Sous Vide?

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protagonist
Posts: 4949
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Sous Vide?

Post by protagonist » Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:45 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:14 pm
Great timing, as I just bought an Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Bluetooth, Immersion Circulator, 800 Watts, Black for $99. My friend uses this one and he recommended it. It will be a Christmas present for my husband, who loves to cook.

We're both engineers, so when I asked him to explain the concept, it only took a minute. "Vacuum" is just using water pressure to push the air out of the zip-lock bag. The immersion heater is a water circulation pump to keep the temperature constant. OK, got it.

I wasn't crazy about a bluetooth device to control a simple immersion heater, but it works.

After reading some reviews, there's no way I'm getting the wi-fi model. A google search for "sous vide anova wi-fi security ssid" suggests that security is not a high priority for this company. I suppose this par for the course for an Internet of Things device.
I'd love to hear your verdict when you try it.

I'm not convinced that it is not just the latest trendy expensive kitchen gadget that people will be giving away in yard sales in 2022.....I may be one of those people. It sure is slow and complex compared with grilling a steak or cooking an egg. And sort of soul-less. How many people still use their crock pots?

And I have to ask the same question that I asked when amateur runners were all buying Five Fingers minimalist running shoes a few years ago, yet I didn't see any of the top runners running in them in the New York marathon. If it is really that great, then why do the majority (if not all) of great steak houses still grill their steaks? Especially if they could just prepare them hours before the crowds came and leave them in water baths, only requiring an instantaneous searing with a torch at dinnertime. I'm questioning the wisdom of my recent purchase.

That said, I'm not too worried about the security issue, given that the nature of the information mined by Google, Apple, Amazon etc (and any finance apps favored by the Boglehead community) seems so much more sensitive. If random politicians and corporations learn that I prefer my steaks medium-rare, in this world of lack of privacy I think I can live with that.

Afty
Posts: 547
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:31 pm

Re: Sous Vide?

Post by Afty » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:35 am

protagonist wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:45 pm
I have to ask the same question that I asked when amateur runners were all buying Five Fingers minimalist running shoes a few years ago, yet I didn't see any of the top runners running in them in the New York marathon. If it is really that great, then why do the majority (if not all) of great steak houses still grill their steaks? Especially if they could just prepare them hours before the crowds came and leave them in water baths, only requiring an instantaneous searing with a torch at dinnertime. I'm questioning the wisdom of my recent purchase.
Sous Vide is widely used at fine restaurants: http://www.vancouversun.com/life/trend+ ... story.html

Thomas Keller of the French Laundry was one of the first chefs to use the technique.

protagonist
Posts: 4949
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Sous Vide?

Post by protagonist » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:14 am

Afty wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:35 am
protagonist wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:45 pm
I have to ask the same question that I asked when amateur runners were all buying Five Fingers minimalist running shoes a few years ago, yet I didn't see any of the top runners running in them in the New York marathon. If it is really that great, then why do the majority (if not all) of great steak houses still grill their steaks? Especially if they could just prepare them hours before the crowds came and leave them in water baths, only requiring an instantaneous searing with a torch at dinnertime. I'm questioning the wisdom of my recent purchase.
Sous Vide is widely used at fine restaurants: http://www.vancouversun.com/life/trend+ ... story.html

Thomas Keller of the French Laundry was one of the first chefs to use the technique.
Yes, Thomas Keller is a great proponent and popularizer of sous vide, and wrote the definitive sous vide cookbook, but though I tried, I could not find via google what he cooks with the technique at his restaurants, how much he actually uses the technique at French Laundry or Per Se, nor whether he relies on it completely for some dishes (and which ones), or just in combination with conventional cooking to perform his magic. Chipotle also supposedly uses it (I'm not sure how), and I don't know anybody who has left Chipotle saying "that was the best steak I ever had!" You could also say that conventional cooking produces fantastic results, but everybody is not Thomas Keller, and I don't think a sous vide machine , any more than a great oven, will transform most of us into Thomas Kellers.

