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Freezing Prime Beef Filets--Using Dry Ice ?


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#1 Paul Bacino

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 08:35 AM

Picked up a packer of Prime beef tenderloin , that I need to break down.  This I have been only wet aging, about 30 days.

 

I have a VacMaster 210.

 

I like to cut my filets about 3".

 

WE are eating what we can @ the party fresh.  But I'll need to put up a handfull too.

 

Normally I just vacuum seal my steaks, and I put them in the freezer.   but these, I'm think of using Dry Ice to rapid feeeze them.

 

Any thoughts, Ideas? 


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#2 Blether

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 08:56 AM

An enclosure of thick cardboard (layers ?), and a hair dryer on 'cold' pushing air in over the dry ice ?  It's the blast furnace that does the quick-freeze in commercial plant, isn't it ?



#3 gfweb

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 09:38 AM

Put the dry ice in alcohol.  That will get the temp down fast.



#4 Paul Bacino

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 09:40 AM

Another question that arises,  would you chamber seal them first.  Or wrap them in a plastic wrap or butcher paper.  So better to keep their lofted selves?  Freeze then Chamber seal .

 

Paul


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#5 rotuts

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 09:52 AM

do you eventually plan on cooking them SV?

 

do you purposely 'compress'  the 3 " steak to get a larger piece ending up at 2 "

 

Id tie them w butcher's twine pre-bag .  then firm them up in the freezer pre-vacuum.

 

do you want to 'dry-age' for a few days in the coldest part of your refrig first?  keeping everything very clean as you cut them down to size?

 

Im not sure what the dry ice really is going to do for you in the long run.

 

thank you again for not showing us  ( me ) this delicious hunk of cow.



#6 dcarch

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 11:27 AM

An enclosure of thick cardboard (layers ?), and a hair dryer on 'cold' pushing air in over the dry ice ?  It's the blast furnace that does the quick-freeze in commercial plant, isn't it ?

 

Actually, most hair drier blow warm air on "cold" setting.

 

That is because the blower motor is a small low voltage DC motor. They generally wire the motor thru one of the hot resistance elements to reduce the voltage then thru a bridge rectifier to turn the voltage to DC to run the motor.

 

In other words one of the heating elements will always be burning to run the blower motor.

 

dcarch



#7 Paul Bacino

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 12:38 PM

do you eventually plan on cooking them SV?  ( Possibly )
 
do you purposely 'compress'  the 3 " steak to get a larger piece ending up at 2 "  (  Notreally )
 
Id tie them w butcher's twine pre-bag .  then firm them up in the freezer pre-vacuum.  ( good Idea )
 
do you want to 'dry-age' for a few days in the coldest part of your refrig first?  keeping everything very clean as you cut them down to size?  ( Probably not this batch )
 
Im not sure what the dry ice really is going to do for you in the long run.  (  Its an Ice crystal thing,  think ice cream )
 
thank you again for not showing us  ( me ) this delicious hunk of cow.


  (  Oh yeah )
 
Good thoughts..RT  Thanks

Edited by heidih, 10 December 2013 - 01:09 PM.
Fix quote tags

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#8 Mark Donnelly

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 01:53 PM

I'm not sure I understand the reason for doing this.  It would be great if you conducted an experiment.  Freeze one cut normally; and the other with dry ice.  After a week, thaw both.  Have another person cook to taste and then blind taste.  I'd be very interested in the results.



#9 Paul Bacino

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 02:48 PM

I'm not sure I understand the reason for doing this.  It would be great if you conducted an experiment.  Freeze one cut normally; and the other with dry ice.  After a week, thaw both.  Have another person cook to taste and then blind taste.  I'd be very interested in the results.

 

Just wanted to try it also!!  Sounds like a plan.

 

http://www.ehow.com/...ds-dry-ice.html


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#10 rotuts

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 03:12 PM

""""     Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide (Co2) and is colorless and tasteless.  """

 

no one I know has tasted dry ice.    and had a tongue that still worked.

 

I (back in the day) fiddled and faddled with DI.

 

as your Meats are going to be in a  bag,  ...  fine.

 

DI as stuff in it, back in the day,  that made the Kool-Ade i made taste pretty funny.

 

just saying.

 

time change,  sometimes for the better  ..... then ...............



#11 pbear

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 08:17 PM

Put the dry ice in alcohol.  That will get the temp down fast.

 

I had a similar thought on reading the OP, except I'd use a fully-saturated saline solution.  Cheaper and less volatile.  Use the dry ice to chill.  (One could use regular ice, of course, as with an ice cream freezer, but dry ice would be more cool, so to speak, and would avoid any issue of dillution.)  Vacuum pack the meat, then freeze in the bath.  This will be faster than freezing conventionally, or even in a box with dry ice, as water is much more conductive than air.  Whether any of that will make a significant difference in the final product is more than I know, as I've not tried it.  But, if I did, this is how I'd go about it.



