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Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment (Part 4)

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#391 slkinsey

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 12:00 PM

Freezing the liquid is probably the best method, although I have also had pretty good results using a long bag as NY_Amateur suggests.

One technique I use is to use NY_Amateur's "long bag" method and then manually seal the bag again much closer to the food items.


I have not had any difficulties achieving the vacuums necessary for 99% of sous vide applications using a bag sealer. I also noted looking at the pictures in "Under Pressure" that plenty of the bags had small amounts of internal air clearly visible.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#392 e_monster

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 05:22 PM

Since I upgraded from my 5 year-old FoodSaver to a new one with the Pulse option, I haven't had a problem with liquids or too much air in the bag. The removable drip tray means that it doesn't matter if some liquid gets sucked out of the bag. My old FoodSaver sometimes left more air in the bag than I was happy with (which sometimes resulted in enough air to float the bag.

Freezing the liquid is probably the best method, although I have also had pretty good results using a long bag as NY_Amateur suggests.

One technique I use is to use NY_Amateur's "long bag" method and then manually seal the bag again much closer to the food items.


I have not had any difficulties achieving the vacuums necessary for 99% of sous vide applications using a bag sealer.  I also noted looking at the pictures in "Under Pressure" that plenty of the bags had small amounts of internal air clearly visible.

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#393 smashz

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 05:44 PM

If people like rare steak 126F won't seem cold them, but if they don't like steak on the rare side of med. rare than 126F may just not be to their liking. Did you sear the steak after cooking or serve it straight out of the bag? (If the steak wasn't seared after cooking that might contribute to their sense because the texture of non-seared sous-vie steak is missing something

One other thing -- and perhaps you already know this -- make sure to warm the plates before putting the food on it. 126F steak and 113F salmon will VERY quickly lose their heat on a room temperature plate. (This is true of most sous-vide).

Anyway, that is my opinion.

I just did a salmon fillet (with olive oil infused with bay, peppercorns, and vanilla) for the first time (at 45°C/113°F), and everyone loved the flavor. But several people found it to be unsatisfying because it was "cold." I've felt the same thing with a 52°C/126°F beef fillet.

Clearly, the SV method produces the temperature that it does, but has anyone else here encountered the sentiment, and how do you deal with it?

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Yes, I do sear the meat in a hot (600F+) cast iron skillet; I've done this since my very first trials (except when I did the 2-hr. BBQ and then put it into SV). But that thin layer is not like a normally cooked fillet, which has a relatively thick warmer surface, even if the interior is still rare. (Of course, I did not sear the salmon.)

I have warmed the plates, although not meticulously. I'll pay more attention to that in the future.

#394 alwang

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 09:45 AM

Anyone have any experience using the Auber/SousVideMagic controller with a portable induction hob? Does it work well? Is it safe for long cooks?

Thanks,
-Al
---
al wang

#395 joesan

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 09:55 AM

Hi Al,

That for me would be the holy grail as I love induction hobs but I don't think it will be possible to control most domestic models. The reason for this is that the induction hobs have electronic start and power level controls therefore you cannot switch them on using a PID/Auber/SousVide Magic controller.

I have looked everywhere for an induction hob with a mechanical switch but I don't think that they are available.

#396 alwang

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 10:39 AM

Thanks, Joe; I kind of suspected as much.
---
al wang

#397 Ruth

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 06:17 AM

I was checking out Under Pressure last night and I was reminded that my Foodsaver is not the ideal vacuum sealer, especially when it comes to pressure. It certainly cannot compress foods (ie melons) and is not good at all with liquids. I bought and have used it a few times for SV but I would be lying if I said it was a vacuum was strong and the food was packed.

With that said, I can't afford an Ultravac machine. Is there something more in the middle? Preferably < $400 and readily available?

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i have been using the Professional III Foodsaver for the past three years (prior to that I had a Professional II which served me well for many years). I have no trouble using it for sous-vide cooking unless I forget to pre-freeze the liquids. This week I cooked potatoes, artichokes, fennel and quince using "Under Pressure" as my guide and was delighted with the results. For the quince I froze a cube of lemon juice and added it to the bag.
With this model you can even do an extended vacuum to make sure that you have removed the maximum amount of air. Tilia has now upgraded this machine to give it a pulse feature which will make vacuuming liquid even easier,
Ruth Friedman

#398 jmolinari

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 12:29 PM

It's almost time to replace my ooooold foodsaver....is there any place that i can see how each foodsaver model differs?

I can't seem to find a comparison chart on Tilia's web site.

