Sous vide slow-cooked egg with Noodlecat ramen noodles, veg dashi broth.
Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

Yep, the good folks at Sous Vide Supreme are doing a promotional giveaway of one of their superb sous vide appliances—and a vacuum sealer! (Details below.)

About ten years ago, sous vide cooking (cooking food at low precise temperatures) entered the professional kitchen in America. It’s now solidly in the home kitchen with various devices for sale. For the best price/quality ratio, Sous Vide Supreme has, since its arrival in 2009, been my favorite tool. It’s fabulous for home use. I slow-cook beef ribs for 48 hours for tender and juicy ribs. You can transform eggs in ways no other method can. I love putting a soft-boiled egg into soups, as in the above ramen dish. I use it monthly to make a big batch of yogurt. It’s a great water bath for cooking custards, meatloaf, and its supercilious brother, pâté en terrine. See below for three of the key techniques and recipes.

Do you need one to survive? Of course not. Can you do endlessly creative and awesome dishes with it? You bet. Want to win one?  Enter a comment below, telling me the way you’re most eager to use it. (Winner will be chosen randomly, one entry please on pain of disqualification, and the company can ship only to U.S. or Canadian addresses—sorry, UK and Aussie readers!) I really am eager to hear why people want to own a sous vide machine—slow cooking of tough meat, hitting the perfect temperature every time, egg cooking? Other?

Hell, I’ll throw in a signed copy of my book Ruhlman’s Twenty: 20 Techniques, 100 Recipes, A Cook’s Manifesto to sweeten the pot!

Looking for sous vide recipes? Check out the Sous Vide Supreme Holiday Cooking Guide, Modernist Cuisine, Modernist Cuisine at Home, and Under Pressure.

(HINT: the best way to seal the food for cooking is some kind of vacuum sealer; but you can also use Ziploc vacuum seal bags from the grocery store.)

Follow Sous Vide Supreme on Twitter @sousvidesupreme or on Facebook.

You can also sign up for the Sous Vide Supreme newsletter.

WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED NEXT WEDS; COMMENTS WILL CLOSE MONDAY AT 9AM.

The giveaway includes a both a Sous Vide Supreme and a vacuum sealer.

 

BBQ Sous Vide Beef Short Ribs

 

Beef short rib, cooked sous vide for 48 hours at 140°F/60°C, finished on the grill.
Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

I made these last January for the sailing crew in Key West. Short ribs cooked sous vide are amazingly juicy and tender and tasty, a quintessential example of the value of sous vide. You’d have to braise these to get them tender, in which case you’d need to rely on the sauce for succulence rather than the meat.

This recipe also defines a great general rule: all tough cuts of meat, braising meats, from brisket to pork belly to short ribs to lamb shank, can be cooked sous vide in the exact same way: 48 hours at 140˚F/60˚C. Then flavor the outside by searing, grilling, saucing, or a combination. They can be cooked sous vide and chilled in an ice bath and refrigerated for days or frozen for months before finishing.

It’s an amazing technique for cooking ahead, whether for weekday cooking or for cooking for big groups. And it results in tenderness and flavor that can’t be achieved any other way.

I’m going to make this as simple as possible. Salt and pepper the meat, seal it in a bag (get out all air so they don’t float), cook, chill, finish.

  • 8 meaty beef short ribs (or however many you’re serving)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Barbecue sauce of your choice
  1. Give the ribs a generous seasoning of salt and pepper
  2. Seal them well in plastic, using a food saver or Ziploc vacuum seal bags (you can also put them in a regular ziptop bag and submerge it in water to get the air out and seal; use common sense).
  3. Sous vide the ribs at 140˚F/60˚C for 48 hours, give or take.
  4. If you are not going to finish them right away, submerge them in an ice bath until thoroughly chilled, at least 20 minutes or more.
  5. To finish, remove them from the bag and allow them to come to room temperature (if serving a large crowd, leave in bag and re-sous vide at 120˚F/48˚C for 30 minutes). Slather them with barbecue sauce and grill till charred and smoky and beautiful, a couple minutes on each side. You can also broil them to caramelize the BBQ sauce if you don’t have a grill.
  6. Use one rib per serving.

