Culinary Arts

Bonus: Sous Vide Cooking: Varying Time and Temperature

Thomas Keller

Lesson time 11:27 min

Using short rib as an example, Chef Keller demonstrates how cooking for different times and at different temperatures via sous vide and more traditional preparations can lead to drastically different tastes and results.

Thomas Keller
Teaches Cooking Techniques III: Seafood, Sous Vide, and Desserts
Chef Thomas Keller’s third MasterClass is devoted to preparing seafood, sous vide cooking, and making classic desserts.
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[MUSIC PLAYING] - I'm going to share with you a great example of different times and different temperatures in short ribs. So I have a 79 degree temperature sous-vide bath working here. I've got a 62 degree temperature sous-vide bath working here. I also have a test, a test sous-vide piece of potato with a spongy material that's adhered to that. And when we're doing a lot of sous-vide, we always want to see where we are in our test. So what we'll do is we have a probe thermometer. We'll puncture through the foam into the center of the product that we're cooking. And again, this is just a potato to show for an example. So right now you can see that that temperature is 14 degrees Celsius. And we'll just monitor this as we go, just as some fun to do. In large companies, when they're doing mass quantities of sous-vide, they'll always have something that they're testing. So in the meantime, as you can see, we have a short rib here that we braised traditionally. Sous-vide short ribs in the slow method is 62 degrees Celsius for 48 hours. Now, you can see that there's not a lot of fat in here. There is some juice, but there's not a lot of fat. The muscle and fiber is broken down, so this short rib is going to have the texture of a very succulent short rib with all the fat in there. And fat, we really love that fat. Fat is flavor, so we have a lot of that fat in here. It cooked very slowly, so it broke down the tissue, broke down the muscle, the fiber, but it didn't render the fat. Gentle cooking, long time. This one we cooked at a much higher temperature-- 79 degrees-- for a shorter period of time, to cook it fast and still break down the muscle, break down the fiber, rendering it very tender. But you can see we've lost a lot of the fat in this. So then it becomes a little smaller as well. And the liquid, as I'm pointing out, is not the same color, again, because of that rendering process. So I want you to see the difference when I cut them cold, and then I want you to see the difference when we cut them hot. I mean, even the way they appear is so much different. Classically braised, 79 degrees Celsius, 62 degrees Celsius. So just so you understand here the difference. So look at that. It has the appearance of being medium in the way it's cooked, but the texture is the same texture. It's that succulent, rich, soft texture that we come to associate with short ribs that have been braised for a long time. This is the 79 degree short rib. You can see it's little flakier, because it's lost some of the fat. So the fat was keeping it bound together, certainly when it's cold. And of course, it looks a little different. And you can see the way, when I cut it, it started to almost crumble a little bit. And then this is our traditional braised short rib. So those are the three different short rib preparations that we've done through time and temperature-- 62 degrees, 79 degrees, classically braised in an oven, but much higher tempera...

Elevate your cooking

In his third MasterClass, Chef Thomas Keller focuses on preparing fresh seafood like lobster and salmon, making classic desserts such as apple pie and lemon tart, and showing how sous vide cooking can be done at home to enhance flavor and texture. Whether you’re a beginning or advanced cook, you’ll learn the techniques and principles that will give you the understanding and skills to get the most delicious results.


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So which one tastes better????? This lesson left me with more questions than answers.

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A fellow student

What is the best resource for deciding what temperature and duration to cook different types of proteins?