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Cooking burgers sous vide, have some questions

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#61 paulraphael

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 08:15 AM

Mitch, we should join forces and do a burger lab. There are some other cuts I want to experiment with. We could also compare cooking methods, or just do to eliminate cooking variables. This would be, you know, for the greater good.


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#62 basquecook

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 08:24 AM

ok, i am down.. when i get back from my china trip, which i posting here, http://forums.egulle...trip/?p=1970232

 

i will happily do a comparison.. and cook burgers both ways.. maybe even, shutter, deep fry one.  

 

in terms of the bun,  what should i do about that?  i find that using baked buns is highly annoying as when baking bread, there are wildly different textures in the bread.  the outside is dark, the inside has various layers of doneness..  do we still use buns, or is there a way to sous vide bread as well? should i use lettuce wraps or perhaps a crepe  :laugh:   (this is obviously a joke)

 

I for one usually dislike meat that is cooked sous vide.. especially meat that could be cooked medium rare.. biggest example is duck breast which, is probably the most satisfying thing one can do with the least amount of effort.. 

 

but, hey, i am not above experimentation. 


Edited by basquecook, 01 June 2014 - 08:25 AM.

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#63 paulraphael

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 08:59 AM

I for one usually dislike meat that is cooked sous vide.. especially meat that could be cooked medium rare.. biggest example is duck breast which, is probably the most satisfying thing one can do with the least amount of effort.. 

 

I'd suggest identifying the qualities of the meat that you dislike. Forget about how it was cooked, and just consider what you'd like to change. You can almost always design a sous-vide process that will cook the meat exactly the way you like. And then you can do it precisely and repeatably. You may dislike the typical habits of people who cook sous-vide, but those don't represent all the choices available. To illustrate, I bet I could make you a horrible burger by any method!


Edited by paulraphael, 01 June 2014 - 09:07 AM.


#64 weinoo

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 09:04 AM

Mitch, we should join forces and do a burger lab. There are some other cuts I want to experiment with. We could also compare cooking methods, or just do to eliminate cooking variables. This would be, you know, for the greater good.

 

 

ok, i am down.. when i get back from my china trip, which i posting here, http://forums.egulle...trip/?p=1970232

 

i will happily do a comparison.. and cook burgers both ways.. maybe even, shutter, deep fry one.  

 

in terms of the bun,  what should i do about that?  i find that using baked buns is highly annoying as when baking bread, there are wildly different textures in the bread.  the outside is dark, the inside has various layers of doneness..  do we still use buns, or is there a way to sous vide bread as well? should i use lettuce wraps or perhaps a crepe  :laugh:   (this is obviously a joke)

 

I for one usually dislike meat that is cooked sous vide.. especially meat that could be cooked medium rare.. biggest example is duck breast which, is probably the most satisfying thing one can do with the least amount of effort.. 

 

but, hey, i am not above experimentation. 

OK guys -we're all in the same general area - let's do it!  

 

I think the classic bun is the Martin's potato roll, but both Minetta ande Rosette (a burger I happen to love) use house-baked brioche.


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#65 btbyrd

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 09:23 AM

"   it tastes dry to me, not juicy and really soulless  "

 

I know what you mean, but I think a lot of it depends on what you're cooking. A sous vide burger or meatball or meat loaf will be super juicy. Same with sausages. Whole muscle cuts can vary widely. SV chicken breasts are not especially juicy in my experience, even when brined beforehand, and their uniform texture can be off putting. (It's great for chicken salad though!) That's not the case for pork chops or most cuts of beef. I've made some of the best fajita meat in of my life by cooking flank steak SV and then finishing it off on the grill; much more juice and flavor than I've had at any restaurant.

 

"especially meat that could be cooked medium rare"

 

One of the really great things about low temp cooking is that you CAN cook things medium rare that you otherwise couldn't. Low temp beef/pork cheeks are killer, as are short ribs. While I do like a traditional braise on these cuts, I much prefer the taste and texture of the SV version.



#66 lordratner

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 09:37 AM

A couple tips to the OP:

Don't pre-salt your meat when grinding or forming patties. If you do, you end up running the risk of having a sausage texture (which is nice on meatballs, but not so much for a burger).

 

You don't need oil or butter in the bag.

 

Pre-Salt: Pre-salting can give you the perfect texture and cohesion when grinding your own meat. You can either salt the meat overnight and grind the next day, or grind the meat and then salt it. With the latter method you can't salt it until about 30-90 minutes prior to cooking, or you'll get the sausage texture you stated. MC and MCaH as well as a few other websites go over the timings, but I was blown away the first time I used the MCaH pre-salting technique. Zero additional ingredients and perfect patty cohesion. 

