chicken, pork, whats next?

I received the Anova PC for Christmas and loving it. I started simple. First I cooked chicken breasts, then pork chops, and have repeated with small temp/time adjustments. I’m very happy with the results (and so is my family!) Who knew pork chops could be so juicy? :smile:
I’m looking forward to doing a steak next weekend. So, now I’m looking for my next big trick. Unfortunately, there is a limitation: my fam isn’t big on seafood (I so want to do scallops or ahi tuna steaks!!) I’ve been digging thru recipes and haven’t found anything that tickles my curiosity, looks reasonably simple, and not too “out there”.
So, what are your dinner entree suggestions for a newbie?
Also, any tips for alternate preps for chicken or pork. I’ve been using Tony Chachere Creole Seasoning on the chicken, and a dusting of a BBQ dry rub on the pork. Both are good. Looking for other ideas.

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KC, you may not want to start something that has the potential to throw your home life into chaos, but you could satisfy the Family and yourself at the same time. You just have to do a little advance menu planning and production.

You may not have noticed yet, but there’s no Anova cooking rule here that requires you to cook in single meal batches, if that is what you are now doing.

Most families have a fairly small repertoire of standard menu items. When you cook pork chops, why not do enough for 3 meals? Chicken breasts, - same thing. Label and date every package and tuck them away in the back of your refrigerator. You will soon be able to serve dinners from your cooked inventory. That will permit you to indulge yourself with Succulent Scallops or Tantalizing Tuna while the other family members are enjoying one of their usuals. You can all have the same sides.

Just be sure everything is always cooked above the Pasteurization temperature of 131F. That gives safe extended life to your unopened packages.

As you think about this you will realize cooking in multi-meal batches also expands your family menu while saving you time. I guess that you could come up with at least 20 different ways to serve those cooked chicken breasts or pork chops. To prevent meal-time let down from creeping in, switch up accompaniments, sauces, and appearances. Those cooked pork chops don’t always have to be served as a slab of pork.

Here’s an example; - To start, boil or steam some rice.
Next whack up onion, celery and sweet pepper. Sauté them, a little bacon fat would be good here, and dust them with big pinches of TC’s Creole Seasoning.
Add crushed/chopped/squeezed canned tomatoes, rinse the can with some stock, broth or water, - and quick simmer, not quite a full boil.
Just before service, dice the pork chops and add to the mixture. Stir to heat the pork, remember it’s already cooked.
Got some cooked Italian or smoked sausage? Good, chop and add too.
And there you are, Pork Etouffée with Rice for the Family on the table in under 30 minutes.
If you want to get all fancy, garnish with some chopped green onion / scallion/ eschallot.

You will do similar things with cooked chicken, cooked beef, and so on.

There’s probably a year’s worth of menu ideas for you on this site. Print out the ones that look saleable at home and get cooking in multiple batches.

KC, so far you’ve been cooking the easy-winner items. Now it’s time to venture out of your culinary comfort zone.

In addition to its benefit of enabling multi-meal batch cooking, i have grown to appreciate how your Anova can transform less expensive cuts of meat into tender-as-can-be meals. Items you may have avoided like shoulder lamb chops will become deliciously tender and medium-rare chuck steak can masquerade as sirloin.

Even simple items like cooked hamburger patties are so convenient to have at hand. Dress them up in a mushroom or onion sauce and you have another quick meal.

There are a lot of batch cooking ideas on the blog. You can access it from the menu at the bottom of the page. Not sure how searchable the blog posts are at the moment, though. It’s a shame, because there’s good information and ideas in there.

Even though I only have two people in my household I find myself batch cooking a bit. We’re in the middle of summer down here, so it’s great to have cooked chicken breasts on hand for salads. I’ve also taken to doing a bit of a cook up of chicken parts; a couple of bags of drumsticks and thighs, a few individual breasts, They all get shock chilled in an ice bath and thrown into the fridge. From the fridge there’s breasts for salads or sandwiches, or warmed with a nice sauce. Drumsticks have been taken from the fridge and crumbed and fried (they’re already cooked, so just fry for the coating). Drumsticks and thighs have been taken with us when someone decides it’s cook out time. Thrown on a charcoal grill to warm through and crisp up.

And that’s just chicken.

Roasts for 2 weren’t very common. Now I rather look forward to them, because the sandwiches from leftovers are just amazing. No more buying expensive (and mostly tasteless) deli meat.

All it takes is a little planning and imagination.

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Ember, thanks for the blog tip - I wasn’t aware of it…lots of good recipes out there!
Chatnoir, yes, I’m not “a cook”, so been playing it safe as I learn (crawl, walk, run). My results are proof you can get great results if you can heat a pot of water (and pay attention to details).
I’m really looking forward to that flat iron steak. Because of the size and shape, this is a difficult piece to cook properly on the grill. Either the ends are over-cooked or the center is under-cooked. I can’t wait to see an evenly cooked steak w/ SV.
Batch cooking is something I’ve considered for mid-week meals: SV the entree on the weekend, then finish when I get home from work. How long can an item be safely stored in the fridge (assuming it’s cook above 131F)? Also, what’s the best way to bring the item up to serving temperature without overcooking?

I’ve thought about the mixed chicken n fish meal…totally logical, just like a restaurant. Still working thru that.

I forgot to ask…
What size container do you recommend for batch cooking?
Suppose I want to cook 9 chicken breasts or 9 pork chops?
(I’ve been using a large stock pot to do 3 at a time.)

