I finally decided to give sous vide a try. So I am awaiting the delivery of the device and could use some help deciding on a good cookbook for cooking this way.
I’ll also be gleaning recipes from the forum, but would like a book that has good recommendations on how long to cook and what not to dos. Books without desserts are fine, I have my go to fat bombs and cheesecakes for desserts. I do like etchnic and spicy foods as well as classical continent dishes.
Any format is fine, but ebooks would be great. Oh and if you have a goto web site about sous vide that would be helpful too.
I use sous vide all the time. For instance, I’m sous vide-ing a hunk of beef right now, while I’m at work. 132.5F, and my wife will take it out and ice bath it when she gets home. I’ll cut this into chunks and eat cold for lunches. Sometimes, we’ll eat it for dinner, too.
Then, she’ll sous vide pork chops for our dinner, I’ll come home, and we’ll sear them up.
By the way, that technique of cooking meat for a while, cooling it down, and then smoking it, is great. And I mean GREAT. You can sous vide the meat, then ice bath, then put in the fridge. Then you smoke for a short time, depending on meat and recipe, and it comes out fantastic. This lets you do most of the “work” during the week, and also only smoke for 1.5-3 hours, depending on recipe. No more smoking for 20+ hours.
Both of these are great:
I do use the sugared version of the recipe, too, as I don’t make it enough to know how to change it. And I figure the amount of carbs is really fairly small, if you’re using a massive chunk of meat.
We’ve taken the sous vide machine on vacation. You can put steaks in, let them in for a few hours, come home, sear, you have dinner. (This assumes you rent a place with a kitchen.) We are planning our vacation this year (none last year), and we’ll take the sous vide with us.
Also, I am not against books. We have a lot of keto/low carb/fat bomb books at home. So, if you find a good book, let us know.
I’ve done more sous vide for barbecue than anything else. I’ve done that pulled pork recipe, smoked chuck roasts, short ribs, and I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff.
I always used to do that, and - seriously - if you calculate how many grams of carbs you’re spreading over an entire pork shoulder or brisket, and then how much of the skin you’re eating, it isn’t enough to worry about. Maybe if you had pork shoulder that was covered in skin and just ate that…
I’ve been smoking chicken wings lately and decided to use Swerve brown sugar replacement instead of the real brown sugar. Really hits the flavor right and zero carb thoughts.
Thanks for all the links. I did download an ebook from my library titled The Food Lab, still reading the science part before the recipe section but it is very interesting. the author writes for seriouseats.com, he mentions it a lot, J. Kenji Lopes-Alt.
I use Mastercook and can clip recipes easily from web sites. If I stubble on a good cookbook, I’ll let you know. I am just a bit leary trying out a new way of cooking, but the book I am reading explains how it should work and I am starting to get excited about the device’s arrival. And you guys are making it sound like I need to learn to smoke meats. I just let DH do the grilling, hadn’t thought about going into smoking meats yet.
This is why I love and support this web site. Best forums on the internet.
@CFLBob Yeah, I think you and I had a previous discussion about this. If you’re cooking a large hunk of meat, and you realize too how much of the covering falls off, the small amount of carbs you actually get isn’t worth calculating.
I have never smoked chicken wings. They sound good.
@collaroygal For these recipes, “smoking” is really a misnomer, as the cooking time is only 1.5-3 hours.
I use a “barrel” cooker (it basically looks like a metal barrel), and just throw in a few (large) hardwood chunks every once in awhile. I do find smaller pieces of hardwood make more smoke initially, so I use them too if I have them, but only a handful for the initial hit of smoke.
The hardest part is the temperature, but usually there is some type of control (a top and/or bottom air vent) where you control that. I bought a fancy air/fan blower with its own thermometer for that, but I don’t think it’s necessary. But I just set the blower for 275F or whatever, and it does the work.
We have the book version of the Food Lab. It’s great:
Tons of good info, though of course you have to sift through it for low carb/keto.
I use quite a few of his techniques, though.
By the way, here’s a trick. Make a ground meat chili, like this one:
We’ve cooked this one a lot…and it oddly does not have chili powder. Make this, then cool down.
Cook some sous vide beef chuck for 24-36 hours, cool down.
When you reheat the chili (say, for a party, assuming we ever have those again), cut up some chunks of beef chuck and put it in there. Perfectly tender chuck.
Kenji also has a technique where he makes chili (in the oven) with chuck and cracks the top. This causes less temperature, leading to moister chuck. This works well, and I’ve modified the chili recipe above to add chuck cooked this way, in the oven with the top open a crack.
My daughter in law just decided to get into smoking barbecue. I told her the dirty little secret of smoking is the flavor doesn’t really penetrate all that deeply and you get all the flavor you’re going to get after about the low end of that range - 1.5 hrs.
