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Memorial Day Menu Guide

Make the most of your Memorial Day—whether you’re cooking for a crowd or keeping it low-key with a small group—by using sous vide to help with meal prep.


If you’re like us and Memorial Day has seemingly appeared out of nowhere, not to worry—with a little planning and some sous vide tricks up your sleeve, you can pull off an effortless feast that sets the bar for a summer of eating al fresco. To get you started, we’ve rounded up our favorite seasonal recipes that capitalize on summer flavors. The best part? Each one can be prepped ahead of time so you can enjoy every minute of the long weekend.

The Appetizer

Everyone knows that the ruby-red, juicy center of a watermelon is the best part. But did you know that by compressing it, you can make the entire melon taste as good as the center? It’s true—learn the technique in this recipe for compressed watermelon with chilled farro and aged balsamic vinaigrette. On the morning of your get-together, seal the watermelon and start the farro in a water bath, then just assemble the appetizers before guests arrive.

The Entree

Chicken or beef? With the sous vide method, both can be done handily for a Memorial Day menu. For the former, a cedar plank elevates the basic grilled chicken breast to something a bit more special. For the latter, it’s hard to go wrong with a classic flat iron steak. The coffee rub lends richness and flavor, and a long cooking time—24 hours—means you can prep this dish a day in advance and finish with a quick sear on the grill. Regardless which protein you pick, no one needs to know how little time you spent getting the main course on the table.

The Cocktail

Packed with flavors of lemon, ginger, and strawberry, the Kentucky Buck from Polite Provisions in San Diego might just become our summer go-to. Infuse the bourbon ahead of time to make your day-of prep as easy as measure, shake, and serve.

The Dessert

It wouldn’t be a Memorial Day feast without dessert—but that doesn’t mean the sweets have to verge into sensory-overload territory. Instead, keep it light and fresh with a simple grilled fruit skewer that’s been just barely kissed by the hot grill grates. Making the coulis and syrup ahead of time means that this dessert can go from prepping to plating in less than 10 minutes.



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The first publication devoted to the art and science of sous vide cooking, featuring innovative recipes, visual inspiration, expert techniques for cooking sous vide at home, and exclusive interviews with world-class chefs.