Cheap Sous-vide Steak Technique using a Thermometer and Beer Cooler by AFireInAsa - TribalWar Forums
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Reload this Page Cheap Sous-vide Steak Technique using a Thermometer and Beer Cooler
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AFireInAsa
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1 - 06-25-2015, 12:15 AM
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So I stumbled upon this cheap-as-hell sous-vide technique that let's you cook a steak to perfection. If you don't know what sous-vide is, it's cooking your steak in a vacuum sealed bag put under water at the precise temperature you want your steak to finish at. It's better than cooking on a grill because it takes out a lot of the guess work and cooks it way more evenly throughout. It takes a little longer but it's simple-as-hell to do.

Now these are long reads if you aren't sold on the technique yet. If you are sold, skip to the section under the dotted line. These are still great reads if you have the time and can up your sous-vide game so I recommend reading them.

First, this is a general guide to sous-vide steak by J. Kenji López-Alt, a guy becoming more and more famous in the cooking world for his food labs which test tons of well-known cooking techniques for different recipes and decides which is the best way to go about things in a more scientific way.

The Food Lab's Complete Guide to Sous-Vide Steak | Serious Eats


Now here's his testing with the beer cooler method. Tl;dr it's nearly identical to using any of the expensive machines you can get out there (they are starting to get way cheaper though, you can get a good one for maybe $180 now).

Cook Your Meat in a Beer Cooler: The World's Best (and Cheapest) Sous-Vide Hack | Serious Eats

-------------------------------------

Here's the simplest video on the matter I've seen. Some tips from chef Lopez-Alt though that this guy doesn't use, salt and pepper the steak liberally before you vacuum seal it, don't put butter in there with it (it actually hurts the flavor), and you don't need a blow torch to sear it at the end. You can do that on a stovetop or on the grill and get similar results. Read how to do it in the sous-vide guide above (first link). Also check out the table at that link for a more comprehensive list of temperatures and amount of times to cook.

https://youtu.be/5h_y3svpNiw?t=42


Some other tips I found: If you want your steak rare, it seems like the average tap water comes out around 130 degrees when you turn the heat up (check yourself to make sure) so you can go off of that instead of having to warm any more water up (120-128 is a very rare steak, 129-135 is a medium-rare). Also this is the meat thermometer I use. You can find a cheaper normal thermoeter for this technique, but this one is great for meats, accurate, and highly recommended. http://www.amazon.com/ThermoWorks-Th.../dp/B00HZVJM56 Chef review: http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/11/t...thermapen.html

Steaks cooked with sous-vide technique (not mine).





One of these steaks is cooked with an expensive sous-vide machine, the other is done in a beer cooler. Pretty indistinguishable.


 
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Last edited by AFireInAsa; 06-25-2015 at 12:50 AM.
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darkpiece
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2 - 06-25-2015, 12:45 AM
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where r the pics etc
 
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AFireInAsa
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3 - 06-25-2015, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by darkpiece View Post
where r the pics etc
added some (not my pics)
 
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slush
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4 - 06-25-2015, 12:53 AM
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if u cant cook a steak by timing it internally and by the way the meat looks...kill urself
 
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AFireInAsa
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5 - 06-25-2015, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by slush View Post
if u cant cook a steak by timing it internally and by the way the meat looks...kill urself
ok well this cooks it better throughout anyway. especially for thicker cuts.





plus you can literally seal up the cooler and cook it on the go in your car or wherever if you going somewhere
 
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Last edited by AFireInAsa; 06-25-2015 at 01:00 AM.
slush
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6 - 06-25-2015, 01:23 AM
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Ok sry
 
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pancake
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7 - 06-25-2015, 07:10 AM
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sous vide litterally translates from frnech to english as tears of the penis

no idea y anyone woud want to eat a sous vide even with beer cooler steak technique
 
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jjwtay
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8 - 06-25-2015, 12:33 PM
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Ya we were thinking of using the cooler technique next niners game we went to. I didn't read the full post it was rather long but if you end up enjoying it years ago we bought the first anova model and loved it so much when they released their gen 2 we bought one of those as well as one for my parents.

Honestly we love our sous vides so much if I had to choose between keeping the oven or just one of ours I'd be all over the anovas.