#399 e_monster

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 10:57 PM

I think you just have to go to the site and jot down the features. Also, keep in mind that Costo may have slightly different model numbers than appear on the Tilia site. I think that any version that has the Pulse option would be acceptable. With the Pulse feature (and removable drip tray), it is ok to have liquid in the bag. You will 'pulse vac' until some of the liquid gets sucked out of the bag and then seal.

#400 e_monster

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 11:01 PM

After a number of tri-tip experiments, I finally came up with a time/temp that to my palate (and those of my dinner guests) yields the perfect tri-tip. I put a frozen tri-tip into a 135F bath and let it cook for 12 hours before removing and searing (20 seconds per side in a super hot pan -- at least 700F). The result was fork tender meat that was not TOO soft/tender. Nice crust, and nice pink/juicy interior.

In the bag were a couple of ice cubes of marinade made to the following specs:

2 tbsp garlic olive oil
1 tbsp balsamico
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 cap liquid smoke
1/2 tsp black pepper

#401 Mikels

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 03:42 PM


That for me would be the holy grail as I love induction hobs but I don't think it will be possible to control most domestic models. The reason for this is that the induction hobs have electronic start and power level controls therefore you cannot switch them on using a PID/Auber/SousVide Magic controller.

I have looked everywhere for an induction hob with a mechanical switch but I don't think that they are available.

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Thanks, Joe; I kind of suspected as much.

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While I have not used an induction system, I have used a simple hotplate with the PID controller and a 16qt stockpot / bubblier. It held uniform temperatures from 135F to 175F with no trouble.

#402 Jeffrey B

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 08:36 PM

I have been cooking sous vide several times a week for the past couple of years. Initially, I was hesitant to purchase a new immersion circulator because I wasn't sure if I would like this method of cooking. Instead of making a large initial investment, I procured and repaired a couple of older immersion circulators that had been left for dead.

These older, heavily abused units served me well, but since I have grown quite fond of cooking sous vide, I am now willing to spend a bit of money so that I can spend more time cooking and less time tinkering with broken lab equipment. I am considering purchasing a new immersion circulator and I am having trouble differentiating between my options.

Are there significant differences between the units offered by various manufacturers, e.g. PolyScience, Techne, and Julabo? Are there significant differences between the units marketed for culinary use and those that aren't? I have been told that the PolyScience units are quite popular for culinary use, but the people from whom I've heard this haven't used any other units. Are there any brands that are considered more reliable or convenient than others? The spec sheets all seem to look pretty similar. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

#403 BJBigler

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 09:19 AM

You'll have to include me in those having used only the PolyScience unit. I am happy with the device, and can recommend it for its excellent build quality and general ease of use. It also happens to be somewhat cheaper than Julabo's similar product, and (for what it's worth) made in America. Too, Thomas Keller, who has many more resources than I and would likely use only the best, has several photos of the PolyScience devices being used throughout his kitchens in his newest book, "Sous Vide."

I might wish for some design enhancements in future versions. The control unit, mounted on top of the heater element, could be shifted back an inch or two, which would create the feel of more working room in small pots. Switching from Fahrenheit to Celsius (and back) is not intuitive, and requires that the unit be shut off and restarted, rather than just pressing a button. Changing temperatures using the rotary knob takes a long time: the increments are in tenths of a degree, and could be more easily specified with a ten-digit keypad, which could also be used to add additional presets beyond the three now supplied. PolyScience might also do well to market an inexpensive plastic container with a fitted lid to minimize energy losses.

These suggestions are not to complain about the unit, however. I am generally quite happy with it.

Also, if you buy this unit, you'll probably want to buy the protective cage. It allows the unit to be used in shallower pots, and probably should be included as standard equipment.

#404 Ruth

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 06:25 AM

Well, I have the Julabo and am very happy with it. It is very easy to use and very reliable. The display is in celsius. I like that and feel that being able to switch between the two systems could well lead to confusion.

At the time I bought my circulator my model was a little less expensive than the Polyscience.
Remember that circulators are designed for lab use and have to be accurate. For sous-vide cooking we need nothing more than accuracy. I would go for the least expensive brand with a good track record
Ruth Friedman

#405 nathanm

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 08:46 AM

Polyscience makes great water baths. They were the first water bath company to take the sous vide market seriously - most of the other vendors have focused exclusively on the laboratory market.

However, that said, any of the major brands of laboratory water bath are built to very high standards. Pharaceutical companies and other lab users are very demanding. That is in part why the price of water baths are so high - they have very demanding, price insensitive, small volume buyers.

