Hamburgers Sous Vide
Recipe By: Chef Eric Villegas
At first I wasn't all that excited about the idea of Sous Vide Hamburgers and my initial attempts were less than stellar. Keep in mind I started playing with the burger idea more a decade ago and the technique has developed tremendously over the years.
My major issue was compression. My VacMaster machines (yes, I have more than one ;-) work so, so well that the meat was compressing far too much leaving the burger patty dense and tough.
The entire line of VacMaster chamber machines offer the user the opportunity to adjust the compression for specific needs. That being said for me I found sealing the VacMaster "resealable" bags empty in my machines then opening them up, inserting the burgers and resealing the bags using only my fingers and the water displacement technique was perfect. Gently removing the air causing literally no compression left the burgers tender and juicy.
Like most proteins a good sear after cooking gives improved flavor and texture from crunchy flavorful crust. As most burgers tend to be thin it's extremely important that this process be very quick as not to overcook your burger.
I have never had much success with the blowtorch method, seems to take far too long and my finished burgers were always scorched and freckled. The best methods for my taste as been a flavorful spice blend with a hint of sweetener and blazing heat. Whether that heat comes from a well seasoned smoking cast iron pan or an outdoor grill the spice mix with a bit of sweetener assist the fiery pan or grill in creating that delicious crust.
- 2 pounds Beef Chuck 80/20 blend, freshly ground
- Cooking oil
- 4 Artisan Hamburger Buns
- Your favorite toppings and condiments.
1. Set the SV1 to your desired temperature.As I''m more of a medium rare or 55C steak kinda guy I prefer my Sous Vide burgers at 51C or 52C.Feel free to experiment with different temperatures.
Medium Rare: 131F/55C
Medium Well: 150F/65C
2. Gently form four 1/2 pound patties trying to keep the patties as loose as possible yet nicely formed - don't over mix.
4. Using your thumb and index fingers seal bags, leaving one-inch open at the top corner. Slowly lower bags one at a time into pot of water by holding onto the open corner. Press air out of bag as it is submerged. Seal bag just before last corner is submerged.
5. Gently place the burgers into the SV1 and cook for at least 1 hour, no more than 4 hours. If you make them more than 1 inch thick, make sure to leave them in the bath 1 hour per inch.
7. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat, add oil (or use hot grill). When the oil is simmering, sear the burgers 45 seconds on each side.
8. Garnish the burgers with your favorite toppings and enjoy!