Sous Vide

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Al Czervik, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. Al Czervik

    Al Czervik

    Messages:
    4,632
    Likes Received:
    2,947
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Location:
    Out to sea
    Well, it is back to school time in our household and a very busy week. I just wanted to use this example as an illustration of the general utility and money saving this appliance offers as it relates to general life around our house this week, as the concept seems be somewhat misunderstood. I do all the cooking and kids' lunch packing, so I try to be both efficient and cost effective along the way. Lunch at our kids' school is about $7/head in addition to the tuition, so they get a packed lunch most of the time, because it ain't worth seven bucks.

    I hit the big box membership club on Friday and found giant sized boneless/skinless chicken breasts for $1.88/lb. I generally hate them, but sous vide and sliced thin, it makes good sandwich fodder. I also bought a whole cryovac choice eye of round for something like $4.69/lb

    I popped the chicken in the tub. Then, when it was done, I popped the eye of round (which I slice in half down the long axis) in overnight. Unless we are eating this kind of stuff right then, I shock it and stash it in the fridge for a few hours with some weight on top. This makes for easy slicing for deli style meats for sandwiches later in the week. As an added bonus, once you reach pasteurization, a few days in the fridge for the chicken is not a problem. Often, if I have chicken in the fridge that needs cooked, I will just pop it in the tub, then the fridge and know I still have several days to eat it.

    We had roast beef Sunday night (this turned out to be the best eye of round roast beef any of us have ever had...the chicken was great as well). The whole family had chicken subs Monday. Tuesday we had french dips. Wednesday was chicken salad. Thursday was roast beef subs. Today, I packed chicken paninis. Wednesday night was roast beast part deux. We went through less than half of what was purchased/cooked. The rest is in the freezer for next week.

    So, for under $5/lb we had better than Boar's Head roast beef, and chicken for under $2/lb. The going rate around here is around $11/lb for the beef and $7 for chicken. Plus, it only has the seasoning I added and a little salt. No mas.
    We could have easily eaten all of our dinners from the one sous vide run as well, but we like to eat fish for dinner a majority of the time and enjoy variety.
    In summation, for about 20 minutes of hands on time every two weeks, we get decent savings and great deli-style proteins for lunches with only what we want added to them.
    Anyone else have useful SV tips? Chime in.
     
    SRS likes this.

  2. SCGlock26

    SCGlock26

    Messages:
    557
    Likes Received:
    509
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2005
    Location:
    Prosperity, SC
    I love my Annova! It is so simple to use and works wonders on tough cuts of meat!
     
  3. Al Czervik

    Al Czervik

    Messages:
    4,632
    Likes Received:
    2,947
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Location:
    Out to sea
  4. el_jewapo

    el_jewapo

    Messages:
    8,744
    Likes Received:
    8,693
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
  5. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

    Messages:
    42,701
    Likes Received:
    2,856
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2001
    Location:
    Taunton, MA
    LOL

    FWIW, amortize the cost of your heater/circulator and the electricity is uses as well. (Probably keep it away from your electric meter or the spinning will cool it down too much.)

    And the cost of the vacuum bags (and Foodsaver if you don't have one). And the slicer if you have a slicer.

    I'm not saying it's not great. I'm saying you don't save as much as you think you do. But you do save.


    Now, 'splain this to me: You slice the chicken BEFORE Sue's Feet? Do you vacuum it single-layer then? Is the purpose to cook it faster? While I'm not in the market, and despite my giggling above, I'm still always fascinated.
     
  6. SC Tiger

    SC Tiger As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

    Messages:
    29,109
    Likes Received:
    19,195
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I was thinking the same thing about the savings. Of course the device Al linked is a lot cheaper than I thought it would be.

    Sent from my SGH-T999L
     
  7. SRS

    SRS

    Messages:
    3,589
    Likes Received:
    5,297
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    Northern VA
    I really enjoy your food posts. Now I can add "savings" to the list of reasons I'm using to convince myself to buy sous vide equipment.
     
  8. JoeCitizen

    JoeCitizen

    Messages:
    2,585
    Likes Received:
    3,760
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    At the prices I'm seeing, think I'll stick with the old crock pot.
     
  9. Al Czervik

    Al Czervik

    Messages:
    4,632
    Likes Received:
    2,947
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Location:
    Out to sea
    I received one as a gift. It doesn't draw much juice. I probably spend less than $20/year on Foodsaver (already had the sealer) bags, as I reuse them.
    But, in addition to being cost effective, its utility lies in the quality of the finished product, the control of the ingredients, and the ease of use, hands-off cooking, and window of time it provides with still perfectly done food.

