Why you need this kitchen gadget

June 13, 2015

You need this:

This. You need it. Trust me.

This. You need it. Trust me.

Because, this.

Porterhouse. Blue cheese butter. Jealous yet?

Porterhouse. Blue cheese butter. Jealous yet?

Which then goes with this.

Dinner. M'mm h'mmm. Thank you. Drive through.

Dinner. M’mm h’mmm. Thank you. Drive through.

If you never used a sous vide circulator for anything else, it would be worth it for steak. Quite simply, the thing transforms what would otherwise be a pretty damn good steak into a Sweet Baby Jesus good steak, with a minimum of effort on your part.

But it will also perfectly boil eggs to the doneness you want them, in large quantities at a time. It will tenderize a tough cut of meat like a brisket like nothing in the world. It will allow you to have RARE rump roast that is moist and meltingly tender. It will cook a short rib like nothing you’ve ever experienced.

You need to get you one of these things, and you need to do it soon. Because right now, you can get it for 50 bucks off with the promo code “LUVDAD” at checkout on their website. Right here.

I am not getting paid to shill for Anova, btw, though they could pay me if they wanted to. But when my old (and decidedly inferior to the Anova circulator bit the dust, my Memphis guinea pig took pity and bought me a new one for my combo birthday-Christmas gift, early.

So I cooked him a steak last time he visited, and cooked him another one this weekend.

The first weekend’s steak was good. This weekend’s steak was pretty freakin’ exceptional.

I’ve mastered the art of cooking a sous vide steak to a perfect medium rare. The key, at least for me, is to take it out of the water bath and let it cool to room temp before you sear it on the grill. If you sear it while it’s still hot, by the time you get a nice sear on it, it’s too done. If the center (and the rest of it) cools back down, then it won’t overcook by the time the outside caramelizes a bit.

Because, you see the premise of the sous vide circulator is that it precision controls the temperature. Medium rare steak is 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit. If you wanted your steak right out of the cooker at medium rare, that’s where you’d set your circulator, and you would have a perfectly medium rare piece of meat, no matter how long you cooked it. Except, if it’s a good cut of steak (like a porterhouse) you only want to cook it about an hour, hour and a half, which is long enough to nicely tenderize grass-fed, pasture-raised beef, but not long enough to turn it to mush. If it’s grocery store beef, you might go a little shorter, as feed-lot cows don’t have as much connective tissue and muscle fiber.

BUT….if you cook your steak to 135 with the circulator, and then you throw it on the grill for two minutes on the side to sear the outside and get some nice color on it, particularly if it’s still at 100-degrees-plus from the water bath, guess what? The interior of your steak is no longer going to be a juicy medium rare red. It’s going to be a dry-ish lookig pink, and your steak is tending well toward medium, and that’s a real waste of a good piece of meat.

SO….first, you cook your steak with the circulator set at 125, which is rare-land. And you take it out and you let it cool down to room temp, or 70-ish, on your counter for 40 minutes or so before you take it out to throw it on the grill. And now your cooled down center stays cooled down while the outside is getting those nice grill marks that are going to make your dinner guests oooh and aaaahh.

We had the last two porterhouses from my quarter-of-a-cow. I’ve got two or three ribeyes, and two or three T-bones, and then I’m down to burger and sirloin tip and round steak. And for some reason, a surfeit of short ribs. I think I’m going to do a good long sous vide on the short ribs with a kalbi marinade, to tenderize them and render the fat, and then throw ’em on the grill. Reasonable? Oh, and I bought a six-pound pork butt today at the grocery, on the basis it was $1.99 a pound and that’s a helluva good price,  I see absolutely no reason I cannot coat that baby down with a significant quantity of dry rub, sous vide him for a couple of days, and then throw him on the grill to get a nice smoky flavor and crust.

So anyway, you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em, think about getting one of these things and kicking your kitchen game up a notch or two.  As for me, anything I can do to elevate the quality of dinner for ‘Merica in general, I’m all about that.




One Response to “Why you need this kitchen gadget”

  1. cleavelin Says:

    Second-best $150 I ever spent (getting you this for your birthday/Xmas). The best was buying my own Anova PC. 🙂

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