Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Cooking burgers sous vide, have some questions

Modernist

  • Please log in to reply
92 replies to this topic

#31 paulraphael

paulraphael
  • participating member
  • 3,028 posts

Posted 30 May 2014 - 10:57 AM

all your  telling me in this story is, you don't know how to grill a burger.  

 

Actually, I do. I promise.

 

However, in many cases in a social setting, grilling a burger well  requires more attention than I'm interested in giving it. Especially when it's some else's grill, being managed by someone else, and the burgers are competing with chicken and corn and whatever everyone else has brought over.

 

And more importantly, grilling it well will never be as good as sous-viding well and finishing it well on a grill. Doesn't matter if it's me, or you, or Bobby Flay doing the grilling. You're going to overcook more meat on the grill or with any high-heat method.


Edited by paulraphael, 30 May 2014 - 10:59 AM.


#32 boudin noir

boudin noir
  • society donor
  • 105 posts

Posted 30 May 2014 - 11:27 AM

I've eaten a lot of great burgers cooked on a grill or in a cast iron pan. The extra work cannot be worth it unless you are trying to make a point.

#33 btbyrd

btbyrd
  • participating member
  • 108 posts

Posted 30 May 2014 - 12:12 PM

I've eaten a lot of great burgers cooked on a grill or in a cast iron pan. The extra work cannot be worth it unless you are trying to make a point.

 

Like you, I've eaten a lot of great burgers cooked on grills and in pans. But I've also eaten a great burger that was cooked sous vide and then deep fried. The "extra work" (it's not really any more work than cooking in a pan, it just takes longer) was worth it because it produces a delicious result that you cannot achieve otherwise. It's not that this burger is inherently better than burgers prepared other ways, just that it has characteristics that the others lack (and vice versa). It's delicious in its own right. It's not a substitute for pan frying or grilling. It's its own thing.

 

That's the point.



#34 rotuts

rotuts
  • participating member
  • 5,696 posts
  • Location:Boston MA

Posted 30 May 2014 - 12:22 PM

we have learned today what we all have known :  Burgers " One Way or Another " are touchy Items.

 

""  It's not that this burger is inherently better than burgers prepared other ways, just that it has characteristics that the others lack ""

 

""  It's delicious in its own right. It's not a substitute for pan frying or grilling. It's its own thing.  "

 

this i think says it best.   i have not deep fried in a long long time  but Id go somewhere decent to try the SV/fry burger.

 

i bet its a Burger Treat.  are they routinely served with the  ' ... aise ' sauce of my choice ? Id like that.


  • Smithy likes this

#35 Shel_B

Shel_B
  • participating member
  • 2,677 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay Area

Posted 30 May 2014 - 12:49 PM

Before making that analogy, maybe consider that most of the top contemporary chefs cook their proteins sous-vide. They still break eggs by hand.

 

If the process doesn't appeal to you, no one's going to twist your arm. You asked why anyone would cook a burger like this. I've given a lot of reasons. This is old, old news by now. Chefs have been cooking their proteins SV for over 30 years. If it seems like a fad, it's only because us rabble haven't been able to afford the tools until recently. 

 

That's something that many people overlook ...the technique has been used successfully for many years.  For my taste and sensibilities, a SV burger is way overkill.  But then, I don't care if my burger is less precisely cooked than can be had with SV technique. I like fire and flame and smoke .... <LOL>


.... Shel


#36 Shel_B

Shel_B
  • participating member
  • 2,677 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay Area

Posted 30 May 2014 - 12:52 PM

And more importantly, grilling it well will never be as good as sous-viding well and finishing it well on a grill. Doesn't matter if it's me, or you, or Bobby Flay doing the grilling. You're going to overcook more meat on the grill or with any high-heat method.

 

Sorry, I have to disagree.  Grilling and SV are different, giving different results with different techniques.  I'd not say that grilling would "never be as good as sous-viding." They both have the potential to be good, they are just different.


.... Shel


#37 weinoo

weinoo
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,542 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 30 May 2014 - 03:33 PM

we have learned today what we all have known :  Burgers " One Way or Another " are touchy Items.

