[Moderator note: The original Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment topic became too large for our servers to handle efficiently, so we've divided it up; the preceding part of this discussion is here: Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment (Part 6)]
I was confit-ing belly pork last night at 80C. Following the recipe I had cut up the belly pork into roughly 2.5cmx3cm chunks, brined for 36 hours, then dried and bagged with some fat.
I was intending to let them cook at 80C for anywhere between 12-16 hours. It was 18 hours when I realised that I hadn't taken them out of the bath yet. There is a lot of fluid from the bag. I presume it is the extra liquid taken on by the meat in the brine, plus some of its own juices.
I have read about a 3 stage cooling process to try to maximise juiciness of protein which has been cooked en sous vide. I believe that small chunks of meat (admittedly they were all in the same bag, but no more than 4cm thick at all) cooked at 80C for 18 hours should be relatively safe/sterile, so I have tried cooling them more slowly than I would normally with anything cooked at lower temperatures for shorter times.
Is this the best way to try to improve the juiciness of the meat, or is it a lost cause? Also, is it potentially dangerous? I would have thought that 80C for 18 hours is a very high temperature for a very long period of time, and that almost all bacteria would have been destroyed.
BTW, once the contents have cooled, I plan to deep fry them before serving.
Thanks for your opinions!
Edited by Mjx, 24 July 2013 - 02:27 AM.
Moderator note added.