 

Homemade Yogurt

I always have this on hand and eat some most every day. The bacteria are good for the gut and if you have a stomach bug, eat this and it may help (it always does for me). This will be loose yogurt; when you dip into the thick, creamy stuff it will be soft but hold its shape. It will weep whey, which is also tasty and good (I pour it on granola with the yogurt). For stiff-thick yogurt, Greek style, strain it through cloth for an hour, then refrigerate.

  • 1 quart/liter whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons Fage Greek yogurt or any yogurt that notes on the label that it contains a living culture (or if you have a wonderful Indian neighbor with a live culture as I do, ask for a little of hers—thanks, Tripta!)
  1. Pour the milk in a pot and bring it to a simmer (at least 180°F); careful, it’s easy to forget and leave yourself with a mess on the stove it if boils over; stick around. (Donna gets really mad at me when I leave the kitchen and she hears it boil over.)
  2. Pour it into a 4-cup glass measuring cup or appropriate bowl. Allow it to cool to at least 120˚F/48˚C or room temperature.
  3. Stir in the yogurt with the live culture, thoroughly.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and sous vide at 104˚F/40˚C for 24 hours. (Some people suggest going as high as 120˚F; feel free to test for yourself.)
  5. Allow to cool then refrigerate.
Yield: About 3 cups/¾ liter

Soft-Boiled Sous Vide Eggs

  • 1 egg per person
  1. Sous vide at 144.5˚F/62.5˚C for 45 to 60 minutes.
  2. Crack each into soup or stew, or on grits or beans.

For professional kitchens, who need to sous vide a lot of food in a big Lexan tubs, the BMW of immersion circulators is made by PolyScience.

The shopping links for the week:

© 2012 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2012 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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833 Wonderful responses to “Holiday Gift Week:
Sous Vide Supreme Giveaway!”

  • Nick

    Meat meat and more meat. The perfect medium rare steak is amazing to eat. the problem is how do you get that steak medium rare throughout? Grill? Cast iron pan? Pan & oven? Proper meat temperature before cooking? Too many variables. You wind up with medium rare in the very middle and god knows what else throughout the rest of the steak. Sous Vide; can’t over cook. perfectly medium rare and a little sear with some clarified butter in my mineral pan to finish it off. goooood! Did I win?

  • Erik

    I can’t even imagine how great it would be to have one to cook proteins to the exact temp desired. Would be like having a sous chef.

  • Joe

    Tend to browse cookbooks just for fun. So many new recipes would be opened up with this capability. Specifically a whole chapter in “Cooking for Geeks.” Modernist Cuisine and ChefSteps are also on the cooking bucket list.

  • Rudy

    I am eager to use the sous vide to make everything. I will quite literally go on an entirely 100% sous vide diet if I win.

  • Jarad

    Eggs would be awesome, but for me, it’s all about the meat. I’ve been doing lamb chops in a ziploc in a cooler full of warm water for a while, and this would take it over the top!

  • Sam

    For the perfect “poached” egg. Also I’d like to experiment with vacuum infusion using the sealer.

  • Paul Arguin

    Eggs are first cooked to that perfect jellylike consistency using the sous vide machine, then coated with panko and quickly fried. Serve it on a frisee salad with lardons. Would also be eager to try duck conft too.

  • J Slacks

    After months of rigging my own sous vide setup to get perfectly tender cuts of meat, I’d love the convenience of a proper setup. I bet it would make duck confit wonderfully convenient too.

  • Andy

    I would like to do a 2-inch-thick ribeye. Put a sear on the outside and then seal it up and put it in the water bath for many, many hours.

  • Alex S.

    I would make all kinds of different taco meat. Maybe some shredded beef in guajillo sauce (carne deshebrada en salsa roja).

  • Holly

    My husband would FREAK if he got one of these for Xmas… He loves cooking any type of protein, and this would be the ultimate culinary “toy” for him to experiment with. I would venture to guess we would not have grilled meats for some time if we had a sous vide machine!

  • Elizabeth

    I love Nom Nom Paleo, and have been dying to try her recipes, especially for grass-fed beef tongue and cheek! Also those soft-cooked eggs.

