A simple trick for great steak
When you head off to the shore, the woods, or a tailgate party at the stadium, you don’t have to settle for preservative filled hot dogs or overcooked burgers.
Live a little, and take along a few inch thick strip steaks, or maybe some fresh salmon or chicken fillets. Rest easy, because cooking the meat to perfection will be a snap. And the best tool for the job is the very container you’ll use to carry the food: a big, insulated ice chest. You’ll also want to pack a digital thermometer and a blowtorch, if you have one.
Wh cheap michael kors en relaxing outdoors, we’re in no hurry. But cooking over the intense heat of a fire or grill is unforgiving; time things wrong by just a minute or two, and the window of opportunity for a perfectly medium rare steak or a just done salmon fillet will have closed.
As long as you have plenty of water and a way to heat it, however, you have a better alternative: transform that insulated cooler from an improvised fridge into an improvised hot water bath for cooking your food. Then you can cook your meat the way high end chefs do, or sous vide, as they say in the restaurant world.
I realize that this idea strikes some people as funky, but it’s simple. Here’s how it works. You fill the cooler with hot water. You place your meat in a sealed plastic bag. Add the bagged meat to the cooler, then walk away. The hot water slowly, evenly, perfectly cooks the meat to your desired doneness.
First, a few guidelines. The cooler and meat should be warmed to room temperature before you start. To maintain the temperature during cooking, plan on using about 8 quarts of water per steak or fillet, and dump in water that is a good 15 F warmer than the final temperature you want the centre of the meat to achieve. The recipe below lists final target temperatures for several good options.
During the entire cooking time, the food stays safely sealed in plastic bags, which lock in the cooking juices and keep out the water and anything that might be living on the walls of the ice chest.
Though the meat will take longer to cook in the bath than it would on the grill, that gives you time to hang out with friends and family. And as long as you don’t use w che cheap michael kors ap michael kors ater that is too hot, it is almost impossible to overcook the food. Just make sure, for safety’s sake, that you use whole cuts (no ground cheap michael kors meat, such as hamburger or sausage) and that the food gets eaten within four hours of putting it into the water.
No matter how hot the water is, it won’t sear the meat. That’s where the blowtorch comes in. Torches fueled by MAP or propylene gas burn more cleanly than those that run on butane or propane. Sweep the tip of the flame across the surface of the meat in quick, even strokes until an appetizing brown crust forms. The interior will still be done to perfection, virtually edge to edge.
Start to finish: 1/2 to 1 1/2 hours (varies depending on thickness and variety of meat)Two 1.1 pound (500 grams) beef strip steaks2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) boneless chicken breast2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) fillets of salmon, halibut or black cod
1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 tablespoons butter
Flaked sea salt
Drain and wipe down a large, insulated cooler, then let it come to room temperature. Bring the meat to room temperature as well.
Select a target final temperature for the meat.
For beef strip or rib eye steak 144 F for medium, 133 F for medium rare, 129 F for rare
For beef filet 144 F for medium, 127 F for medium rare, 122 for rare
For chicken breast 140 F for medium, and hold at this temperature for at least 20 minutes to pasteurize
Salmon fillet 113 F for rare, 126 F for firm
Once you select your target final temperature, add 15 F to that. This is the temperature to which you must heat your water. For example, to cook a beef strip steak medium rare (133 F), the water should be heated to 15 F above that, or 148 F. Heat 8 quarts of water per piece of meat to the temperature you calculated, dump it into the cooler, and close the lid tightly.