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The Food Lab's Guide to Crispy Sous-Vide Chicken Thighs

@timtee With sous vide cooking, you pretty much need to drop the expectation of an exact time because the time is much more flexible than it is with traditional cooking methods. With a traditional recipe that says to cook chicken for an hour and you leave it in for an hour and half, your food is likely to be horribly overcooked. (Nevermind the fact that saying to cook meat for a length of time rather than cook until internal temperature reaches xxx° isn't that great of an idea anyway.) With sous vide, the chicken is safe to eat cooked at 165°F for an hour. At 165°F for 4 hours it is still done and not overcooked and the texture is different than the chicken cooked for just an hour. The chicken is STILL done but not overcooked at 165°F for 8 hours. The texture is different still than the 1 hour and 4 hour chickens. It is really just a matter of personal preference on how you like your food cooked and how much time you have to make it. I have started keeping a log of how I cook various things via sous vide and each time I record how much I liked the food cooked at that temperature. Please note that there ARE times when the timing does matter and those recipes will be more exact. Eggs are one thing that comes to mind where timing matters with sous vide.

The Food Lab's Guide to Crispy Sous-Vide Chicken Thighs

@hausflip I don't think chicken thighs are the best example of a reason to cook sous vide. Steak is a pretty good example for a short cooking application. It is very easy to get perfect doneness from edge to edge with sous vide and then a quick sear at the end to develop more flavor. You don't have to worry about taking the steak out of the pan at the exact right time since a few minutes more don't matter in most sous vide recipes.

For longer cooking foods with more connective tissue like beef short ribs, you just can't replicate the texture of 72-hour short ribs using any conventional cooking methods I know of.

The Food Lab's Guide to Crispy Sous-Vide Chicken Thighs

@Ananonnie Thanks, I never knew that the USDA guideline was 165°F for dark meat as well. I just assumed that the guideline was 175°F for thighs and legs because many many times I've heard people say to cook turkeys/chickens to 165°F for the breast and 175°F for the leg and thighs. So now I wonder why I've seen so many recipes calling for 175°F in the thigh.

The Food Lab's Guide to Crispy Sous-Vide Chicken Thighs

Thanks Kenji, I'm glad you answered the question about why sous vide right away. I believe you've said in the past that poultry thighs were so forgiving that you didn't really see the need for doing them sous vide.

Did you do any tests going above the 165°F mark at all? I know it is safe to eat at 165°F with enough time but many people (like my mother) swear buy the "175°F for dark meat or you'll die" idea. My guess is that it would probably be similar to the 165°F results only quite a bit dryer meat. The fat might render off better though at 170°F or 175°F though.

Chicken-Fried Chicken With Cream Gravy

@whoizzit When I make this I would actually purposely make extra crunch bits by frying the bits in the leftover flour and adding those to the final gravy. I learned to do that from my mother when she made buttermilk fried chicken and it makes the gravy 10 times better with the extra bits.

The Food Lab: Chicken-Fried Chicken Is Country Cooking at Its Most Comforting

Awesome looking recipe as usual Kenji. I can't believe I never even thought of using boneless skinless thighs for this instead. It's kindof weird how I love boneless skinless thighs and use them pretty often but some recipes I still get boneless skinless breasts by default for.

The Serious Eats Tomato Shopping Guide

Thanks for the great info! I am fortunate enough to have locally grown tomatoes at the grocery stores I frequent but there is still nothing better than getting them straight from the farmer at the farmers market. There isn't a ton of variety at the farmers market but they still can't be beat since they are picked red and awesome. Summer is the only time I ever eat BLTs since tomatoes really make or break the sandwich.

The Chain Breaker: A Dairy Queen Like No Other

@SarahCL I remember that too, it was basically a dilly bar that was slightly thicker and one side had the fudge and peanuts on it. It was easier to eat and I really have no idea why they changed to the cup style they make now. Maybe they're easier to make the current way. I'd take either one right now too now that you've got me thinking about it!

10 Common Crimes Against Cheese You Don't Have to Commit

I admit to using plastic wrap (or ziplock bags) and I'm sorry! I always keep my wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano vacuum sealed in a reusable bag. I open it up, grate off what I need, and reseal and revacuum it right away. It stays good for a long while that way!

The Chain Breaker: A Dairy Queen Like No Other

I live in Kankakee Illinois where the first DQ ice cream was served even though we don't actually have the first store. Our 3 DQs in the area look pretty close to this store here and we've never had a DQ Brazier at all. It is only in the last 5-10 years actually that any of the stores have been open year round. One of the local DQ stores used to actually sell Christmas trees during the off season actually!

The Best Charcoal Grills Under $500, 2015 Edition

I'm glad to see Weber still gets top billion as the value priced but still good quality charcoal grill. I have the version that is probably about one step up from the cheapest one and it is still just fine after the 9 years that I've owned it plus the probably 5 years that my dad used it before that. I replace the grates when necessary of course but couldn't be happier with the value.