  • Michael

    I would use it to entertain. It would be awesome to have everything ready in the morning only to have to grill the proteins and you’re done.

  • David Mortman

    There are a ton of modernist cuisine dishes I want to try. Plus the whole eggs thing…

  • Matt

    I’ve been wanting one for a while. I’m trying to make more homed cooked meals and this would help get food on the table quicker. Nom Nom Paleo is an inspiration for me as well.

  • Elliott Papineau

    I want to use it everyday. This is not a technique that should be reserved for occasional use. Sous vide should be a common as a microwave (maybe supplant some microwave usage).

  • A.S.

    Mmmmm. Homemade yogurt. You don’t need a fancy sous vide machine to make it – my wife makes it now using an electric heating blanket – but it would be fun.

  • Tony

    Eggs! Eggs! and more Eggs! Plus that short rib recipe sounds good too…Would love to experiment with everything!

  • Forrest

    Just one use? You’re kidding right? Soft boiled eggs, perfectly cooked custard, short ribs, chicken thighs, easily overcooked pieces like pork tenderloin and chicken breast!? I’ll try it all.

  • Shannon Cheshier

    I’d really enjoy having a Sous Vide unit so that I could try making a wide variety of recipes using this technique.

  • Joel L.

    Sous vide leg of lamb cooked through to rare. Finished on a blazing hot charcoal grill.

  • Craig

    I have been making homemade pastrami recently out of chuck flap and would love to try finishing the meat sous vide after it has been smoked to perfection!

  • Katie A

    I quite enjoy the Momofuku cookbook and there a some recipes that I would like to tackle with the sous vide machine.

  • brad

    i’m a culinary school student and i’m always looking to try new methods and recipes. i’d be excited to make perfectly cooked meats, eggs, and items for desserts. those short ribs look amazing, i’d probably start with something like that.

  • Josh

    Perfect steaks! I cook for a finicky eater so I always have to err on the side of overcooked on her steaks and I inevitably overcook mine in the process.

  • Kevin Stauffer

    My wife and I have enjoyed the sous vide cooking method a few times at home using a well insulated cooler. The cooler has been a fun way to sous vide; however, we would be able to really enjoy it and do it more often with the proper equipment!

  • Kevin

    The main reason I would want to own a sous vide machine is the ability to plan ahead our weekday meals. We both work and we have a 14 month old son and we make a point to try and sit down for a family meal, that we cook, every night during the week. Being able to cook ahead with a sous vide machine would give us another tool to make our home cooked family meal each night.

  • Jason Ring

    I raise my own chicken, pork and goat…….in the SUBURBS! I could use this for endless possibilities. My flock lays over a dozen eggs a day so we are always looking for new egg preparations. I could make goat milk yogurt…mmmmmm. Slow cooked goat in butter and herbs…mmmmmm. Pork ribs….mmmmmmmm.

  • Jon B.

    Short Ribs. Eggs. Flat iron. Eggs again. Short Ribs again. Rinse and repeat.

  • Susan

    Up here in the Alaskan interior we have plenty of moose meat. I haven’t developed a taste for it because it’s so tough. I’m willing to bet if prepared sous vide I’d have to lay in an additional freezer.

  • Jonathan Brill

    The short answer is that I want to use it to time shift food production!!

    It’s exciting to realize that, for all of the innovation coming out of Modernist Cuisine and the various 3 Michelin star restaurants, there are still new processes to invent and flavors to achieve using these devices!

    Most recently, we’ve been experimenting with a cooking style that involves smoking and waterbaths, combined with a range of escabeche.

    Here’s an example of a breakfast yesterday that used smoking, along with 2 different water bath techniques and a pickle:
    http://santafesmoke.blogspot.com/

    Our current issue is that the circulator gets used on projects that often take several days and we need a second bath to do smaller/shorter run projects like fruits, vegetables and seafood or second meat projects that should really cook at different temperatures/liquid.

    On a side note, Michael, we’re big fans of your blog and books and that the blog seems to be becoming more conversational. Love it. You teach us and challenge us to cook better every day. What a gift! Thank you.

  • Jamison

    Omelettes. When there’s a crowd, much easier than making various guests wait while I figure out why the pan is too hot/cold/on fire.