This is the bottom line.

 

I understand Paul's points (he's a pretty good cook, even not sous viding!) and basquecook's points (he a pretty good cook too!). I've eaten food that each of them has cooked.  I like my burgers in a cast-iron frying pan...

 

...gallery_6902_5624_107431.jpg


Edited by weinoo, 30 May 2014 - 03:33 PM.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"
mweinstein@eGstaff.org
Tasty Travails - My Blog
My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs
Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

#38 paulraphael

paulraphael
  • participating member
  • 3,028 posts

Posted 30 May 2014 - 05:26 PM

My previous favorites ca

 

Sorry, I have to disagree.  Grilling and SV are different, giving different results with different techniques.  I'd not say that grilling would "never be as good as sous-viding." They both have the potential to be good, they are just different.

 

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess you've never had a burger cooked s.v. and seared on a grill.



#39 gfweb

gfweb
  • participating member
  • 3,792 posts

Posted 30 May 2014 - 06:09 PM

Now I'm going to have to do it.



#40 rotuts

rotuts
  • participating member
  • 5,696 posts
  • Location:Boston MA

Posted 31 May 2014 - 04:25 AM

burger tonight for me, starting slow : pan fry.  doubt Ill get to the fancy ...aise sauce.  just pan reduction

 

the above pic did it for me.


Edited by rotuts, 31 May 2014 - 04:25 AM.


#41 paulraphael

paulraphael
  • participating member
  • 3,028 posts

Posted 31 May 2014 - 06:37 AM

For my taste and sensibilities, a SV burger is way overkill.  But then, I don't care if my burger is less precisely cooked than can be had with SV technique. I like fire and flame and smoke .... <LOL>

 

And that's totally reasonable. For that matter I doubt everyone who likes to cook burgers s.v. wants to do it every time (Rotus just got seduced by that pic of the burger in the pan ...) 

 

I'll do it the traditional way any time I don't have time. Or access to the tools.

 

Just as food for thought, there are a few situations when s.v. burgers are attractiveeven if you  don't care about the cooking precision. One is if you want to serve medium rare burgers and there may be immune-compromised people (someone pregnant, etc.). Another is if you have to serve a lot of people and want to minimize last-minute work. It's much faster and takes less attention to sear a bunch of things before serving than to try to cook them all the way through. In the restaurant world this is called shifting the burden from service to prep. Anything you can do ahead of time makes life easier. With s.v. cook-chill techniques, you can actually do the cook portion days ahead, and not lose freshness the way you would by trying to hold onto the raw meat.


  • Shel_B and KennethT like this

#42 scubadoo97

scubadoo97
  • participating member
  • 2,093 posts
  • Location:Dunedin, Florida

Posted 31 May 2014 - 06:49 AM

I'll give SV burgers a first try today then decide if it's something I want to do more often.

#43 weinoo

weinoo
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,542 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 31 May 2014 - 07:31 AM

The best burger in NYC is considered by many to be the Minetta Tavern's Black Label burger.  It is griddled; i.e. cooked in its own fat. That's the result I am looking for when pan-frying and I don't think it can be approached via sous vide.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"
mweinstein@eGstaff.org
Tasty Travails - My Blog
My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs
Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

#44 paulraphael

paulraphael
  • participating member
  • 3,028 posts

Posted 31 May 2014 - 07:49 AM

Mitch, what are the results you're looking for?



#45 paulraphael

paulraphael
  • participating member
  • 3,028 posts

Posted 31 May 2014 - 08:21 AM

Basqucook, if you gave me your method, and a pile of data— like the starting temperature of the meat, its thickness, and the radiant temperature of your grill, I could probably calculate an approximation of all that.

 

And you'd have to trust my methodology and math—a dubious proposition.

 

If you're really curious about this, why don't you grill up the best burger you can, cut in half, and post a picture? I could do the same with a burger cooked s.v. and finished on a grill (or some other way). Or you can find any of the million such pictures of s.v. burgers already online.