And the big question: why are not the majority of fine restaurants using it widely, if one can produce perfect dishes with no time pressure and only the need to sear the food for a minute or so when ordered? It sure is cheaper than a $40000 professional oven and a large staff of highly trained people to monitor when the food is cooked to perfection. The technique has been around since the 1970s. How many of these "100 Best Steakhouses" have eschewed grilling for sous vide? https://www.opentable.com/m/best-steakh ... rica-2016/ ? Why would any great steak house (or any restaurant actually) still want to grill their meat so that the inside is less cooked than the outside, when they could make perfect steak every time through and through with machines that can cost as little as $100 ? (Yes, I know they would need more than one,,,,) Here is a contrarian view: http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/20 ... sous-vide/

I just bought a Joule, so I will see for myself, and we may become acolytes, but I am skeptical. It's my nature. I hope my sweetie loves it, but failing that, I hope if she doesn't, she at least realizes so before January 31 (beyond which Amazon does not accept returns).

bhsince87
Posts: 1402
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:08 pm

Re: Sous Vide?

Post by bhsince87 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:30 am

protagonist wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:14 am
Afty wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:35 am
protagonist wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:45 pm
I have to ask the same question that I asked when amateur runners were all buying Five Fingers minimalist running shoes a few years ago, yet I didn't see any of the top runners running in them in the New York marathon. If it is really that great, then why do the majority (if not all) of great steak houses still grill their steaks? Especially if they could just prepare them hours before the crowds came and leave them in water baths, only requiring an instantaneous searing with a torch at dinnertime. I'm questioning the wisdom of my recent purchase.
Sous Vide is widely used at fine restaurants: http://www.vancouversun.com/life/trend+ ... story.html

Thomas Keller of the French Laundry was one of the first chefs to use the technique.
Yes, Thomas Keller is a great proponent and popularizer of sous vide, and wrote the definitive sous vide cookbook, but though I tried, I could not find via google what he cooks with the technique at his restaurants, how much he actually uses the technique at French Laundry or Per Se, nor whether he relies on it completely for some dishes (and which ones), or just in combination with conventional cooking to perform his magic. Chipotle also supposedly uses it (I'm not sure how), and I don't know anybody who has left Chipotle saying "that was the best steak I ever had!" You could also say that conventional cooking produces fantastic results, but everybody is not Thomas Keller, and I don't think a sous vide machine , any more than a great oven, will transform most of us into Thomas Kellers.

And the big question: why are not the majority of fine restaurants using it widely, if one can produce perfect dishes with no time pressure and only the need to sear the food for a minute or so when ordered? It sure is cheaper than a $40000 professional oven and a large staff of highly trained people to monitor when the food is cooked to perfection. The technique has been around since the 1970s. How many of these "100 Best Steakhouses" have eschewed grilling for sous vide? https://www.opentable.com/m/best-steakh ... rica-2016/ ? Why would any great steak house (or any restaurant actually) still want to grill their meat so that the inside is less cooked than the outside, when they could make perfect steak every time through and through with machines that can cost as little as $100 ? (Yes, I know they would need more than one,,,,) Here is a contrarian view: http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/20 ... sous-vide/

I just bought a Joule, so I will see for myself, and we may become acolytes, but I am skeptical. It's my nature. I hope my sweetie loves it, but failing that, I hope if she doesn't, she at least realizes so before January 31 (beyond which Amazon does not accept returns).
As I mentioned above, I've been cooking sous vide for close to 15 years. I would never give it up.

Several of the chain type steak houses have gone this route. They just do a quick finish on the grill.

But I almost never use it for steaks, at least not for decent cuts like ribeye. IMO, grilling over charcoal or wood beats sous vide hands down. But I also think it's better than broiling or frying, maybe equal to a gas grill. So for folks who can't grill outside regularly, it's a good way to go.

That being said, I do cook lesser cuts of beef regularly sous vide. It can turn cuts like sirloin or cuck/shoulder steaks into wonderfully soft, moist, and tasty steaks. I don't braise (or use a crockpot) for stews or do raosts in the overn anymore either. All sous vide.