 

Oil in Bag - It can help with very coarse ground burgers, since the surface will trap a lot of air bubbles (without the oil to fill the holes) and you can't vacuum seal them. Meat juices will eventually fill the holes, but you may have to increase cooking time to compensate.

 

A burger cooked sous vide and then deep fried is a thing of beauty.

 

 

The idea that there's a perfect way to cook a burger is silly.

 

This, this, this, and this one more time. No one is claiming that "best" isn't a matter of taste. But the arguments here sound like many of they nay-sayers to sous vide ribs, to the tune of "I've never had it but there's no way that fancy pants sciencey stuff can out-do a good old fashioned charcoal grill." The bottom line is, if you haven't tried it, you have no idea what you're talking about. 

 

i guess.. i am talking about places in NYC that use sous vide.. and these are like the top tier restaurants around town. 

 

i can identified when it's used and often find it while perfect looking, it tastes dry to me, not juicy and really soulless.  i guess for all the reasons people like it, i don't..  the same reason why i guess people like it, i guess i don't.. i have experimented with it sous vide off an on for 10 years.. i am just not a fan.   it is possible i guess, for a person not to like sous vide. 

 

I absolutely believe someone can dislike sous vide meat, since everything is a matter of taste. But it's a difficult proposition to believe it's due to dryness, unless of course the chef was not experienced in the technique. 

 

To me, what makes a sous vide burger worth the "effort" is that is can in-fact produce a type of burger that is either far more difficult, or impossible to make by other methods (except perhaps with a combi oven). Thick, deeply medium rare ( 57C all the way through, no rare or well-done spots, which to me is far more important with ground beef), and aggressively crusty on the outside. The recipe is straight out of MCaH, and I can understand why it's one of the recipes they talk about in interviews. I have a hard time believing the liquid nitrogen step from MC would make it much better, but I also thought a deep-fried burger was lunacy until I tried it. Now, I have a hard time going back.

 

To the original poster - I use the same method you devised for cooking various temps of meat for one meal. If the meat is super tender or the cook times are really long, I'll chill the higher temp meats while the lower ones cook, then add them all back to the bath for the last 30-60 mins (depending on thickness) to reheat. I hope it worked out for you. The only issue I would have is with the salt breaking down the meat. I'd either have to salt the meat in batches, or cook them all at the lowest temp to stop the break down, then work again in reverse order from hottest to coolest. 



#67 haresfur

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 07:04 PM

Not something I've played with but...

 

I would think that another advantage of SV burgers is that you can pasteurize the meat without cooking it to death.  This may or may not be important to you. Probably not if you grind your own meat.  But I doubt you can get a rare or medium rare burger on the grill pasteurized.

 

And what about rendering fat? That will happen to the outside gray zone in conventional grilling but perhaps not as much when you go from browned to pink with nothing between.  But it seems to me that the fat-is-flavour people could make a nice fatty burger with a different mouth-feel and taste by SV to the point the fat is breaking down just the right amount. 


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#68 Unpopular Poet

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 12:55 PM

I have yet to cook a burger sous vide, mostly because of the convenience factor (my own that is), and also, because I rarely cook burgers anyway.  I can tell you that I am not a fan of sous vide steak -- I prefer other methods (scorching hot mineral pan or steamed at 130, then seared) -- but that is all preference -- I simply didn't care for the sous vide steak -- that being the only item I didn't love to do sous vide.  I also think that there is a small trend out there that is implying that if you sous vide, you are simply lazy or unable to do it otherwise, which I disagree with.  At the end of the day, preference and time are what controls.  Sous Vide is part of a huge set of tools to get to what we each determine to be perfect in our own minds and palates -- if someone isn't choosing to use it, they are using other tools -- and there is nothing wrong with that.   But there is also nothing wrong with relying on sous vide.  I am definitely going to make sous vide burgers this week though -- and finally get that grinder attachment out that has been sitting in its packaging for far too long.  I assume the burger will be delicious -- but maybe not to my liking.



#69 SobaAddict70

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 01:02 PM

I have had sous vide meats -- SV chicken at Blue Hill; SV short ribs at Momofuku Ko; and I'm sure other places -- but I don't think I have ever eaten an SV burger. It'll be a while before that happens, since SV is not something I'm much interested in, at home. Eating out though; who knows?

#70 paulraphael

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 01:05 PM

I am definitely going to make sous vide burgers this week though -- and finally get that grinder attachment out that has been sitting in its packaging for far too long.  I assume the burger will be delicious -- but maybe not to my liking.

If you use the new grinder, I suspect you'll love the burger no matter how you cook it! That makes such a big difference it won't be a fair test ...


