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The great Salmon debate - SV vs Seared

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  • Hugh
    Club Member
    • Jun 2017
    • 357
    • My setup:
      Gas Grill - Weber Genesis II 310
      GrillGrates (2 flipped over for searing)
      Anova Sous Vide
      22" Kettle with SnS and Drip/Griddle
      Thermapen Mk4
      iGrill2 with 4 probes

    The great Salmon debate - SV vs Seared

    Our Sunday nite group loved the brisket tonight but next week they have ordered salmon. I expect my new SV machine on Wednesday. My wife likes her salmon steamed in tin foil. I like it seared. I'm wondering if maybe doing it SV is a compromise that would work. Serious eats has a recipe with Holandaise sauce that looks good.

    Which do you prefer? Seared or SV'd?

  • Jerod Broussard
    Moderator
    • Jun 2014
    • 9262
    • East Texas
    • Pit Barrel Cooker "Texas Brisket Edition"
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      Thermoworks Thermapen w/ Back light (gift)
      Thermoworks Timestick
      Cambro Model 300MPC110 w/ Winco SS Pans
      B & B and Kingsford Charcoal
      B & B Pellets

    #2
    I don't like sous vide for salmon. Even if I sear it afterwards. For me unnecessary. The only fish I might sous vide is some large tough catfish fillets.

    And I prefer grilled salmon over smoked and I prefer the skin on rather than off. I don't eat the skin but it helps preserve that moistness.

    Comment

    • scottranda
      Charter Member
      • May 2015
      • 1559
      • Charlotte, NC

      #3
      I SV'd salmon once. Cooked it perfectly. Too perfectly because it flaked when I took it out of the bag. I couldn't sear it at all. I don't SV salmon anymore.

      Comment

      • Huskee
        Pit Boss/Manager
        • May 2014
        • 14231
        • central MI, USA
        • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

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        #4
        Salmon really needs no help being tender, which is where SV shines. But, this is my opinion.

        Comment

        • Hugh
          Club Member
          • Jun 2017
          • 357
          • My setup:
            Gas Grill - Weber Genesis II 310
            GrillGrates (2 flipped over for searing)
            Anova Sous Vide
            22" Kettle with SnS and Drip/Griddle
            Thermapen Mk4
            iGrill2 with 4 probes

          #5
          I hear you Jerod, I like grilled as well. I'd like to find something that my wife likes too. I was thinking if I SV it, she can have it right out of the SV. I'll sear it quickly for myself and my daughter just to get a crust. Was it decent when you seared after SV or was it too moist?

          Comment


          • Jerod Broussard
            Jerod Broussard commented
            Editing a comment
            ecowper I've done 3, all from SRF's and I could not slice the indirect and reversed seared tips thin enough. With sous vide I can cut a mouthful and go to town. Cover that bad boy with sauteed onions and mushrooms. Yeehaw!!!

          • ecowper
            ecowper commented
            Editing a comment
            Jerod Broussard dear lord .... onions and mushrooms ..... you're fired!

          • tbob4
            tbob4 commented
            Editing a comment
            I know this is about salmon but ecowper - I almost typed the same thing to Jerod Broussard earlier this week about smoked tri-tip. He has to make a trip out west. I think we can make a convert out of him. Mine is not Santa Maria style so we can give him a variety of goodnesses!
        • David C
          Founding Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 104
          • Bay Area, California
          • Cookers:
            Memphis Advantage w. Searing insert option
            Bradley 6-rack digital
            Thermal bath for sous vide, pressure cooker, etc.

            Time & Temp:
            iGrill2 & iGrill wireless thermometers used with iPhone 5
            Drawer full of various Maverick models

            BBQ Interests:
            Love smoking ribs, pulled pork, salmon, sablefish, rib roasts, sausages, lox, beef ribs, and brisket when I can -- strictly for friends, fun, etc.

            Websites:
            http://www.cardinalphoto.com
            http://www.sousvide.org

          #6
          You can actually mix & match, like with steaks. For King Salmon I really like a mustard-dill rub then sous vide to whatever internal temp you like (depends on how cooked you want it). But then you can also do a quick sear on it. Or of course you could use a more simple oil, then salt & pepper, sous vide, sear, and top with a sauce. Thinner species like Sockeye (Red) I tend to cook more traditionally (usually on my pellet cooker). Lots of options.

