Chicken doneness

I’ve seen several time temp combinations for chicken. I’ve also had some chicken at a restaurant that I’m fairly certain was sous vide and I wasn’t crazy about the texture. It was a little too mushy for me… Almost… Creamy, sort of… I’m not sure if this was due to long hold time or it being more rare than I was accustomed to. I certainly don’t want dried out overcooked chicken, but I would like it to be a little more toothsome than how they make it. I suspect that just because I am now going to be able safely make chicken more rare, doesn’t necessarily mean I want to.

What kind of results have you found with different time temp combinations?

Kenji says 140.

I think that’s probably what I am going to go with, but I’d love to hear other opinions.

I went a bit higher on my first test, I think it was 145, (148?) and it seemed pretty good. Remember it’s for you, so…

Should be able to cook it lower, longer (edit: lower and longer than conventional, I should say), have it safely cooked and juicy, and the right texture. I figure I won’t be getting all my cooks perfect right off the bat, and honestly, they need to suit me, my wife, AND we have young children. So I will probably err a bit higher/longer on cook times, and still have great food.

(And with multiple Anova’s, I can still churn out a batch of rare steaks for guests :wink: )

I did sous vide chicken the first time with the recipe you linked above and at 140 that texture does take some getting used to I think. Next time I might just experiment with a couple of different temps and do a 145, 150, and maybe even 155 just to see where I like the texture better. Anything lower than the standard 165 has got to be moister though, it’s just a matter of finding where I like the texture best. I also need to figure this out if I ever hope to make serve sous vide chicken to other family members because they aren’t as adventurous of eaters as I am and might think that I’m trying to kill them with under cooked chicken if the texture is too soft.

Hmmm… @elangomatt‌ now, based on what you said, I think I’m inclined to go a little higher. Or maybe depending on my energy level tonight I’ll bag a bunch of breast separately and take one out and crank up the heat incrementally to see where I like them best along the spectrum.

I did 145 and although it was good, I think I’d be happier at 140. I normally eat legs and thighs so I like my chicken a bit moister… Next time will go closer to 140…

Random update: we bought some chicken breasts (bone-in, skin-on). Deboned them, (saved the bones and tenderloin for stock and soup, but that’s another story) and bagged them with the skin on. Did about 1:45 at 154F. Finished with Searzall.

They were glorious. Basically, that completely done texture, temp, and look that is the aim of most chicken recipes, but super incredibly juicy. And the skin (just a little salt and pepper) was super crisp and crunchy, easy cleanup, no smoking hot pan and oil.

@psiu_glen Nice! How was the Searzall? We had one in the office a few weeks ago to finish off some sous vide steaks and it was a lot of fun to use.

The Searzall is really nice. We have an ancient electric stove here (just bought the place less than a year ago) and accurate and/or responsive temperature control on the stove is just beyond it. (The temperature range appears to be " Is it on? - Simmer - Medium - Dim the Neighborhood Lights" – this makes pan searing difficult)

Now one thing with the Searzall is definitely speed, have to think about things a bit. Doing a nice roast type of cut and serving individual portions from that will work better than a whole platter of individual steaks that you need to sear on all sides.

The chicken went pretty quick as I really just gave the underside a light touch and then did the skin, which also went pretty quick.

Have used the Searzall to mass toast muffins and melt cheese, chicken and steaks, reheat pizza (throw it in a skillet with a little oil and hit the top with the Searzall – perfection!), quite a few things so far. Good to have for sure.

Have some short ribs cooking right now :smile:

@psiu_glen Well, it sounds like it’s time for me to get a Searzall. I didn’t even think about all of the melted cheesy goodness I can make with it…grilled cheese would probably be pretty awesome.

Note: short ribs (nicely marbled, got at Costco) came out very nice after just shy of 30 hours. Preseared only on 2 sides (“top & bottom”) and then seared the same way.

It’s not magic, but the Searzall is definitely a nice addition to the arsenal!

(though when (if?) the weather ever warms up here, I will probably try out finishing steaks on the gas grill – get it hot, cook with Anova, then slap down on grill for 30 seconds a side)

@psiu_glen Yummm, I have yet to do short ribs but it’s on my to-do list.

I am getting very excited about doing some serious sous vide-ing + grilling this summer…my Precision Cooker and grill are going to be the dream team.

Do you maybe know if I cook my chicken breast for 5h a 56 or even 55°C if it’s going to be pasteurized or not?

Here is a link to Baldwin’s chapter on Poultry. It includes a table to calculate pasteurisation times for various temperatures and thicknesses.

I’ve become a fan of 140F/60F for all chicken parts, with times up to 4 hours depending on thickness or combination of bits. Chicken breast I’ll leave as is and simply chill to slice with a salad or in a sandwich. Thighs and drumsticks I’ve processed further some time later under the broiler, on the grill or fried. So many possibilities.

so the min temperature for poultry is 57°C, less than this isn’t safe?

BTW I cooked it for 3h at 58°C and it was the best chicken breast I’ve ever had… :slight_smile: and I have to say that before getting anova I haven’t been eating chicken for the last 2 years as I don’t like the dry meat :no_mouth:

You might need to look further into it, but I wouldn’t go below the 57C. I think many people are still doing chicken up around the 65C mark. But pasteurisation works on time at temperature. The lower the temperature the longer it needs to be held at that temperature to kill bacteria.

Like you, I hated chicken breast and had given up buying it in favour of thighs. I still prefer the thighs, simply more flavour in them, but chicken breast is back on my shopping list.

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of course the skin-on thighs are still the best :heart_eyes: