Sous vide cooking has become increasingly popular in recent years because it provides precise temperature control to make tender, more flavorful dishes. Did you know that meat is one of the best foods to sous vide? The best meat to sous vide ranges from tough cuts to lean cuts, expensive cuts, and wild game. In this blog post, we'll explore exactly why sous vide cooking is the perfect preparation for these types of meats.
Tough Cuts of Meat
The sous vide method transforms tough cuts of meat like beef brisket, pork shoulder, and short ribs. If not cooked properly, connective tissues make these cuts taste chewy. Sous vide allows for long, slow cooking at a low temperature, which breaks down these tissues and results in tender, juicy meat.
Prepare the meat with generous salt and any other desired seasonings, then cook for a long time at a low temperature. The best meat to sous vide for 48-72 hours at 135°F (57°C) is beef brisket, while pork shoulder can be cooked between 24-36 hours at 165°F (74°C). Results are always tender and juicy, making for perfect leftovers in sandwiches, tacos, or any other dish calling for shredded meat.
Lean Cuts of Meat
Lean cuts of meat, such as chicken breasts and pork tenderloin, easily dry out when overcooked. Sous vide cooking allows for precise temperature control, ensuring that lean meats are cooked to the exact temperature and consistency desired without overcooking or dehydrating the final product.
Cooking lean cuts of meat sous vide requires setting a lower temperature than you would with tougher cuts of meat. For example, chicken breasts can be cooked sous vide for 1-2 hours at 145°F (63°C), while pork tenderloin can be left for 1-2 hours at 145°F (63°C). The result is moist, juicy meat, perfect in salads, stir-fries, or any other dish that calls for lean protein.
Expensive Cuts of Meat
Why do cuts like filet mignon and ribeye steak benefit from sous vide cooking? Because overcooking or undercooking ruins pricey pieces of meat — and sous vide cooking ensures that meat reaches the exact desired level of doneness every time.
When cooking expensive cuts, it's important to set a precise time and temperature. For example, a filet mignon can be cooked sous vide between 1-2 hours at 130°F (54°C) for medium-rare, while a ribeye steak can be cooked for 2-4 hours at 129°F (54°C) for medium-rare.
Wild game meats like venison and elk taste tough when not cooked properly. Sous vide cooking allows for precise temperature control and long, slow cooking, which helps to tenderize meat and reduce bold, gamey flavors.
In this case, it's important to use a lower temperature than you would with other types of meat. For example, venison can be cooked sous vide for 24-48 hours at 131°F (55°C), whereas elk can be cooked for 12-24 hours at 131°F (55°C). Slow, low-temperature cooking helps to break down connective tissue and fat, resulting in tender, flavorful meat that is perfect for stews, chili, or any other dishes calling for wild game.
Overall, sous vide cooking is a fantastic method for preparing all kinds of meat. By allowing for precise temperature control and long, slow cooking, sous vide helps to tenderize tough meat, prevent lean cuts from drying out, ensure that expensive cuts are cooked perfectly, and reduce gamey flavors. With this cooking style, you can achieve restaurant-quality results in the comfort of your own home, making it a popular choice for home cooks and professional chefs alike.
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