I am grilling burgers for around a hundred people and was thinking I could precook them with the precision cooker to 130 by just vacuum sealing the 18 burger frozen stacks, and then quickly searing them on a hot grill. Can anyone think of a reason why this would be an epic fail?
It works just like doing a steak or a roast. For timing you need to use the thickness of the stack to make sure everything is evenly cooked. When I have done it I cook at 130°F and then give each burger a good sear for more flavor.
Did you not pop this on reddit sous vide just a couple of days back?
What john states is correct, but for anyone uncertain & keen not to have bad comeback i’d split those bags (minced beef is a different animal to a solid joint of meat after all)
The thickness of the stack would be the problem, akin to a lump of minced meat formed to make a joint of meat… & would require math & confidence (practise)
IF, you don’t have either the time or inclination to vac seal them, use double seal ziplok bags sous vide capable, I imagine uk burgers are smaller atypically, I can happily use 1x 1 litre bag for 2 regular “beyond” burgers, in your instance I would rotate the same packet cook, rinse clean (washing up liquid et al) air dry the bags & do them in batches, however, the fact that meat juices are kept in the bag at point of cooking adds to the juiciness (never mind the pat dry pre sear) …presumably people also want the whole burger warm not patchy!? …so I’d suck it up, zipseal with a helper, have aforementioned helper remove from water on demand, pat dry & pass it to you as the sear lines / char chef to pep up the heat & transfer to the burger builder for plating.
Keep a juices jug nearby, so the clean up is simple, drained bags in a separate container to be cleaned & recycled / clean & reused latterly.
I would have no problem pre-cooking in a decent beer cooler set up & maintaining heat till required (within reason) …proviso being a small scale dry run with your helper just so you both know how to burger dance around each other as an efficient team.
NB when packing in several burgers to one bag, cooked at lower sous vide temps (our preference) there has been no problem separating mince burger that has been in contact, that said, the weight of a big pack of burgers is going to be a different beast (possibly) esp if pre-frozen, pre salted etc (which hasn’t been mentioned) …if taking the time to sous vide, I’m hoping you have a burger press so they are as fresh & consistent as possible to your own recipe mix, does not take long to bang out & fast chill batches with pre-ground beef.
What process did you envisage? bought in / frozen / fresh / homemade?
If new to all this (you didn’t say) then beer cooler, unscrew the lid, pre-warmed water, a top sheet insulator material with a hole cut out for the sous vide wand for max heat retention (consistency)
Are you planning to do all the burgers to one finish? en masse? (doneness grates with me as an englishman) or pre-cook to several temps & have bags “corraled” & on a keep warm setting?
Apologies for maybe overthinking, but when cooking for a bunch of folk a percentage of sticklers still want it done their way.
Pubs in the uk that have summer biker clubs turn up for a beer & a burger may opt to do it via sous vide (uneaten over-catering can be frozen in the bag & numbers changed for next time) …the numbers are typically guestimates but may be 70-100 bikes to a small country pub, this sort of process, same as sausages cooked then put in warm water & grill finished as required when you just have to pump the food out.
Ack, apologies you said in the title “frozen” (I didn’t secondary scan the title, kicking myself)
My concern would be stack pressure, stuck together, do they have discs? (never had a costco burger that i’m aware of) …& in a rush would the paper & juices of the burgers not be difficult to remove quickly? (have done this with mince myself in moments of daftness & it doesn’t always come away cleanly when I find out my mistake.
I didn’t put it on Reddit, but would be interested in the responses.
Douglas Baldwin has guidance on cooking bulk meat in his seminal A Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking. Free On Line