Sous Vide: Seasoning Proteins Effectively

This method facilitates application of a rub/crust/flavoring to sous vide processed proteins.

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon of powdered or 1 fresh egg white per 3 lbs./1.4Kg beef, pork, lamb or poultry, etc.
Seasonings, your own personal favorite or one from our dedicated list of recipes.

Creating cling

Land/air dwelling animals’ muscles contain proteins called albumins. Similar to egg whites, they are responsible for the shiny, sticky surface on raw meat. Sous vide processing and other forms of cooking denature the albumins and disperse them into the bag juices. This changes the characteristic of the meat’s surface and prevents anything from clinging after (or even during) processing. For a more detailed discussion on this subject, visit HERE. For more information on why flavors other than salt cannot penetrate the surface of proteins, visit HERE.

Take a powder

Egg whites can function to replace the albumins removed during the cooking process. Fresh egg whites mixed well with an equal amount of water will make seasonings cling to the protein’s surface; 1 egg white is enough for approximately 3 lbs./1.4Kg of meat. Better yet, powdered egg whites makes the process even easier.

This method works equally well for any land/air dwelling protein–beef, pork, lamb, poultry, etc. It can also be used to assure uniform seasoning on proteins that have not been processed sous vide. Everything from steaks to roasts to chops, whether finished in the pan, oven, or in the smoker. Rubs/crusts can be applied to steaks coming out of the bath for immediate searing/consumption or sous vide processed items that were cold-shocked and refrigerated after initial processing. Fill a shaker/dredge with the powder and label it so it doesn’t get mistaken for flour or powdered sugar. For those allergic to eggs, dried buttermilk can be substituted–be aware that direct contact with metal or other hot surface may remove the crust.

Roasts

The same methodology can be applied step-by-step process in all cases–even when the item is ultimately breaded or battered. The possibilities are endless. First, a beef top sirloin “coulotte” roast. For the full recipe, visit HERE.

After removing from the pouch and harvesting the juices, stage the roast onto a suitable rack. This prevents the seasonings from being transferred to the work surface.

Dust the surface with the powdered egg white. Fresh egg white can also be used as explained above.

Mist with water to dissolve the powder–not necessary if you use fresh egg whites.

Sprinkle with your chosen seasonings. This model utilizes our special Grind House Seasoning Mix. As a general guideline, salt should be applied in the amount of no more than 2 teaspoons per lb./450g of meat. All other seasonings are subject to the enthusiasts preference.

Spray lightly with aerosol pan release or drizzle with vegetable oil–this finalizes the crust and also prevents scorching.

Turn the roast over and repeat the seasoning process.

Don’t forget the final step! Now we’re ready for the oven/smoker.

Time and temperature for the searing process varies according to the specific recipe. This roast spent 5 hours in a pellet smoker set on 200F/94C.

The crust is very durable…

and maintains its structural integrity even when the roast is sliced thin.

Steaks

Sous Vide: Double Cut Rib Eye Steak, Butterflied –2020

Racks

Sous Vide: Yankee Style BBQ Pork Spare Ribs (Indoor or Outdoor)

Poultry

Sous Vide: Buttermilk Fried Chicken–2020

Norm

About

Sous vide achieves results that other forms of cooking cannot. Even so, devotees are quick to discover that products coming directly out of the sous vide pouch lack flavor/color. Sous vide cannot create the caramelized/maillardized crust/surface that our taste buds are accustomed to.

While many practitioners "season the bag" in an attempt to compensate, scientific research asserts that flavonoid molecules (invisible) are too large to breech meat's tangled matrix of complex proteins. Neither will they cling to the surface during processing. Only sodium ions (salt) can actually penetrate the surface. All other seasonings end up being confined to the bag's juices. So what are we to do?