          Comment


          • Hugh
            Hugh commented
            Editing a comment
            Saw you comment after my last post. I had to google King Salmon. I think we call it Chinook Salmon up here. I never thought of looking at species and thickness. Thank you for the insight. Just checked and the local fish store has chinook as well as coho, sockeye and atlantic.

          • ecowper
            ecowper commented
            Editing a comment
            Hugh King and Chinook are not the same thing. Coho, Sockeye, Chinook, King are all different species of salmon. Atlantic is almost guaranteed to be farm raised off of Norway and you should really avoid it at all costs.

          • HorseDoctor
            HorseDoctor commented
            Editing a comment
            Sorry ecowper but King and Chinook are different names for the same fish. Also known as tyee salmon and a couple other names that escape me right now.
            Last edited by HorseDoctor; August 21st, 2017, 07:49 PM.
        • Hugh
          Club Member
          • Jun 2017
          • 357
          • My setup:
            Gas Grill - Weber Genesis II 310
            GrillGrates (2 flipped over for searing)
            Anova Sous Vide
            22" Kettle with SnS and Drip/Griddle
            Thermapen Mk4
            iGrill2 with 4 probes

          #7
          Response is over whelming! No SV for salmon, stick to seared. scottranda - I never thought of that, cooked the way she likes it, me searing it isn't going to happen. I'll tell her I got the recipe from a fancy french restaurant (not my BBQ site)!

          Comment

        • ecowper
          Founding Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 2624
          • Maple Valley, WA
          • Grill = Hasty-Bake Gourmet Dual Finish
            Smoke = Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5"

            Thermometer = FireBoard FBX11 with 2 ambient and 6 meat probes
            Thermometer = Maverick ET732
            Thermometer = ThermoWorks Chef Alarm
            Thermapen Mk IV = Light blue
            Thermapen Classic = Grey
            PID Controller = Fireboard Drive + Auber 20 CFM Fan

            Favorite cook = Tri-Tip for the grill, whole packer brisket for the smoker
            Favorite wine = a good Bordeaux with steak, a good Syrah with pork, or a nice bottle of Champagne or California sparkling wine
            Favorite beer = Sam Adams Boston Lager or Shiner Bock
            Favorite whisky = Lagavulin 16 year old single malt

            Best Cookbooks - Meathead's "The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", Chris Lilly's "Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book", Aaron Franklin's "Franklin BBQ"


            Eric Cowperthwaite aka ecowper

          #8
          So ... I'm from the Pacific Northwest, for what that is worth. I cook salmon all the time. Mostly on the grill. My two preferred approaches do not involve sous vide or searing :-)

          1. Take a whole side of sockeye or king, skin/fat still on. Season with preferred rub (I have a good rub based on Moroccan flavors that my family likes) .... cook indirect, skin side down to medium'ish ... then flip to meat side over direct heat for 2-3 minutes ....long enough for grill marks and bring the meat temp to medium well. Pull and serve

          2. A whole sockey or silver ... crust it heavily in a kosher salt rub .... mix the kosher salt with a bit of oil to bind it, then layer on the fish until about 1/8 inch thick. Cook on the grill on indirect heat until it probes to medium .... pull and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes. It will continue to cook in the salt and reach medium well.

          Finally, you can do a wood plank approach, like the northwest Indian tribes do. Not something I've tried yet.

          Comment

          • ecowper
            Founding Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 2624
            • Maple Valley, WA
            • Grill = Hasty-Bake Gourmet Dual Finish
              Smoke = Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5"

              Thermometer = FireBoard FBX11 with 2 ambient and 6 meat probes
              Thermometer = Maverick ET732
              Thermometer = ThermoWorks Chef Alarm
              Thermapen Mk IV = Light blue
              Thermapen Classic = Grey
              PID Controller = Fireboard Drive + Auber 20 CFM Fan

              Favorite cook = Tri-Tip for the grill, whole packer brisket for the smoker
              Favorite wine = a good Bordeaux with steak, a good Syrah with pork, or a nice bottle of Champagne or California sparkling wine
              Favorite beer = Sam Adams Boston Lager or Shiner Bock
              Favorite whisky = Lagavulin 16 year old single malt

              Best Cookbooks - Meathead's "The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", Chris Lilly's "Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book", Aaron Franklin's "Franklin BBQ"


