Is sous vide needed for better cuts of meat?

In the General Sous Vide Questions Forum
I have had several sous vide prepared meats that were tender and flavorful even though they were relatively "lower" cuts of meat. Does sous vide preparation make much of a difference with better cuts of meat?

3 Replies So Far

Sous vide really has 2 different uses. 1) Cook food perfectly. 2) Transform food in ways not achievable by other cooking techniques.

When dealing with "lesser" cuts of meat or some types of fish it falls under #2. The transformation that takes place in a short rib can't be done any other way. These types of foods really have a dramatic transformation and the resulting dish is unique to sous vide.

The types of food in #1 are the higher quality and less tough cuts. Sous vide's biggest benefit to them is to cook them perfectly, with even color throughout. With the proper skill level, you can replicate what sous vide does to a rib eye steak, or at least come close to it, using a grill or hot pan, it's just a lot more difficult.

So, in my opinion, sous vide is great for both meat types but the results are a lot more dramatic for the "lesser" and tougher cuts.
I would concur that results for better cuts are entirely replicable with conventional techniques. Advantages I have found:

1. Reproduction: one can achieve exactly the same result, every single time without fail.

2. Uniformity: Perfectly done across the steak/meat, not quite possible with normal techniques though one can get pretty close.

3. Mass cooking: Takes the drama out of cooking for large numbers, e.g. dinner parties or BBQs. Meat all done at the same time and desired doneness, and can be held there for a long time. For BBQs it removes the uncertainty and allows a lovely charred outside but without a ruined inner.

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