Chicken thighs are forgiving enough as it is, so why bother cooking them sous vide? Because the method gives you unparalleled control over the final texture, and they'll come out juicier in a sous-vide bag than they do with traditional methods when cooked to the same final temperature. Here are my timing, temperature, and technique recommendations for sous-vide chicken thighs.
Sous Vide 101
What if I told you that chicken breast doesn't have to be bland? That it doesn't have to be dry, stringy, or insipid? Your chicken breast has the potential to be the life of the party, with a level of juiciness you thought only the best pork chops could have, and the way to get there is by cooking it sous vide. Here's our comprehensive guide to using the sous-vide method to revolutionize your chicken.
Sous-vide often gets touted as a technique to guarantee moist and tender pan-roasted chicken. But why limit sous-vide to hot applications? Doesn't cold chicken deserve to be just as juicy and flavorful as hot chicken? A couple dozen chicken breasts and a few days of tinkering later and I had the tastiest, juiciest, most flavor-packed chicken salad ever. Here's how it works.
Steak is one of the most popular foods to cook for first-time sous-vide enthusiasts, and with good reason. It takes all of the guesswork out of the process, delivering steaks that are cooked perfectly to precisely the temperature you like each and every time. This complete guide will take you there.
Tempering chocolate is a technique that requires a good deal of precision, but some methods for doing it are easier than others. Read on to discover how to temper chocolate using both traditional and updated techniques, including with a sous vide circulator or with a food processor and hair dryer for better, more foolproof results.
Sous-vide is a fantastic method for cooking holiday roasts. It delivers reliable moist and tender results, frees up your oven for other tasks, requires almost no supervision while cooking, and is very easy to hold hot and ready to serve until your guests are ready. That said, sous vide turkey comes with a few problems. We've solved the issues to give you a recipe that produces turkey cooked exactly how you like it, with deep roasty flavors and extra-crispy skin to boot.
Ham is not for everyone, but if you're a ham lover, lucky you, because ham is one meat that's darn difficult to mess up. Want to make it even juicier and more foolproof? Cook the sucker sous-vide. Because hams are pre-cooked, it's really just a matter of reheating them. Typically, I'd suggest removing meat from its retail packaging, seasoning it, then re-sealing it in a sous-vide bag before cooking it. But since ham's pre-seasoned, it can be cooked directly in the package it comes in, making the whole process even more appealing.
This year, three new devices—the Sansaire, the Anova, and the Nomiku—designed for sous-vide cookery and targeted at the home cook have been released, all of them available for under $300. But how do the three stack up against each other? For the last few weeks I've been testing all three side by side, cooking with them in every type of situation a home cook is likely to run into (and some they aren't). Here's a feature-by-feature breakdown of the testing.
Turkey porchetta—deboned turkey breast cured with garlic, fennel, sage, and red pepper and wrapped in its own skin before roasting—might be the best way to cook turkey using a conventional oven, but if you want to really break out the big guns, cooking it sous-vide, followed by a stint in a hot oil bath Peking duck-style, is the way to go.
Even cooked through traditional methods, braised-then-crisped pork belly is one of the most delicious things in the world. So why, you might ask, would one resort to cooking them like sous-vide? Find out after the jump!
Pork is a prime candidate for sous-vide cooking, thick-cut pork doubly so. Why? Well, back in the day, pork used to be much fattier, meaning that it could be cooked to relatively high temperatures while still maintaining a modicum of juiciness. Modern pork, on the other hand, has been bred to be relatively low in fat, with big chunks of un-marbled meat. It's all part of the "other white meat" campaign—pork masquerading as chicken. Lean, modern pork tends to dry out very quickly unless you cook it carefully and keep it to a safe medium-rare.
The great sous-vide circulator wars of 2013 have officially started. We test out the Anova, the newest competitor to breach the sub-$200 mark for water circulators aimed at the home cook market. How does it stack up to the competition?
Sous-vide cooking may be experiencing a rise in popularity, but the problem for home cooks spans familiarity, price, convenience, and design quality. Now, Scott Heimendinger, the Director of Applied Research behind Modernist Cuisine, thinks he might have the solution: The Sansaire, a new all-in-one sous-vide solution that is designed to work in any container and retails at just $199. Is it worth the dough? We got our hands on the first working prototype to test it out. We cooked everything from steaks to eggs to slow-braised short ribs to put it through its paces.
There are countless good ways to cook a steak. So long as you start with good, high quality meat, season it properly, don't overcook it, and get a good sear on it, you can't really go wrong. But if your goal is the ultimate in tenderness and juiciness, a steak with a crisp, crackling, dark brown crust that cuts open to reveal flesh that's perfectly pink from edge to edge, then you're going to want to cook your steak sous-vide. Sound expensive? Think again. Watch the video or read the transcript to see how you can cook the best, most consistently foolproof steaks of your life, all in a $30 beer cooler.
The Food Lab: 61-Day Dry-Aged, Sous-Vide, Torched-and-Seared Bone-in Ribeyes (AKA The Ultimate Steak)
So you got your tender, well-marbled, expensive-as-all-get-out, funky-smelling, thick-cut steak. What's the best way to cook it? And I'm not just talking "the best" way to cook it. I'm talking THE ALL OUT, NO HOLDS BARRED, TAKE NO PRISONERS, THIS IS THE BEST FREAKING STEAK YOU'LL EVER HAVE IN YOUR LIFE BEST way to cook it.What does that mean? It means we'll have to do better than we've done in the past.
Sous-vide cookery is slowly but surely moving into home kitchens, but there's still a large convenience barrier that is stopping people. Enter the Nomiku. The idea is simple: a clip-on water heater with a built-in pump that heats and circulates water inside any pot, pan, or other vessel you'd like. With this nifty little guy, you can turn any pot in your kitchen into a sous-vide water bath. Heck, you could cook a steak in a flower pot or poach fish in a fish tank if you'd like.
The Food Lab: Deep-Fried, Sous-Vide, 36-Hour, All-Belly Porchetta (Or, The Most Freaking Delicious Thing To Ever Come Out Of My Kitchen)
A regular porchetta is delicious, no doubt, but I thought to myself, what if I start with the same all-belly porchetta and take it to the extreme? This was undoubtedly the mind-blowingest of all the mind-blowing meat dishes that have come out of kitchen in perhaps... ever? Bold statement, I know, but I honestly can't think of anything I've ever made that I was happier with then this porchetta.
I'm the first to admit that sous-vide is not the best way to cook everything, and that goes for the majority of my favorite vegetables. Peas, asparagus, ramps—all those delicious, fresh spring flavors do better with a quick blanch or a sauté. That said, there are some vegetables for which sous-vide cooking can't be beat. For me, carrots top that list. When cooked in a sealed bag with a little bit of butter, sugar, and salt, the natural flavor of the carrot intensifies into a sweeter, stronger, and downright tastier version of itself.
This is one of the easiest and most impressive applications of a low-temperature water oven like the Sous-Vide Supreme. The idea is that the texture of a cooked egg is determined solely by its temperature. That means when cooked to 142°F, egg whites will be barely set but still hold their shape, no matter how long you hold them there (provided you give them enough time to heat through, that is). Similarly, at that temperature, egg yolks will be hot, but completely liquid.