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Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment, 2011


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#181 OliverB

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 10:02 AM

I got some fillet mignon at costco, I usually avoid that cut for price/tase reasons, but I'm curious what it'll do SV.

I also always brown the meat after the SV bath, I take it out of the bath, let it cool a bit in the bag, then it goes in the very hot cast iron pan for about 30 sec each side, which is usually plenty to form a delicious crust, I did not need to get the torch out so far.

But with rib eye, there's too much fat IMO, and cutting it all off is certainly an option, just a bit of an expensive one. That's why I'm looking for other/leaner cuts that people love to make SV. One of the main things I love about SV is that I can prep something hours before dinner, run around with the kids and come home to an almost finished dinner that I can finalize in 30 min or less. Great help AND the meat comes out great!
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#182 roygon

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 11:43 AM

Thanks all for the feedback on the steak issues. It sure isn't intuitive to me that it takes about half an hour to take a 1.5" stake from 5 to 55C and then another hour to raise the heat and then get it to 62 so thanks for that info.

rg

#183 nathanm

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 11:47 AM

Thanks all for the feedback on the steak issues. It sure isn't intuitive to me that it takes about half an hour to take a 1.5" stake from 5 to 55C and then another hour to raise the heat and then get it to 62 so thanks for that info.

rg

I think you have a typo.

It takes about 1.5 hours to get from 5C to 55C (in a 56C bath).

It takes about 45 to 50 minutes to get from 55C to 62C (in a 63C bath).

So, it is just about half of the cooking time of going all the way from the refridgerator.

Yes, it is definitely counterintuitive. That is why the cooking tables are important.
Nathan

#184 roygon

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 11:56 AM

Sorry I wasn't really clear. I meant that if you had a 5C steak in a 62C bath it is faster to get from 5C to 55C than it is to get from 55C to 62C (although my math was off a bit now that I recheck it). I know that the rate of heat increase will decrease as the temperatures get closer but didn't think it was that dramatic of a difference.

edit: Actually just re-read what I said in the previous post and I was totally wrong. I was thinking in my head one thing and writing another

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Edited by roygon, 05 March 2011 - 12:02 PM.


#185 FoodMan

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 08:58 AM

Deli-Style Roast Beef
I was so happy with how good this turned out that I figured it is worth sharing. It's the most delicious deli roast beef I have ever tasted, it's texture was perfect and the flavor just right. Here's what I did,

1- Brined an eye of round, ~ 2.5 in. in diameter, in 4% solution (included some onion and thyme) for 36 hrs.
2- Seared in grape seed oil and cooled
3- Rubbed with a pounded spice mix (coriander, pepper, bay, smoked paprika and a little salt). Spice was heavy on the coriander.
4- Bagged with a halved/crushed garlic clove and dunked in 190F water for 20 seconds before CSV @140 F (60 C) for 5 - 6 hours

Here it is in a sandwich with horseradish mayo, pickles, lettuce and provolone.

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#186 syoung68

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 09:59 AM


Thanks all for the feedback on the steak issues. It sure isn't intuitive to me that it takes about half an hour to take a 1.5" stake from 5 to 55C and then another hour to raise the heat and then get it to 62 so thanks for that info.

rg

I think you have a typo.

It takes about 1.5 hours to get from 5C to 55C (in a 56C bath).

It takes about 45 to 50 minutes to get from 55C to 62C (in a 63C bath).

So, it is just about half of the cooking time of going all the way from the refrigerator.

Yes, it is definitely counterintuitive. That is why the cooking tables are important.

Nathan, could you shorten total cooking time by dropping the second steak in, say the last 15-20 minutes of cooking at 62C and then drop the temp? I would imagine that the overshoot would be minimal that way and may cut some significant time off

#187 liliumdavidii

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:43 PM

Hi, this is my first post, thank you all for contributing this great forum.

