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Sous Vide cooking method.

MikeP624MikeP624 Posts: 292
edited May 2012 in EggHead Forum

I was going to do some steaks this weekend.  I wanted to try this method. I was going to test the warm setting on my crock pot to see what temp that will hold.  Hopefully around 120-130.  Then i was going to throw them on a HOT egg for a good sear.

I do not have a way to vacuum seal the bags.  Will a good quality ziploc bag work as long as i get as much air out as possible?


  • Yes. You can either suck the air out or you and fill your sink wih water and slowly submerge the bag with the lock open and inch or 2. Submerge all the way to the open corner the. Zip right at the last second. His method works best. Zip locks are good up to 170 so you are fine at those temps.

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    if you are only warming them for a short time (hour or so), that's fine.

    "sous vide" is "under vacuum", and the real deal is to vacuum seal the food and heat in a closely monitored system at pasteurizing temps for many long hours.  the vacuum helps ensure bacteria don't grow rampantly, because you would essentially be putting bacteria in an ideal environment for exponential growth. 

    the lower the temp, the longer you need to let it go in order to make sure you kill off bacteria

    hot tubbing is not sous vide.  looks a lot like it, but you aren't going to be getting the major change in texture that sous vide cooking is gunning for.

    you WILL get a major boost in they way the steak ends up, done uniformly across the whole steak, rather than overcooked ion the exterior.

    T-rex, X-ert, and hot-tubbing all have the same purpose: break the cook into two parts; warming the meat in general to a uniform temp, and searing. 
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • cssmd27cssmd27 Posts: 136
    Stike speaks the truth. Plus, to do sous vide properly, the water temp needs to hold very precisely and the water needs to be continuously circulating in order to prevent even temporary thermoclines around your food.

    What you describe will get you a beautiful steak though. Sometimes I do a variation of this by placing a steak on foil in a 200 degree toaster oven for about 25-30 min, then just a high heat sear on the BGE. An excellent way to do things.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i just do the steak in a ziploc bag, submerged (airless) in hot tapwater for about as loing as it takes the egg to hit temp.

    goes like this: steak in the ziploc, run a bowl of hot tapwater and set the steak in it.

    go light the egg. back inside, check the water. dump it out and refresh with more hot water.  prep some veggies. grill at temp, toss on the steak and cook it (sear) to finish.  effort involved: minimal.

    for a simple steak cook, just to take the chill off the fillet, there's no need for thermometers or self-stirring machines, crock-pots or anything. 

    but i have a friend who sous vides the stuff for a good long while.  the stirring and temp control is critical for that. some folks hold steaks for many hours pinned at 120-130... you definitely want controls for that
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • MikeP624MikeP624 Posts: 292
    originally i was only doing two steaks, But now there are more people coming over.  I was going to do a hole beef tenderloin.  Do you think the same "Hot Tub" method would work?  It would just take a longer soak right?
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    yeah. it'll work. although you'll often hear about 'slow roasting'.  going at 225-250 until it is at your desired temp will yield a calmer cook, where the 'doneness' is more even across the meat.

    that's all these techniques are trying to do: cook the meat to desired temp without overcooking the exterior
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • MikeP624MikeP624 Posts: 292
    When you do a hole tenderloin in the slow roasting method do you sear first, then slow roast, or slow roast then sear?
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    whole tenderloins are so narrow that they don't take long to get to temp by roasting, so i usually sear.  doesn't matter whether before or after. after is easier i think, because you can crank it up easier than dial it down (like you'd have to if searing first, then slow roasting)

    a bigger roast like prime rib i just do at 250 now.  no sear required. most of them have a layer of fat, and i don't think they benefit from a sear, because the fat burns.  if you roast, that fat will crisp up. and since it takes longer to get to temp than a smaller tenderloin, you have enough tie to develop a crust.

    tenderloin has no layer of fat, and takes a sear well.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • burr_baby33burr_baby33 Posts: 501
    I watched the sous vide videos, very interesting. I don't plan to buy one but i will continue hot tubbing. I never knew about hot tubbing until I read a post last summer after buying my 1st egg. I find it very easy and effective and it is part of my cooking.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    mike: meant to say i usually sear IN ADDITION to doing the roast.

    good luck.
    tenderloin is a nice easy cook actually.  guests will love it
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • All good points except one caveat: the food savers and their kind do not take all the oxygen out of the package. There are atmospheric levels of oxygen so the same rules apply to zip lock or food saver bags. The cryo machines that allow for foods to be cooked sans oxygen are $3500 and not normally used for sous vide cooking at home.

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i understand that.
    more appropriately it's "under vacuum", not necessarily no-oxygen.

    it's the temp bath that controls the bacteria ultimately anyway

    just giving general points here, trying to illustrate the big picture. 
    one error doesn't negate the whole idea.

    my point is that hot tubbing does not require any special equipment at all. if you are only going an hour, you aren't accomplishing the thing sous vide was developed for, with the exception of even heating.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Didn't say it negated anything. Just want people to know that it's not safe to cook below 140 for over 4 hrs in home sous vide or hot tubbing.

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