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First attempt at Sous Vide

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  • FLBuckeye
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    First attempt at Sous Vide

    Got two ribeyes (total of 2.43 lbs.) and attempted the sous vide technique. Dry brined the steaks two hours prior. Filled a beer cooler halfway with hot water from the tap. Boiled some more water to add as needed. Water temp was 108 so I added more to bring it to 130, figuring I would lose a few degrees when the cold steaks were added. Put the two steaks slowly into the water to purge the air from the bags. Temp dropped to 127. After 15 min. I started a chimney full of lump charcoal (wanted a hotter fire than my usual Kingsford blue) and let it get really hot. Used my old Weber with bricks under the coal grate to around two inches from the cooking grate. Plopped the two steaks onto the grate and cooked for a few minutes on each side. Got the desired crust and the flavor was really good. My teen aged daughter said it was the best steak she ever had. I have done the reverse sear before but I think the sous vide was better.
    The pictures show my embarrassing lack of talent in photography.
  • David Parrish
    Founding Member - Pit Boss Emeritus
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    #2
    REAL NICE! Did you sear them longer on one side than the other? Looks like you have a thicker brown edge on one side of the steak. That's just me being curious. That steak looks incredible!

    Comment


    • FLBuckeye
      FLBuckeye commented
      Editing a comment
      May have. I temped them a few times and when I get to 135, I pulled them.
  • _John_
    Former Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 2454

    #3
    Looks terrific.

    Comment

    • Jon Solberg
      Former Member
      • Jul 2014
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      #4
      WTG FLB. I'm inspired!

      Comment

      • bbantel
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        #5
        Wow, that looks awesome. Thanks for sharing. TBH, I'm too much of a chicken to sous-vide w/o a machine, but kudos for trying this.

        Comment


        • Christobol
          Christobol commented
          Editing a comment
          I did my first one with a probe in a pot, and just kept the gas stove at it's lowest setting. You can adjust the amount of water and the size of the pot to find a nice combo to help maintain close to the correct temp.
      • Christobol
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        • Aug 2014
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        #6
        Originally posted by FLBuckeye View Post
        Got two ribeyes (total of 2.43 lbs.) and attempted the sous vide technique. Dry brined the steaks two hours prior. Filled a beer cooler halfway with hot water from the tap. Boiled some more water to add as needed. Water temp was 108 so I added more to bring it to 130, figuring I would lose a few degrees when the cold steaks were added. Put the two steaks slowly into the water to purge the air from the bags. Temp dropped to 127. After 15 min. I started a chimney full of lump charcoal (wanted a hotter fire than my usual Kingsford blue) and let it get really hot. Used my old Weber with bricks under the coal grate to around two inches from the cooking grate. Plopped the two steaks onto the grate and cooked for a few minutes on each side. Got the desired crust and the flavor was really good. My teen aged daughter said it was the best steak she ever had. I have done the reverse sear before but I think the sous vide was better.
        The pictures show my embarrassing lack of talent in photography.
        How long did you run the sous vide? What temp do you think you ran them at during that time? I've been playing with my sous vide machine (there are a bunch of inexpensive ones that are $200 now), and have made 20 or so steaks so far. I've found there is quite a variation in the effects upon the steak when the temp varies from 130 to 132 degrees, then 135 is definitely over cooked for by my taste and my gf's. 128 seems too rare, and I guess the fibers have loosened up enough that they are squishy without bursting when chewed making the steak VERY chewy.

        I've had trouble doing the reverse sear on the grill because it ends up cooking the interior and overcooking the steak. What sous vide chefs recommend is finishing the steak in a pan with canola oil at 550 plus, to get a good and solid sear. My Genesis S330 only maintains a grill temp of 350-450 over two burners with the sear station in the middle, and it takes a good 8-10 min to get a nice dark brown Mailllard reaction.

        Yesterday I tried a top sirloin prime in the sous vide for 2 hours at 120, and 30 min at 126 as I started to sound think how much cooking effect I was actually getting. I finished it in the pan and one turned out awesome but mine was slightly too charred on one side.