A couple of days ago, looking for a cheap immersion circulator, I stumbled upon a little company which produces equipment for laboratories. After an email exchange, the owner told me he was interested in expanding his market into kitchen equipment but is not really into the world of sous vide and could use some advise.
I emailed him a handful of links to better calibrate his product, (Addelice, Sous vide soupreme, polyscience, etc.) and requested a unit to test and review, once he could provide a finished product. His base model is a simple circulator with 1200 W (@230 volts) a aluminum pump, a water level switch off, and a precision of 0.1 C. He is adding a grid and maybe he will make everything which goes in the water in stainless steel (at the moment the safe switch is in nylon).
The cost should be around 300 euros.
I'm in contact with him and I've already suggested him to make the grid removable (unlike the Swid) to allow a easier cleaning. I'm excited as I think this could be a good opportunity to help shape a product that I would love to have.
Also I'm an architect ho has always dreamt to step in product design, but this is another story....

Which are the feature that you think are most important in an immersion circulator? what would you change in the unit you have tried, to make them better? Do you think a built in timer is necessary?
Dave

#188 paulpegg

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 04:22 PM

Which are the feature that you think are most important in an immersion circulator? what would you change in the unit you have tried, to make them better? Do you think a built in timer is necessary?


A timer with an alarm, either audible or visual, or both, would be a good idea.

Also perhaps the ability to start the timer at a predetermined temperature to compensate for frozen food at the start. This could be particularly helpful if you were starting a large amount of frozen meat and were guessing at the time necessary to bring the water bath back to normal temperature.

The ability to clamp it to a beer cooler as well as a stock pot or thinner edged containers.

USB port and data capture software to create a log on a computer for record keeping and recipe research. An alternate could be to store data on a smartdrive for later download. This could be useful for restaurants who are required to keep extensive records of their sous vide activities.

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#189 PedroG

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 04:25 PM

.....
His base model is a simple circulator with 1200 W (@230 volts) a aluminum pump, a water level switch off, and a precision of 0.1 C.
.....

I assume "precision of 0.1°C" means resolution of 0.1°C, which is sufficient.
Temperature stability better than ±0.1°C should be standard in immersion circulators.
Accuracy of 0.1°C or at least 0.2°C (preferably with a calibration certificate) would be very desirable.
An often reported drawback of immersion circulators is noisyness, a pump as silent as possible would be preferable in a kitchen environment.

When adding frozen food, use Douglas Baldwin's table 2.3 for heating times, and be sure water volume is significantly larger than the food (10x). I doubt whether bath temperature will tell you when the phase change is over, and a few degrees temperature drop during the phase change does not matter much (temperature conductivity is chaotic anyway during phase change), 1200W will allow fast recovery. I never used the built in timer of my SVM.

A dual display (set temp. and actual temp.) would be very desirable.

Edited by PedroG, 11 March 2011 - 04:53 PM.

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#190 liliumdavidii

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 04:50 PM

thank you all for the replies,

Paulpegg, I think the temperature-set timer is a good idea. After all the circulator must inform me when the temperature is stabilized, so there must be a connection between the timer and the temperature controller and the two must communicate each other. also an universal clamp...
regarding the other features you mention, they are great, but i think they belong to high-end circulator, which can also read additional probes etc. I guess would be very difficult to keep the price in the range of 300 €.

Pedro, sorry, with precision I meant temperature stability. With resolution, do you mean granularity of setting (one click of the button ups 0.1 C)?
Silent pump, it looks that at the moment there are two strategies: Swid has an all in one pump, with a wire alimenting it coming down from the unit. Polyscience Sous Vide Thermal Circulator™ has an axe coming down into the water, but the motor itself is up in the unit (at least this is what appears from pictures on the web). Maybe a solution to noise could be a bigger pump which runs at slower pace?

I have no idea how difficult would be to implement a little program ability in the system. "start timer at 60 C and run for 4 hours, then cool and keep at 50 C indefinitely"
This would be useful to cook something overnight and not to worry about overcooking or reheating.
Dave

#191 PedroG

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 04:55 PM

Ooops! Your answer was faster than my edit.
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#192 Merridith

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 08:30 PM

In not a technical person but I would love it if my SVP had a place to plug in a probe that could be inserted into the bagged product with a readout on the display so I could easily keep track of the internal temp of what I am cooking. Does that make sense to any of the techno-geeks?
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#193 cbread

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 10:15 PM

Hows about...
Accuracy / precision.
Rugged design and construction.
Simplicity.
Simple interface with minimal controls.
Intuitive interface.
Label all controls with words rather than icons one has to remember the meaning of.
Display that reads out in words same as above.
I'm wondering how simple and pared down a device could be without sacrificing ruggedness, easy operation and quality.

