Sous Vide Turkey Breast for Sandwiches

If you have a sous vide circulator, making your own turkey for sandwiches is incredibly easy and the result is tastier than the stuff at the store.

N.B.: You’ll notice that in the photos I left the skin on the turkey breast. That was a mistake. I highly recommend that you remove the skin and as much fat as possible before cooking it. I attempted to sear it before slicing, but I ended up removing the skin from what I actually ate.

Just looking for time and temperature recommendations for turkey breast? 145F (~63C) for 2.5 hours.


  • 1 Whole Turkey breast, bone-in and skin-on
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Instructions

  1. Remove the skin and as much fat from the turkey breast as you can.
  2. With a sharp boning knife, remove the breast meat from the breastbone. Save it for turkey broth.
  3. Season both halves of the breast meat with salt and pepper to your liking.
  4. Vacuum seal each half individually and save one in the freezer for later. Seal the bag twice to avoid leaks. Or, if you don’t have a vacuum sealer, put each in a ziplock bag and use the water displacement method to remove the air before sealing them.
  5. Set your sous vide water bath to 145F (~63C) and put one of the halves of turkey breast in. If you used a ziplock bag, make sure to clip the zipper part to the side of the container to avoid leaks.
  6. Let the turkey cook for 2.5 hours. (If you are cooking the frozen one you set aside and it is still frozen, cook it for 3.5 hours.)
  7. Remove the turkey from the water bath. If you like warm turkey sandwiches, open the bag and slice the turkey immediately and assemble your sandwiches.
  8. If you prefer cold turkey sandwiches (as I do), plunge the bag of turkey into an ice bath to cool it down, then leave it in the fridge for three hours. After it is properly chilled, open the bag, remove the juices and congealed fat, then slice for sandwiches.


Assemble sandwiches.

Enjoy! Om nom nom.

Copycat at Home: Holeman & Finch Burger

When I have a good dish at a restaurant, I sometimes try to recreate it. I’ll chronicle these things in the Copycat at Home series.

I went to Holeman & Finch a year ago after learning about their famed burger. Though it was raining and we had to wait for an Uber, I insisted that my boss Dusty and I go. We had a few drinks and small plates (beets and charcuterie, if I recall), and each reserved one of the 24 burgers for the 10pm serving. It was incredibly delicious.

Fast forward one year: Amanda and I were watching Anthony Bourdain’s The Layover on Netflix and he went to Holeman & Finch. Overcome with the memories of that delicious burger that all rushed back to me, I vowed to recreate it.

I think I came pretty close. Regardless, this process took my burgers-at-home game to a higher level. Here are my notes.

The Bun

H&F makes their own buns in-house. I’m not quite there yet, so I took a look at a bunch of photos of the H&F burgers and decided to go with a French brioche bun.

It is important to toast the inside of the bun to get a nice squish on top with a slight crunch as you bite in to the burger. The easiest way to do this is to lightly butter the inside, then place place it butter-side down in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes.

Toasting brioche buns Toasted Brioche Buns

The Beef

The chef at H&F grinds his own blend of beef in-house and is pretty tight-lipped about it. He uses a blend of brisket and chuck, so the beef should have a high fat to lean ratio. I decided to go with 20% fat, 80% lean for this version, and I’m pleased with that. This commonly goes under the name, “ground chuck” at the store. Spare me the jokes, I’ve heard most of them.

Make two 4oz patties, keep them thin to maximize the Maillard reaction, then sear them over medium high heat until golden brown on each side. When you flip the burger, add the onions on the side you just seared and cover with a slice of cheese. See topping notes below.

Seared burgers topped with onions and cheese

The Toppings

  • American cheese – Go to the store and get some delicious processed Kraft American “cheese.”
  • Onions soaked in water – H&F uses red onions. I made this burger on three separate occasions with different ingredients and didn’t have much of an opinion either way on whether the onions were red or yellow. Use what you have on hand. Slice them and soak them in water until ready to use.
  • Pickles – H&F uses bread and butter pickles that they make in-house. I prefer half sour pickles, so I used those. Your preference.


Take the two finished patties, stack them on top of the toasted bottom bun, top off with a few pickle slices, then put the toasted top bun on top of it all. Devour.