        ≈A note on the vacuum packagers: I bought one from Costco, and after using it for a few months have found it lacks enough sucking power. There is something called a vacuum chamber and it's considered ideal as you can set how many atmospheres to drop, and how tightly to pack the plastic, regardless of other liquids in with the meat. Plus it'll help tremendously with drawing salt and any cooking sauce into the meat while cooking in the sous vide.
        Last edited by Christobol; August 31st, 2014, 05:46 PM.

        Comment


        • mgaretz
          mgaretz commented
          Editing a comment
          You definitely do not need the kind of vacuum a chamber sealer provides to do sous vide. I have used a Food Saver for years without any issues. Many people use the technique that FLBuckeye used of immersing the bag and sealing. The vacuum level isn't important - the idea is to get the air out so that the bag doesn't float and you have good contact to the food so the heat can transfer better.

          That's not to say that there aren't reasons to get a chamber sealer, just that sous vide isn't one of them. I did consider getting one so I could do liquids, but I found that most often I can freeze them first in a plastic container, pop out the block then vacuum seal. I decided that was a better trade-off than the expense of a chamber sealer and the space it takes up.

        • Christobol
          Christobol commented
          Editing a comment
          The reason to use a chamber vacuum sealer is not so you can cook sous vide, but rather you have a lot more control over the way that foods cook. If you're looking for a good book about sous vide, check out Thomas Keller's Under Pressure. He goes into the details and theory and science of sous vide and some detail on their 10 odd year journey of figuring out how to use it. And I've you're not familiar with him, he runs THE best restaurant in the country (though sometimes 2nd).

          Basically he says that for many foods including those with liquids which is suggested or must sous vide recipes a Food Saver isn't good enough. Things like fruits and vegetables really benefit from a hard tight seal, while fish would be crushed.

          One thing I've learned is the time under water can be as important as the temp achieved inside the meat. So rather than just hitting them temp you want, keeping it there for low and slow often allows more time of important chemical changes.

          A good starting point for temps and times can be found at:
          http://www.sousvidesupreme.com/en-us...mperatures.htm

        • mgaretz
          mgaretz commented
          Editing a comment
          Yep, have the book. And many others. I still do not agree that the chamber sealer gives you more control over the way foods cook. It will do things like compress watermelon and the like, but has nothing to do with sous vide.
      • mgaretz
        Founding Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 788
        • San Ramon, CA
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        #7
        Originally posted by FLBuckeye View Post
        I have done the reverse sear before but I think the sous vide was better.
        I'm not sure what you really meant, but you still did reverse sear, and it's very common with sous vide - it's exactly how I make my steaks.

        Comment


        • FLBuckeye
          FLBuckeye commented
          Editing a comment
          I meant with the low and slow on the grill

        • mgaretz
          mgaretz commented
          Editing a comment
          Ah. They are similar but different techniques, unless you can run your grill at very low temps, like 120-130. Since we generally grill/smoke hotter (say 225F) the meat will be warmer towards the edges than the center. The advantage of sous vide is that the entire piece is at your set temperature and you can't over-cook it.
      • mgaretz
        Founding Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 788
        • San Ramon, CA
        • Mark Garetz
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        #8
        FWIW, my wife and I like our steaks rare. I will do 1 to 1.5" thick sirloins, starting with them vacuum packed and frozen, for 1 hour at 125F. Then a quick reverse sear on my Weber gasser with GrillGrates, about 3 minutes a side. Lately I have been using the flat side of the grill grates.

        Comment


        • FLBuckeye
          FLBuckeye commented
          Editing a comment
          Does the gasser get hot enough?

        • mgaretz
          mgaretz commented
          Editing a comment
          Sure, especially with the GrillGrates.
      • Huskee
        Pit Boss
        • May 2014
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        #9
        Looks good my man. I wouldn't turn it away! The only thing I'd do if I were to sous vide is I'd really plop some good amount of wood on there and sear over embers with plenty of smoke to infuse some smoke flavor during that limited coal exposure. But some do sous vide since they don't prefer the smoke flavor on steaks.

        Comment


        • FLBuckeye
          FLBuckeye commented
          Editing a comment
          That is a really good idea. I like the smoke flavor a lot. What wood would you suggest? I am guessing hickory or some wood of that ilk

        • Huskee
          Huskee commented
          Editing a comment
          Yeah, hickory would be a good choice, it's fairly potent for that short of an exposure. Oak or mesquite might work good too.
      • Chrisonthego
        Former Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 13
        • Ottawa, ontario canada

        #10
        Here are my sous vide cookings. Like for any good steaks, i do a reverse sear.