Various timers and temperature probes, and data logging etc would be good but I believe some of those features may already be available in SVs from: www.fusionchef.us.

#194 blackp

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 03:05 AM

thank you all for the replies,

I have no idea how difficult would be to implement a little program ability in the system. "start timer at 60 C and run for 4 hours, then cool and keep at 50 C indefinitely"
This would be useful to cook something overnight and not to worry about overcooking or reheating.


I'm not sure that this "feature" would be a good thing!

Hopefully after sufficient time @ 60C the food would have been pasteurised so subsequent holding at 50C would not be dangerous, but I'd usually err on the side of caution.

The only protein I cook at 60C is chicken breast and 4 hours would be bordering on too long for a good result in my view. I'm not sure what additional time at 50C would do but I cannot imagine it improving the taste or texture.

Most meat is better cooked at lower temperatures (personal opinion) and holding at 50C for a long time after cooking at <55C would not be a safe thing to do.

The golden rule of SV cookery (deduced from these pages - thanks NathanM and DouglasB) is that <55C 4 hours is the maximum safe cooking time and at 55C or above you can cook for as long as you want to. (56C beef ribs are still pink and medium rare in appearance after 60 hours!)

Cheers,

Peter.

#195 liliumdavidii

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 03:19 AM

In not a technical person but I would love it if my SVP had a place to plug in a probe that could be inserted into the bagged product with a readout on the display

I think the Julabo line for cooking has it: http://www.fusionchef.us/ the Diamond model
also Lauda units: http://www.lauda.de/...090429-20204-CC
But both units are in the range of 1500 €...

Label all controls with words rather than icons one has to remember the meaning of.

I think words are better too.
Dave

#196 nathanm

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 09:21 AM

You can program the most advanced types of water baths - most or all of teh major scientific manufacturers have programmable baths.

You can also program combi ovens.

I agree that the proposed program of 60C then 50C is not really helpful.

A better example of programmability is to take tough beef, and hold it for 4 hours at low temp (45C), then move it to 55C. This is, in effect, artifical aging. A programmable bath would make it a set-and-forget operation - an an example you could do this then let it stay at 55C all night so it can run unattended.

If you did this repeatedly (say, for a dish served daily at a restaurant) then having a programmable bath would make sense and save labor.

Combi ovens have even more elaborate programs that let you sear a roast then cook it and hold it - much like a water bath. The programs work very well. Combi ovens are just starting to trickle into

However in most cases you don't really need this.
Nathan

#197 liliumdavidii

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 10:11 AM

I have no idea how difficult would be to implement a little program ability in the system. "start timer at 60 C and run for 4 hours, then cool and keep at 50 C indefinitely"
This would be useful to cook something overnight and not to worry about overcooking or reheating.

Apologies, I just wrote the first numbers come to my mind :smile: ...

What I meant is the ability to program a start temperature (eg when the bath is stable), a first time to keep that temperature, then switch to another temperature and keep.
I actually thought it for something less professional: cook your eggs ovenight and find them at the right temperature in the morning, ready to eat...
Dave

#198 nathanm

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 11:45 AM

I actually thought it for something less professional: cook your eggs ovenight and find them at the right temperature in the morning, ready to eat...

You don't need to change temperatures for eggs.

I like hard boiled eggs at 175F to 180F (79C to 82C). The lower temperature is better texture but harder to peel. A lot of people like eggs at 149F 65C.

In either case you could put them in at that temp and leave them all night and they would be fine. The texture may change a bit due to the long cooking (I have not tried cooking eggs for 8-12 hours, I will try tonight....

However, whole eggs cooked sous vide take 25 minutes so it is not the end of the world to start them first thing in the AM. Scramled eggs put into a sous vide bag take much shorter time period - 10 minutes or so. So there is not that much reason to start it ahead of time.

In principle you could use a programmable heating & chilling water bath that would keep eggs, or other food at say 2C, then switch over to cook at some specified time so that you're ready in the AM.

