So, Santa brought me an Anova Immersion Circulator this year. I'd been researching them for a bit, and they had come down to a price point that I was willing to start experimenting with them. My visiting family were the beneficiaries of these experiments.
I am currently using a 6qt stock pot (aka Spaghetti pot) to hold my water bath. The clamp for the Anova is designed for a thicker wall (like a cooler wall), but it holds well enough.
First up: Eggs. Just to play with. I did a perfectly poached egg, in shell, in 45 min. (at 146F). I have never been able to properly poach an egg the traditional way. Harder eggs is, well, harder. Hardboiled eggs are easy enough (16+ min @185F). I'm still finding out how to do a hard white and a soft but not runny yolk.
Next: Sausage patties and brats: an hour at 140F pasteurizes, and a finish with a little bit of oil in a HOT pan and they are great. Better finish would be a few minutes on a grill. I think come summer, I'll pre-cook this way, chill, and then do a reheat/browning on the grill for service. The patties are so much juicier and flavorful than a normally fried patty.
Bacon: Took a whole pack of thick-cut bacon, ran it overnight at something like 140-145. Then chilled for later use. Very tender, but very messy. It was better than usual bacon, but not enough for me to do it again. Though I expect I'll do some bacon-wrapped stuff this way in the future.
Beef Flat Iron Steak: Salt, pepper, a couple sprigs of rosemary, a splash of red-wine vinegar, a splash of balsimic. Marinated for a few hours, then sous vide at 140F for 4-10 hours. It practically fell apart in my hands as I took it out of the bag to brown it. There were no leftovers, and the serving plate was licked clean.
Marinated Chicken (grocer prepped): juiciest most flavorful chicken I have ever eaten. Again, no leftovers, and the serving plate was licked clean (I started to think we needed to double up on meat prep because it didn't seem to be going anywhere near far enough).
Beef Skirt Steak: this one took 24 hours too cook, again at 140F (for medium). Same prep as the Flat Iron. Again, fall apart tender, and again no leftovers. Only complaint is that it was too thin a cut to take the most advantage.
Pork Tenderloin: It was softer than the sweet potatoes we served with it. There was one Medallion of the cut leftover; and while it was still excellent the next day, microwaving to reheat cooked it harder than I would have liked. Re-heating via the sous vide bath (at 130F for about 15 min) is much better at warming to serving temp without re-cooking/overcooking.
Tonight was my latest: A Ribeye and a Fillet. Both done with salt and pepper. Both Sous Vide'd for 2 hours at 140F. Both browned for not more than 2min total. I had the Ribeye, my wife the Fillet. The end result was both textbook, and AMAZING. This Ribeye was, hands down, the best steak I had ever eaten. The Fillet looked just as amazing. Looking at them both on their plates, I figured this Ribeye was WAY too much for me to eat. Then I started on it and I couldn't stop. Even now, a couple hours later, I am painfully stuffed... and I wanted to have the fillet too. My wife used to get her steaks Well Done. I talked her down to Medium Well. Usually when I have done steaks before, it wasn't done enough for her... even when over done for me. This time......... it was PERFECT. She no only didn't complain about it being only done medium, but loved every bite.
I'm gonna have to get serious about my workouts now; the meat is WAY too easy to make so fantastic.