I also do a lot of BBQ and smoking. It's not possible to exactly duplicate slow smoking or BBQ. But in many ways, I think food cooked sous vide and finished in the smoker is even better than "the real thing".
BH87

protagonist
Posts: 4949
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Sous Vide?

Post by protagonist » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:31 pm

bhsince87 wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:30 am
protagonist wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:14 am
Afty wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:35 am
protagonist wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:45 pm
I have to ask the same question that I asked when amateur runners were all buying Five Fingers minimalist running shoes a few years ago, yet I didn't see any of the top runners running in them in the New York marathon. If it is really that great, then why do the majority (if not all) of great steak houses still grill their steaks? Especially if they could just prepare them hours before the crowds came and leave them in water baths, only requiring an instantaneous searing with a torch at dinnertime. I'm questioning the wisdom of my recent purchase.
Sous Vide is widely used at fine restaurants: http://www.vancouversun.com/life/trend+ ... story.html

Thomas Keller of the French Laundry was one of the first chefs to use the technique.
Yes, Thomas Keller is a great proponent and popularizer of sous vide, and wrote the definitive sous vide cookbook, but though I tried, I could not find via google what he cooks with the technique at his restaurants, how much he actually uses the technique at French Laundry or Per Se, nor whether he relies on it completely for some dishes (and which ones), or just in combination with conventional cooking to perform his magic. Chipotle also supposedly uses it (I'm not sure how), and I don't know anybody who has left Chipotle saying "that was the best steak I ever had!" You could also say that conventional cooking produces fantastic results, but everybody is not Thomas Keller, and I don't think a sous vide machine , any more than a great oven, will transform most of us into Thomas Kellers.

And the big question: why are not the majority of fine restaurants using it widely, if one can produce perfect dishes with no time pressure and only the need to sear the food for a minute or so when ordered? It sure is cheaper than a $40000 professional oven and a large staff of highly trained people to monitor when the food is cooked to perfection. The technique has been around since the 1970s. How many of these "100 Best Steakhouses" have eschewed grilling for sous vide? https://www.opentable.com/m/best-steakh ... rica-2016/ ? Why would any great steak house (or any restaurant actually) still want to grill their meat so that the inside is less cooked than the outside, when they could make perfect steak every time through and through with machines that can cost as little as $100 ? (Yes, I know they would need more than one,,,,) Here is a contrarian view: http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/20 ... sous-vide/

I just bought a Joule, so I will see for myself, and we may become acolytes, but I am skeptical. It's my nature. I hope my sweetie loves it, but failing that, I hope if she doesn't, she at least realizes so before January 31 (beyond which Amazon does not accept returns).
As I mentioned above, I've been cooking sous vide for close to 15 years. I would never give it up.

Several of the chain type steak houses have gone this route. They just do a quick finish on the grill.

But I almost never use it for steaks, at least not for decent cuts like ribeye. IMO, grilling over charcoal or wood beats sous vide hands down. But I also think it's better than broiling or frying, maybe equal to a gas grill. So for folks who can't grill outside regularly, it's a good way to go.

That being said, I do cook lesser cuts of beef regularly sous vide. It can turn cuts like sirloin or cuck/shoulder steaks into wonderfully soft, moist, and tasty steaks. I don't braise (or use a crockpot) for stews or do raosts in the overn anymore either. All sous vide.

I also do a lot of BBQ and smoking. It's not possible to exactly duplicate slow smoking or BBQ. But in many ways, I think food cooked sous vide and finished in the smoker is even better than "the real thing".
This is the kind of review I was hoping for. Thanks!

What else would you recommend sous vide? I've read many people who claim that poultry and fish don't turn out that well, though many said turkey breasts do. And how about vegetables? Eggs supposedly are great, but no way are we getting up an hour earlier to poach an egg for breakfast and waiting to eat. Do you find it superior for anything else other than what you mentioned?

cpumechanic
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:42 pm

Re: Sous Vide?

Post by cpumechanic » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:39 pm

Hi

I have an Anova and use it routinely for things like steaks and scallops. Anything that is damaged if overcooked is a good option for this method.
Nearly impossible to overcook an item, and if guests arrive late.. you just keep the meat/food in the bath until they arrive and can finish post arrival.
Zip lock bags work just fine.

