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OT- Sous Vide cooking question...chicken

Last night I decided to sous vide some chicken breast for chicken salad while I was Egging some chorizo/beef burgers.  The breasts were fairly large.  I cooked them at 148 for over 90 minutes.  I then put the sealed bags in an ice water bath and refrigerated them.  This morning I opened the bag and I noticed a slight smell.  It wasnt too bad but it was there. I then sort of panicked and I sliced the breasts in 1/4 inch strips and put them in a single layer in a skillet in boiling broth for 20 minutes. 

Have any of you ever smelled anything in cooked chicken?  Would 20 minutes in the boiling broth take care of any beasties that might have been there?  I will probably just throw the stuff out.......home made tarragon mayo and all!


  • You should have been fine. Here is a general chart


    Caledon, ON


  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 6,171
    According to the FSIS recommendations, chicken at 145F is safe after a little more than 11 minutes of cooking.

    Its not likely the inside of the chicken breasts were contaminated, so even if they were thick, and partially frozen, 90 min would have killed off any nasties on the outside several times over.

    I don't know what you smelled. SV has a tendency to increase flavors and aromas. The juice from nice rare beef cooked for 48 hours is still pungent.

    As far as cleaning tainted foods by a second cooking, it is only partially possible. Most of the toxins created by pathogens break down, except, notably, some staph toxins, which survive even pressure cooking. Also, even if the stuff isn't poison any more, the flavor is likely to be off.
  • Little Steven.....I have that chart(came with my unit).  Those numbers are WAAAAAAY lower cooking times than most everything else I've read. is reassuring. 

    gdenby.....your comment about pungent beef juices makes me feel somewhat better.  The smell was similar to what good chicken smells like raw.  I just didnt expect it.  I didn't even season the chicken before I cooked it so there wasn't any other smell in the bag.  I guess I'm just a little over cautious with this low temp cooking.  I've check the poluscience unit against my thermapen and the thermopen is .7 degrees lower.  So I usually add a degree to the cooker just to be on the safe side, although one degree shouldn't effect it.
  • For those that don't know and who are interested, PolyScience has a good app for iphone and ipad that works very well for timing sous vide.  It's called PolyScience Sous Vide Tool box.  I'm not sure if they have it for android or not.  I've used it for reference since getting my sous vide set up.  It seems to work well.
    Brighton, IL (North East of St. Louis, MO)
  • LitLit Posts: 7,298
    What gdenby is saying I believe is if the chicken holds 145 internal.for 11 minutes its safe to eat. I saw the chart once it was like 142 for 20 minutes and the times varied by temp up to 165 for 1 second.
  • Yes, it has to be 145 internal for the 11 minutes


    Caledon, ON


  • LitLit Posts: 7,298
    I got some huge breasts this weekend and sous vide them for 90 minutes at 146 and then blackened them and the biggest breast worried me if it was cooked all the way through. I am going to stick with smaller breasts from now on.
  • Not for nothing but why wouldn't you just leave them in longer? I did six rather small ones tonight and broiled them with some alfredo sauce over the top. Really good. They were in for an hour and a half.


    Caledon, ON


  • LitLit Posts: 7,298
    I could but i usually do the chicken for my lunch so i do a batch Sunday and then more Wednesday and there's time constraints on Wednesdays. I have also noticed the smaller breasts i have done come out better. Maybe because there is more surface area to internal area so they have more flavor from the rub.
  • I'm now a "2 hour" man.......but I ate the stuff and no problems so far.....fingers crossed!
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