Take the 2-minute tour ×
Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Does anybody have any experience cooking crocodile meat sous-vide?

We found some crocodile meat at our local butcher, and bought some on a whim. Judging by appearances, it looked quite a lot like fish, but felt much firmer and stiffer - more like pork.

Not having found any information on cooking crocodile sous-vide, we went with a safe 60℃ for 4 hours. Although the result wasn't bad, I thought it could have been better. It certainly wasn't tough but it was very firm, somewhat dry and gave an impression of having been overcooked - not unlike chicken breast at ~65℃.

I'm wondering whether anybody had done the trial & error on this, or whether I'll have to give it a few more shots myself :-)

share|improve this question
1  
Sadly, I was barely able to find any credible references to traditional cooking methods for croc; only one even mentioned variation between the different cuts. There was not a single credible reference I could find for sous-vide methods on crocodile meat. Here is the one source that even distinguished between cuts, an provided three sample recipes, in case it provides you with any inspiration: culinarymadness.webs.com/apps/blog/show/… –  SAJ14SAJ Apr 22 '13 at 11:35
1  
In my limited experience with croc meat (not sous vide) it's been dry and like overcooked chicken breast no matter how it was prepared. I think that it is a very dense meat to begin with and lacks fat so it's not going to have the same tender mouthfeel regardless of how it's cooked. –  Brendan Apr 22 '13 at 18:37
    
Might be similar to alligator? But from quick searching, I only found "160-165F for safety" recommendations, not a temperature chosen for tenderness. –  Jefromi Apr 23 '13 at 21:46
    
Let me preface this with the fact that I've never cooked crocodile, nor have I sous vide any reptile but I think of alligator tail meat as being more similar in texture to cod of catfish. If you're up to experimenting a bit more try cooking it as you would one of those fish. Myhrvold lists 41˚C core temperature for tender cod cooked sous vide, so you might start there. As @Brendan mentioned Croc and alligator are very lean, so be sure to include a healthy dollop of butter or olive oil in the pouch. –  Didgeridrew May 10 '13 at 5:02
2  
Another issue you need to consider is the common presence of salmonella in reptiles. The low temps used for fish will not pasteurize it so it might be prudent to place the sealed pouch into boiling water for 1 minute, move to an ice bath for 10 minutes, then sous vide for an hour at 42-45˚C. –  Didgeridrew May 10 '13 at 5:02

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Out of personal experience and out of personal taste I'll give you the following:

  1. If you like it moist 55 degrees C for 4 hours.
  2. If you like it to feel like steak: cook it like steak.
  3. If you like your meat to feel more like fish cook it like steak for 20 minutes. Then drop the temperature by 10 degrees C.
share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.