I bought this on Black Friday for $49 with free shipping as a present.

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=21594


For $69 hard to beat or argue about if you just want to experiment.

I use a small square Thermos cooler that hold about 3 - 4 gallons of water... if you add hot water from faucet the time needed to heat up and reach temp is short.


Regards

CPU
We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.

bhsince87
Posts: 1402
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:08 pm

Re: Sous Vide?

Post by bhsince87 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:32 pm

protagonist wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:31 pm

As I mentioned above, I've been cooking sous vide for close to 15 years. I would never give it up.

Several of the chain type steak houses have gone this route. They just do a quick finish on the grill.

But I almost never use it for steaks, at least not for decent cuts like ribeye. IMO, grilling over charcoal or wood beats sous vide hands down. But I also think it's better than broiling or frying, maybe equal to a gas grill. So for folks who can't grill outside regularly, it's a good way to go.

That being said, I do cook lesser cuts of beef regularly sous vide. It can turn cuts like sirloin or cuck/shoulder steaks into wonderfully soft, moist, and tasty steaks. I don't braise (or use a crockpot) for stews or do raosts in the overn anymore either. All sous vide.

I also do a lot of BBQ and smoking. It's not possible to exactly duplicate slow smoking or BBQ. But in many ways, I think food cooked sous vide and finished in the smoker is even better than "the real thing".
This is the kind of review I was hoping for. Thanks!

What else would you recommend sous vide? I've read many people who claim that poultry and fish don't turn out that well, though many said turkey breasts do. And how about vegetables? Eggs supposedly are great, but no way are we getting up an hour earlier to poach an egg for breakfast and waiting to eat. Do you find it superior for anything else other than what you mentioned?
[/quote]


Eggs are great. It's even possible to pasteruerize eggs and have them behave as if they were raw.

It is my preferred way for chicken, but white and dark work best at different temps, IMO.

It's my go-to method for pork shoulders, wheter I smoke the later or not. Also great for chops. I put pre-packaked vaccume sealed shoulders and tenderloins directly in the water, though some people reccomend against that. Ditto with corned beef.

Seafood is touchy. I've had great luck with salmon, cod, scallops, and mahi. But it takes experimentation to work out what consitency you like best. 2-3 degrees make a difference with seafood.

I have tried vegetables, but don't bother anymore. Never found anything that appeals to me with veggies.

I also use it for making cheese and yogurt.

I am a hardcore convert!
BH87

protagonist
Posts: 4949
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Sous Vide?

Post by protagonist » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:03 am

First experience today with Joule (bought for my sweetie thanks to Barefootgirl's thread)- cooked a turkey breast.
Boned and skinned breast- took less than 5 mins. Meant to cook skin separately but forgot (laughing).
Coated breast with pomegranate molasses, maple syrup and zaatar rub. Took another 5 mins or so.
Pre-seared breast in pan over med-high heat for a minute on each side in avocado oil. Came out perfectly seared.
Suspended coated, seared breast in hot tap water bath in zip-lock bag with rosemary sprigs , placed Joule in pot (magnetized to bottom), set Joule for 133 F. around 11:30 AM. Water came up to temp. very quickly. App worked flawlessly over wifi. It seems to probably work with Alexa too. Breast marinated while cooking.
Took breast out around 9:30 pm, seared again for a minute or so on each side. Carved like butter. I thought it would look pink inside but it didn't....uniform color and soft texture throughout.
Microwaved the juices that settled in the bag for 20 secs or so and poured hot juices over sliced turkey.
It was probably the most tender and juicy turkey breast I ever ate. Great texture. I'm not sure it had quite as much flavor as a traditionally roasted turkey breast- it may have been lacking a little in that department, but it did cook perfectly. This may or may not be a symptom of the cooking method....I'd be interested to hear from others.
Clean up was easy....threw bag away, wiped Joule with sponge and towel, rinsed out pot with water bath, washed searing pan ,cutting board and knives.
Last edited by protagonist on Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LuigiLikesPizza
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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by LuigiLikesPizza » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:27 am

I purchased a rather expensive grass fed chuck roast. Traditionally, I've cooked chuck roast low and slow in the oven or a crockpot.