KC, you owe it to yourself to cook a flat iron steak. Every new item you cook will be a confidence builder and encourage you to cook more new items.

You don’t say what size a “large” stockpot is. You will soon realize that precision is fundamental to SV cooking. Three packages of 3 chicken breasts or pork chops need about 2 gallons of freely circulating water to cook. Don’t pack food packages tightly in the water bath and expect them to cook evenly.

It’s difficult to give you an absolute time limit for cooked product without monitoring your cooking techniques and refrigerator’s environment. You want to quickly chill cooked products in a 50% ice bath for an hour or more and store them in the coldest place in your refrigerator which is usually at the bottom and at back. Some refrigerators are not as well insulated as others and they can have a warm spot over the compressor.

You should always have a refrigerator thermometer in use. They are cheap insurance against problems. Move it around in there to find the coldest area. You can also turn down the refrigerator a little, but not so much that you freeze delicate greens. Of course, it is absolutely imperative that you always label and date every item.

All that said, two weeks would be a reasonably safe length of time to keep cooked product below 38F, and then give you a few extra days. Temperature is all-important. How long can you keep milk fresh? That will give you a good idea of your general cold-holding situation. If a package is approaching your Best Before Date, you can always move it to your freezer and get another two months safely.

To reheat for service just place a package in water heated to 130F. Allow about an hour’s reheat time for every inch of thickness.

KC, you must read Dr. Douglas Baldwin’s excellent report on sous vide cooking and its associated issues. It will answer these questions and a lot you haven’t thought about yet. His first chapter ought to be read before all new Anova owners take it out of its box. The idea is not to turn you into a Microbiologist, but to help you protect yourself and Family.

Happy cooking.

My “large” stockpot is bigger than 8 quarts (probably 10 quarts). It has adequate size (sufficient depth and circulation) to cook 3 or 4 chicken breasts or pork chops (5 would be tight).
Thanks for the cook-chill info. I’m thinking chilled storage for 5-10 days (max). Milk keeps safely for a long time, so think I’m OK. Suggestion for a refrigerator thermometer noted! :slight_smile:

KC, i think you will find that you get better circulation than you think in your stock pot if you get the water level up to the Maximum level on your Anova. However you can serial cook reusing the same hot water to cook multiple batches one after another. Once you build an inventory to work with you’ll be laughing, diner wise.

You will learn to buy your family’s favourite menu items when they are on sale at reduced prices. Stock up and you will recover the price of your Anova in less than a year.

The milk is a good fridge-monitor. It’s a Pasteurized and packaged product like your SV items. It’s also prone to noticeable spoilage at unsafe temperatures.

That refrigerator thermometer is an essential kitchen tool. You have to find that 38F spot for your peace of mind and to obtain longer storage times.

@chatnoir, today was “Sous Vide Sunday” at our house and I am laughing dinner wise. Cooked an AWESOME flat iron steak for midday dinner (came out nearly perfect on the first try, TYVM). :slight_smile:
Followed that with a batch cook of pork chops and chicken for later this week. (Verified the frig is at 38 degrees with a thermometer). My wife is loving my APC. Great meals, and I do the cooking.

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KC, i appreciate your feedback on success. Now that you are batch cooking you will realize the substantial value of Anova in your life. Think about what other items you would find useful to have ready to enjoy. Beef and pork cubes can add a lot to family menu variety. Other items could

Oh-oh, i have to go.
The Anova Community Police are after me again.

"Let others join the conversation

This topic is clearly important to you – you’ve posted more than 40% of the replies here.

Are you sure you’re providing adequate time for other people to share their points of view, too?"

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Now that’s (almost) funny…never been part of a forum/community with bots monitoring the discussions. I kinda get it, but not like others haven’t had their chance to post. Thanks for the tips (let’s hope the bots count the “thank yous” too!)

Hahahaaaa! I received the same message the other day. No worries, you can still respond as much as your heart desires. I’ll look into getting that auto response turned off. Looks like it may have been implemented when we updated the forum software we use. Woops.

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Hehehe… Not surprisingly, I get it too. “It looks like this topic is really important to you…” but let someone else get a word in edgewise. :smiley:

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If it weren’t for your dedication to this forum no one else would take the time to answer the same questions over and over again:
“My meat weighs this much, how long do I cook it?”
“Why do cooking times vary so much?”
“It’s not working, what do I do?”

Your advice has helped me a lot but I rarely have the time to sit and rewrite it every time the same question gets asked. Thank you to all those who help us learn how to cook SV, no matter how many posts you have in a thread. Keep it up.

Gotta get back to the water

Since we’re totally off the “chicken, pork” thread, I’ll continue in the off topic direction.
(Besides, I’m the OP, so I’m allowed to do it, right?!?)

This point begs the question…doesn’t the forum software support the concept of a “sticky post”? If not, it should. That way these questions (and answers) are visible at the top of the forum so they don’t have to be answered over and over again. Just sayin…

I totally agree with you, actually. There are a few things I’d love to implement on this forum. There are limitations to the platform, but there are many great things about it too. One of my priorities this year for all of you is to create a more functional and exciting space to talk in.

Can we have balloons? And an open bar please. Oh, and neons. I like neons. :smiley:

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You are only making it worse! :wink:

How about a bar that passes out shots with leftover meat juice? Everyone’s in?