#46 paulraphael

paulraphael
  • participating member
  • 3,028 posts

Posted 31 May 2014 - 08:37 AM

Here's a short post on s.v. burgers by Kenji at Seious Eats.



#47 rotuts

rotuts
  • participating member
  • 5,696 posts
  • Location:Boston MA

Posted 31 May 2014 - 08:44 AM

nice article PR

 

answered my Q's re the compressed burger w the vacuum method.

 

Ill give this a try at some point  trying the 130 burger w a bit of chill to get a bit of crust w/o too much additional 

 

temp gain.  on the other hand, the spectrum of flavors that show in the pic mentioned in the above article

 

re the 'raw' middle its not so bad if that's what your are after.  luke warm can be pretty tasty as one of many components



#48 weinoo

weinoo
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,542 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 31 May 2014 - 09:02 AM

Mitch, what are the results you're looking for?

Sometimes I'm just looking for a burger in 10 minutes.  In that patty above (meat from Jeffrey and ground at home!) I got some nice Maillard, some juicy beef, etc.

 

I think the most important important things in a burger are the quality and blends of beef and how fresh the grind is.  Everything else falls a notch below that.


  • paulraphael and Chris Hennes like this
Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"
mweinstein@eGstaff.org
Tasty Travails - My Blog
My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs
Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

#49 paulraphael

paulraphael
  • participating member
  • 3,028 posts

Posted 31 May 2014 - 09:29 AM

I think the most important important things in a burger are the quality and blends of beef and how fresh the grind is.  Everything else falls a notch below that.

Yeah, I think everything else falls many notches below that. The fresh grind part might even be the most important. Even though I'm a big geek for tweaking the meat cuts. I've gotten some pretty nice burgers out of chuck from the supermarket.

 

Edited to add: I think I found Jeffrey ... word is that he's at Staubitz meats in Brooklyn.


Edited by paulraphael, 31 May 2014 - 09:31 AM.

  • weinoo likes this

#50 Shel_B

Shel_B
  • participating member
  • 2,677 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay Area

Posted 31 May 2014 - 09:57 AM

Just as food for thought, there are a few situations when s.v. burgers are attractiveeven if you  don't care about the cooking precision. One [...] if you have to serve a lot of people and want to minimize last-minute work. It's much faster and takes less attention to sear a bunch of things before serving than to try to cook them all the way through. In the restaurant world this is called shifting the burden from service to prep. Anything you can do ahead of time makes life easier. With s.v. cook-chill techniques, you can actually do the cook portion days ahead, and not lose freshness the way you would by trying to hold onto the raw meat.

 

I can see where SV may be a good option in that situation.


.... Shel


#51 Shel_B

Shel_B
  • participating member
  • 2,677 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay Area

Posted 31 May 2014 - 10:38 AM

My previous favorites ca

 

 

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess you've never had a burger cooked s.v. and seared on a grill.

 

Well, no.  The closest that I've come is chicken breast.

 

Are you saying that you disagree with my comment that "Grilling and SV are different, giving different results with different techniques.  I'd not say that grilling would 'never be as good as sous-viding.' They both have the potential to be good, they are just different."


.... Shel


#52 KennethT

KennethT
  • participating member
  • 901 posts
  • Location:New York, NY

Posted 31 May 2014 - 10:52 AM

The best burger in NYC is considered by many to be the Minetta Tavern's Black Label burger.  It is griddled; i.e. cooked in its own fat. That's the result I am looking for when pan-frying and I don't think it can be approached via sous vide.

But, assuming you grind your own meat, you can save the fat/trimmings, render in a pan and fry the trimmings to get nice maillard flavor into the fat - then griddle the SVd burgers using that fat.  I use this method with steak and find the results to be very good.

 

ETA: Granted - this takes much longer than 10 minutes though.. but if you've got the time, I think it's effort well spent.


Edited by KennethT, 31 May 2014 - 10:54 AM.


#53 scubadoo97

scubadoo97
  • participating member
  • 2,093 posts
  • Location:Dunedin, Florida

Posted 31 May 2014 - 11:28 AM

Sometimes I'm just looking for a burger in 10 minutes. In that patty above (meat from Jeffrey and ground at home!) I got some nice Maillard, some juicy beef, etc.

