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Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment (Part 5)

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#91 e_monster

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 11:02 AM

e_monster,

I saw back a while your PID settings with a roaster. are they still 250-900-100 or did you find better settings. I used auto tune  and I hang below temp a degree or 2 longer than I like while it stabilizes

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Before I give my answer, I should point out that Suyi at Auber Instruments is super helpful. He has suggested to me that for a large cooker with a lot of latency (like the tabletop roasters) setting I to 0 (thus turning the controller into a PD rather than PID) is the best way to go. I haven't done that because I have been happy with the settings I found. But I will try it when I have a little spare time.

Since my original post, I have also purchased the 3rd generation PID with auto-tune. For the roaster full of water, auto-tune came up with P32 I 998 D 499

Note that a couple of those settings are outside of what you can manually set. So, when setting manually I use the closest settings to that that the PID will allow.

Those settings are rock solid once it come up to temp. I start with hot water in the roaster since my hot water heater is a more efficient water heater than the table top roaster. I let the water in the roaster get up to temp before I add the food. It stabilizes quite quickly -- but I do wait until it has stabilized to add the food. These table-top roasters have a LOT of latency due to the double-walled design.

Also, make sure to use Fahrenheit settings as that give you better granularity (since 1 degree fahrnenheit is about 1/2 degree C).

#92 sareed

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 01:03 PM

Thanks monster,

I re autotuned it after I was at set temp and after I did that My temp is solid. it has nor budged in 4 hours

#93 nickrey

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 05:47 PM

I use the Fresh Meal Solutions Sous Vide Magic PID and was having problems getting the parameters correct.

The auto tune came up with values similar to those of e-monster, which I thought were quite unusual given what is written in the manual. Also, when I tried them, it was not maintaining the temperature as well as I wanted.

I use a rice cooker (Tiger brand, admittedly a smaller one because of space limitations in my kitchen). It had been overshooting the set temperature and took ages to fall back it because of the rice cooker's extremely good insulation.

Reading through the SVM manual, I found an adjustment that limits the power output of the device. It is expressed a a percentage of power and in essence reduces the output wattage according to the percentage set. Once I set mine at 75 (75%), the refinement of PID parameters was much easier.

It now maintains a rock-solid temperature and does not overshoot the target as it used to.

Edited by nickrey, 21 February 2009 - 05:49 PM.

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#94 e_monster

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 07:10 PM

If anyone is having trouble finding the right settings with a large cooker, it is probably worth trying with I set to 0. Apparently with large devices where there is a slow response time, setting I to 0 will often make things work much better and reduce or eliminate overshoot. He feels that often using PID controllers as either PI or PD is often more effective than using as PID.

Suyi also mentioned that when experimenting with your own settings, it is generally a good idea to set I to 1/4 of D if you don't set I to 0. He offered this tip: when experimenting, start with a large D value and set I to 1/4 D. If that doesn't work, reduce D by 50% and set I to 1/4 of that.

#95 Heartsurgeon

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 01:45 PM

well, i sous vided some brisket for 48 hours at 147 degrees. salt, pepper, stick of butter in the bag.

meh..

it was ok, but nothing to die for.

next time, i think i'll try it 135..

anyone with a killer sous vide brisket recipe??

#96 e_monster

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 01:59 PM

Make sure to get a decently marbled brisket and trim almost all of the fat cap off (not much of it will render). I honestly don't think you need to do anything other than season it (salt and pepper). I don't think you need to any any fat in the bag. When it is done, I would brown one or both sides in a very hot pan or with a blowtorch and serve with sourcream and horseradish.

I have found that the quality of the brisket is important--especially if you are cooking the flat. Some flats have almost no marbling.

That being said, while the briskets have come out great since I shifted to 135F, I think that short ribs are a tastier meal.

#97 slkinsey

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 02:17 PM

Yea. Brisket sous vide can be really tasty, but I haven't ever found it eye-opening. The most interesting effect you can get is infusing the meat with whatever flavorings you might have in the bag. I often will put in some caramelized onions and a little fresh rosemary.
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#98 smashz

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 10:02 PM

well, i sous vided some brisket for 48 hours at 147 degrees. salt, pepper, stick of butter in the bag.

meh..

it was ok, but nothing to die for.

next time, i think i'll try it 135..

anyone with a killer sous vide brisket recipe??

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I rubbed and smoked a brisket for 2 hours over fig wood, then SV 48 hrs. @ 146F/63C. It was very good, and much better than the conventionally smoked one that I compared to it. Photo

#99 mark_anderson_us

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 08:30 AM

Well I did my first long cook SV this weekend and ate the dish last night. Was extremely disappointed with results. I'm sure some of it is down to my technique.

