Sous Vide Short Rib Beef Burger: Do burgers get better than this?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

This is a seriously good burger. No kidding.

Since I started cooking Sous Vide Short Rib Beef in earnest, I have always thought that it would go very well in a burger.
  • It is firm and yet tender.
  • Succulent and moist.
  • The flavour is, of course, amazing. 

I finally got down to making a burger with it  it and it has wowed everyone who has tried it.

I use this cut - supplier details below
After it is cooked Sous Vide, it caramelises quickly and beautifully, adding to the wonderful experience of the 'first bite'. As mouth and burger meet, the flavours of the Maillard-browned sides greet your sense of smell. As you take the first bite, crunching through the bread, lettuce, tomato and onions and reach the meat, the meat juices explode in your mouth.

Little wonder why this - and burgers in general - are so universally loved and craved for.

I am surprised that this SV Short Rib Beef burger is not sold (maybe, I am not aware) in eateries here because it is relative cheap to make.

And on a flamed-grill, it should taste even better.

The hurdle is perhaps getting a Sous Vide appliance rigged up. Sous Vide Supreme is the easiest way to go but not the cheapest. I personally prefer Sous Vide Magic as it gives me more flexibility in terms of portability and the fact that it can enable cookers of any size.   

This is my SV Magic  set up. Un-glam but it works very well
Lots of eggs here!
I paid about SGD$200 for this and it has paid for the price many times over cooking with chicken, eggs, pork and fish for family, home guests and large parties. Every other Sunday, it does faithful duty as an egg maker for my church's breakfast, cooking 140 perfect soft-boiled eggs at one go. I have also used it for many fine dining parties as it allows me to cook efficiently. I don't have a well-staffed restaurant kitchen to work in, and so, great appliances like this do double work for me.

Coming back to the short rib burger, the idea is simple. Sous Vide cook the beef for 36 hours at 55C. I am using the well-marbled USDA choice Angus cut. Then cut the beef proportionately to the bread you want to serve it with. Sear it on all sides in a hot pan. Assemble. Serve.

Pan Searing
Toast your bread. I pan-seared these in some of the leftover oil from the meat
Cut to size and seared
If you are a burger lover, I shouldn't need to tell you what accompaniments to add. This is a Western staple anyway and there are millions of recipes on the net, some by famous chefs. Get some good bread. Remember to toast the cut surface. The best burger is the one you like and you should experiment with different veg etc till you assemble what you like. Short rib beef is well marbled and rich and so, you need to balance that.

For this USDA cut, a thickness of 1 cm or slightly less than half an inch should work best (see below). Of if you insist, you can pamper yourself with a thicker cut (see lead photo).

Another version with arugula leaves and egg
What I like about using SV Short Rib is that you don't need to mince your beef and prepare your own patty. It has the perfect texture for burgers. I can't find words to describe the taste except to say that this is one of the best burgers I have ever eaten.

I am not sure whether I have convinced you enough but I think Sous Vide should be used more widely in home kitchens.

And some burger joints should be seriously looking into making and selling this.

I buy my beef supply from Mmmm Fresh. If you are on the Western side, visit West Coast Plaza (Basement level) and ask for Alex. He will serve you well.

And just in case you are wondering, I do not personally benefit from the adverts here. I am happy to recommend as these are all great value buys as long as you know how to make full use of it. :)


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  1. wow your setup is amazing1! DIY!

  2. the burger looks SO delicious! can imagine how fork tender it is! Am inspired to use the SV Supreme and thinking of ordering it. How do I deal with the difference in voltage that the US appliance carries?

  3. Best to email and check with the manufacturer. Google the sites. I use Sous Vide Magic and the manufacturer is very responsive re your inquiries

  4. Appreciate your reply. Am thinking of slow-roasting the boneless short rib in the oven. I've successfully slow roasted prime rib in the oven at about 120C for about 3 hours for a 3 kg chunk of meat, but since the short rib is quite tough, think it will have to take a much longer time. Any ideas on how long and at what temperature to slow roast the short rib?

    1. Have not slow roast this cut before but this recipe should be helpful:

  5. inspiried by you, i went to order a sous-vide magic and it's on the way! can i ask, what kind of bags do you use? i read that some people freezer ziplocs, but im worried that for things such as beef short ribs where the cooking time is so long, those won't be a good option.

    1. I use vacuum bags which I bought from TOTTs. They are food-safe and also design for the vacuum sealer. I have the pics and some info here

  6. Just curious? Where do you buy the produce in Singapore? Thanks

    1. If u r referring to the short rib beef, the info is in the post. For my other produce, I get them from wet markets, super arts etc