Another Ice Bath Question

I basically know that and ice bath is for food safety. I am a little unclear about it. Does it have to be done every time. Example: If I make chicken breast (two packages with two in each package) one to consume after it is cooked and the other to consume the next day, does the next day one have to be in the bath first. I usually will let it sit out until it cools down slightly then put it in the refrigerator. My normal cooking time is, if I remember, 140 for about 1.5 hrs. This is what I would do if I were cooking in any manner.

Next I just read to put food in the ice bath before searing. Is this necessary? Can’t you sear without over cooking the meat? I normally use a TS8000. If you do use the ice bath first then doesn’t the food get cold? If so how do you reheat it? Put it back in the SV again to warm up?

The only searing issues I have had have been with thinner pieces of meat but I usually move pretty quickly with the torch. Ahhhhh so much to learn. Thank you all for your help.

Hi @Luvflt

The ice bath is to cool down the cooked item to safe temperatures as quickly as possible in order to prevent any surviving bacteria from multiplying. So, given your scenario you would cook the two packages of chicken breasts, take them out and consume one, and take the second one and ice bath it before storing in the refrigerator or freezer.
When you decide to eat the chicken breasts in that second package you could eat it cold or heat it again using sous vide (heat to same temp you cooked it at).

If you plan to sear your chicken breasts prior to serving then chilling in an ice bath is optional step. A short ice bath chill prior to searing is designed to cool down the exterior of the item to be seared while still leaving the interior pretty warm. This way when you sear it the overall temperature of the item will (hopefully) not increase above the temp that you cooked it at. The chill basically provides a buffer to prevent overcooking. (This is also why the chill is optional when you are about to eat it. Given a nice hot pan it is possible to quickly sear the outside while overly heating the interior even without having chilled the item. The time drying the item for the sear can provide enough cool-down.).

The thing to remember is if you are going to store for later eating you should use the ice bath, then freeze or refrigerate.
If you have reheated an item from an earlier cook then eat it - if you feel you need to shock chill it before searing so that you have that “safety buffer” then go ahead and do so…but eat it. You are not chilling for storage this time.

Hope this helps. As is often the case I’m up too late and posting while I’m sleepy! Good luck!

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