        Comment

        • IrondeQuer
          Founding Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 265
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          #11
          Great discussion! This has to go on the to-try list! Great pics, FLB.

          Comment

          • David Parrish
            Founding Member - Pit Boss Emeritus
            • May 2014
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            #12
            Guys would you like to have a Sous Vide sub channel in the recipes and techniques section?

            Comment


            • FLBuckeye
              FLBuckeye commented
              Editing a comment
              I would as I am going to try different foods sous vide. Really liked the results

            • Christobol
              Christobol commented
              Editing a comment
              I think it would be useful. I have a one day quest envisioned... the Thrice Cook Ribs method, Sous Vide, Smoked, Direct Heat (Gas in my case).

            • Huskee
              Huskee commented
              Editing a comment
              Enlighten me Christobol why you'd want all that hassle for ribs w/ the sous vide...worth it? Better?
          • David Parrish
            Founding Member - Pit Boss Emeritus
            • May 2014
            • 5043
            • Charlotte, NC
              • Slow 'N Sear Kamado (SnSK)
              • Lots of grills that work with Slow 'N Sear
              • LOTS of digital thermometers (my fav)
              • LOTS of accessories
              • Favorite Beer - Fat Tire
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              • Favorite White Wine - Cakebread Chardonnay
              • Favorite Red Wine - Yes, Please
              • President/Owner - SnS Grills

            #13
            Originally posted by mgaretz View Post
            FWIW, my wife and I like our steaks rare. I will do 1 to 1.5" thick sirloins, starting with them vacuum packed and frozen, for 1 hour at 125F. Then a quick reverse sear on my Weber gasser with GrillGrates, about 3 minutes a side. Lately I have been using the flat side of the grill grates.

            Mark next time you use this technique try flipping the steaks every minute during the reverse sear. Still cook them 3 minutes per side, just do it 1 minute at a time and flip often. I bet you'll get even better edge to edge red.

            Comment


            • Christobol
              Christobol commented
              Editing a comment
              Doing this method on my gas grill, I'm finding I need 10 minutes to get a nice dark brown color, but that obviously cooks the interior quite a bit and I went from a black/blue cook to medium well.

              Does it make sense to pull the steak after the low and slow, allow the grill 10 min or so to get the grills up to max temp before grilling one side and moving it often. Then pulling the steak and giving the grill another 10 min to get fully up to temp, so the interior has time to cook off, then throw it on to get the Maillard reaction on one side?
              Last edited by Christobol; September 1st, 2014, 11:29 PM.

            • David Parrish
              David Parrish commented
              Editing a comment
              Christobol can you get a good two zone setup going on your grill? If so, that's the way to go. This link has tips on how to use a gasser: http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_tech...ill_setup.html

              Once you do have the grill at high heat for searing (two zone or just crank it up and wait method), though, you just throw the steak on and flip every minute with the lid open. After 3 minutes start checking it for temp. Cast Aluminum Grill Grates really help a gasser with searing. http://amazingribs.com/BBQ_buyers_gu...ll_grates.html

            • Christobol
              Christobol commented
              Editing a comment
              My kamado grill doesn't have an easy was to setup for two zone grilling, hence moving the meat to the gas grill. Thanks for the tips I think the grates might help out.
          • FLBuckeye
            Founding Member
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            • 568
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              Kingsford blue bag
              Royal Oak lump for searing

              Have competed in two BBQ comps and plan on more this year

              Huge fan of The Ohio State University.

            #14
            I bragged about my sous vide steaks and now I "volunteered" to do 12 of them for a Scout leaders camp out. Will wait until the week of the camp out to see what I can find on sale (hopefully ribeyes) or just go to Restaurant Depot and buy a case. Will be at least 1.5" thick. Going to be a bit trick logistics wise to get them all done roughly at the same time but since the sear time is so short, I think I can pull it off. Not going to mess with sides, the other guys can do that. Looking at 2 coolers as sous vide containers with Maverick probes in both to monitor water temp.
            I will be doing pics with our new (used) SLR camera.

            Comment

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            Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

            Green Mountain Davey Crockett Grill

            Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

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