  • fel

    I’d use it to make eggs! To get the perfect yolk for a bowl of homemade ramen would be AMAZING.

  • Michael K

    I want a sous vide primarily for the added convenience factor for what I already cook. I love Le Creuset french ovens for braises and stews, but they’re heavy and difficult to handle in the sink at clean-up time. I like the idea of doing the whole thing in a plastic bag.

  • Ouida Lampert

    I would have said meat – any meat – however, the idea of yogurt is intriguing.

  • Sonja

    I’ve been reading so many recipes I want to try for steak, tough cuts of meat, fish, and eggs that are cooked using a sous vide machine. They’re an expensive piece of equipment though. Fingers crossed!

  • matt

    I’ve dome some basic, pseudo sous vide a few times; pork belly, duck, and short ribs have all come out decently fro a pot of barely simmering water in a zip top that I’ve sucked all the air out of. I’d love a chance to do it for real!

  • Mantonat

    It’s the precise temperature control that’s really exciting to me. I’ve done a little sous-vide style cooking using a vacuum sealer and a stock pot with a digital thermometer to monitor the water temp., but it’s very difficult to maintain a specific temperature this way, especially for more than a few hours. I’d love to try short ribs, brisket, and other tough cuts that take long sous-vide times. I also have Thomas Keller’s “Under Pressure,” but have not been able to complete an entire recipe because of equipment constraints. I’ve used many of the techniques and ingredients in the book, but I’d love to be able follow all the steps of one recipe. Now if I could just get my hands on a chamber vacuum sealer!

  • Tasha Jaeger

    I want to win because I have about a quarter of a berkshire hog (including the ribs, cheek, and belly) sitting in my freezer, and five hungry kids that love everything from beef wellington to chicken quenelles, and I haven’t been able to make them something sous vide yet. Pork belly sous vide? *swoon*

  • Carlos E.

    I had two turkeys this year. Roasted one, braised the other. What I really wanted to do was butcher the turkey, brine in a Guaillo Panela mix, and Sous Vide the pieces before frying them in a cast iron skillet. The brine works but I want to crisp the exterior while the meat is evenly cooked from the sous vide.

  • Kathleen

    Anything and everything! I’ve seen the sous vide method applied to a range of fruits, veggies, and proteins cooked to perfection (and enhancing flavor or introducing a new texture). It would be a shame to limit sous vide to just protein.

  • Etienne

    I would use it to make beef short ribs of course, and lamb shanks. Then ice cream and yogurt.

  • Stephen

    Being a working student with roommates, it’s hard to whip up quality meals on such time constraints. It’s even harder to convince them that’s it’s “alright” to leave the oven on for 4+ hours as our oxtail slowly braises away while we’re running back and forth between academic buildings. Being able to work with exact temperatures would take away my worries about timing (and my apartment burning down). I’d love to cook some beautiful pieces of fish sous vide with simply prepared vegetables for my roommates and girlfriend.

  • Rick

    I love poached fish but it is really difficult to get the cooking liquid to the right temperature to not overcook the fish. I would imagine sous vide to be an excellent way to prepare seafood without harming the texture or overcooking.

  • MO

    It would transform the way I cook meat. No more struggling to hit the perfect level of done-ness!

  • Jeff Fortin

    For me I think the biggest allure is beef preperation. Sous vide steaks are something that look like they would be amazing. Also to be able to sous vide cuts of beef that typically need braising or pressure cooking would be phenomenal. Also I love sous vide salmon (I just do it it a pot of hot water). The texture is amazing.

  • Ellen Miller

    Those beef short ribs are reason enough! I love short ribs and those have to be the most beautiful I’ve seen. Now, I just have to taste them…..

  • Hugh Anderson

    I’ve been dying to try 72-hour short ribs. Or any tough meat cooked for days yet staying medium rare, almost like magic.

  • Mike

    I want to use it for learning and sharing. If I can learn to use this machine well, and share the results, maybe I can help spread the idea that cooking for yourself is one of the best ways to stay healthy.

    And I want to try a sous vide pork loin.

  • BRian

    I got to cook at work and this would be a good starting point to get to cook sous vide at home.