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#71 Unpopular Poet

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 11:57 AM

Paul -- got it, thanks.  I will cook accordingly...although the more I think about it, the more likely I am going to be doing Ribeye.  I will report back my findings.  as far as the burgers go...Saturday...



#72 Chimo

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 07:27 PM

All this talk about SV hamburgers got me curious about what they would be like. So I made some last night.

I made some 5oz (~145gm), 20mm thick burgers. I cooked them at 140°F (60°C) for 65 minutes and then threw them in an ice bath. I did use my chamber vac to seal them individually but I did not draw too strong of a vacuum. Today for supper, I finished them on a cast iron skillet and used a torch for the edges.

How did they taste? Awesome. Even using grass-fed, fairly lean beef, they were very moist, flavourful and easy to make consistently. My wife enjoyed hers. I will give this experiment a thumbs up.

8aba2uru.jpg


Edited by Chimo, 04 June 2014 - 07:36 PM.

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#73 Smithy

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 01:15 PM

Nice work, Chimo! Thanks for the report and the photos.

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#74 weedy

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 01:30 PM

I find sous vided proteins almost always come out 'juicier', probably because they can be optimally cooked to a high enough temp to render the fat, but still a low enough tamp to not dry them out.

 

 

144F chicken breast is juicier than ANY other method I've seen.

 

Thing is that not everyone likes a dish done to the same temp or texture. But the great thing about sous vide is that you can almost always find the time versus temp combo that yields the result YOU like.



#75 gfweb

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 01:39 PM

I'd bet that you could get a very juicy SV burger even if the meat was 90% lean or higher. Anybody experiment with this already?



#76 gfweb

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 02:21 PM

I had to try it.

 

130F 45min, the temp/time suggested by MC at home. For me, the texture was too uncooked in the center

IMG_20140612_191716_431.jpg

 

 

 

Second try at 135F 45 min. At end of SV the internal temp was 130F. Still too uncooked feeling for me. Odd, since I like my burgers med rare when cooked traditionally.

sv burger.jpg

 

More fiddling is needed.  I'm still not sold on SV burgers.

 

An observation....there is no contraction of the burger whatsoever when cooked by SV (I know...like duh) and it might even swell a little.  I will need to make flatter patties in the future...ie use less meat...which makes SV economical!


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#77 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 07:12 PM

I would think sous vide would flatten the patty compared to conventional cooking unless the patty were frozen first?



#78 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 07:25 PM

I would think sous vide would flatten the patty compared to conventional cooking unless the patty were frozen first?

 

You're right: if you vac seal a loosely-bound patty of the sort described by the Modernist Cuisine people or Heston Blumenthal, you'll crush it. This is why 'sous vide' burgers are often cooked in a zip lock bag rather than a pouch (hence the inverted commas). Of course, you could always freeze them first or stand there with your finger on the 'seal' button of your strip sealer. 


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#79 dcarch

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 08:59 PM

I don't eat burgers often, mostly because I can't find good buns. Why waste beef on lousy buns?

 

I did want to try to make SV burger, so I had to make my own buns.

 

I am not a fat eater, so I used lean bottom round, hand chopped. with a few other stuff and seasoning mixed in.

 

SV at 132F, 24 hours. 

 

Topped with roasted peppers, sauteed onions. I decided for this go around, I just want to taste the beef. No cheese. They were very good.

 

dcarch

 

Hamburgerbuns.jpg

 

Hamburger.jpg

 

hamburger2.jpg

 

hamburger3.jpg

 


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#80 weinoo

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 04:47 AM

While I like burgers rare to medium-rare, none of these sous-vide burgers look that appetizing to my eye.  They just look too raw to me.  

 

And perhaps that's the difference when cooking a burger using "conventional" methods, like a hot frying pan or a grill or a griddle; sure, they're not perfectly rare from edge to edge - they may even have that dreaded little bit of grey -  but in fact, they're perfectly "cooked," or at least they look and taste that way.


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#81 rotuts

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 05:21 AM

Soooo  raise the temp of the bath to your liking.

 

:biggrin:



#82 weinoo

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 06:40 AM

Soooo  raise the temp of the bath to your liking.

 

:biggrin:

 

Of course, but what I'm trying to convey (badly?) is that it's the appearance of the beef in the burgers cooked sous vide that turns me off.


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#83 gfweb

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 06:48 AM

And the texture issue cannot be escaped. I suspect that even cooked optimally, whatever that turns out to be, the SV burger won't be what my mouth expects of a burger.  So far they've felt like biting into a meatball, not a burger.

 

I'm beginning to see why MC deep fries them as a final step to get a real good crunch on the things.


