Cooking for two

I’m trying to decide if sous vide is for me. There are only two of us and some questions have come up as I’ve read about sous vide cooking.

For instance, can I cook two steaks–one for myself to medium rare, then raise the temperature to cook one for my husband to well done? If so, how much time difference is there likely to be?

Also, I use a lot of chicken breast chunks or slices for salads. Currently I use an America’s Test Kitchen recipe in which I cook them at 275 degrees, coat them with butter and flour, then fry them 4 minutes each side. Can I precook a supply of BLSL breasts, then freeze them, thaw them and do the browning before I slice them and still have a reasonably moist result? I don’t need them hot in the center.

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Sous vide is great when it comes to cooking for two.

To cook steaks to different ‘doneness’ requires different temperatures (temperature selects the doneness, time equates to texture in sous vide world). So you’d probably cook the well done first and then drop your temperature for the medium rare and cook it with the first one staying warm in the bath. Either that or you might be able to slowly convince your other half to enjoy his steak properly cooked. :wink:

Chicken breasts can be pre-cooked sous vide, the cold shocked and refridgerated until you want to use them. Because they have already been cooked, if you’re looking to coat and fry them you need only fry until the crumb is golden, no need to worry about cooking the chicken, just a matter of warming it.


Thanks for your response. One more clarification on the chicken. What would be the effect of freezing the cooked chicken, then thawing and finishing it?

I assume safe refrigeration time is the same for sous-vide-cooked items as for stove/oven-cooked. Is this correct?

Cooking and freezing isn’t a problem, any more than any other cooking method.

Someone else would probably be able to answer the storage question better than I, but, with the chicken vacuum packed and pasteurised with the sous vide cooking process, the fridge life is extended. I’m not sure how long, but one could argue that it could potentially be an indefinite lifespan. Autolysis becomes the telling factor. If you open it and it smells good, it should be fine. Having said that, I’ve not pushed cooked chicken beyond 2 weeks; vacuum packed, cooked, shocked cool then refrigerated.