Over time cooking oriented water baths will emerge as a distinct product line from the laboratory models. The price points for the lab versions are too high to sell very many to for consumer kitchens. Meanwhile the wattage is (in general) too low for commercial kitchens. So over time we will see water baths designed for kitchen - both consumer and professional.
Nathan

#406 origamicrane

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 08:37 AM

I went looking for a coolerbox and came across this

http://www.waeco.com/en/1296.php

website says this cooler/hot box has +/- 1C accuracy
It has 7 temperature settings between 50-65C so guess in 2C increments.
The 14L and 21L unit costs less then £150.
They also have a temperature data logger available for it.

Could be a suitable alternative to a lab water bath?

Edited by origamicrane, 14 November 2008 - 08:43 AM.

"so tell me how do you bone a chicken?"

"tastes so good makes you want to slap your mamma!!"

#407 Chris Hennes

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 08:44 AM

It appears to be designed to be filled with mostly air, unless I am missing something. You would be missing out on the heat transfer benefits that the water in a water bath provides, giving what would be in effect just an oven with good temperature control.

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#408 origamicrane

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 10:11 AM

yep there's no stirring action either.
But I am thinking you could bag your food, bring it up to temperature in a stockpot then transfer the bag into the hotbox to finish off.
Maybe even put a gastronorm pan with lid inside filled with water?


I might buy this and see if it can be used as a cheapo SV cooker.
"so tell me how do you bone a chicken?"

"tastes so good makes you want to slap your mamma!!"

#409 e_monster

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 11:18 AM

I went looking for a coolerbox and came across this

http://www.waeco.com/en/1296.php

website says this cooler/hot box has +/- 1C accuracy
It has 7 temperature settings between 50-65C so guess in 2C increments.
The 14L and 21L unit costs less then £150.
They also  have a temperature data logger available for it.

Could be a suitable alternative to a lab water bath?

View Post


Just a reminder that a tabletop roaster ($40 to $50 new but often found for $10 to $15 used) or hotplate plus slockpot (about $20) or ricecooker coupled with a $100 plug-n-play PID controller (from Auber Instruments or Sous Vide Magic) and a $10 aquarium air pump will do a great job for 99% of one's sous-vide needs. In many cases, the aquarium pump isn't needed either.

While a nice immersion circulator is more convenient, these other options work great if money is an issue. They really do work well athough they may seem less elegant.

#410 Chris Hennes

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 11:32 AM

yep there's no stirring action either.
But I am thinking you could bag your food, bring it up to temperature in a stockpot then transfer the bag into the hotbox to finish off.
Maybe even put a gastronorm pan with lid inside filled with water?


I might buy this and see if it can be used as a cheapo SV cooker.

View Post

So you are thinking of using this for situations where you bring something to temperature (which you would do in a conventional stovetop water bath) and hold it there for a long time (which you would do in the hot box)? Seems like taking the long way around to get there... for the around the same money you could get a cheap hotplate and a PID controller and achieve the same thing. Still not exactly a recirculating water bath, which may be an issue for long-term cooking. I'd stick with keeping my eyes on eBay - I got a lab-style circulating heater for $20 US plus another $50 in parts.

Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org


#411 BradUrani

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 02:07 PM

Hi!

I haven't seen anyone answer this one yet:

I want to do lamb shoulder sous-vide. Should I do the shoulder whole, or have my butcher cut into into 1-1/2" cubes? In a normal braise, I know leaving the meat whole reduces liquid loss, but that doesn't seem to be an issue in sous-vide since I'll be vacuum sealing the meat with a braising liquid. In fact, if I jaccard the lamb cubes, isn't there a possibility that it will end up more juicy than if I left the shoulder whole?
Given that lamb cut into cubes will come to temperature faster, allowing more collagen breakdown and less time in the danger zone, is there any reason not to cube the meat?
How would brining change these considerations?


Thanks in advance!
Brad
St. Louis, MO

#412 alwang

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 02:33 PM

I've done lamb shoulder CSV, cut into cubes, confited in olive oil. One problem is that the meat comes out looking incredibly unappetizing. It tasted great, but I think you'll want to either brown the surface of the cubes afterwards (in which case you might want larger chunks of meat), or you'll want to pull apart the meat altogether, and mix it with other stuff to make it more visually appealing. It all depends on what you're looking for.
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al wang

#413 origamicrane

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 05:37 PM


yep there's no stirring action either.
But I am thinking you could bag your food, bring it up to temperature in a stockpot then transfer the bag into the hotbox to finish off.
Maybe even put a gastronorm pan with lid inside filled with water?


I might buy this and see if it can be used as a cheapo SV cooker.