#12 Shalmanese

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 08:31 PM

 

Put the dry ice in alcohol.  That will get the temp down fast.

 

I had a similar thought on reading the OP, except I'd use a fully-saturated saline solution.  Cheaper and less volatile.  Use the dry ice to chill.  (One could use regular ice, of course, as with an ice cream freezer, but dry ice would be more cool, so to speak, and would avoid any issue of dillution.)  Vacuum pack the meat, then freeze in the bath.  This will be faster than freezing conventionally, or even in a box with dry ice, as water is much more conductive than air.  Whether any of that will make a significant difference in the final product is more than I know, as I've not tried it.  But, if I did, this is how I'd go about it.

 

 

A fully saturated salt solution freezes at -21C. Dry ice sublimates at -78C and ethanol freezes at -114C. You can get denatured alcohol fairly cheaply at a hardware store, it's going to work better than saline.


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#13 dcarch

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 10:24 PM

Carbon monoxide does react with meat.

 

I don't know about CO2.

 

 

dcarch 



#14 Blether

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 11:43 PM

I never saw you as a big hair-dryer user, DC ?  I know mine blows cold air, mostly because I switch it to cold by mistake when I'm after hot for enabling or curing adhesives, or driving moisture out of the air gap in my double-glazed motorbike hat.

 

If I have it right. the point of blast- or flash-freezing is, the faster you freeze something - the quicker you draw the heat out of it, the less and the smaller the ice crystals that form in and on it.  That preserves the texture better.

 

You could probably better use a small fan in a closed system to circulate the chill.  So far as you can seal the food to be frozen, I like the alcohol idea a lot, but ideally I'd also want to get the liquid circulating somehow.  A blast freezer works like a convection oven.  Or a cheap hair-dryer, of course.


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#15 dcarch

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 06:21 AM

I never saw you as a big hair-dryer user, DC ?  I know mine blows cold air, mostly because I switch it to cold by mistake when I'm after hot for enabling or curing adhesives, or driving moisture out of the air gap in my double-glazed motorbike hat.

 

If I have it right. the point of blast- or flash-freezing is, the faster you freeze something - the quicker you draw the heat out of it, the less and the smaller the ice crystals that form in and on it.  That preserves the texture better.

 

You could probably better use a small fan in a closed system to circulate the chill.  So far as you can seal the food to be frozen, I like the alcohol idea a lot, but ideally I'd also want to get the liquid circulating somehow.  A blast freezer works like a convection oven.  Or a cheap hair-dryer, of course.

 

Most vintage hair driers use induction motors for the blower, and those run on 120vac and the hair dryer can have a cold setting.

 

I think it is an interesting idea to build a quick deep freeze box. I make a lot of cold smoked salmon and sushi. I think a deep freeze box can increase food safety. I would not use a computer "muffin" fan for the cold box. Those are very good fans, but they are the brushless type, which has built-in electronics (Hall effect device). The electronics can be damage by the extreme cold produced by dry ice.

 

dcarch


Edited by dcarch, 11 December 2013 - 06:22 AM.


#16 rotuts

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 07:09 AM

are you freezing in the bag, or freezing then bagging ?



#17 Paul Bacino

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 07:40 AM

I'm freezing in a  3 Mil Ary Boil and Bag--  question?

 

Will to much manipulation of the bag crack the plastic bag,  you think.

 

Blether--  with two women in the house,  I have plenty of blower options, to check out.  Since this is my first event and I only have limited time to put this together.  I'm going with a styrafoam container I have,  I have a nice rectangular one, that beef has been shipped in before..

 

Hope to get some pictures, later.  I do like the idea of alcohol,  would I use a liter of Popov vodka? :cool:

 

Hey--I dont drink vodka.


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#18 rotuts

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 07:44 AM

if its in the bag would the solvent damage the bag?



#19 dcarch

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 08:04 AM

Vodka will freeze with dry ice.

 

Plastic can get very brittle at extreme low temperature.

 

dcarch 



#20 Kerry Beal

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 08:44 AM

I've seen 95% alcohol dissolve plastic.



#21 Paul Bacino

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 11:28 AM

OK!!

 

Here is the set up!!

 

This is a seal-able  13 x 20 x 8 inch  Styrofoam container,  I have the hairdryer,  it has a cool setting  ( tad bit of heat, not much ).

 

I'm thinking of putting one hole on the bottom for the dryer cone,  and one above or two off set the tray system.  Same side?  for air out put? 

 

I'll put ice below and top allow for adequate air flow.

 

Ideas?

 

11327067456_d568e84ce9_h.jpg

 

 


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#22 rotuts

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 11:33 AM

or ....

