What Was Your Sous Vide Failure?

It’s easy to get really epic results from sous vide - but sometimes we can make mistakes and end up with some failures.

What was something that made you face-palm?

For me, I had a couple of failures with tempeh. But I learned!

What were yours?



Iceberg lettuce salad was an epic fail too. Who da thunk lettuce didn’t like to be cooked sv.

Not sure to take you seriously :fearful: @acs

Cow heart. It was as experiment. Turns out keep it classic, quick sear, both sides, ready to go

How did that taste like? How was the texture? @Brian1

The texture was undesirable: the meat was tender, but tasted dry and was stringy. I know that doesn’t make much sense, but that’s the best I can describe. Taste is pretty much par for the course: a bit beefy, that bloody mineral taste, of your lucky to have the brown fat with it, that’s fantastical to cook the muscle in.

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Haven’t had any yet (touch wood). Though I’m sure they’ll come.

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It’s the hat isn’t it? No one believes a thing I say whenever I wear it…

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My biggest disaster was a hanger steak that I cooked in the vacuum sealed bag from the butcher.

The meat turned out great but I had a real job removing the label from everything. A mistake you make once.

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Oh yeah, I can see that being really frustrating! Is there a way to get it vacuum sealed from the butcher without the labels?

Legally, both USDA and typically Weights and Measures (requirements vary by state) require the packaging be labeled with certain information. Now, this doesn’t have to be a sticker on the vacuum bag, it just has to be on the packaging, where other things could be involved; the bag could be placed on a styrofoam tray, the tray wrapped in cling wrap and then that outer package be labeled. They could wrap the bag in butcher paper and label that. etc…

They could write the info on it in permanent pen or print directly onto the bag… But easiest way would be to use removable sticky labels.

I think butchers and others may have some exception. Perhaps his original carcass is marked in some way but most of the meat I buy is cut to order and wrapped in white paper with no markings other than the price. The hanger steaks he vacuum seals with a label that has price and weight. He also will grind hamburger to order using different cuts and a die with larger holes. Flavorful cuts can be mixed with fatty ones to make the perfect burger. Sometimes I do this at home but it is worth the charge to let him do it and clean up the mess.

There are exceptions and things can vary by facility classification. The butchers here are required to tag everything, but they might also have a different classification than the ones you are going to.

And yeah, carcasses are typically stamped by the inspector.

Yeah. Carcasses get stamped here to indicate abattoir prcessing and inspection. Only prepackaged meat goods have to be labelled here.


I texted a friend who works as a butcher one of the local places, his facility is a USDA inspected kill & processing facility, so they have to put everything on the labels, even for broken down cuts that they sell direct to consumers. He thinks the the local small butcher is like you said, just has to comply with weights and measures.

That netting material that holds together a bonless leg of lamb… survives a 5 hour @ 131F cook just fine. The ensuing sear in a blazing hot cast iron pan… not so much. Note to self: Remove the netting, stuff the butterflied leg with goodies… retie with with butchers twine…

You are welcome…

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