Part Four: Precision Cooking – What Chef Roney Likes Best

CVap's precision cooking makes chef roney happy

Read all parts in this series: Part One | Part Two | Part Three

That Chef Patrick Roney calls the CVap® a “workhorse” nicely describes the burden it removes from professional cooking. But as he describes below, it’s also a precision cooking oven, created to cook and hold at exacting temperatures and without variation. Learning how to make it walk the fine line of perfection is a matter of gathering information and experimenting with food.

Easy question: What unique aspects of CVap help your style of precision cooking?

It’s just so precise, which is something other ovens I’ve used can’t do. They can get close, but not perfectly and not consistently. Things we’re putting in CVap are cooked so precisely that we don’t even have to stick thermometers in the food to make sure the food is done. It’s that reliable.

The food that goes in hardly loses any moisture or weight, which means really high yield, which is great for food cost.

Being able to control the environment in the CVap and to maximize that moisture barrier that surrounds the food—things like eggs and scallops and steaks and fish, which all hold a lot of moisture—that’s a great asset to me.

It’s pretty fun when you figure out how to put different things inside it and see how it holds them all just perfectly. You can’t do that with a warming cabinet or an ordinary oven because you can’t control the moisture.

precision cooking is what it's all about

In the past seven years you’ve used CVaps at three different restaurants. Has it changed the way you plan out a menu? Knowing what you can cook and hold with it surely influences that, right?

Most definitely. You have more comfort writing a menu toward the sweet spot of how the CVap works and what you can get from it. If you have a couple of CVaps in one place, you can develop a couple of menus that lean on those sweet spots and how you control the cooking environment in each. You can build your menu around a CVap to a great extent.

Fantastic for Fish

Earlier you mentioned holding scallops in CVap. What about finfish? Does that work as well?

It’s absolutely great for finfish. Knowing your desired temperature when that fish is perfect is the key to setting CVap correctly. But you have to know exactly what temp you want to hold each specific fish because one doesn’t work for all. A monkfish will be perfect at a temperature that a flounder isn’t, so it’s essential figure that out. But once you have that knowledge, it’s easy.

Five Faves

Here’s a lighting round question: Give me your five favorite CVap settings and the foods you hold or cook them in.

OK, here goes:

  • Fried rabbit legs, 130°F plus 4 browning.
  • Holding New York strips, 125°F plus 0 browning.
  • Braising anything—shanks oxtail, short ribs—180°F plus 2 browning.
  • Large proteins, 125°F plus 2 browning.
  • Fish, I have a couple: If holding scallops or flounder, 133°F plus 0 browning.
    Salmon is kind of variable, in that you don’t want it dried out, but most people prefer it cooked all way through. So, 140°F plus 1 browning.

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Turkey Burgers Staged in CVap®

turkey burger

No matter the time of the year, a burger always sounds good. While some folks head straight for the ground beef, some people might need something a little bit leaner. You can do a lot with ground turkey, most commonly burgers. That’s right – turkey burgers! But not just any turkey burgers – these burgers are staged in CVap.

Turkey burgers have a bad reputation for being dry, flavorless, or dull. Fortunately, with the techniques we have at our disposal, this is not always the case. There are many flavor combinations you can try. Not only is turkey lean, but it is also a versatile protein option.

Below we test two methods for making turkey burgers. Try both and decide which one is best.

turkey burger

Sous Vide or Not Sous Vide

Combine ½ lb. of ground turkey with two beaten eggs, ¼ cup of Bourbon Barrel Soy Sauce, ½ of an onion (minced), one minced garlic clove, and one cup of Panko bread crumbs. Mixture gently to combine the ingredients. Form the mix into 3-ounce patties.

Place half of the patties on a half-size sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Put the other half into pouches for sous vide and then added a little smoke for an extra dimension of flavor. This will give the burgers a subtle smokiness without it being overwhelming. Seal the pouches and place the pan and the sealed burger meat into the CVap Cook and Hold oven.

CVap Settings

Cook Time: 30 Minutes, Cook Vapor Temp: 145F, Cook Air Temp: 145F
searing turkey burgers

Pan-sear the sous vide burgers for texture and bringing them to a finished temperature of 150° to 155°F. By staging and then finishing in this manner yielded extremely well-textured, moist, and flavorful burgers.
Toast some ciabatta rolls and dress with freshly torn cilantro and chipotle salsa (fresh pico mixed with pureed chipotle peppers) This combination complements the slight hint of smoke in the patty.

Pan-sear the more traditional patties. Once they are to temperature, treat a ciabatta bun to Sriracha mayonnaise on one side and an explosively delicious mixture of pureed onion, Bourbon Barrel Soy Sauce, and minced ginger and garlic on the other side. Finish them off with a mix of tender baby lettuce and torn fresh cilantro.

We talk a lot about staging with CVap around here. Use this process to bring food to the exact internal temperature desired and then hold it there – without overcooking or drying out – until it is time to finish and serve the dish. The final flavor-enhancing and texturing touches can be made just moments before you serve the food. Imagine how much faster you can push plates out of a kitchen!

Learn more about CVap® Staging and the possibilities it can bring to your kitchen and speed of service.