Will It Be Sous Vide? Juicy Burgers With Cheese Filling
Hey guys and dudes, and welcome back to the vulgar, fatty Will It Sous Vide? , a weekly column where I do whatever you want with my immersion circulator.
Succulent Lucy won the theme selection session this week , and I was very excited to see if I could dip in a sous vide bath with a juicy cheese-filled burger that won’t scald you with an explosion of melted dairy. … Anyway, I have long wanted to eat a hamburger, but I really didn’t think that a simple burger was worth our time, since both Food Lab and Chef Steps have already studied this matter in great detail. In addition to creating the classic American cheese-filled situation, I was also curious to see if we could use the leftover sodium citrate from last week to create a cheddar burger that isn’t oily and lumpy.
I had about seven different cheeses in my fridge, but of course none of them were American, so I went to the store for processed cheeses and two pounds of ground beef (I had one with 20% fat because the fat is really delicious ).
I formed four six-ounce patties from the beef and filled each with 20 grams of cheese. (I got this number because this is the weight of the kraft single that this recipe suggested filling with Juicy Lucy .) For the cheddar burgers, I chopped the cheese finely and mixed it with 1/4 teaspoon of sodium citrate, hoping the moisture from the cheese and the surrounding meat will be enough to dissolve the salt.
I then sealed and cooked the burgers (one of each type) at two different temperatures: 125 ℉ and 133 ℉ (the temperatures recommended by the Food Lab for medium and medium burgers, respectively).
The good thing about making hamburgers this way is that they are held together by the bag as they cook, which means there is virtually no chance of cheese leaking out. After about 45 minutes, I took the burgers out of the bags, blotted them with as dry paper towels as possible, and quickly fried them in a cast iron skillet greased with bacon grease.
As you can see from the photo above, the vacuum bag does have a slightly odd effect on the appearance of the patty. The edges taper oddly, and since there is runny cheese in the center, you can’t press hard on them to get crispy edges. This meant that I was uncomfortable with moving the burger with the spatula so that the sides were in contact with the hot pan, which was not that unpleasant, just a little time consuming.
Then it’s time to look inside. I started with a 125-degree American-filled patty, dividing it in half on a cutting board to reveal the tender glory.
As you would expect from a burger cooked at this temperature, the meat was quite pink, quite juicy, and very tasty. (“Pretty tasty” here depends on whether you have a taste similar to mine, ie, the taste that is currently obsessed with tartare, tataki, etc., pleasure to consume.
Then I turned my attention to a medium-rare burger stuffed with cheddar and was greeted with this slightly disappointing sight:
As you can clearly see, sodium citrate did not completely hold the cheddar in a fatty lump. This was not a complete surprise as there was no way to mix the processed cheese with sodium citrate when it was inside the burger, but at least we now know for sure. (I think this problem can be solved by taking the cheddar in a sauce, using either the sous vide or baking the top METHOD and then freezing it in a disc and placing that inside the hamburger, but I haven’t had time to research Let me know if this experiment interests you.) That being said, cheddar was by no means a bad taste, it just wasn’t as sticky and uniform as its American friend. I ate it and I was not furious about it.
Then I repeated this process with 133-degree pies, only this time I put them on the buns so that I could feel a little more like a human rather than a rabid animal shoveling pink cheese meat into my mouth without thinking about decency or decency.
The medium cheddar burger was pretty much like the previous cheddar burger, only less pink. Although the cheese was the same: slightly frozen, but tastes good and not too spicy not to eat.
The American-filled burger was delicious and although the cheese was flowing freely, the melted stickiness inside did not harm my mouth in any way. 10/10 would put it in my mouth again.
Now we must once again return to our favorite question: will Juicy Lucy sous vide?
Answer? Yes, especially if you are using American cheese. The medium burger with American filling was pretty much my perfect burger, with melted but not melted cheese and juicy, perfectly cooked meats. I was also impressed with how easy it was to make this wonderful cheese-filled tortilla. I tried to grill Juicy Lucys many months ago and had a hard time keeping everything from falling apart. Putting everything in an airtight bag meant the meat held its shape until it was completely cooked through, after which I was able to quickly fry it without oozing the cheese. It took a little longer, but it’s idle time, and I was able to use that time to chop onions, pickles, and three Diet Cokes.