This is a common feature in dough proofers used in bakeries or restaurants. They are called retarder-proofers. You set them to be a refriderator, and then at a set time they switch over to proofing temperature. I have one of these. The last raising period for croissants is typically 3 hours, so you can make the proofer switch over at 4AM, then at 7Am you pop them in the oven.
Nathan

#199 runwestierun

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 05:51 PM

This may already be implied in the design, but I would like a hose and valve to fill it up and drain it.

#200 PedroG

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 07:35 PM

Artificial aging / turbo aging / hot aging

You can program the most advanced types of water baths - most or all of teh major scientific manufacturers have programmable baths.

You can also program combi ovens.

I agree that the proposed program of 60C then 50C is not really helpful.

A better example of programmability is to take tough beef, and hold it for 4 hours at low temp (45C), then move it to 55C. This is, in effect, artifical aging. A programmable bath would make it a set-and-forget operation - an an example you could do this then let it stay at 55C all night so it can run unattended.

If you did this repeatedly (say, for a dish served daily at a restaurant) then having a programmable bath would make sense and save labor.

Combi ovens have even more elaborate programs that let you sear a roast then cook it and hold it - much like a water bath. The programs work very well. Combi ovens are just starting to trickle into

However in most cases you don't really need this.

In a post upthread there are links to earlier posts on the subject.
My first PID-controller was a 6-segment-programmable Model 1500A from FreshMealsSolutions, which makes turbo-aging easy. I guess FMS have discontinued this model, but the Auber WS-1500ELPM seems to be similar. I doubt whether it is worthwhile spending more money for this multi-step-programmability feature, you may as well step up manually.
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#201 PedroG

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 07:42 PM

In not a technical person but I would love it if my SVP had a place to plug in a probe that could be inserted into the bagged product with a readout on the display so I could easily keep track of the internal temp of what I am cooking. Does that make sense to any of the techno-geeks?

You might as well get a separate digital thermometer with a needle probe, preferably a NIST or ISO calibrated one, allowing you to check the accuracy of your SVP and SVS and other thermometers.
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#202 liliumdavidii

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 03:57 AM

My first PID-controller was a 6-segment-programmable Model 1500A from FreshMealsSolutions, which makes turbo-aging easy. I guess FMS have discontinued this model, but the Auber WS-1500ELPM seems to be similar. I doubt whether it is worthwhile spending more money for this multi-step-programmability feature, you may as well step up manually.


I agree, basic PID controllers cost much less.
Why do you never use the built-in timer of your circulator? Do you prefer a manual approach?
Dave

#203 dcarch

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 06:30 AM

Many temperature controllers use mechanical relays. Mechanical relays have two positions, i.e. normally on and normally off.

You can use the off position to trigger a second temperature controller with a different cooking program.

dcarch

#204 PedroG

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 09:20 AM


My first PID-controller was a 6-segment-programmable Model 1500A from FreshMealsSolutions, which makes turbo-aging easy. I guess FMS have discontinued this model, but the Auber WS-1500ELPM seems to be similar. I doubt whether it is worthwhile spending more money for this multi-step-programmability feature, you may as well step up manually.


I agree, basic PID controllers cost much less.
Why do you never use the built-in timer of your circulator? Do you prefer a manual approach?

My SV rigs (a SVM/FMM and a SVM with a VEGA stockpot) reside downstairs in the air-raid-shelter for lack of room in the kitchen. So I would not hear an alarm-timer built into the PID-controller. For a 48h cooking I do not need a timer, it does not matter if it's 46h or 52h. And for short-time cooking it's not needed either, I always label my bags with the thickness and the time needed according to Douglas Baldwin's tables which I integrated into my thickness ruler (see somewhere upthread), and I drop the food into the bath sufficiently in advance, an hour more will not matter.
A timer that would shut off your bath would be dangerous, it would let your food drift down into the danger zone for an uncontrolled time.
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#205 Anna N

