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December 1, 2016 11:35 AM   Subscribe

What's fun and interesting to sous vide?

I got myself an Anova sous vide device for Black Friday, plus an 8qt Rubbermaid bucket (it also works pretty well mounted on my Instant Pot). I already owned a FoodSaver, so I'm pretty well-flush with accessories. I own the Food Lab book and have frequently referred to Serious Eats and their Anova app recipes for chicken and beef.

What sort of things would I enjoy trying next? We try not to go completely off the rails on carbs, but are generally omnivorous (but also love vegetables a lot, so the more veg stuff the better) and adventurous, and have access to pretty much every type of market you could think of.
posted by Lyn Never to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Definitely interesting, but a fair amount of work: omelettes inside of eggshells
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:38 AM on December 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

The bacon I made with my Anova was delicious. Find the thickest, widest bacon you can. I believe it was at 145 degrees.

You can even keep it in the package it comes in since it's already vac sealed. Cook 8hours overnight. Take it out in the morning and crisp it on one side. Most recipes tell you to stop here and leave the other side unbrowned.. sous vide unbrowned bacon looks uncooked and I couldn't reconcile the "RAW BACON!" appearance with cooked and safe to eat, so i put a little color on the other side too.
posted by INFJ at 11:42 AM on December 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh, while I'm thinking about it:

1. I tried to make baby carrots in mine, but came to discover baby carrots float, even with multiple spoons in the bag with them.

2. Somewhere I seen mashed potatoes in sous vide but I can't find the recipie now. Basically it was slice raw potatoes into rounds, add to a bag w/ garlic and butter, sous vide for a few hours.. take out and empty the whole bag into a bowl, add milk and mash. I haven't had the chance to make it yet, but I'm excited to. Anything that keeps from overcooking/waterlogging the potatoes is good in my book.
posted by INFJ at 11:45 AM on December 1, 2016

Oh! I'll have to think about this! But I use our sous-vide like once a week or so!

Kenji Lopez-Alt recommends double-thickness porkchops? I've never seen those for sale anywhere in the grocery store, though; what I often do is wait for tenderloin to go on sale, then use his general approach on slices of tenederloin I cut to about an inch, inch and a quarter. Generally I go 130, then a very-high sear on the stovetop.

My wife also really likes turkey breasts, which she claimed after taking a bite was "the best turkey she'd ever had". I go 140 for those, with just a light seasoning of salt / black pepper / poultry seasoning / dash of garlic powder. You can sear those at the end also, but we often use sous-vided turkey for sandwich meat, so you can just let it cool then thin-slice! Store in the fridge, but be careful: they're so moist, they tend to go bad faster than other cooked meats.

I'll think more on this!
posted by Greg Nog at 12:29 PM on December 1, 2016

Vanilla Bean Bourbon Soda. It's delicious (more practical if you have a source for not ridiculously expensive vanilla beans).
posted by zachlipton at 12:30 PM on December 1, 2016

I find pork tenderloin to be much improved by sous vide, but steaks are good but not amazing compared to my usual methods. I want to try it out on other lean cuts, which are often hard to cook without drying out.
posted by Dip Flash at 1:49 PM on December 1, 2016

Salmon! I do mine at 122 for about 30-40 minutes depending on whether it was frozen or not. Finish by searing the skin side in a hot skillet. Try different temps until you find the texture you like.
posted by sapere aude at 2:08 PM on December 1, 2016

I got better results with pan frying than sous vide for pork chops and good steaks. Sous vide's been very useful for tough cuts of meat (chuck, brisket, short ribs). It's also been really good for chicken breasts, which end up dry the other ways I've tried to cook it.
posted by Comrade_robot at 2:49 PM on December 1, 2016

Slow cooked meats. Brisket and corned beef done over 2-3 days are amazing.
posted by Nelson at 4:02 PM on December 1, 2016

Baby carrots we just had to weight. I used a small colander held down by the lid of the pot. They were amazing after a light browning in butter.

Eggs. So much eggs. You do not need to bag them. Refer to the charts; you can get a variety of effects that are impossible any other way. I am at this very moment pasteurizing eggs - 75 minutes at 135 degrees means I get to make raw non-alc eggnog. First time though, so no idea whether it will work.

We thought potatoes were okay but not mind-blowing.

Brussels sprouts were very tasty, but very intense.
posted by contrarian at 4:28 PM on December 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

Sous vide has supplanted my regular technique for making duck confit.

Hamburgers. Fuckin hamburgers man. I follow the serious eats temperature ranges pretty strictly. You have to lightly seal burgers in the bags, which can be tricky depending on your model of food saver (mine lets me just seal wheneve if you push the 'seal' button, even during the vacuum process).

Light sear on each side and FREAK OUT cause it's the best burger ever.
posted by furnace.heart at 4:40 PM on December 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

Things I have had success with:
-Potatoes, butter, salt, herbs -- this is the #1 best way to do potatoes if you ask me
-Soft-boiled eggs
-Duck, chicken, and turkey breasts (boneless)
-Salmon (it cooks at a low temp so it comes out lukewarm; just FYI in case this bugs you)

Things I will not do again:
-Sausages (gross texture OMG)
-Corn on the cob (it was fine but takes much longer than my normal method)
posted by karbonokapi at 4:53 PM on December 1, 2016

My favorite thing is duck leg quarters. Soooo good shredded and served atop a bed of greens with walnuts, raspberries and a light vinaigrette, especially if you make cracklings with the skin (bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes).
posted by Short Attention Sp at 8:25 AM on December 2, 2016

Forgot one: wheat berries. 1:3 wheat-to-water ratio, 180 degrees, 3 hours.
posted by karbonokapi at 10:55 AM on December 2, 2016

You may enjoy Lifehacker's ongoing blog series Will It Sous Vide?
posted by Rhaomi at 12:22 AM on December 4, 2016

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