Is it Better to Season BEFORE Sous Vide?

Thoughts, input, experiences.

What do you think about sentiment? I personally season my meats before I sous vide. Sometimes I add a little more garlic powder post cook (before sear), because garlic powder is life.

Thoughts on this seem to be scattered in different directions. Curious to know everyone’s perspective. Links and info are also welcomed! :wink:

Is that Brad Pitt?

Maybe a less attractive version of Brad Pitt who likes to salt things. @acs

At one time I played around with the cooking theory of seasoning before the SV, vs cooking with no seasonings at all, then add them at the sear, vs the third option, of add all seasonings except salt before the SV,

Kind of depended on what I was cooking, but the seasonings in the bag seemed to impart more flavor from the spices into the meat. Salt in the bag or no salt in the bag was a fine line, can’t say I remember much difference.

Sometimes there is no way around it, like if I put soy sauce in the bag. Some things I don’t sear, so I feel that salt is necessary in the bag.

The only compelling reason I could find to season but not salt before the SV, it’s that if it’s being seared and I’m dumping more spices on at that point, and this will include salt for the crusting, I don’t want to over-salt the meat.

Cooking with no seasoning until the sear was just bland unless I put a really heavy crust of spices on the meat.

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Also, welcome!!! :slight_smile:

I just cooked bone in Chicken breasts in lemon juice, salt, pepper and fresh rosemary, 147 degrees for 1.5 hrs. Although the chicken was cooked, it had no other flavors at all and needed salt and pepper to taste good. What happened?

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There’s very little flavouring that will actually get beyond the surface of the meat. Salt is about it.

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@Ember when it comes to salt, do you find it best to salt before the bath or before the sear (or both)? I typically salt before it goes into the bath, but I have yet to try test out different ways of it.

@Remill the chicken didn’t hold on to the flavors at all? Also, what I find helpful for flavor is keeping the skin on the chicken breast.

No lemon, no rosemary and very surprising, it didn’t seem to be salted even though there was a lot of salt in the marinade /brine. Once I added salt and pepper it tasted good, but why didn’t any flavors get into our onto the chicken?

Don’t brine. It adds nothing to the flavour and the ‘juice’ that it takes on is just water.

@AlyssaWOAH I always season before searing. Salt helps promote the Maillard reaction. I frequently don’t season pre-cook. If I’m using something frozen direct from the freezer I don’t season. I’m inclined to forget.

Actually, I used to sear steak in a salted pan rather than use oil. Haven’t tried it for steak cooked sous vide. Got to have a dry but well seasoned skillet to do it.

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