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Old 12-08-2015, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
14,298 posts, read 17,505,128 times
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I finally broke down and bought" one of the sous vide units (the Anova immersion Precision Cooker). Its not been delivered yet, but I've been reading recipes and watching videos. A couple of questions:

1. Many (most) meats have to be seared off abd browned in a pan afyer the sous vide. I get that this is primarily cosmetic. Usually, a cast iron skillet is recommended for this step. I don't own a cast iron. Can I just use my All Clad skillets?

2. I'm planning on using zip lock bags. Are the bags that close with a sliding zipper like thing better than the bags that close by squishing them together?
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Old 12-08-2015, 12:34 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, USVI - Seattle, WA - Gulf Coast, TX
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Hey, Jkgourmet! Fun - new kitchen toys.

1. Sure, your skillet will work. You're just browning the meat, so whatever pan you have that does that successfully will be fine. It's more than cosmetic though: that Maillard reaction is essential for great flavor! The caramelized part of the steak is the most flavorful!

2. I've only used vacuum-sealed bags, which would obviously be the easiest once in the water, and I like how the vacuum quickly infuses flavors into the protein, but I see no reason that you can't use a zip-loc with as much air removed as possible. As far as the slider vs. standard zip-locs, I don't think that would make a darn bit of difference to me. I always use the standard in my day to day, so I'd probably just stick with those. It's not like you're opening and closing the bag during the process, so there's no need for the convenience of the slider. I'm sure you already have, but just make sure the bags are heat safe. You don't want any yucky pthalates seeping into your yummy sous-vide masterpieces.

Have fun with it!
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Old 12-08-2015, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
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Thanks. I'm wide open to any other suggestions or advice.
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Old 12-08-2015, 04:11 PM
 
Location: League City, Texas
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You don't have to use cast iron--any skillet will work. I use my All Clad most of the time. Just get it screaming hot & use your exhaust fan! You might also think about using a small butane torch to brown the meat. And as IslandCityGirl said, it (Maillard reaction) really is a component of the flavor, not just a cosmetic thing.

I've always used my FoodSaver vac to seal the foods--I'm not sure how well the ziplock system works. I'd recommend you consider at minimum FoodSaver for a better result.

Enjoy using sous vide!
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Old 12-08-2015, 05:50 PM
 
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I don't quite grasp the sous vide trend. It seems like a variation of a pressure cooker. And with a pressure cooker, there's no need for ziplock plastic bags.

Anyway... about browning: with a pressure cooker, you can't brown a roast inside the pressure cooker either. But, you can brown it before putting it into the pressure cooker. Just sear it in any frying pan. Also, there are browning sauces that you can buy. Highly recommended, they do the job.
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Old 12-10-2015, 03:48 PM
 
Location: McAllen, TX
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Just a couple of thoughts.

1. Since I don't know the temperature at which you use the sous vide some plastic is not heat rated and may actually be harmful if used in cooking.

2. You could also use the broiler for a few minutes to brown the meat
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Old 12-10-2015, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Council Bluffs, Iowa
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I bought a Sansaire and the instructions said you could use a zip lock bag,just make sure most of the air is out. I have had very good luck. I did a filet last week and seared it in the end and it was fabulous!
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Old 12-10-2015, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles>Little Rock>Houston>Little Rock
6,488 posts, read 6,600,981 times
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I bought one of those Anova things a few months ago and waited until too late to return it. I just decided I am not really into it. I think I will give it to my niece and her new husband who likes to cook.
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Old 12-11-2015, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Richardson, TX
10,121 posts, read 16,721,272 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maggie2101 View Post
I bought one of those Anova things a few months ago and waited until too late to return it. I just decided I am not really into it. I think I will give it to my niece and her new husband who likes to cook.
Too much trouble to use/clean/store? Or didn't like the food results?
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Old 12-11-2015, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
14,298 posts, read 17,505,128 times
Reputation: 22127
Quote:
Originally Posted by maggie2101 View Post
I bought one of those Anova things a few months ago and waited until too late to return it. I just decided I am not really into it. I think I will give it to my niece and her new husband who likes to cook.
Or sell it on Craigslist. I searched for several months for one, but (if they were properly priced) they sold quickly.
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