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Sous Vide vs. reverse sear


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53 minutes ago, Walrus said:

@dirty6

 

Have you tried searing post-sous vide directly over charcoal, instead of on cast iron? Wondering if the wet exterior would crust up better over hot coals. I'm not talking about the crust/char marks that the grate makes, but the browning that occurs between from the hot coals below.

I have not, mostly bc I cant quite bring myself to spend an hour bringing the grill up to temp for a 2 minute sear...although I suppose it might not take an hour if I don’t need to fully heat soak the ceramics. Perhaps I will try that when the weather warms up. I don’t want to heat the grill up too rapidly in temps well below freezing. 

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On 12/28/2018 at 2:46 PM, Tex said:

   Used to love my sous vide steaks before trying the reverse sear method.

Anyone else bail on the sous vide method after the reverse sear?

 

I’ve had some great results with both methods. 

 

My interest in sous vide had quickly faded after a few runs. 

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I am having the opposite experience, I like sous vide more and more for steaks. I season and sous vide to desired temp, take out steaks, dry with paper towel, season again and sear with ghee on a HOT cast iron pan.

 

I could do it all on the grill, but sous vide is so easy and consistent I prefer it. It is also frequent for us to cook for 6-12 people, so there are volume and consistency issues largely solved by sous vide.

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33 minutes ago, gotzero said:

I am having the opposite experience, I like sous vide more and more for steaks. I season and sous vide to desired temp, take out steaks, dry with paper towel, season again and sear with ghee on a HOT cast iron pan.

 

I could do it all on the grill, but sous vide is so easy and consistent I prefer it. It is also frequent for us to cook for 6-12 people, so there are volume and consistency issues largely solved by sous vide.

 

  The main reason I find the reverse sear better is it imparts more flavor when bringing the meat to temp.

I put em em in a 250 oven till they reach around 115 to 120. This takes around 30 minutes and is easy to monitor with temp probes.

   Sear the crap out of em like you'd do with the sous vide. But you're ahead of the game when you already started the cooking process on the outside of the steak during the pre sear which makes searing much faster.

  To me it mimics the charcoal grilled steak better than sous vide. 

 

 

 

      

 

    

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I've done sous vide with good success with a large group.  Steaks just hung out in the hot tub until I was summoned to cook.  But I definitely like the flavor profile better with the reverse sear.  I have a potential large family gathering happening soon.  Thinking out loud.... what if I low and slowed the steaks in batches to about 120.  Then held the steaks in a sous vide bath until its feeding time and sear to finish?

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No matter what you use to get a sear, starting with a dry surface is important. 

 

Also, reverse sear means searingat the end of the cook and is not a complete cooking process. You can cook on a grill and reverse sear, cook on a smoker and reversesear, cook in an oven and reverse sear, or cook sous vide and reverse sear.  This is as opposed to searing first and then finishing on a grill, smoker, oven, SV, etc.  

 

Other than a long smoke, I don’t think the slow cook portion imparts much flavor to a steak. It is mostly in the sear and seasoning.  How the fat renders and how tender the meat is will vary though.  Sous Vide really shines with a slightly tougher cut where you can use longer cook times to soften the meat up. I don’t love it as much for some steaks much on the rarer side of 130 due to the way the fat fails to render. For those the searing technique is more critical. 

 

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  • 3 months later...
15 hours ago, David Scubadiver said:

One reason to sear on the grill is that using a hot cast iron skillet creates a ton of smoke. So unless you have a good hood, doing it outside avoids smoking out the house. 

... and setting off the smoke alarm.

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On 5/22/2019 at 5:01 PM, David Scubadiver said:

One reason to sear on the grill is that using a hot cast iron skillet creates a ton of smoke. So unless you have a good hood, doing it outside avoids smoking out the house. 

 

  Outdoor Kitchen solves that problem.

And being from the south most everyone has a crawfish cooker even if they dont have a outdoor kitchen.

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  • 2 weeks later...

After I saw the movie Burnt, I realized why I just never got into Sus Vide, even though it works extremely well. I just like fire and smoke and the exercise of learned skill that it takes to turn out a perfect steak over charcoal. After all Sus Vide is widely popular because it is easy, requires minimal attention during the cook, and consistently turns out perfectly cooked steaks while you are off doing something else. When it comes to cooking I remain old school and truly enjoy the process. 

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  • 4 months later...

     The moisture  retention, and the perfect medium rare from one side to the other are the strengths of sous vide.   I wouldn't want to be without my Annova, which I have had for about 4 years now.   You quickly learn to let the meat "rest" and dry before doing your reverse sear.    Personally I love chuck steak above most cuts for it's texture and flavor......... and until recently it's price.  (it's been "discovered").   Chuck often is tough, but 24-48 hours at 130 makes it as tender or more than rib eye.   I often do a dry rub or marinade to infuse the meat with flavors before sous vide.    Conventional reverse sear work great with expensive cuts of meat, but gauging the time is important because you are cooking at higher than final cooked temp.  It also dries the meat though in the short interval that is not a real factor.  

 

      I often  use a "vertical grill" that I built from the ceramic guts of a "Buddy Heater" that runs on propane.    I use it in the house on the counter top.  Light the radiant catalytic ceramic plaque, and let it glow orange, then clamp the steak in a grill, which is modified to allow it to stand vertically on the counter top in front of the heat source.   I can then move the steak incredibly close to the heat source for rapid surface browning, flip it around and do the other side..... Usually about 2 minutes total grilling time.      The steak starts out with a dry surface of course.   There is zero smoke, and little odor, and juices run down onto a wet paper towel underneath, never making contact with the hot surface.  it is entirely radiant.

 

     An inventor by nature, I've been working on the design of a cooker that will be as closely temp controlled as a sous vide or good dehydrator, but will have a humidifier plate (ultrasonic), and a smoke generator, and recirculation fan.   The idea is to cold wet smoke..... By cold, I mean 130F or so.   The humidifier is to avoid  moisture loss.   Smoke cooking for a couple of days without dehydrating.... though very light smoking.    The design is a challenge to say the least.    Temp control is not a problem with STC 1000 controllers or PIDs. The challenge is smoke temperature.    My inclination is to do the smoke in "puffs" like a bee keeper.   I want only a light hint of smoke.   At the end it will be reverse seared.

 

       There is no better way to do burgers than sous vide!    125-130 for an hour or so, dry, and 30 seconds a side in hot grease on a cast iron skillet.  No shrink to speak of, moist, delicious, and perfect.   Lean ground beef does not end up dry and unpalatable, and full fat ground beef retains it's fat throughout the meat rather than being greasy, or shrinking during cooking.   I've done elk burger with zero added fat, something that simply is not done normally.

 

                                                                           H.W.

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I jumped on the sous vide bandwagon with both feet. And I prepared many delicious meals that way. Butt I found it somewhat boring. Kompared to Kamado it took no skill and too much planning. I usually seared with a heat gun. It could be done inside without too much fuss. 

It absolutely works very well but I went back to my little steel buddy. 

Kamado = Fun! 

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On 10/10/2019 at 11:21 AM, Owly said:

By cold, I mean 130F or so.  

 

This is dangerous so tread carefully. Sous Vide can be done at much lower temperatures than smoking or baking because the heat transfer from water is quite a bit faster than from air.  A steak in a 130 water bath comes up to a safe temp in an hour or so, but in a 130 smoker, it will take many hours. 

 

There are solutions, the most common being curing before cold smoking, so I don’t want to discourage you from trying.  Just want to make sure you go into it eyes wide open. 

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