never done it before. I would Sous Vide them to the same temperature then have a direct heat (sear station) then a indirect section. Sear them all then if people want them more done then set them on the indirect side. But in reality if they want them more done than medium rare, cook them a hamburger :lol:
 

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Reroute... I was reading kolbasz's post about the Rachio deal through Alexa, so I decided to see what other Alexa deals they are offering. They have the 2nd Gen Anova for $129 if you order through Alexa:


It also appears they are offering an additional $10 account credit for ordering an Alexa deal over $20 from that page...


It was too hard to pass up the newer model for an extra $20, so I ordered it and canceled my first order. The 2nd Gen is the new wifi-enabled one, and I think it is 900W vs 800W.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@Ware...nice! It would be nice to have the extra 100W just for those times when you're trying to heat up huge amounts of water (like when I did the whole NY strips in a 20 quart ice chest...worst part is waiting to heat the water up to temp).

So I tried something new yesterday with the sous vide. If you're a coffee drinker, especially an iced/cold brew drinker, read on. Saw this idea somewhere earlier this week. Basic idea is that cold brew removes a lot of the acidity from the brew, but it also takes a really long time. Is there a way to create a similar tasting coffee faster using the sous vide to brew at what amounts to warm, but not hot temps.

Took 1/4c. of coarsely ground coffee (not sure how much the bean/roast matters. I used a Blue Mountain bean I get from Costco that falls somewhere in the medium roast range). Get a large jar that can hold the grounds + 4 c. water and that has a tight fitting lid. Put the grounds and 4c. cold water in the jar and mix it up.

Meanwhile, get the sous vide up and running and set at a temp of 150F. Once it's there, set the jar (or jars) in the water bath and let it go for 2 hours. Pull it and then strain it through a coffee filter into whatever you want to store it in (put mine in mason jars) and put in the fridge. Should be able to store in the firdge for at least a week.

Did mine last night, put it in the fridge before I went to bed, and then poured it over ice this morning. Thought it was good enough to do again. I"m sure I"ll try tweaks (temp, time, bean type, amount of grounds, etc).

 

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I did some filet mignon earlier this week. My searing skillet wasn't quite hot enough, so I ended up overcooking them a bit, but it was still good. It was kind of crazy how you open the bag and they smell like a fully cooked steak - I suppose because they are. :lol:
 

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Ware said:
I did some filet mignon earlier this week. My searing skillet wasn't quite hot enough, so I ended up overcooking them a bit, but it was still good. It was kind of crazy how you open the bag and they smell like a fully cooked steak - I suppose because they are. :lol:
Have you done a reverse sear on the pellet? Wondering if it is the same effect?
 

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ericgautier said:
Have you done a reverse sear on the pellet? Wondering if it is the same effect?
It's very similar, but the sous vide will no doubt yield a more uniform temperature profile during the "indirect" portion of the cook. Is it required to cook a good steak? Probably not, but it's pretty cool. :D
 

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Ware said:
It's very similar, but the sous vide will no doubt yield a more uniform temperature profile during the "indirect" portion of the cook. Is it required to cook a good steak? Probably not, but it's pretty cool. :D
I just can't wait the 2 hours for a steak. :lol:
 

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Ware said:
I think it can be more like an hour for most steaks. Here is a random article about steak sous vide times/temps.
Oh, I've tried it. My BIL has one and when we visit, he always makes steaks for us. We also tried ribs once. That took about 12 hours, then another hour in the oven on broil to get the sauce to char. :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yeah....an hour is fine for steaks. If you're going sub-130F temp, you really don't want to let it go more than 2.5 hours...too much time in a bacteria growth zone after that (although I admit to having done it w/o issue....but then again, I"m a risk-taker). If you put the steaks on, light up your charcoal and get it roaring hot so that you can take it out of the sous vide right at the hour mark, it really doesn't take a whole lot longer than if you'd lit the grill ,let it heat up, and cooked the steak entirely over the charcoal.
 
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