Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

[Modernist Cuisine] Cook the Perfect Hamburger Sous Vide (3•86)

Recommended Posts

Hi All:

I did most of this last night. I Sous Vide for 1 hour at 135F and then deep fried at 190C ( as that is the hottest my deep fryer would go) for 1 minute. I did not have any liquid nitrogen so missed that out. But the burger was dry and more like medium not what I was expecting.

So what was the biggest mistake:

  1. 2 more degrees in the Sous Vide ' cannot believe that
  2. Not using liquid nitrogen ' hmmm unsure
  3. Not having the oil hot enough - 232C must be close to flash point

Thanks for your help. The outside crunch was great and 240g of burger seemed light and tastey (it was my own grind) which was a win. Just a bit dry.


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

It seems to me that 135F is going to be medium. I wouldn't go above 131F (55C), or even lower (52C) if you like it on the rare side.

Second, the grinding technique is apparently important. See MC 3-234. And don't vacuum seal (or use a very low setting) -- instead use a ziploc bag and the Archimedes principle to avoid compressing the burger.

If you don't have any liquid nitrogen, you could try dunking the bag with the burger in a bath of alcohol (cheap vodka) and dry ice. If you don't pre-chill the meat, deep frying it is probably going to overcook it, depending on the thickness.

But all of this sort of contravenes the precision of sous vide cooking at a specific temperature. How much nitrogen, for how long, how thick were the burgers, how hot was the oil,and for how long???

Is it necessary to chill the burger to 0F, -30F, -60F, or all the way down to liquid nitrogen temperature? Who knows!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Drew Thompson said:

Not using liquid nitrogen ' hmmm unsure

Definitely try chilling the burger before deep frying. I've cooked burgers this way a couple of times and always put them in an ice bath then the fridge after cooking sous vide. Deep fry straight from the fridge at 375 (highest my fryer goes) usually for 2-3 minutes as 1 minute left the centre a little cold. No issues with over cooking.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never had a problem deep frying the burgers, even straight out of the sous vide machine. I like to coat my burger patties in brown sugar before frying (or even before cooking sous vide), and it helps develop a wonderful crust when you fry. I only fry at 375 for 30-60 seconds and I never have a problem with overcooking (I also make thick burgers).

My best guess is that you may not have enough fat in your burger - that would explain the dryness. I prefer burgers with 15-18% fat content. They stay jucier and more tender.

Scott Heimendinger

Director of Applied Research for Modernist Cuisine

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done this 3 or 4 times now. No liquid Nitro; just pat dry and fry at about 220-225. They are, indeed, about medium, but not dry at all. I used medium level of fat meat. The two times I had guests I had very sincere "best burger they ever had" and one of the guests (Mother in Law of all things) who "doesn't like" burgers attacked it with gusto.

I'd love to try it with liquid nitro but not only do I have no idea where to source it locally, I have nothing to store it in.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Paul, read the Liquid Nitrogen Primer at Cooking Issues. It will tell you what the best bet is for ordering your LN2. I know where to source LN2 (I am in Melbourne, Australia) … but the real question is what I am going to do with all that stuff. I am a hobby cook, cooking from my home. LN2 is a little bit extravagant. If I had a restaurant, or if I was as rich as Nathan, then perhaps …

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...
  • 2 weeks later...

On saturday we made 40 hamburgers this way. Time ran longer than i had hoped and the burgers cooked at 135 F for 2 hrs but were even more tender due to the extra time. They were placed in a portable cylidrical water cooler that i usually store water in while camping that had several inches of liquid nitrogen in it. At first we chilled them for 60 seconds and then deep fried them at 350 F in a deep fryer, but the burgers were cold inside. We then lowered the freezing time to about 15 seconds, and then deep fried them for a minute and a half, until dark brown and they were great. The only down side was they needed salt an i'm not sure that it can be added to the burgers prior to cooking sous vide.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

I do have a chamber vacuume packing machine and I am now trying to bag burgers at different pressures.

Burgers float in a standard 3mil boilable bag 99.3% , at 99.5% bag sinks. At 99.7% it felt as if the burger was compressed some.

Shooting for 54c

cooking 1/2 pound Kobe Beef patties for 2 hours

also trying one with the baggie method.

should be interesting.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Similar Content

    • By eG Forums Host
      Modernist Cuisine at the eGullet Forums
      Here at eG Forums, we have what is probably the broadest collection of information on modernist cooking anywhere. We've discussed sous vide, the general chemistry of culinary modernism, practical applications with colloids and starches, and much, much more. A lot of this discussion is contained in our topics about the books Modernist Cuisine and Modernist Cuisine at Home (we have topics on both the books and on cooking with the recipes they present), but we've been modern since before modern was cool -- click on the 'Recent discussions tagged "Modernist"' link at the bottom of this page for a small sampling of what we've been up to. And feel free to use the Search tool at the top of the page to look for specific terms or people.

      Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking by Nathan Myhrvold with Chris Young and Maxime Bilet

      Support eG, buy the book at Amazon.com
      About the original book (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)
      Cooking the recipes from the book (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)
      A Q&A with the Modernist Cuisine team

      Modernist Cuisine at Home by Nathan Myhrvold with Maxime Bilet

      Support eG, buy the book at Amazon.com
      About the book
      Cooking the recipes from the book (Part 1, Part 2)

      Other Modernist-related topics:
      Recent discussions tagged "Modernist"
      Sous Vide discussion index
    • By Porthos
      I picked up enough boneless short ribs to make 3 meals for my Sweetie and me. One meal will be pan-braised tonight. One has been vacuum-sealed and is in the freezer. My question is about seasoning, sealing, freezing, then defrosting and cooking at a later date. I'd like to season and seal the 3rd meal's worth. Can I use a dry rub on the meat, then seal, freeze, and cook at a later date? Does anyone else do this?
    • By newchef
      So I've now found myself at the water's edge of Modernist Cuisine.  Specifically, using sodium citrate for emulsifying all kinds of cheeses.  What I'm after is making an emulsified Parmesan sauce as well as another emulsified cheese sauce (most likely using Cheddar or Colby) that I can freeze and use later.  I'm a single guy and am no stranger of tweaking recipes for freezing but I haven't done it for modernist stuff yet.  I'd love to make a big batch of cheese sauce, freeze it into ice cubes for up to 3 months or so, and then take a few cubes out to thaw on a weeknight and toss with pasta, drizzle over veggies, etc.
      I looked at the modernist cuisine FAQ and saw this specific post about the cheese sauce that is "probably" freeze-able because it uses something called carageenan.  Has anyone been able to freeze sauce and keep it frozen for, say, a few months?  And not have to use carageenan?
    • By WackGet
      Recently I picked up a few different types of emulsifiers in bulk powder form when I saw them in passing at a catering wholesaler.
      Having never used powdered emulsifiers before in cooking or baking, I figured I'd find pretty comprehensive instructions for their use on the web - but I can't.
      I'm not a stranger to food science but nor am I a chemist. I understand that emulsifiers are at least sometimes prepared by pre-mixing them into a (heated?) liquid or fat and then using the resulting solution in the actual recipe, which may explain why a lot of commercial emulsifier mixtures are packages as tubes of gel or paste. I've also checked several industry-level textbooks about emulsifiers and while they are fantastic for in-depth explanations of the chemistry behind each emulsifier, they do not (as you might imagine) provide guidance on how a lowly baker or cook would actually use a powdered form.
      So does anyone know how to prepare and use a dry powdered form of any of the following in a real recipe?
      Specifically I am most interested in enhancing baked goods and adding stability to sauces, but would also like to know how to use them for other processes such as sausage-making too.
      E471 Mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids E481 Sodium stearoyl lactylate E482 Calcium stearoyl lactylate E472e DATEM (diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono- and diglycerides)
    • By mjbarnard
      I cooked two turkey breasts sous vide. This year had access to the Meater+ thermometer probe which I managed to vacuum seal in the bag without difficulty (it is small). Since it works wirelessly I was able to monitor and it records the internal temperatures at the thickest part of the breast.
      I thought the results were interesting. I cooked at 60C for 8 hours. I have always used https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/a-better-way-to-turkey-cook-that-bird-sous-vide-for-the-best-feast-ever which gives long cooking times at lower temperature. I have found that as according to this page https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/11/sous-vide-turkey-breast-crispy-skin-recipe-thanksgiving.html that 55C gives turkey which is just a little too pink for most tastes. Over the last few years have increased the temperature up to 59/60 and I find it perfect - very moist and tender, but pale not pink.
      See attached images. I changed my mind a couple of times and started at 58 then 60 then 59 again, so ignore the slight variations. The thing I found interesting was that the thickest part (of a large breast) reached 55C in around 1 hour 40 mins and target of 59 in 2 hours 30 mins. Now I appreciate that sous vide is a combination of temperature and time or duration, but the data make me think that around 4 hours would be sufficient, as per the seriouseats table. I have previously used the chefsteps 55-58 for their much longer advised times, up to 12 hours and the meat is still quite pink at the end, so I dont believe 55 for 12 hours would effectively be the same.
      From now on I will watching the internal temperatures with interest. This has always been the (relative) unkown for sous vide amateurs. 

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...