@Max Good I'm sure I can find reviews aplenty on your website but are you going to be doing a piece on charcoal for Serious Eats as well sometime?

The Serious Eats Mushroom Shopping Guide

@danny6114 I don't know if it applies to all images on SE but in this particular post you can right click on the image and select "open image in new tab" (in Chrome, the wording might be different for other browsers) to see a larger image. Making them clickable for a bigger image wouldn't be a bad idea though.

12 Grilling Mistakes You Don't Have to Make (But Probably Do)

I have always used a chimney starter when grilling but I used to have problems where occasionally the paper would be done burning and not light the charcoal. I don't know if the charcoal was damp or not enough air flow. Ever since I started putting a bit of vegetable oil on my newspaper as Alton Brown used to show on Good Eats I have not had a single problem with getting my chimney starter to light charcoal.

2 Awesome Homemade Vegetarian Burgers Even a Carnivore Will Crave

I've never tried the vegan burgers at all but can attest to the fact the black bean burgers are awesome. If you don't believe Kenji just look at the comments section on the recipe and on the corresponding article.

The Food Lab's Complete Guide to Sous-Vide Steak

@Dr. Borcht You might want to do some homework before making assumptions about how safe (or not) food is. Pasteurization does in fact begin to happen at 130°F, it just takes a lot longer to happen. If you look at Kenji's charts above he actually specifies that anything cooked at below 130°F should not be cooked longer than 2.5 hours for food safety reasons. If you really want to geek out on food safety and other sous vide type things, check out this piece from Douglas Baldwin

Use Your Sous-Vide Cooker for the Juiciest, Most Flavorful Chicken Salads

@Colleen7 @badseed1980 The recipe linked in this post already has directions for the beer cooler sous vide method included. It's too bad you guys missed the Anova One deal on Amazon for $99 a few days ago though. That was a great deal! I need to try out this recipe with my Anova Precision Cooker sometime though.

The Food Lab's Complete Guide to Sous-Vide Steak

Good timing Kenji, I have a ribeye in my fridge that I was going to sous vide for tonight's dinner. Not a lot that I haven't read in the past here but it's good to have it in one spot!

I also dig the table of contents with quick jump links at the top of the article. I'm not sure how new it is since I'm behind on my SE reading but it is nice.

The Good Bagel Manifesto

I think that the crazy toppinged "bagels" are just covering up for their inferiority really. Your list is good for when you're dealing with real bagels (except cinnamon raisin shouldn't be there) and such but once you leave bagel land and land in round bread land all bets are off. That asiago cheese "bagel" from Panera Bread might just be a round piece of bread (there isn't even a hole in the middle!) but I think it is still a tasty hunk of bread.

My sister and brother-in-law came back from Frankenmuth MI one time with these crazy "bagels" that were topped like a pizza complete with sauce, pepperoni, and congealed mozzarella cheese. They weren't bagels but still tasty enough in their own right.

8 Spices Truly Worth the Splurge

I have a few different varieties of cinnamon in my cupboard actually. Amazing how much different the different varieties smell. When I first got them (from The Spice House) I had the bright idea of making multiple versions something that features the taste of cinnamon in order to highlight the differences between the varieties. Sadly I never got around to it though. At this point I probably need to replace the cinnamon with fresh if I decide to do that since they have probably lost a lot of their flavor by now.

The Good Bagel Manifesto

Sigh, I still don't have a decent bagel place within 30 miles of home. Panera Bread is pretty much the best I can hope for. So I guess toasted it is.

All About Geoduck: The Life of a (Delicious) Oversized Mollusk

I've never had the opportunity to try geoduck but I've known how to pronounce it ever since Mike Rowe helped with harvesting some on Dirty Jobs. I would definitely be up to trying it but I doubt I'll get the opportunity any time soon living in very land locked Illinois.

Tips and Tricks for the Best Scrambled Eggs, Your Way

I actually like to put in a bit of cream cheese in instead of milk/cream, it works better if the cream cheese is softened a bit before since it melts faster once it goes in the pan. I've had scrambled eggs all 3 of these days and my favorite is definitely the soft scrambled eggs for sure.

The Real Rules of Making Polenta (Hint: They're Not What Everyone Says)

I'd be most curious about a sous vide method as well. This article is good timing though since I just recently bought a bag of Bob's Red Mill polenta but didn't really know how to even cook it really.

How to Make Mexican Tamales

Serious Eats doesn't have a spell checker, that would be your web browser spell checker that doesn't know what a tamal is. Even Webster's dictionary recognizes tamale but does not recognize tamal at all. It wouldn't be the first foreign word that was mistranslated when English speakers started using it and I'm sure it won't be the last.

How to Make Mexican Tamales

Is the steaming of Tamales integral to having the right texture of the final product or is it just a means to get them cooked? I'm wondering if it would work at all to vacuum pack tamales and then cook them sous vide. I am still trying to find every opportunity to use my Anova Precision Cooker :) I suppose if I can't cook them that way I could at least reheat them later that way.