I have an old polyscience IC (got a few months ago on ebay for a few hundred $) and 8" deep acrylic full size hotel pan with lid. (I cut the lid to fit around the SV heater and used a Extech thermometer to monitor water temperature (as Poly has analogue scale and wasn't sure about accuracy/stability). Never varied by even 0.1C in 3 days.

I cooked short ribs at 55.4C (131.8F) for about 76 hours, followed by a few minutes per side in hot skillet. (Originally planned them to be on for about 48 hours, but dinner plans changed on Sunday). All I used was S&P and a bit of garlic salt.

Colour was fantastic: perfect medium rare and texture was pretty good (when I could find meat).

The taste and smell however were somewhat odd/unpleasant. After starting cooking, I read about 40-50 pages of this thread and realized I should have probably taken all of the fat off. I've seen other people mention an off taste with long cooking times.

Can anyone offer any hints/tips on what I did wrong?

It was very disappointing after such a long wait. Problem now is the WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) has reduced significantly :-(. My next dish (hopefully chicken curry tonight) better be spot on.

Regards


Mark

#100 Bob_Davis

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 08:47 AM

Mark,

Welcome to the forum! I'm not the expert you seek, as I've only been doing SV for a few weeks. I've tried 48 hr. short ribs a few times now. The first time with just basic seasoning, S&P. Results were OK, and everyone enjoyed them, but I thought they could be better. Next time I used a store-bought beef marinade (Stubbs) and I thought they were excellent, much improved from the first batch.

So far, chuck roast with a marinade is my favorite SV dish. 30-48 hrs. really does a nice job on chuck. I suspect you're right on the trimming. The short ribs should be trimmed pretty well.

Bob

#101 photon

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 01:02 PM

I'm sure that buried deep within these pages there is a bitchin' recipe for artichoke, but I can't seem to find it. does anyone have suggestions? time? temp? olive oil in the bag? I know TK does artichokes but I haven't gotten around to shelling out the $75 for Under Pressure yet (It's on my list) any ideas would be cool, thanks

#102 e_monster

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 07:25 PM

I've never cooked meat for 76 hours but have done many a brisket and short rib for 48 hours. I have never had an off flavor -- but I haven't used garlic salt either. Raw garlic can lend an off-taste. I would think that garlic salt would be ok but that could be the culprit.

The other possibility is that the meat itself had some off-flavors to start off with. Did you notice anything before you put it in the bag?

For future reference, if your dinner plans change like that in the future, take the meat out of the bath after 48 hours and chill in an ice bath and store in the fridge or the freezer (see Doug Baldwin's pages for guidelines about storage) and then put the meat back in the bath an or or two before you will be serving it to bring it up to temp.

Decent quality, well-trimmed short ribs cooked at 133 for 48 hours should taste like a nice roast beef with no off-flavors at all.

Well I did my first long cook SV this weekend and ate the dish last night. Was extremely disappointed with results. I'm sure some of it is down to my technique.

.....

I cooked short ribs at 55.4C (131.8F) for about 76 hours, followed by a few minutes per side in hot skillet. (Originally planned them to be on for about 48 hours, but dinner plans changed on Sunday). All I used was S&P and a bit of garlic salt.

Colour was fantastic: perfect medium rare and texture was pretty good (when I could find meat).

The taste and smell however were somewhat odd/unpleasant.

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#103 howsmatt

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 06:29 AM

I also had an off flavour when I cooked something for a long time. I think it was due to my plastic bag. Make sure if you cook for a long time that you have boil safe bags. I only made this mistake once and have not had problems since.

2 day chuck is amazing, it's how I sold my wife on all this.

I cooked 36 hours then froze it. Out of the freezer and ready at the same time as my sides-a med-rare steak that cost $3! That should convince anyone.

#104 mark_anderson_us

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 07:13 AM

I've tried 48 hr. short ribs a few times now.  The first time with just basic seasoning, S&P.  Results were OK, and everyone enjoyed them, but I thought they could be better.  Next time I used a store-bought beef marinade (Stubbs) and I thought they were excellent, much improved from the first batch.

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Thanks for reply bob
What temp did you do them at and how do you finish them? How much of the fat did you remove before you bagged them?

I wish I'd taken photos of them. Maybe it was just a bad batch: there seemed to be so little meat on them. My wife actually asked if they were pork (because the flavor was so odd)!

Edited by mark_anderson_us, 25 February 2009 - 07:13 AM.


#105 mark_anderson_us

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 07:16 AM

For future reference, if your dinner plans change like that in the future, take the meat out of the bath after 48 hours and chill in an ice bath and store in the fridge or the freezer (see Doug Baldwin's pages for guidelines about storage) and then put the meat back in the bath an or or two before you will be serving it to bring it up to temp.