Burger topped with pickles


Copycat Holeman & Finch burger


  • Once you’ve made this burger a few times, you’ll become fast enough at it to make it for lunch. Delicious.
  • I use a cast iron skillet for searing all meat.
  • I tried one burger with a spicy aioli on the bottom bun. This isn’t traditional for the H&F burger, but it is certainly a tasty addition.

Making Hot Dogs Without a Grill

Happy National Hot Dog Day!

When summer roles around and it gets hot outside, I start to get a craving for hot dogs. I prefer cooking hot dogs on the grill, which became a problem last fall when we moved into an apartment without a porch or access to a grill of any sort.

I don’t like to eat boiled hot dogs (sorry, Dad!) and my grill pan leaves a lot to be desired (namely the lack of smokey grill flavor), so I had to search for another way to make them. I found the solution when I watched the cook one day at Five Guys. He cut the hotdog down the middle lengthwise and butterflied it, then cooked it on the griddle. This is how Shake Shack does it now, too.

Griddled Hot Dogs at Home

  • Heat a few tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium high heat. (I used my favorite cast iron skillet, but you can use any heavy-bottomed skillet.)
  • Split your hot dogs lengthwise and butterfly them.
  • Once the butter has started to brown, place the hot dogs inside-down in the pan.
  • Get a piece of aluminum foil big enough to cover the pan, place it on top of the hot dogs, and then put something heavy on top to weigh down the dogs. I use a brick covered in foil, but you could use a smaller pan or a saucepan filled partially with water. (Don’t get the water on the hot dogs!)
  • After about 3-4 minutes when the dogs start to look crispy on the inside, flip them over and cook another 3-4 minutes.
  • While the dogs are cooking, open your potato buns so that the inside is facing up and toast them under the broiler in your oven for 1 minute.
  • When everything is done, assemble! Try some of the suggested toppings below.
butter splitting hot dogs hot dogs in a cast iron skillet


Suggested toppings:

  • Sauerkraut
  • Hot pepper relish
  • Raw onions and stadium mustard
  • Cheese sauce and french fried onions
  • Cheese sauce and Hormel Chili, no beans (Amanda’s topping of choice)

My topping of choice today was a tangy homemade cucumber kimchi:



If you happen to run out of buns or none of the stores in your area have them (which is what happened to us last week), you can get crafty with a loaf of bread and a knife:


The Half-Pound BLT

We take sandwiches very seriously in the Grimmett household. We are picky about the ingredients and the way they are arranged. Admittedly, sometimes we take things a little too far, but as our friend Thomas says, “If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.” We agree.

BLTs (I’m referring to bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches, not one of the other 105 possible meanings of that acronym) are really good. If you are just starting to learn how to cook, start with something simple and delicious like the BLT. It will taste great, ease you into cooking for yourself and others, and be a solid option you can experiment with and make variations of for the rest of your life. Here is my version.

The most important part of a BLT is the bacon, so don’t skimp here. Go buy some quality bacon (if you need help, consult this book), then take a moment to consider how you are going to prepare it to maximize its value on the sandwich. Here is what I recommend:

  • Cut the bacon to slightly larger than the size of the bread you are using. It will shrink a little while cooking, so the finished product should be the same size as your bread. Edge-to-edge porky, smokey goodness. In this sandwich I used a half-pound, but if you aren’t feeling quite as hungry you can use less.
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
  • Lay your bacon on a foil-lined pan, making sure it overlaps. This is crucial because you want to be able to move your slab of cooked bacon to the bread in one easy step.
  • Cook it for 20-30 minutes depending on how thick the bacon is and how crispy you like it. Turn on the broiler for the last 5 to ensure it gets crispy.

Our bacon stared out like this:


And ended up like this:



What’s next? Condiments. Most people use mayo, but if you have a ripe avocado around, mash it up with two tablespoons of sour cream until it turns into a creamy paste like so:

IMG_9456 (1)


Wash your lettuce, slice the tomatoes, and slice off a piece of red onion, then you are ready to assemble the great sandwich that awaits you.

  • Take a thick piece of toast, spread on some of the avocado cream, and push a few pieces of red onion down into it.
  • Then carefully lay the bacon on top such that it covers the whole piece of toast. The goal is to have is bacon in every bite.
  • Layer on the tomatoes and crisp lettuce.
  • Top it all off with another piece of thick toast.

Flip it over, cut it in half, then get your phone ready to snap a pic for Instagram. (If you actually do post it to instagram, use the hashtag #cooklikechuck !)

It should look something like this:

IMG_9469 (2)