I think the most important important things in a burger are the quality and blends of beef and how fresh the grind is. Everything else falls a notch below that.


I've got a chuck and blade roast cut up and ready to grind. I agree freshness and cut/blend are a big factors

#54 Chris Hennes

Chris Hennes

    Director of Operations

  • manager
  • 8,161 posts
  • Location:Norman, Oklahoma

Posted 31 May 2014 - 11:28 AM

The best burger in NYC is considered by many to be the Minetta Tavern's Black Label burger.  It is griddled; i.e. cooked in its own fat. That's the result I am looking for when pan-frying and I don't think it can be approached via sous vide.

 

But from the article you link:

 

The griddle is not as searing hot as one might assume—the Black Label cooks differently from other blends and produces such a thick crust that it can be difficult to achieve even a rare internal temperature without completely burning the outside when cooking on high heat.

Cooking the burger sous vide first would eliminate the difficulty mentioned here and allow the burger to be cooked on high heat.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org


#55 scubadoo97

scubadoo97
  • participating member
  • 2,093 posts
  • Location:Dunedin, Florida

Posted 01 June 2014 - 07:17 AM

My first SV burger.
ynu3ynu2.jpg
  • Smithy likes this

#56 Shel_B

Shel_B
  • participating member
  • 2,677 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay Area

Posted 01 June 2014 - 07:21 AM

My first SV burger.
 

 

So, did it taste any better than a regular grilled or pan seared burger, or does it just look prettier?  How long did it take to cook?  Would you do it again, i.e., was it worth whatever extra time and effort you put into it?


.... Shel


#57 dcarch

dcarch
  • participating member
  • 2,512 posts

Posted 01 June 2014 - 07:30 AM

So, did it taste any better than a regular grilled or pan seared burger, or does it just look prettier?  How long did it take to cook?  Would you do it again, i.e., was it worth whatever extra time and effort you put into it?

 

It will taste the same. There will be less shrinkage.

 

The texture will be better, especially if you are making thick burgers. 

 

SV gives you a lot more flexibility to control texture. The crust and the interior, (for all meats), are cooked with precise temperature control.

 

Is it worth it?

 

Is it worth it to pay a $1,000 more for wine when the difference is hardly noticeable?

 

dcarch 



#58 scubadoo97

scubadoo97
  • participating member
  • 2,093 posts
  • Location:Dunedin, Florida

Posted 01 June 2014 - 07:36 AM

So, did it taste any better than a regular grilled or pan seared burger, or does it just look prettier? How long did it take to cook? Would you do it again, i.e., was it worth whatever extra time and effort you put into it?


It tasted good. Not much extra effort and maybe less than traditional burgers. Less splatter and smoke. The extra time was not a problem. The large margin of error in timing with SV cooking is used to my advantage. Let's me do other things and if my wife is running late it's never been a problem. It what I like most about SV cooking

#59 Tri2Cook

Tri2Cook
  • participating member
  • 3,736 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 01 June 2014 - 07:56 AM

I think I'll give this a try. I'm not usually a fan of thick burgers, the exterior crust is my favorite part and thus I generally prefer two thinner patties over one thick patty. But (with a huge thanks to Kerry Beal and Anna N) I now have proper sous vide equipment in addition to the meat grinder I received at Christmas so it might be the right time to try to find the thick burger that changes my mind about my burger preference.


  • FauxPas likes this
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#60 weinoo

weinoo
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,542 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 01 June 2014 - 08:07 AM

But from the article you link:

Cooking the burger sous vide first would eliminate the difficulty mentioned here and allow the burger to be cooked on high heat.

True. But the blend for a black label burger is probably "proprietary" and "secret", so I don't have to worry about those problems!

 

Also, I think I like a thinner burger as well.

 

Oh, let's face it - I like all burgers!


  • gfweb and Chris Hennes like this
Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"
mweinstein@eGstaff.org
Tasty Travails - My Blog
My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs
Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Modernist