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Thanks for reply e_monster.

I didn't notice any strange smell before bagging. Never occurred to me to take them out for 24 hours, but I was curious to see how they would be after 72.

Regards

Mark

#106 mark_anderson_us

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 07:18 AM

I also had an off flavour when I cooked something for a long time.  I think it was due to my plastic bag.  Make sure if you cook for a long time that you have boil safe bags.  I only made this mistake once and have not had problems since.

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Thanks for reply howsmatt

I'm using foodsaver rolls, so these should be OK. I;ve stred, but never cooked, food in them before. Maybe I'll try the chuck this weekend in some beef bourgignon

Regards

Mark

#107 BradUrani

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 07:52 AM

Baby Back Pork Ribs

Has anyone tried them? I have some in the bath now at 135 with some 5 spice, garlic and ginger. I was planning on 24 hours, but I could go 48. I was thinking I'd take the juice from the bag, add honey, reduce to a glaze, brush it on the ribs and blow torch them to make a bark. What has been your experiences with this cut of meat?

#108 NY_Amateur

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 08:19 AM

I have not done ribs but I have done meats with garlic and ginger and my main advice here is to use way less then you think, the flavors an become incredible strong over a long cook time in the bag. good luck and let us know how it works out.
Sous Vide Or Not Sous Vide - My sous vide blog where I attempt to cook every recipe in Under Pressure.

#109 Bob_Davis

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 08:49 AM

Thanks for reply bob
What temp did you do them at and how do you finish them? How much of the fat did you remove before you bagged them?

I wish I'd taken photos of them. Maybe it was just a bad batch: there seemed to be so little meat on them. My wife actually asked if they were pork (because the flavor was so odd)!

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Mark,

I do short ribs at 135F for 48 hrs. I might try 131F sometime, but some of my friends don't like their meat too pink. Out of the bag into a Hot cast iron skillet with canola oil. First time I dropped a chuck roast into the skillet, it was way too hot! Sent up a huge cloud of smoke that my crappy little exhaust hood couldn't handle. I've learned to tone it down a little using the skillet indoors.

I only had to do very minimal trimming on the short ribs. They were already trimmed up nicely at the butcher shop.

Bob

#110 e_monster

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 10:19 AM

Enter "baby back" in the search topic box towards the bottom of the page and you will find several posts about this. Short version, I smoke them for 15 minutes in a stovetop smoker and cook at 170F for 5 to 6 hours and then brown with a propane blow torch. They are falling off the bone tender.

I don't think that I would cook them at a much lower temp since the fat won't do much rendering and (at least for me) a big part of the rib experience is contribute by the melted fat. And at that temp, I wouldn't cook much longer than 6 hours.

Baby Back Pork Ribs

Has anyone tried them?  I have some in the bath now at 135 with some 5 spice, garlic and ginger. I was planning on 24 hours, but I could go 48. I was thinking I'd take the juice from the bag, add honey, reduce to a glaze, brush it on the ribs and blow torch them to make a bark. What has been your experiences with this cut of meat?

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#111 auds

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 01:28 PM

Hey sous vidies,
Thanks for all the amazing info. Plowing my way through the thread got me excited enough about trying sous vide at home to order up an Auber PID and a tabletop food warmer. Thought you might enjoy hearing the story of my first trip out.

I was cooking a big dinner party and had planned on serving hot spring eggs and SV black cod. I'd tested both in the weeks before the party and loved the results--I was sure guests were going to be into it.

Unfortunately, the morning of the party I took off a chunk of my thumb with the mandoline, so I spent the rest of the day behind on my work, dropping stuff because of my slippery glove, etc. When I got the water bath up and running, it was way later in the day than I'd planned and *could not* get the temp to stabilize. It just kept shooting way, way up--like 20 degrees C over what I'd set. I spent the night manually turning the food warmer on and off to keep the temperature somewhere near the goal zone, dumping in ice cubes and just generally being pissed at the whole thing.

Everything turned out okay, but the fish was way hotter than I wanted it to be. As I lay in bed that night mentally going over the entire day, a little light bulb illuminated: in my rush to get things hooked up, I'd plugged the PID into the wall then plugged the warmer into...the wall. Oops. That's one fancy thermometer.

The moral of the story is that no amount of technology can fix stupid. Next time I will make sure to make myself a little "Pants first, then shoes"-esque sign. Sheesh.

#112 AVFOOL

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 02:41 PM

It sounds like a nightmare. For fish like cod or salmon try olive oil poach at 60 deg for 15 minutes. It is my favorite way of cooking fish. I like it more than SV in bag.