              Eric Cowperthwaite aka ecowper

            #9
            Just a PS .... grilled salmon with the skin still on, but it has been slowly cooked and the skin is crispy, is to die for ;-)

            Comment

            • Hugh
              Club Member
              • Jun 2017
              • 357
              • My setup:
                Gas Grill - Weber Genesis II 310
                GrillGrates (2 flipped over for searing)
                Anova Sous Vide
                22" Kettle with SnS and Drip/Griddle
                Thermapen Mk4
                iGrill2 with 4 probes

              #10
              Sooooo many choices. I know I like Jerod's and ecowper's techniques. Having said that.....I really like the idea of introducing the SV purchase as 'NOT another BBQ toy', its for cooking fish and vegetables and such don't you know..'.

              Added bonus, I just have to play with the darn thing, so I have to experiment with David's suggestion.

              So I think I'm going to buy a big hunk of King and cook it up all four ways and see what the crowd likes. Too much fun.

              Comment


              • kmhfive
                kmhfive commented
                Editing a comment
                Wonder if your "French" recipe could be SV, then for you, hit with a butane torch for a thin crust--no heavy lifting onto a grill.

              • Hugh
                Hugh commented
                Editing a comment
                oh no, another necessary toy!
            • fzxdoc
              Founding Member
              • Jul 2014
              • 4489
              • My toys:
                Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center (WSCGC) aka Mr. Fancypants
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                Grill Grates: five 17.375 sections (retired to storage)
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                Fireboard Extreme BBQ Thermometer Package
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              #11
              I sous vide salmon all the time with my Joule. I follow Chef Steps' method: 122 degrees for 1 hour for 1.5 inch thick piece of salmon; 40 minutes for 1 inch piece of salmon. Then I either sear it in a skillet in brown butter or, for a change of pace I coat it with dijon mustard, cover with buttered lemon pepper panko and broil for a few minutes. Yummy yum yum says my fish-loving husband.

              I handle it gently taking it out of the sous vide bag and it's always firm and flaky.

              Kathryn

              Comment


              • Hugh
                Hugh commented
                Editing a comment
                My darling wife likes her fish well done (along with everything else). If I take it to 130 and serve directly, will that be well done or do I need to go higher?

                Thx
            • Potkettleblack
              Club Member
              • Jun 2016
              • 1835
              • Chicago, IL
              • Grill: Grilla Original / Weber Genesis EP-330
                Thermometers: Thermapen / iGrill 2 / Fireboard
                For Smoke: Chunks / Pellet Tube / Mo Pouch
                Sous Vide: Joule / Nomiku WiFi
                Disqus: Le Chef - (something something something)

              #12
              Have done a lot of SV salmon for wife, done low and then seared one side on the grill. Gently out of the bag, good candidate for Sans Vide processing (put it in a ziplock, don't seal the bag, keep the mouth of the bag out of the water), also a good candidate for cooking with a bit of oil or butter, to reduce adhesion to the bag.

              Salmon can have a lot of albumin expelled by SV, which can lead to white junk on the salmon. Easily removed with paper towel, always gently.

              Comment


              • HorseDoctor
                HorseDoctor commented
                Editing a comment
                Salmon can be "done" before the albumin is expelled. Try it a little less time or lower temp.
            • HorseDoctor
              Charter Member
              • Sep 2014
              • 1149
              • Central Iowa

              #13
              Could always do "slow roasted" salmon (from Hubert Keller). Salt and pepper, baste with butter and in 250F oven for 15 min. It is done, almost poached but better. You could then sear yours quickly if you really must. It is awesome with a dill cream sauce!

              Comment

              • texastweeter
                Club Member
                • Jul 2017
                • 2525
                • Republic of Texas

                #14
                smoked or seared, all other ways are an abomination of nature, punishable by death by brisket....

                Comment

                • tbob4
                  Charter Member
                  • Nov 2014
                  • 2245
                  • Chico, CA
                  • BBQ's
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                  #15
                  I like SV salmon but not as much as my foil on the BBQ salmon. My daughter LOVES the SV salmon. She finds that the leftovers are much more versatile. After firming up in the fridge after day 1, she fries it in a pan and mixes with egg. While still slightly soft out of the SV she takes some aside for sandwiches and dips.

                  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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