View Full Version : Sous-vide anyone?

09-26-2010, 14:27
Sous-vide is a method of cooking foods at low temperatures in a vacuum sealed bag. I read Serious Eats blog and they had an article on how to do this at home low tech style:


Another good reference is: http://amath.colorado.edu/~baldwind/sous-vide.html

I was shopping at a 99 Ranch store (that store could be another topic) and they had whole beef tenderloin (also known as filet mignon) for $3.99/lb. I grabbed a fairly small one at little over 4 lbs. That is a fantastic price for beef tenderloin.

I seasoned using a pepper based rub and placed in a Ziploc bag. Using a straw, I sucked the extra air out of bag for vacuum. I cooked this in a small cooler with water temp starting at 145. Medium rare is 135, but I know meat would lower temp. After 30 minutes, water temp was about 130, so I added some boiling water to cooler and brought up to 138. I let this sit in water bath for 3.5 hours while watching Cowboys/Texans game. The water dropped 1-2 degrees per hour probably because I used a crappy cooler.

When I removed outer meat color was a brownish grey, but slicing into meat revealed perfect cooked medium rare from edge to center. I cut into 1.25" slices, seasoned lightly, and then seared these on cast iron pan for about 30 seconds each side. The end results was very good. Served with some OGD 114.

09-26-2010, 16:35
I never cease to be amazed by such marvels. How does it work? Is there any use of irradiation?


09-26-2010, 17:35
No irradiation. Because it is submerged in 135 degree water for extended time, the entire portion of meat reaches exactly 135, a perfect medium rare. If you grilled a steak on a 400-500 degree grill, you would grill it until the inside is 135 (or to your liking). Of course this means the outside of steak is cooked to a much higher temp.

The other interesting thing is I could have let this sit for 9-10 hours. As long as my water was 135 degrees, the meat would not overcook.

Bourbon Boiler
09-26-2010, 18:56
Is the ~135 degree temp high enough to ensure all potentially harmful bacteria have been killed? Assuming the outside outside of the meat is where problems are possible, I would think there is an adavantage to the high temp direct heat.

Of course, if this is a concern, the solution would be to cook in the cooler, and then throw the meat on a hot frying pan for a few seconds on each side.

09-27-2010, 05:51
The 2nd link I posted goes into much detail on food safety with this method. Bottom line, you need the meat to reach at least 130 degrees in 4 hours or less. Temps between 41 and 130 are considered a danger zone that pathogens can multiply.

Water is a very good conductor of heat. I know from my scuba lessons, that it is 23 times better than air. So, this process is very efficient at bringing the meat to the temp of the water.

09-27-2010, 17:12
Just a note: The temperature danger zone tops out at 140 degrees, not 130. Meats cooked via the sous vide method are considered Pasteurized if brought up to 131 degrees within 4 hours and held at that temperature.

In other words, if you brought your steak up to 130 degrees, took it out of the water and let it sit for a few hours I would be wary of it. But if you eat sous vide cooked food immediately the risks are minimal providing that the food was handled properly in preparation and heating.

09-28-2010, 21:46
Its a heck of lot easier to put meat in a boil-in bag and stick in the top rack of your dishwasher.