#113 RWells

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 09:46 PM

Anyone catch the final of Top Chef tonight? One of the finalist let her sous chef talk her into a sous vide NY strip even though she had no experience with it. The meat was judged to be tough. No particulars as to timing and technique. Did see them Food Saver bagging the meat but no water bath or temp controlling equipment was shown. They were cooking at Commander's in New Orleans.
Even Samantha Brown would have hard time summoning a "wow" for this. Anthony Bourdain

#114 NY_Amateur

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 09:54 PM

That is odd, i mean usually with a tender cut like ny strip you just have to get it up to temp, sear it and it is golden, I have cooked these loads of time doing the minimum time from Douglas' site and have never experienced this, I wonder what went wrong...
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#115 divalasvegas

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 10:42 PM

Actually, the cut of beef used by contestant Carla was referred to as sirloin and the resulting texture was deemed tough by the judges. She and her sous chef had a three hour time limit. Is that not long enough to properly cook sirloin via the sous vide method or is that method inadvisable with that cut of meat? I know nothing about sous vide but marvel a the glorious food you are all able to prepare with this technique. Just awful that her sous chef would suggest a method of cooking she herself obviously didn't know how to do properly.

Edited by divalasvegas, 26 February 2009 - 12:01 AM.

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#116 RWells

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 06:43 AM

If sirloin were indeed the cut then that would be a little more problematic and could explain the toughness. I don't think sirloin is a cut that is ideal for sous vide. Kind of a tweener. Not the tender cut that you nail at 131 in an hour and a half or the tough or the flavorful cuts like short rib that you cook for ever.
Even Samantha Brown would have hard time summoning a "wow" for this. Anthony Bourdain

#117 nathanm

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 09:23 AM

Sirloin can be tough. 3 hours is pretty marginal timing, particularly if it was thick.

That said, there is no cooking techique that could render it tender in that timeframe unless you cook it to death, which of course you could do with sous vide also.

If I had to cook sirloin that might be tough in 3 hours, I would still use sous vide. If possible I would jaccard it. I would make sure that it was not too thick (cutting it if need be) and then cook it at 125F/51C to 130F/54C, then sear.

The key however is to plate it thinly sliced and fanned out. Or thin sliced as part of a dish like fajitas, thai beef salad etc.

Regardless of whether you cook it sous vide, or cook it any other way, you aren't going to tenderize it in that time frame without overcooking it. So you need to deal with the toughness mechanically. Thin slicing and jaccard are about the only way to "tenderize" it in that time frame.
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#118 RWells

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 10:53 AM

It just seems crazy that she would pick sirloin as a "meat and potato" meal for all of the money. They showed her butchering the large primal cut and it looked (albeit on a real fast cut) like a portion with some rib in it. Not the sirloin. As Nathan says the three hour window doesn't allow for an easy way to pull it off either sous vide or conventional. Her only hope was to cook it conventionally and then slice it thinly and hope for the best. She from the pictures served in a large piece of meat. She had a free rein with product, nail a two hour strip that we all know and love. I hope this doesn't mean that the public become disenchanted with sous vide.
Even Samantha Brown would have hard time summoning a "wow" for this. Anthony Bourdain

#119 BradUrani

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 12:49 PM

Baby Back Ribs Results

I rubbed the ribs with a paste of garlic, ginger and salt then sprinkled Chinese 5 spice powder on top. Then I vacuum packed them and cooked SV for 24 hours.

First surprise was that they lost a huge amount of liquid which worried me. I tasted ate one straight from the bath and was surprised by how nice the texture was. They were soft but not mushy. Perfect texture. The taste was very subtle... actually they were bland and that disappointed me.

So I took the juice from the bags, added honey, barley malt syrup, soy sauce, black vinegar and some dried thai chilis and reduced it to a glaze. Then I brushed the glaze on the ribs and cooked it on with a torch.

The result was an intensely delicious, sweet, spicy porky bark on perfectly cooked soft pork meat that lacked flavor. The fat didn't render out, but since I used very high quality meat there were no bothersome stripes of fat.

They were good, but not nearly as good as smoked ribs. I'm going to try it again but next time I'm going to marinate them for several days to see if I can up the flavor quotient.

#120 Edward Dekker

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 03:58 PM

It just seems crazy that she would pick sirloin as a "meat and potato" meal for all of the money.  They showed her butchering the large primal cut and it looked (albeit on a real fast cut) like a portion with some rib in it.  Not the sirloin. 

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It looked like NY Strip to me and that is how the Bravo Recipe page identifies the steak.

I did a google search and the recaps I found which mention the cut of meat Carla used all stated it was NY Strip.


The recipe for the steak on the Bravo recipe page omits the Sous Vide cooking.





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