  • Garrett

    After using SV extensively at my last job, I’ve been ruined to all other forms of cooking. I’d find a way to sneak 62C eggs into every meal of the day.

  • B. J. Zolp

    I never even thought of using a sous vide machine for making yogurt. Awesome idea!

  • Cheryl

    The soft-cooked egg sounds fabulous but I would probably experiment with all kinds of things. The yogurt idea sounds great too!

  • Hector

    I would love making sous vide eggs. I tried one a long time ago and reminded me of huevos tibios, soft boiled eggs that my mother used to make. Thank you for the giveaway!

  • Terri

    It sounds like it would be an awesome way to do a lot of meal prep at once. Do short ribs, freeze, take out just enough for me and my husband on the day of and finish. Voila!

  • Glen

    Steak is the protein I have most trouble with getting right. My wife loves the pink inside and I would love to deliver that to her EVERY time instead of about 1/4.

  • jennifer

    Are you kidding me? I would love to learn a new technique and be able to bring a little of the restaurant kitchen into my home. How lovely! Plus, I’d love to make my own yogurt as I know it’s super easy and economical to do.

  • Corey Lyons

    I’m most eager to use it for…. vegetables! Fish would be a close second. Pork and beef are great sous vide, but I feel like the importance/usefulness for it’s use on vegetables isn’t talked about as much. Perfect, intensely flavored vegetables to be used on their own, pureed into a soup or for ravioli fillings… mmmmm

  • John

    I think ribs and eggs are the two things I’d try cooking sous vide first. Ribs, to create the sublime out of a tough and difficult piece of meat, and eggs, to see how perfect I can make them.

  • Ryan Bailey

    Everything sous vide sounds so fabulous. I don’t honestly know what I want to cook but I can’t wait to try it. Plus I didn’t win the lotto so I need to win something to make up for it. JK

  • Caleb Land

    I want to try some of the Salmon recipes on the Sous Vide site to see if I can finally find some seafood my wife will enjoy.

  • David Frank

    sounds like sous vide is the original turn it on and forget it….Would love to be able to cook short ribs or a brisket knowing that it is going to turn out perfectly. So many possibilities….just saying!

  • SethH

    I love, love, love the idea of trying that short ribs recipe. Plus I’ll enjoy correcting friends who think the machine is a deep fryer.

  • Gregory Wright

    Custards, formed meat cylinders, and vegetables. Vegetables are amazing cooked sous vide. And LONG cooked meats, like 72 hr shortribs prepared medium rare.

  • Lou S

    I would probably start with scallops, then move my way on to chicken then steaks! I have only had a sous vide egg once in my life and I didn’t want that moment to end!

  • Andrew

    From what understand sous vide is an amazing way to help simplify a dinner party. Holding any amount of protein at a given temp would give me the time to focus on the smaller details or even mingle more with guests!.

  • Matt

    I’m actually interested in making healthy frozen meals for our busy household.

  • Jennifer

    I would not know what I would use it for yet. It sure would be fun and nice to play with. as a busy mom this sounds better than a Crock pot!!! and the book would be even better !! I just have to figure out how to afford the food now :(

  • Jim

    Steak and eggs. I mean, lots and lots of other delicious stuff, but lots and lots of steak and eggs!

  • kristin

    I would love to use it for yogurt. I make it with the bread proof setting of my oven right now, but it can be a pain if I need to use the oven for something else and the yogurt still has 8 hours to go!

  • Bill Seeholzer

    As a semi-professional in the kitchen and a full time enthusiast, sous vide is just one of the coolest techniques that I ever took out of a professional kitchen. You can be as simple or complex as you want, and product almost always seems to come out better. It’s a total luxury and I would love to be able to mess around at home with techniques.

  • Steven Sinclair

    I am looking to use sous vide for the first time. As a chef for over 24 years I have never had the pleasure of using one. I have read many books and articles about sous vide and I find the technique to be very intrueging. I would probably start with a perfectly cooked egg. and then move on to meat. As short ribs are one of my favourites I would try that. Lamb would also be something I would be interested in as well and that recipe for yogurt looks fun too. I’m thinking I would sous vide probably just about anything!

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