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seannymurrs

Cooking burgers sous vide, have some questions

129 posts in this topic

even the best conventionally cooked medium-rare burgers will have a significant portion of meat that goes from medium to beyond well-done.

 

 

 

Ok, so this is where we disagree.  and this is where, proper cooking skills come in to play. 


Edited by basquecook (log)

“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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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).

If you're not going to cook in Ziplocks, form your burgers and then par freeze them on a sheet pan lined with parchment or a silpat before vacuum packing. This will keep your burgers from getting squashed. Otherwise, use Ziplocks and the displacement method to seal.

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

You may want to keep a torch handy to touch up the sides of the burgers if you're going to sear on a griddle. You can get a nice crust on the top and bottom, but the sides won't be as nice. That's a place where a deep or shallow fry has an advantage.

 

Dave Arnold's preferred method seems to be a deep-fry pre-sear, into the bath, then a final sear on top of charcoal to refresh the crust and add flavor. Here's his take on the patty melt, as well as his "burger of the future", which both use this process.


Edited by btbyrd (log)

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Ok, so this is where we disagree.  and this is where, proper cooking skills come in to play. 

 

You may be disagreeing with me on how much overcooked meat constitutes "a significant portion." But I can promise that with SV, or other low delta-t cooking methods, that portion will be much, much smaller.

 

Good technique when cooking with high heat can reduce the gradient only so much. It's ultimately a matter of physics.

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Here's an example of SV burgers really shining. Last weekend some friends were grilling in the yard and we all brought stuff over. I've often brought burgers to this kind of thing, because I love grinding my own meat blends and making something special. But in a social grilling setting, the burgers often don't get cooked well. I'm there to hang out with friends and drink beers, not to commandeer a grill and play mr. chef. So the the cooking is a crapshoot. Especially on charcoal, which can probably give the best results, but is also harder to control, especially when you're not in charge (and don't want to be).

 

Last weekend I made the burgers as I always do, but then cooked them sous-vide and chilled in an ice bath. I brought them over in an insulated bag just like I would with raw burgers. When it came time to cook, I dried them off, and asked my host to clear off a section of the grill that I could make extra hot. In about 4 minutes they were nicely browned, with grill marks, and while they cooked more while browning than I thought was ideal, they were still pink from edge to edge. They were honestly the best burgers I've ever had that came off a grill, and this was my first attempt at combining the two processes.

 

It's only going to get better with some practice. 

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Here's an example of SV burgers really shining. Last weekend some friends were grilling in the yard and we all brought stuff over. I've often brought burgers to this kind of thing, because I love grinding my own meat blends and making something special. But in a social grilling setting, the burgers often don't get cooked well. I'm there to hang out with friends and drink beers, not to commandeer a grill and play mr. chef. So the the cooking is a crapshoot. Especially on charcoal, which can probably give the best results, but is also harder to control, especially when you're not in charge (and don't want to be).

 

Last weekend I made the burgers as I always do, but then cooked them sous-vide and chilled in an ice bath. I brought them over in an insulated bag just like I would with raw burgers. When it came time to cook, I dried them off, and asked my host to clear off a section of the grill that I could make extra hot. In about 4 minutes they were nicely browned, with grill marks, and while they cooked more while browning than I thought was ideal, they were still pink from edge to edge. They were honestly the best burgers I've ever had that came off a grill, and this was my first attempt at combining the two processes.

 

It's only going to get better with some practice. 

 

 

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

 

i use sous vide when frying chicken for over 12 people... I sous vide the chicken to proper temp and then crispy the skin... I get it, i understand... it takes 12 minutes to fry chicken and I can't fry chicken for 100 people properly without sous vide.. But, when you are talking about grilling burger for 4 or 6 people, i don't understand.  If you were grilling burgers for 20 people who all needed to eat at the exact same time and you didn't feel like breaking a sweat, i could see your point. 


Edited by basquecook (log)

“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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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 (log)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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


 

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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


 

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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 (log)

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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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.

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Now I'm going to have to do it.

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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 (log)

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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.

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

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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?

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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.

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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

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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.

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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?

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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 (log)
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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


 

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