Hyperbolic Tangents

random musings and trivia
Adventures in Sous-Vide
September 09, 2015 by Tony

A little over a month ago, I finally decided to aquire an immersion circulator. I had always been fascinated with the idea of having one, but thought it would be just another kitchen gadget that I would use a few time and need to store. Like with my blender…and my juicer…and my mandolin…and my rice cooker…and my griddle. I definitely have more cooking devices than I need already, but it was on sale and I figured ‘what’s one more?‘. So I purchased the Anova Culinary Precision Cooker. I did hold back on the accessories though. Here is what my setup looked like. My new immersion circulator, in a pot, with my meat in some re-sealable plastic bags that I determined—after a quick internet search—wouldn’t melt.

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Once I was all setup, the meat experimentation began! I knew what I wanted from my new machine, low and slow cooking of cuts of meats that never cooperated with me before. I did not want to waste time on chicken breasts or fish, the oven handles those things just fine. On my shopping trips I would always pick up a tougher cut of meat, one that required at least a day of cook time. For time and temperatures I would do a small amount of internet searching, taking a mental consensus of various blogs to decide how to cook the particular cut of meat. I quickly learned that lots of suggestions are all over the place, so I will join in and add some of my results to the chorus.

Pork Belly

21 hrs · 70°C

This came out pretty well for my first sous-vide attempt. For the cook I added a little soy sauce to the bag. After I took it out of the water, I let the pork belly chill in the refrigerator an hour, then cut it up and broiled it in my oven a bit to crisp up the fat a bit.

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Overall, I was happy but next time I’d leave it in the immersion circulator a bit longer. It lasted me a few days, and reheated pretty well. I liked it over some sautéed spinach.

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Pork Spare Ribs

45.25 hrs · 57°C

A basic rack of ribs with some home-made dry rub. the meat ended up tender, but with a bit of a bite. it was an interesting texture that I had not had with tradition barbecue methods. The meat stuck to the bones, but was good. You will below the weird outside texture that the cooking in a bag gives to the meat. I was too lazy to broil or attempt to brulee the outside. I think the it’s fine once you can get past the bag conforming look.

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Short Ribs

72 hrs · 62°C

Weird texture. Firm for having cooked so long. Doesn’t fall apart, but the taste is good.

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73 hrs · 66.5°C

Good stuff. Best brisket I have made so far (which isn’t saying all that much). Doesn’t fall apart, but is very tender. I’m beginning to see a pattern in these sous-vide textures.

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Grass Fed Short Ribs

45 hrs · 62°C

Not good! Fat is weird with super unappealing texture. Need to adjust for grass fed apparently.

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That’s all I have for now, but stay tuned. Meat adventures will continue soon…