Last week I cooked some chicken breasts for about 2.5 hours at 140 F, and then fried them for about a minute on each side in coconut oil, the crisp them up.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say it’s probably the best chicken I’ve ever made, and definitely the easiest I’ve ever cooked!
I did this once, and they were okay, but I didn’t do anything to crisp up the skin, so the skin was kind of rubbery. I needed to either fry them or cook them for a bit in the oven on a really high temperature.
@CFLBob I remember “smoking” pork shoulder overnight, and still I got inconsistent results. That’s where these “sous vide for a while, cool down, smoke for a short time” recipes are great: they are consistently fantastic. Had friends over one time, and they said the pulled pork was the best they ever had, and I tend to agree.
And these are perfect for a party, as the 1.5-3 hours you need to actually do the “smoking” is easy.
Oh yeah, most of those recipes also have a version where you finish in the oven and just add smoke flavor for the sous vide part. (I know I just caused true BBQ aficionados to freak out. Sorry.)
@dlc96_darren I do think the fryer is a great way to do wings, if only just to crisp them. I’ve been using tallow made from suet, so for me the actual frying and clean up takes so long that I infrequently do it. (The tallow is hard at room temp, so I have to put in my sous vide, in my large metal container up about 3/4 of the way, to warm it up until it’s liquid – one more use of a sous vide). The fryer I have uses a heating element immersed into the “oil”, and I tried this once using tallow that was still hard. That did not go well.
By the way, another use for sous vide is to defrost things. You can put them in the sous vide with water and ice, and they defrost quickly.
That’s a great point. My thought, if and when I ever smoke wings again, would be to try putting them in the oven for a few minutes. I’ve read about doing this but have never actually done it.
As for my chicken breasts I cooked last week, I just had a small pan with a little coconut oil in it, and cooked them one at a time. I just had four, so it didn’t take very long, and they didn’t have time to cool down before I was through.
I am a chili purist, beef/bison, onions, peppers, salt and water slow cooked. Ok you can add a couple of shots of tequila if you want.
I just walk away when anyone mentions putting beans in chili or chicken for that matter. White chili, they are dreamin’ there is no such thing. Have all the beans you want on the side, but do not cook them in the chili.
Well I have now cooked salmon and pork chops sous vide style. While the salmon was very good, I do a good salmon on the stove top in less than half the time and a lot less prep work.
The pork chops were worth the effort, juicy and great texture. I am prepping for flank steak next, it was a big one, so part will be just steak for dinner, the left over part will turn into fajitas over the weekend.
I went with an Anova with wifi, I also purchased a container with lid. I replaced my old garage sale found vacuum sealer with a FoodSaver, not the top of the line but it gets the job done very well. So I’ll be working with these tools. Oh and the grill for searing in good weather, my beloved stainless steel pan for indoor searing. It was nice to have the device text me when the cooking was finished, not necessary at all, but nice. The guide that came with my device includes user guide with recipes many from The Food Lab book. I checked the book out from the library and enjoyed reading how all of this works.
I agree - while anybody is free to do what they want, here - some things won’t be worth it for most of us. I think pork and chicken are where sous vide really shines. It does a fantastic job with beef, certainly, but beef is relatively easy to cook anyway, IMO. With pork and chicken, sous vide means there’s no longer any need to overcook them, just to be sure you’re not undercooking them.
Have an Anova with wifi here too, never used the wifi. It’s been flawless.
I think cooking beef in the oven can sometimes get more flavors you can’t get in the sous vide. For instance, we make a “roast beef” roast from top round, with an herb outside. That would be tough to make in the sous vide.
But I also get hunks of beef that are on sale (or from Costco), and freeze them in freezer bag(s). Pop them into a sous vide for 6-10 hours, plunge into ice water, and you have lunch for a few days or dinner or dinner and lunch. Because you can put it in the sous vide in the morning and come home and it’s done, it’s a lot easier than trying to cook in the oven.
For instance, the roast beef recipe I use takes 2 hours out of the fridge (I usually put salt on it), then you cover with olive oil/salt/pepper/herbs, then 15 minutes at 425F, then hours at 200F until it hits 125. Take out, cool down. Roast beef.
But that’s multiple hours where you have to do “stuff”. Better for a weekend than a workday.
And I think sous vide burgers are great. Best burgers you can eat. Though smashed and fried in tallow are close.
I set the time and temp on the device, but the device is on our network, so it notifies me when the cooking is done. I just wanted that particular device, so wifi wasn’t a selling point at all. the Nano just looked to cheap and flimsy to me. I am doing flank steak tonight that will become fajitas. The other half of the big steak will be used tomorrow night, seared on a grill with grilled veggies.