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#84 paulraphael

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 07:23 AM

And the texture issue cannot be escaped. I suspect that even cooked optimally, whatever that turns out to be, the SV burger won't be what my mouth expects of a burger.  So far they've felt like biting into a meatball, not a burger.

 

I'm beginning to see why MC deep fries them as a final step to get a real good crunch on the things.

 

Hmmm, I haven't experienced this. The only thing I've noticed is that I could get away with salting the meat before grinding when cooking conventionally, but not when cooking s.v. ... the salt would lead to a firmer, overly cohesive texture for my tastes. 

 

Are you using a vacuum machine?



#85 paulraphael

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 07:28 AM

While I like burgers rare to medium-rare, none of these sous-vide burgers look that appetizing to my eye.  They just look too raw to me.  

 

And perhaps that's the difference when cooking a burger using "conventional" methods, like a hot frying pan or a grill or a griddle; sure, they're not perfectly rare from edge to edge - they may even have that dreaded little bit of grey -  but in fact, they're perfectly "cooked," or at least they look and taste that way.

When I cooked burgers in a 56C bath and finished on a friend's gas grill, they didn't look raw inside. Just a nice medium rare. The grill took a while to brown them, so they ended up with a temperature gradient. But it was more like medium-rare to medium-well (with very little of the latter. There still wasn't any dry, gray meat anywhere. They looked really great.

 

Some of the pictures I see surprise me; people will say they cooked at 55C, but the meat looks horror-movie red. I wonder if this is a photography issue and not a cooking one.



#86 scubadoo97

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 08:43 AM

At 55C they will look red but to me the texture was not the same as a traditional burger at the same internal temp. The meat felt more cooked in texture. Maybe because it was held at that core temp longer

#87 paulraphael

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 09:41 AM

There are tradeoffs with different cooking times. It's a great benefit to be able to pasteurize, for example, but you'll dry out the meat much more than if just cooking to temp. 

 

For 1-1/4" burgers to get to medium-rare in a water bath set 1°C above the desired temp, cooking time is about 50 minutes. Pasteurization takes an additional hour and 20 minutes, during which time you lose a lot of juice.


Edited by paulraphael, 15 June 2014 - 09:42 AM.


#88 gfweb

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 09:53 AM

 

 

Are you using a vacuum machine?

 

No, just a zip loc bag.

 

When I cooked burgers in a 56C bath and finished on a friend's gas grill, they didn't look raw inside. Just a nice medium rare. The grill took a while to brown them, so they ended up with a temperature gradient. But it was more like medium-rare to medium-well (with very little of the latter. There still wasn't any dry, gray meat anywhere. They looked really great.

 

Some of the pictures I see surprise me; people will say they cooked at 55C, but the meat looks horror-movie red. I wonder if this is a photography issue and not a cooking one.

My 130F burger was indeed that red. The 135F burger was more a decided pink.

 

My screaming hot steel pan crusted up the outside quickly. The inside had no time to benefit from much more cooking.



#89 btbyrd

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 01:55 PM

I recently got a meat grinder for my Kitchenaid and I've been experimenting with home-ground SV burgers. My technique is currently to cut meat into grinder-sized chunks, par freeze, (freeze the grinder beforehand), grind, form into patties, transfer to fridge for 30 minutes, transfer to freezer for 15 minutes. Then deep fry @ 375 for long enough to form a crust. Drain on rack. Transfer to a Ziplock bag with a pat of butter. Cook SV to your desired degree of doneness. Then sear off over a screaming hot grill.

The results are awesome. No sausage-like texture, deep flavor, nice crust, extremely juicy. I've been using a 50/50 short rib/skirt steak blend but tonight am trying a 60/30/30 brisket/short rib/ny strip (trim from a subprimal I cut into steaks) blend. Should be good!



#90 Paul Bacino

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 02:06 PM

I recently got a meat grinder for my Kitchenaid and I've been experimenting with home-ground SV burgers. My technique is currently to cut meat into grinder-sized chunks, par freeze, (freeze the grinder beforehand), grind, form into patties, transfer to fridge for 30 minutes, transfer to freezer for 15 minutes. Then deep fry @ 375 for long enough to form a crust. Drain on rack. Transfer to a Ziplock bag with a pat of butter. Cook SV to your desired degree of doneness. Then sear off over a screaming hot grill.

The results are awesome. No sausage-like texture, deep flavor, nice crust, extremely juicy. I've been using a 50/50 short rib/skirt steak blend but tonight am trying a 60/30/30 brisket/short rib/ny strip (trim from a subprimal I cut into steaks) blend. Should be good!

 

You should try to put some aged beef in those burgers ..   YUMM


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