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Mar 3, 2011 09:38 AM

I don't get sous vide... (moved form SF board)

Every time I've had meat or chicken cooked sous vide, it's fallen flat for me.
It just tastes to me like microwaved or airplane food.
I always wish they'd just taken the meat and thrown it in a pan to cook or something.
This happens for me even at high end restaurants.

Am I the only one that feels this way?
Do others agree?

Can somebody who likes sous vide maybe explain the appeal, a way of looking at it that might make me appreciate or like it more?


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  1. where have you had it?

    also, the appeal of sous vide cooking is even cooking throughout - for example, under traditional cooking methods, a steak will never cook the same on the outside as the inside - ideally, a proper sous vide preparation will result in an evenly cooked steak.

    and in general, sous vide will cook anything with the absolute least amount of heat needed to properly cook something - resulting in extremely tender, melt-in-your-mouth food; such as the egg at Commis

    3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

    4 Replies
    1. re: vulber

      "ideally, a proper sous vide preparation will result in an evenly cooked steak."
      And lose the char and beautiful effects of the maillard reaction, why?

      1. re: wolfe

        I've had sous vide preparations at lots of places -- WD-50, Frances, Coi, Eleven Madison Park, Moto...

        Invariably it's the one thing that seems like it's cooked wrong. Tends to be bland and tender-in-an-artificial-way.

        It does tend to be moist, but in a chicken-pumped-up-with-water kind of way, like the stuff one avoids buying at the meat counter...

        Yes, a steak will be perfectly even, but to me that's part of the problem. As Wolfe says, char, maillard, etc are all good things.

        I have not had an egg done this way.
        I could see how that might be beautiful.

        1. re: wolfe

          you mean there's somebody out there who'd WANT a steak cooked evenly all the way through?

          Blech. Gimme a slab of meat that's browned and seared on the outside and still bleeding on the inside. If you put a piece of steak on my plate that's the same even brownish-grey throughout, I'll send it back.

          1. re: sunshine842

            From what I understand, the whole point of sous vide is that after determining the desired doneness, the water bath is maintained at that temperature so that the food never gets "over cooked".
            With the proper temperature setting it's very easy to have a steak with a much larger "still bleeding" section.......basically the entire piece of meat.
            Searing it after it's been cooked in the water right before serving minimizes the "brownish-grey" portion to just the outer edge.
            If anyone knows a better way to get my roast beef to be rare all the way through (like the deli roast beef that's not in my budget anymore) please let me know.

      2. Most if not all of the sous-vide meat I've had has also been seared.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          yeah...i think it would be a pretty dumb idea to serve a piece of meat any other way. the char on the surface of the meat is one of the most important components to the flavor...i'm sure there are instances where not searing the meat is intentional, but in my opinion that really degrades the depth of flavor.

          if a piece of meat is perfectly cooked to medium-rare sous vide, and then seared super quick to get a nice crust, you probably shouldn't have anything but an awesome mouthful. unless the quality of the meat sucked...but that's another story.


          The above topic, currently in progress, "Does anyone really LOVE sous vide?" can probably answer your questions.

          1 Reply