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Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment (Part 9)

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#391 Steve Irby

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 06:54 PM

One hot water bath with six variations. Turchetta prepared as presented from Serious Eats, pork sirloin with five spice, pork sirloin with kind of a New Mexico Chili rub, turkey thighs stuffed with homemade chorizo, turkey legs and wings with Old Bay seasoning variant and turkey tenderloins. The pork, tenderloins and turchetta were cooked 4.5 hours at 140 F and the thighs and wing were finished at 165 for and additional 3 hours. All packets were chilled in an ice bath when they came out of the of the circulator then air dried prior to being finished on the grill and smoked with pecan.

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Edited by Steve Irby, 13 April 2014 - 07:24 PM.

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#392 pbear

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 08:06 PM

Has anyone seen this discussion, on a paper that concludes tenderness and juiciness are somewhat mutually exclusive?

 

The paper is unfortunately expensive to view without subscription. And was performed at higher temperature ranges than what most of us would probably prefer.

 

On first read, that seemed pretty dramatic.  On reflection, though, maybe not so much.  Look at it this way.  Take one factor first, say tenderness.  We all know, from experience, that one can get to pretty much the same place with any given cut of meat by cooking longer at a lower temp or less at a higher one.  We also know, from experience, that the higher the temp, the greater the amount of liquid which will be extracted.  The upshot of which, as a practical matter, is that a cut cooked just above pasteurization will be much juicer than one cooked to the same level of tenderness at a higher one.  The question then becomes which texture one prefers.  I prefer the latter, others the former.  IMHO, that's as close being able  to optimize for both tenderness and juiciness as anyone needs.  And certainly SV/LT offers a greater range of outcomes than conventional braising.



#393 paulraphael

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 08:20 PM

I think the more significant issue raised by the paper involves cooking time. At the same temperature, increased time seems to reduce juiciness as it increases tenderness. 

 

I'm not 100% convinced of the universality of this, or at least of it universally happening to a significant degree. I wish they'd used a lower temperature range. And I'd like to see the experiment repeated with some different cuts.

 

I made two chuck steaks a few days ago, at 55C. I pulled one at 24 hours and the other at 48. I thought the 48 hour one was as juicy, and (predictably) more tender. Granted, this was a long shot from scientific, but it raises some questions for me.



#394 pbear

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 08:52 PM

I don't doubt there's a time effect, but it's much smaller than the temp effect.  Take a common scenario, e.g., the beef chuck you just mentioned.  You could cook at 130F/54.4C or 150F/65.6C.  To achieve the same tenderness, you would cook much longer at the lower temp, about twice as long, but the meat will be much juicier.  Or, I would say, somewhat flabby.  IOW, yes, at either temp, juiciness declines with time, but temp has a much greater impact..



#395 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 09:25 PM

Tonight I tried to adapt Dave Arnold's technique for sous vide creme anglaise:

 

http://www.cookingis...de-vs-low-temp/

 

 

Dave Arnold calls for blending all chilled ingredients at once in a Vita Prep.  I don't have a Vita Prep.  I don't have any sort of blender except for an immersion blender, so I blended up the stuff in my Cuisinart instead.  The volume about doubled, probably from incorporation of air.

 

When I applied vacuum the mixture quickly boiled of course.  I was able to hit the seal button in time to narrowly avoid a tragic mess.  But there is a lot of air still in the bag and I could get the bag under water only by means of a steel pan and an old fashioned Pyrex baking dish.

 

I expect Dave Arnold's Vita Prep incorporated a lot less air.  Does one really need a blender?  Is there some way I could have done this better?



#396 Shalmanese

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 11:21 PM

Just a whisk is fine.


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#397 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 11:29 PM

Just a whisk is fine.

 

Based on previous experience I'm not sure about that.

 

A few minutes ago I saw grose black contamination in the bag...until I realized it was vanilla seeds.



#398 paulraphael

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 08:31 AM

The vita prep will probably pulverize the vanilla seeds and disperse them invisibly. interesting, but not required. Otherwise, I think a whisk or immersion blender will work fine. I doubt that you’d incorporate less air with a vita prep. 

