Kitchen Gadgetry


This, plus things where temperature consistency over time is key. It’s superb for bringing thick cuts of beef up to rare or medium rare before grilling, e.g.

Also, pasteurizing eggs! Homemade mayo, all the time!


I’ve never sous vide’d, but always had a curiosity to, but talked myself out of it every time. For me, it just seemed like a bunch of extra steps to get pretty much the same results if I had just cooked it “regular style”. I have to seal steaks in individual baggies, fill the thing with water, wait for it to heat up, cook it, then finish it on the grill. I could’ve just grilled it in the first place and enjoyed a beer with it.


Carnitas is a great use case. Done it a few times recently. 24hrs at 74 C, shred, then finish for a few minutes under a grill.


Chicken breast at 60 C - turns a shitty cut into a thing of beauty.

Steak, obviously. 52 C for a thin cut or 54 C for a thick one.

Duck breast at 54 C

Lobster - 54 C for something really juicy that you wouldn’t dare to do traditionally, or 60 C for a more traditional doneness.

Funnily enough, I never bother for eggs, at least not since I learned Kenji’s trick of turning off the stove at the boiling point.5 minutes for barely cooked and 6 minutes for more traditional soft boiled texture.


It also lets you do things like make a steak that’s the same temperature from edge to edge that’s as good as anything you can get at most restaurants. Or safely make a nearly medium rare hamburger using storebought ground beef.


Oh yeah, duck!

I’m irrationally afraid of cooking duck at home (just because it seems hard). Having a foolproof way to do it would be neat.


You know what? That’s a great point. With everything I’m able to cook, I am totally phobic about boiling eggs properly.



For duck, isn’t an important part of the cooking process rendering the fat? Does the fat melt properly at sous vide temperatures? This is one of those things that sounds more tricky to balance via sous vide than 1 shotting in the pan.

I cooked a LOT of duck breast for about 6 months straight ~ 10 years ago when I was super obsessed. It’s sad to go to a restaurant and order duck to be dissapointed.


As a meat that is best served medium rare, duck breast makes an ideal candidate to cook sous-vide. By cooking it at 130°F for two hours, much of the fat under the skin begins to soften and render out while the proteins in it begin to set, making it easier to crisp without shrinking on the stovetop just before serving.

The thickness of the skin means that you can also crisp it more gently post sous-viding, unlike a steak which requires blazing high heat to cut back on cooking time and prevent the interior from overcooking. The skin acts as an insulator, preventing the meat inside from taking on any more color. The result is supremely tender, evenly cooked meat with super crisp skin.


54 C is at the very bottom end of where fat starts to render, so on its own it takes quite a long time if you want that doneness for the meat. But generally I finish it in a pan skin-side down on a medium heat for about five minutes, which both crisps up the outside of the skin and helps render the fat. Because it’s insulating the meat, you don’t have to worry about it overcooking.


I guess my time with steak should have taught me that you can render fat at low temp if you keep at it long enough. Damn that sounds delicious.


Quote for truth right here. For me, the steaks from sous vide are nice, but the chicken is fan-fucking-tastic. Every had a near juicy chicken? You will, and it will change you, immediately.

Even better with skin on because you can take it out and either broil for quick crispy skin, or sear for a harder but less even option. All while the inside of the chicken remains amazing and super tender. Though it will work on any cut, obviously the ones that come out dry benefit from this the most, so easily chicken breasts fall under that.

As with all things sous vide, Kenji has it covered:

But even in general, sous vide fills a role for me of either convienence, or of not having to worry about getting exact temps right for days when I am cooking. You could, say, ask what temp your guests like their steaks at a couple of days ahead of time. Pre-cook them to temp sous vide, then on grill day, break them out, let them warm up a bit, then a quick high temp sear out on the grill. Boom. Perfect steaks. Or in my case, I can throw two chicken breasts in a ziplock, drop them in and set the temp on the Anova, then go out with my girlfriend from the evening. When I return I take the bag out and empty the breasts into one container and the juices into another. Then whenever I need the breasts I can do a quick sear in a pan on the stovetop and when needed, add juices to something that needs a flavor boost, or make a pan sauce with them after searing the breasts.


We got a 6 QT Instant Pot on Prime Day ($25, it was already half off and I had a $25 gift card) and we are just now starting to explore how to use it. My wife is looking for meat recipes/ways to use it.

She does NOT like any red or pink in her meats - not even a little. Other than that, anyone have any really good meat recipes or set ups for an Instant Pot? Pork, beef, chicken (not lamb.)



Serious Eats has you covered. I’d start with getting used to beans or a bean based dish, or a stew (though it’s still summer.) Either will blow your mind how quickly you can make them, and how awesome the consistency is. Stock made in a pressure cooker is amazing as well.

I should mention, Amazon has a 2018 best seller that fits the bill if you want even more variety:


Here’s the simplest rule of thumb for using a pressure cooker:
Do you know anything you like to cook in a crock pot? Take pretty much that exact recipe, put it in the pressure cooker, and it’ll be done in less than an hour.

One thing that I like doing is pulled pork. It’s super easy. There are tons of recipes for it. The one I used involved liquid smoke, which worked very well.


Jeff I forgot to mention, there is a saute setting on the instant pot. With the cover off you can hit that and brown anything you want, then add liquids/ingredients, pop the top on and set for your pressure cycle. Extremely easy to make just about anything that way and it comes out well cooked and quite flavorful.

What timex said. Any moist-heat based cooking, braising, stewing, rice making, stock making, simmering, sauce making, etc. You can even steam in them.


All good stuff, thanks, that should get us started!


Something that I saw somewhere… You know those can openers that open the can from the side instead of the top? So that the lid doesn’t fall into the can?

You can use any hand can opener to do that. I just did it tonight. Color me pleasantly surprised.


Saw that recently too. It’s pretty great. I was sure it did something like put burrs in a weird place or whatever. But no, it just works.



A very interesting story. And I have one of those OXO peelers.