Thinking it might lend itself well to sous vide - but how to approach that without turning the meat to mush? most chuck roast sous vide instructions call for a very long cook time - and perhaps being grass fed, that would not work?

Deputy Dawg
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:32 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Sous Vide?

Post by Deputy Dawg » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:33 am

For chuck roast:

Season
Bag it
Add a little liquid smoke to the bag
Place it in the sous vide for 24 hours at 155 degrees
When done take it out and pat it dry
Add additional seasoning
Place in oven for 1 hour at 275 degree
Shred and enjoy with a side of Mac and cheese

🙂

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Taz
Posts: 290
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Location: Florida

Re: Sous Vide?

Post by Taz » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:06 am

Couldn't sleep so I was up a 4:30 am and saw this thread (I'd looked at other ones before). Surfed over to Amazon and they had a Magicelec SV model as a lightning deal for $45 (was $63). Unless you add all the bells and whistles, I figured these are pretty much the same so why not try a non-brand name product. We'll see.
The destination matters.

Millennial
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:46 pm

Re: Sous Vide?

Post by Millennial » Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:58 pm

Quick update, Anova customer service came through. They replaced my old Anova One, which had failed after nearly 4 years, with a brand new Anova Wifi (the better model - I didn't expect this). They even paid shipping both ways.

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Hyperborea
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Location: Silicon Valley

Re: Sous Vide?

Post by Hyperborea » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:35 pm

I've got a big batch of ribs in the sous vide bath right now (3 racks) sitting in the garage. I'm using a Gourmia GSV140. I like the fact that it's got a bit more wattage than the other home immersion cookers. It's 1200 watts and that allows it to bring the water up to temperature much quicker than the lower wattage models especially when doing large cooler baths.

For the shorter cooks of a couple of hours or less, I use a pot or plastic tub with a lid that I sit on the counter. For the longer cooks I have a styrofoam cooler that I cut an opening in the lid and a notch in the side of the cooler to hold the immersion heater. I have a large styrofoam box that was used for shipping but you could also just use a cheap picnic cooler.

When the ribs are done I will take them out and freeze most of the packages (4 packs per rack - ~3 ribs per pack) and then I can pull them out for meals and finish them in the oven.

I would recommend checking out the recipes on Serious Eats. There are a lot very good sous vide recipes there.

I will also recommend the use of sous vide for pasteurizing eggs. It makes it possible to more safely make real Caesar dressing or use an egg for sukiyaki dipping or any other dishes using raw eggs.

protagonist
Posts: 4949
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Sous Vide?

Post by protagonist » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:20 pm

So far we cooked a turkey breast, a steak and poached eggs and they all turned out great.

My question....

I bought a Joule which heats up the water very quickly and has a pretty cool android app.

But other than that, is there really much advantage to a high end product such as Joule (or Anova), compared with the many $40-100 models on the market. I assume that if you are cooking sous vide, you must not be in much of a hurry anyway.

bhsince87
Posts: 1402
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:08 pm

Re: Sous Vide?

Post by bhsince87 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:33 pm

protagonist wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:20 pm
So far we cooked a turkey breast, a steak and poached eggs and they all turned out great.

My question....

I bought a Joule which heats up the water very quickly and has a pretty cool android app.

But other than that, is there really much advantage to a high end product such as Joule (or Anova), compared with the many $40-100 models on the market. I assume that if you are cooking sous vide, you must not be in much of a hurry anyway.

IMO, not usually . I cooked this way for years on a stove top, tweaking the temperature manually. It worked.

Temp control is more critical for stuff like seafood or cheese making. But +/- a couple degrees is usually good enough, especially with some practice.

If you are really in a hurry, you can always boil some water and add it. This can help with some large cuts of meat too. But once the meat is up to to near cook temp, the unit only needs to supply tiny amounts of heat.
BH87

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