We've just introduced chicken and burger collections to our series of Serious Eats Time and Temp Guides. Find out how Kenji uses the Precision Cooker to make the perfect burger, or learn how to serve up the best chicken you've ever tasted. We've got some tips from Kenji below, with full guides available in the Anova app.
Chicken is a popular dish to cook with the Precision Cooker. It's tender and juicy, not to mention super simple once you've nailed the right temperature settings (we'll explain why). In our "Serious Eats Chicken Guide," learn all you need to know to cook chicken to absolute perfection every time.
Here are a few nuggets from Kenji to help you with your next precision cooking chicken recipe:
Lower temperatures are still effective for destroying bacteria. "At 165°F, you achieve pasteurization nearly instantly. It’s the bacterial equivalent of shoving a stick of dynamite into an anthill. At 136°F, on the other hand, it takes a little over an hour for the bacteria to slowly wither to death in the heat."
You don't need to brine the chicken before precision cooking. "The process of soaking meat in a salt water solution in order to help it retain moisture better in the future is entirely unnecessary when it comes to sous-vide cooking. Your chicken will come out plenty moist and juicy while also having a more concentrated chicken flavor (brine dilutes the flavor of the chicken with water)."
You can precision cook chicken right out of the freezer. "Chicken breasts can be seasoned and sealed in bags then frozen as-is. To cook, pull them out of the freezer and drop them straight into the water bath, making sure to add an extra hour onto cook time in order to allow the chicken to fully thaw." - Kenji, "Serious Eats Chicken Guide"
Burgers probably aren't the first dish you think of when you're deciding on what you want to precision cook. However, precision cooking burgers will allow you to get an evenly cooked, juicy patty that can be tossed on the grill for nicely charred finish. These tasty patties are perfect for summer cookouts or those times when you just want to make a quick and delicious dish.
We've rounded up a few of our favorite tips from Kenji's precision cooking burger guide include:
Give your burgers a rest before searing. "Burgers are relatively thin, which means that heat travels to their center quite rapidly. are less dense than solid meat, which again means faster internal heat transfer. Finally, burgers have many open air spaces where juices temporarily collect. Excess juices in the pan or on the grill means that energy is spent evaporating that liquid instead of browning the beef."
Lower temps allow patties to retain more juice. "It's more difficult to get a burger to retain juices than a steak, so burger cooking times are relatively low compared to solid cuts of beef."
Home ground beef is better. "As burgers are more tender and juicy the closer the cooking time is to the time they are ground, you may want to grind the beef yourself at home just before shaping and bagging the burgers." - Kenji, "Serious Eats Burger Guide"
There's a lot more where that came from! Download the Anova Culinary app and check out our "Serious Eats Time and Temp Guides" to get more recipes, tips, and precision cooking knowledge. Keep an eye out for the next collection - coming soon!