Hello! I’m totally new here and just tried the Anova for the first time on a piece of salmon and a piece of chicken thigh. Both sealed in properly. When opening the bag after cooking a lot of fluid came out. Is this normal? First I thought the bag had leaked, but this was not the case. Hope you can help me out
Totally normal. Anything will lose a little moisture as it cooks. The moisture produced is pure essence of whatever was cooked. The difference between sous vide and other methods of cooking is that the moisture can not escape anywhere so you actually get to see it.
For meats, the fluid can be clarified (bring to a simmer to allow the proteins to coagulate then strain) and added to a sauce.
If you are looking to sear your product before serving you will need to dry it thoroughly before doing so. Moisture is the enemy of the Maillard reaction.
Thank you @Ember! That explains a lot. Looking forward to experimenting a lot more
Do yourself a big favour and keep a journal of your experiments. Details like the item processed (cut of meat, type of fish or whatever), temperature, time, pre and post sous vide treatment. Also include a critique of the outcome and anything you would consider changing for the next time.
There is a dilemma that all sous vide cookers are faced with.
The longer meat is in the water bath, the more tender the meat will be.
But, also the longer in the water bath the more moisture that comes out of the meat.
So, there needs to be a balance between tender and time to produce good results.
It has been said the the sous vide method of cooking can make a poor cut of meat a good one with enough time in the water bath. To some degree, that is true. But, the longer the meat is in the water bath the more moisture that comes out of the meat. So, you need to find that balance so the meat does not present dry on the plate.
Cooking sous vide is a journey whereby there is a learning curve to getting good results.
Keep good records. Record the cut of meat you start with, the preparation steps, the temperature, and the time cooking. As time goes on you will refine each of these steps that influence the outcome of the process to produce repeatable good results.
Then again. The same predicament exists in other forms of cooking. It’s just that the moisture is usually lost to the atmosphere.