    The whole seasoned chicken breasts go in bags with a pat of butter, then the SV tub. When they are done, you either eat it then, or cool it and stash it in the chiller for up to several days/freeze.
     
  10. GamerGirl

    GamerGirl 100% Relevant

    Messages:
    19,326
    Likes Received:
    16,807
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    I made awesome veal chops last night. 2 hrs @137 degrees and finished with my Searzall.
     
  11. OGW

    OGW SAF

    Messages:
    10,614
    Likes Received:
    19,592
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Location:
    N.W. Lower Michigan
    Sometimes it doesn't matter if food costs a little, or a lot, more if it's delectable. Good food is one of the things that makes life worth living; it's more than just survival.
     
    cougar_ml and Bruce M like this.
  12. rockymtnhorror

    rockymtnhorror

    Messages:
    871
    Likes Received:
    513
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    Location:
    In a Basket of Deplorables, Colorado
    I think it's kind of like reloading your own ammo. Yes, you'll reduce your cost per round, but you'll shoot more. . .

    Still, it's not a bad thing.
     
  13. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed JAFO

    Messages:
    13,583
    Likes Received:
    5,889
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2001
    Location:
    NY

    How much better does the Searzall work over cast iron. I've been thinking of picking one up just not quite convinced. Do you butter or some sort of oil.
     
  14. Al Czervik

    Al Czervik

    Messages:
    4,632
    Likes Received:
    2,947
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Location:
    Out to sea
    Give us the low down, 'cause I know GG didn't just toss some veal in a bag and dunk it in water.
     
  15. GamerGirl

    GamerGirl 100% Relevant

    Messages:
    19,326
    Likes Received:
    16,807
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    I think it's superior. I don't oil it prior but I do crisp the steak after searing if you know what that is.

    I heavily seasoned them the night before and rubbed them all over with a clove of garlic. I vacuum sealed them with thyme, Rosemary and sage but I kept the herbs on the side or they make weird indentations in the meat which makes it hard to sear them evenly. I cooked them for about two hours and I served it with fresh risotto (does any restaurant on earth not make their risotto ahead and reheat it now? Inquiring minds want to know.), duxelles, and sautéed spinach.

    So really, pretty simple. I got really good meat and didn't want to make it overly fussy.
     
  16. moeman

    moeman

    Messages:
    17,266
    Likes Received:
    20,518
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2004
    Location:
    So CA
    Would a hair dryer do the same thing? It craps out at 140 degrees...
    Ok, total smart ass post. Only ate this kind of cooking in Denver at one of the pioneer restaurants.

    So? Considering the equipment cost, worth it? Cause if it's not WAY better I don't think economics are on the side of a small family. And don't get me wrong... I'm not a cheap date... Just can't get a true idea how much better the products turn out,
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
  17. GamerGirl

    GamerGirl 100% Relevant

    Messages:
    19,326
    Likes Received:
    16,807
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    It depends on your situation. I personally think it makes WAY better sausages and chicken. The real application is for the $30/lb prime steaks and veal chops I buy and cheap cuts like a cross rib roast or short ribs . Despite being a decent cook with a fair amount of experience I have from time to time overcooked a prime steak to medium which is absolutely heartbreaking. This takes out the guess work and is near foolproof.

    The other application is really tough cuts that were traditionally braised or roasted at low heat for hours but still served pretty well done. Those cuts can now be served a tasty medium rare to medium (I prefer somewhere between medium rare and medium) and completely tender and juicy which wasn't possible before.

    A third application is the harried person that wants a good short rib but can't stay at home babysitting a pot all day. Drop the bag in and two to three days later it's done!

    I still grill stuff like skirt steak and its really only good for skin on bone in chicken IMO but it definitely has its palce which is why professional chefs have used it for thirty years.
     
  18. TX OMFS

    TX OMFS Right wing nut Lifetime Member

    Messages:
    9,442
    Likes Received:
    9,893
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    Location:
    San Antonio, Texas
    Said Caitlyn.
     
    Bruce M and el_jewapo like this.
  19. seamaster

    seamaster

    Messages:
    4,637
    Likes Received:
    3,746
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Strange place to see someone talk about sous vide cooking!

    I the small sous vide supreme and i thought it was great for red meat but then I tried cooking fish in it...wow, way tasty!