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 03:50 PM

So I have been doing a lot of S-V meat over the past couple of weeks. I have had some great successes and some not so great. Some of the less than successful I can fix by increasing/decreasing the time/temp but one of the things that seems to defeat me is sirloin steak. I know it is not one of the "top" choices for steak but it is a bargain in terms of price. I have been using Douglas Baldwin's charts based on measured depth of steak. The steak is cooked rare to medium rare but remains pretty darn chewy. Anyone have any better success with this particular steak and if so, what time/temp do you recommend. Thanks very much.
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#206 Merridith

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 04:11 PM

So I have been doing a lot of S-V meat over the past couple of weeks. I have had some great successes and some not so great. Some of the less than successful I can fix by increasing/decreasing the time/temp but one of the things that seems to defeat me is sirloin steak. I know it is not one of the "top" choices for steak but it is a bargain in terms of price. I have been using Douglas Baldwin's charts based on measured depth of steak. The steak is cooked rare to medium rare but remains pretty darn chewy. Anyone have any better success with this particular steak and if so, what time/temp do you recommend. Thanks very much.


Problem is that you want it rare (as do I) and it is not safe to cook it for long enough to tenderize it while at the same time keeping it truly rare. You must be willing to cook it at 55C or above (which is, in my book, not rare enough) for a longer period of time, say 12 hours or more, to get it to break down a bit. I tried sirloin once at 53.5 C for 3 hours and it was unchanged in texture. I decided that I would just use the SV for this cut as a method of getting it even and that I would put up with the toughness. Others have suggested the jacquard but I don't have one. Still others use marinade which I don't feel really tenderizes at all. Ultimately, I think the flavor of the sirloin makes the toughness worthwhile. I just cut is across the grain and very thinly for serving. Also, I find that it is a little more tender when cold, so I use it for salads, too.
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#207 nickrey

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 05:22 PM

So I have been doing a lot of S-V meat over the past couple of weeks. I have had some great successes and some not so great. Some of the less than successful I can fix by increasing/decreasing the time/temp but one of the things that seems to defeat me is sirloin steak. I know it is not one of the "top" choices for steak but it is a bargain in terms of price. I have been using Douglas Baldwin's charts based on measured depth of steak. The steak is cooked rare to medium rare but remains pretty darn chewy. Anyone have any better success with this particular steak and if so, what time/temp do you recommend. Thanks very much.

Hi Anna,

Nice to see that you're getting some success with sous vide.

Your US cuts are different from the Australian/UK cuts. Sirloin here is a tender cut of meat. Apparently yours is less so.

With less tender cuts, I tend to go long and slow. I'd try 12 hours at 55C (131F). If it's too mushy at the end of this, cut the cooking time down to six hours.

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#208 lstrelau

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 05:40 PM

Regular 3 mil chamber vacuum bags versus boilable bags.

Hi, is there a substantial difference between these? Are regular vacuum bags okay to use for short time cooking but would boilable bags be best to use for long time proteins like short ribs or shanks? When I bought my Vacmaster (and bags from same company) they just suggested regular vacuum bags. I have some boilable ones coming soon so will have both.

Thanks for any info
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#209 DouglasBaldwin

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 05:46 PM

It's been awhile since I cooked sirloin but I seem to recall liking 6--8 hours at 130°F (55°C) for tri-tip steaks and sirloin tip steaks and 1--2 days for top sirloin steaks. If you've carefully calibrated your bath, you can drop the temperature down to 126°F (52.5°C) since Clostridium perfringens was shown not grow at that temperature (even when held at that temperature for three weeks).
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#210 Anna N

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 05:50 PM

.....

Problem is that you want it rare (as do I) and it is not safe to cook it for long enough to tenderize it while at the same time keeping it truly rare. You must be willing to cook it at 55C or above (which is, in my book, not rare enough) for a longer period of time, say 12 hours or more, to get it to break down a bit. I tried sirloin once at 53.5 C for 3 hours and it was unchanged in texture. I decided that I would just use the SV for this cut as a method of getting it even and that I would put up with the toughness. Others have suggested the jacquard but I don't have one. Still others use marinade which I don't feel really tenderizes at all. Ultimately, I think the flavor of the sirloin makes the toughness worthwhile. I just cut is across the grain and very thinly for serving. Also, I find that it is a little more tender when cold, so I use it for salads, too.


I do have a jaccard and not sure why it didn't occur to me to use it. Will try that next time around. Thanks.
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