 

use the hair dryer as a way to pull the air out of the container, ie fit the intake somehow to the container.

 

put the dry ice above the meat   ( already vacuum sealed ? ) and the draw the cold CO2 down over the meat.  use the lowest setting 

 

on the dryer.

 

pulling air is much more efficient that pushing it.  but you would want a very slow speed.

 

interested in how this works out.


Edited by rotuts, 11 December 2013 - 11:34 AM.


#23 dcarch

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 11:44 AM

Here is my suggestion:

 

Get a used hairdryer from Goodwill for $2 to $4.00, take out the fan and motor and run it with a few (4?) batteries. 

 

or a cheap ($3.00?) battery personal fan.

 

This way the cold air will recirculate inside the box. You don't want to move air into or out of the box. Keep your cool. :-)

 

dcarch



#24 rotuts

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 11:51 AM

good idea !

 

on the other hand , i just have eaten the extra meat by now.  Tartare anyone ?



#25 Blether

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 05:06 PM

What an action-packed house yours must be :)

 

The hair-dryer-and-external air plan needs a hell of a lot of dry ice, because you're constantly drawing in "warm" (much warmer than the dry ice) air, then losing the cooling by venting cold air.  So it looks like you have 2 options:

 

1 dry freezing - set up a fan (like DCarch says, a personal battery fan ?) inside the box, and freeze using circulating cold air.  You can vacuum-pack the meat first, or leave it naked and wrap afterwards.

 

2 wet freezing with (high proof) alcohol.  Test your vacuum-seal plastic in the alcohol first - vacuum seal something absorbent so you can open it after and see if there was any seepage.  Then if the result looks good, put enough depth of alcohol in your foam box, chill it by "dissolving" a load of dry ice, and drop in your sealed steak.  Make sure the steak is on a rack so the alcohol can at least convection flow.

 

Unless you can get a strong fan, my guess is #2 will give the faster freeze.  Either way, smaller pieces of steak will freeze quicker than one larger piece (surface-area-to-volume ratio), so break the meat down into the sizes you'll finally use it in, first.



#26 Paul Bacino

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 05:43 PM

Maybe..an external...aquarium pump, with the tubing inserted and sealed into the side. That way the motor is not subjected to..cryogenic temps. :)

When it's all said and done..if I can't get it by Friday.. I ll probably break up the dry ice..and just pitch them in for the first run.

Analyze the outcome...see if we notice any possible difference in quality


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#27 Blether

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 07:30 PM

You could put the tubes through the lid to make the sealing easier - but so long as you have the pump and the motor in a single unit, what with the super-cooled alcohol going through, it's going to chill.  Hell, with the alcohol pre-cooled well enough, a bagged steak'd freeze so quickly you could reach in and swish it about with a pair of tongs.



#28 OliverB

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 08:26 PM

breaking up the dry is is what I'd probably do, hammer it in a towel or something, then cover the meat or completely surround it. Not that I'd do that, but if I did, that's probably what I'd do. Direct contact should freeze the meat faster than blowing somewhat cold air around it I'd think. I've frozen prime beef many times in my chest freezer, never noticed any change to the negative, though I never tested side by side. Just seems like a lot of effort for not all that much in return?


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#29 pbear

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 11:26 PM

 

 

Put the dry ice in alcohol.  That will get the temp down fast.

 

I had a similar thought on reading the OP, except I'd use a fully-saturated saline solution.  Cheaper and less volatile.  Use the dry ice to chill.  (One could use regular ice, of course, as with an ice cream freezer, but dry ice would be more cool, so to speak, and would avoid any issue of dillution.)  Vacuum pack the meat, then freeze in the bath.  This will be faster than freezing conventionally, or even in a box with dry ice, as water is much more conductive than air.  Whether any of that will make a significant difference in the final product is more than I know, as I've not tried it.  But, if I did, this is how I'd go about it.

 

 

A fully saturated salt solution freezes at -21C. Dry ice sublimates at -78C and ethanol freezes at -114C. You can get denatured alcohol fairly cheaply at a hardware store, it's going to work better than saline.

 

 

I realize alcohol will get much colder, but has its own issues, like effects on the plastic bags.  In any event, I think immersion in a sub-freezing liquid (even saline) will be more effective than circulating dry ice chilled air.  As the latter is the method the OP has decided to try, I'll be interested to hear about his results.  As, I'm sure, are all of us.
 



#30 KennethT

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 08:58 AM

I've worked with dry ice quite a bit in the past.  I find the way to get the best conduction and heat transfer is to put chunks of dry ice in the food processor for a second or two - it very easily becomes "dry snow" which you can then dredge your steak in and have all surfaces in contact.  I would do the steak naked rather than presealed since the bag will be a insulator and not all direct contact of the snow.  Also, the snow is VERY cold, which would make the bag very brittle.


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