Ok, fellow Sous Vide cooks. Heres a question/problem that needs figuring out. Im planning on having a Picnic at a race track, where we can BBQ and watch the horses run by, lose money, etc. Done it in the past with burgers and dogs and sausages. THIS year, id like to do beef tenderloin. I have cooked them in the sous vide before, comes out great after a good sear on the grill. However that went from my kitchen to outside. But now I figured id make a few the day before. But how do i get them to the grill at the park. If i put them on ice, it may take to long to warm them up on the grill, AKA Well Done Tenderloin (unless i cook them to be really medium rare). Anyone ever have an event like this where they made food in a Sous Vide and had to cook them in an area with no refrigeration or electricity?
Hi LB, it’s done all the time. The only difference from home service to watching the ponies service are the time and distance involved along with a well thought out plan and a few pieces of equipment.
You’re correct, advanced SV cooking, chilling, transporting cold, lengthy reheating and potentially overcooking belongs solidly in your why-bother-basket.
You’ve been economical with important details in your question/problem.
First, you don’t reveal the format of your beef tenderloin, - steak or roast? Nor do you disclose the time or distance to the race track. Details are important to successful cooking.
Steaks are so easy you likely wouldn’t need to ask, thus you must be cooking roasts. It doesn’t sound like there’s too great a distance to travel as you don’t mention having to stay overnight en route. Right? Same day cook - transport - serve is the way to do it. It’s done all the time, but with detailed planning.
You were considering transporting on ice, thus you likely have an insulated carrier. Those are effective for hot food transportation too. If you have any gel-packs that are used to replace ice you can use them to keep hot food hot too. Plan on using them. Most can be quickly heated in a microwave oven.
When serving food at a remote location always develop your plan in steps backwards from time of service to starting with the raw menu item, in your case the Beef Tenderloin. You can write the time of day alongside each step as a planning and action guide. Also, that way you discover when your day’s action begins.
You will be starting with Step #13 and working up from there.
It goes like this:
- Slice, portion and serve.
- Sear meat on grill.
- Decant meat, dry and season.
- Set out sides, plates, cutlery, and beverages of choice.
- Prep and preheat grill.
- Arrive at site, set out utensils and service wares.
The maximum allowable safe time between step #7 and #3 is 4 hours including time for contingencies, rest stops, etc. Better make that 3 hours just in case.
- Pack all items and depart for the pony park.
- Drain water, add packaged SV cooked meat to transportation chest. Add heated gel-packs.
- When SV cooking time has elapsed remove meat from water bath.
- Heat insulated transportation chest with ample boiling water. Close lid and allow chest to absorb heat.
- SV Cook beef tenderloin to desired doneness for 2 to 4 hours depending on thickness.
Cooks notes: You know temperature is doneness dependant and thickness is critical to cooking time. Correct?
**You also know beef tenderloin is as tender as can be so it only requires sufficient SV cooking time to attain temperature equilibrium throughout. *
**Alright then. Insert planned SV cooking time in the following Step #11.
- Good morning and let’s get to work. Prepare SV water bath, attach and start your circulator and bring to cooking temperature.
- Vacuum package the meat and refrigerate overnight before service day. Set out SV cooking and transport equipment.
All the success possible, - and please stay safe and keep well.