Here's the link if the cooler gets you started but you start having dreams of tons of other sous vide other than a simple steak.
The Anova Precision Cooker from Anova Culinary
 
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Got Haggis?
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9 - 06-25-2015, 08:32 PM
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i just got my anova today...they were running a $50 off special for fathers day. first thing I'm cooking is fish, which is probably a mistake..but its the only thing I had in my fridge
 
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AFireInAsa
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10 - 06-25-2015, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pancake View Post
sous vide litterally translates from frnech to english as tears of the penis

no idea y anyone woud want to eat a sous vide even with beer cooler steak technique
glad you outted yourself as a french-canadian. makes a lot of sense since english isnt ur first language u misinterpret a lot of your own and other people's english. as the old proverb goes, **** the french-canadians.

here let me help u out with google translate

heureux que vous vous outted comme une canadienne-française. fait beaucoup de sens puisque isnt anglais première langue ur u mal interpréter beaucoup de votre propre et d'autres personnes de l'anglais. que le vieux proverbe, baiser les Canadiens-français.

Permettez-moi ici u aider avec google translate
 
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AFireInAsa
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11 - 06-25-2015, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Got Haggis? View Post
i just got my anova today...they were running a $50 off special for fathers day. first thing I'm cooking is fish, which is probably a mistake..but its the only thing I had in my fridge
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjwtay View Post
Ya we were thinking of using the cooler technique next niners game we went to. I didn't read the full post it was rather long but if you end up enjoying it years ago we bought the first anova model and loved it so much when they released their gen 2 we bought one of those as well as one for my parents.

Honestly we love our sous vides so much if I had to choose between keeping the oven or just one of ours I'd be all over the anovas.


Here's the link if the cooler gets you started but you start having dreams of tons of other sous vide other than a simple steak.
The Anova Precision Cooker from Anova Culinary
yea that anova is supposed to be really good. tell me how your stuff other than steak goes.
 
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jjwtay
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12 - 06-27-2015, 06:16 PM
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Most everything has a sous vide application that is amazing whether it's really useful or not.

One group of meat that I do love sous vide that is a short step from just steak is roasts that are slightly smaller in size. No real reason imo to sous vide a giant prime rib since 200 degree method is amazing but a tri-tip or even better a pork tenderloin are awesome sous vide. Pretty much any medium size roast yields similar benefits to the steaks in that you are guaranteed perfection with minimal effort every time.

I do a lot of chicken leg and duck leg confit sous vide. I actually had a thread a few years ago here on doing vacuum sealed confit and now we keep supplies of mainly chicken leg and sometimes duck leg confit on stock in our freezer(we usually do big batches and work through them). We also past few years have taken to breaking down our thanksgiving turkeys and confit turkey leg is worth killing over.

We also from time to time will grab a chuck roast and sous vide for a couple days comes out eerily similar to a prime rib. Cooking it at 130 for a few days causes everything to break down till you just have a super tender super juicy melty fat slab of beef but that still has the bite of a prime rib(i.e. not mush)

I actually tend to worry with some sous vide steaks because people just tend to think "oh hey i can't overcook this". While that may be true, something in particular about steaks causes them when you leave in the bath too long to lose all texture and just kinda feel like some sort meat jello.

Vegetables sous vide are definitely worth your time. Eggs are awesome sous vide but not entirely sure it's worth 45 minutes for the perfect egg(maybe i just don't know). Anything you ordinarily worry about coming out dry is super easy to keep moist and perfect sous vide.

As for the fish post earlier i'm curious how it came out for you. We had a friend give us like 50lbs of halibut from his alaska trip awhile back so we sous vide alot of it. Loved it just still narrowing down what temp we prefer and so i'm curious what you went with. I think the last time we went with like 112 or 114 I can't remember for like 20 mins.

This post was way too I apologise and it really doesn't contain much info and is missing a ton. Mainly I was just hoping to convey a few easy ideas to start but on second thought do not read close thread.
 
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AFireInAsa
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13 - 06-28-2015, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by jjwtay View Post
...
You have some good stuff here. I like the "Anything you ordinarily worry about coming out dry is super easy to keep moist and perfect sous vide" line. There's a few things my family cooks like turkey that comes out dry a lot of the time. I'll see if I can do better. When I do get confit turkey though, that **** is next level. You're right about that. Wish I could eat it more.

As for the whole "I actually tend to worry with some sous vide steaks because people just tend to think "oh hey i can't overcook this". While that may be true, something in particular about steaks causes them when you leave in the bath too long to lose all texture and just kinda feel like some sort meat jello" here are the findings from Serious Eats (you are definitely right):

The Food Lab's Complete Guide to Sous-Vide Steak | Serious Eats

So don't cook your steaks too long sous-vide. 1-3 hours depending on the thickness seems like to be the norm.
 
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