So you are thinking of using this for situations where you bring something to temperature (which you would do in a conventional stovetop water bath) and hold it there for a long time (which you would do in the hot box)? Seems like taking the long way around to get there... for the around the same money you could get a cheap hotplate and a PID controller and achieve the same thing. Still not exactly a recirculating water bath, which may be an issue for long-term cooking. I'd stick with keeping my eyes on eBay - I got a lab-style circulating heater for $20 US plus another $50 in parts.


yep there are cheaper setups available but this is quite elegant and there is one thing that really interests me about this piece of kit, it can run off a 12v car socket.

I am thinking this could be good as a mobile SV catering kit, pair this with a blowtorch and I'm thinking SV food on the move :smile:

imagine a picnic where you cut open a perfectly juicy steak and then blowtorch it before carving it, whilst you are out in the middle of the wilderness :smile:
"so tell me how do you bone a chicken?"

"tastes so good makes you want to slap your mamma!!"

#414 yasuofenix

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 08:49 PM

hey all,

has anyone cooked turkey breast sou-vide before? How long does it take and at what temperature do you all usually get it to?

I'm curious I'd like to try that one day. I hate dry turkey breast.

Thanks in advance!

#415 DocDougherty

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 09:51 PM

Some will tell you that this is too hot, but I do turkey tenderloins at 153F for 3 hrs with just salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Tonight I just finished a pair of turkey tenderloins joined together using transglutaminase to make a piece that is intended to allow slices of breast that are comparable in size with a real bird. Since they were about 3" in diameter I let them go 5 hrs@153F.

Doc

#416 e_monster

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 10:29 PM

The required time depends on the thickness of the meat. With turkey breast you only need to heat it long enough to bring it up to temperature for long enough to be food safe -- and that time is determined by the water temp and the thickness of the neat. See Nathan's great tables to determine the time to get the meat to temp and then add on enough time for it to be food safe (you can download the FDA tables -- I think there is a link somewhere in the forum).

I like 140F for turkey breast. I cook it with some duck fat in the bag, a little salt and pepper and a thin slice of orange with the peel/pith removed. There is no advantage to cooking longer than needed to make it safe since it is a tender cut.

#417 origamicrane

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 03:30 AM

hi
has anyone made a SV chicken or turkey ballotine ?
I made one last week and it was good but lacked the punch of a roasted one.
After the water bath would it be worth roasting it off a bit?

Also anyone know how i can keep the ballotine's round shape in the bag?
As once i put the roll into the foodsaver bag and vacseal it, the roll gets that squished geometric look and kind of looks unnatural when served.
"so tell me how do you bone a chicken?"

"tastes so good makes you want to slap your mamma!!"

#418 Sher.eats

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 04:49 AM

I made one the other day (see http://forums.egulle...= )

I pan crisped the skin after SV. Use cling film to roll the stuffed chicken into a cylinder, tighten the edges by twisting so that the pressure will keep roll in shape.

What was your stuffing and did you use any "binding chemicals"?
~ Sher * =]
. . . . .I HEART FOOD. . . . .
Sleep 'til you're hungry, eat 'til you're sleepy. - Anon

#419 origamicrane

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 05:12 AM

hi
no didn't use any binding chemicals.
Is it ok to take the cling film up to 60C?
Also did it take long to pan crisp the skin afterwards?
did you find any problems crisping the chicken skin after the waterbath?

The one i made I butterflied the breast and made a roll.
The stuffing was minced chicken thigh with porcini and tarragon.
I made the skin seperately as roasted skin crackers.

This sounds a little unsafe in my mind but could you SV the ballotine and after it is cooked wrap it in the uncooked chicken skin and then roast it off?
"so tell me how do you bone a chicken?"

"tastes so good makes you want to slap your mamma!!"

#420 Sher.eats

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 05:32 AM

I followed a recipe in Thomas Keller "Under Pressure", I can't say I can prove cling film is save at 60C except I've always done that and seen many other chefs do it...

My chicken was "dried" in the fridge for 36 hours so it was very dry and sticky, so it took less than 30 seconds per "side" of the roll.

The recipe asked for transglutinmase to bind everything together, I didn't have it so I tied the roll together with kitchen strings after sous vide to the skin kept shape during the frying.

Keller moussed the breast and used the thigh, but cut away the tendons of the leg muscles before spreading the mousse. The high cooking temp of leg (64C vs 60C), I believe, is better in that the mousse to set better and giving you more tolerance to brown the skin without overcooking the meat.

I can see why you want to SV the ballotine first, but SV the whole roll gives better flavour and texture.
~ Sher * =]
. . . . .I HEART FOOD. . . . .
Sleep 'til you're hungry, eat 'til you're sleepy. - Anon





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