 

A whisk should be fine for anything that doesn’t require extreme shear forces to dissolve. Some gums need a blender, and some are probably helped by a really fast one. But creme anglaise is pretty low maintenance.



#399 paulraphael

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 08:32 AM

This one probably belongs in the No Duh file, but I decided to buy some chicken thighs that were already shrikwrapped and just throw them in the bath. I didn’t consider that the package was designed to be easily openable (most packages seem designed to violently resist opening, IME). Anyway, the predictable happened, and I had some chicken soup circulating for about 20 minutes.

 

The good news is that the chicken didn’t suffer noticeably, and the circulator was almost effortless to clean. 

 

Kudos to Anova such a smart design. Which brings me the question, why do you think they’re so insistent that you only circulate water? People circulate all kinds of stuff with the PolyScience lab units, including oil. I’m thinking it’s either 1) liability paranoia or 2) the patented low-water indicator could freak out in non water-based solutions. 

 

If it’s not one of these two, it’s hard to imagine what it could be. The Anova’s actually an easier unit to clean … there’s no closed-off pump unit.



#400 lordratner

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 09:38 AM

 

This one probably belongs in the No Duh file, but I decided to buy some chicken thighs that were already shrikwrapped and just throw them in the bath. I didn’t consider that the package was designed to be easily openable (most packages seem designed to violently resist opening, IME). Anyway, the predictable happened, and I had some chicken soup circulating for about 20 minutes.

 

The good news is that the chicken didn’t suffer noticeably, and the circulator was almost effortless to clean. 

 

Kudos to Anova such a smart design. Which brings me the question, why do you think they’re so insistent that you only circulate water? People circulate all kinds of stuff with the PolyScience lab units, including oil. I’m thinking it’s either 1) liability paranoia or 2) the patented low-water indicator could freak out in non water-based solutions. 

 

If it’s not one of these two, it’s hard to imagine what it could be. The Anova’s actually an easier unit to clean … there’s no closed-off pump unit.

 

Do the polyscience units condone circulating liquids other than water, or do people simply do it?

 

I'd imagine it would open up the company to a lot of returns for people scorching butter on to the heater coils. 



#401 paulraphael

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 10:03 AM

I appreciate the dilemma this kind of thing poses for a company. They can’t say it’s ok to circulate anything. Gasoline, sulfuric acid, raw sewage, nitroglycerine: not ok. There’s no way they could come up with an exhaustive list of what not to put in there. But that’s not the same as saying nothing’s ok besides water. 

 

BTW, I personally don’t have any need to circulate other stuff. I’m not about to do a bionic turkey. I’m just curious about why they’re so restrictive after seeing how easily cleaned the unit is.



#402 paulraphael

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 10:07 AM

Re: tenderness and juiciness being mutually exclusive. My girlfriend saw that post over my shoulder and was afraid it was cry for relationship advice.



#403 lordratner

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 10:45 AM

I think the more significant issue raised by the paper involves cooking time. At the same temperature, increased time seems to reduce juiciness as it increases tenderness. 

 

I'm not 100% convinced of the universality of this, or at least of it universally happening to a significant degree. I wish they'd used a lower temperature range. And I'd like to see the experiment repeated with some different cuts.

 

I made two chuck steaks a few days ago, at 55C. I pulled one at 24 hours and the other at 48. I thought the 48 hour one was as juicy, and (predictably) more tender. Granted, this was a long shot from scientific, but it raises some questions for me.

I think the real issue is this: The paper is comparing sous vide to sous vide. Almost any increase in time will result in a decrease in retained liquid when temp is held constant. So if retaining moisture is the only concern, than less time is better. The question isn't whether one can attain maximum tenderness and maximum juiciness at the same time (the answer is no, as one requires less time, and one required more time), but does sous vide allow for retaining more moisture at a given tenderness than other cooking methods. I don't know of anyone familiar with the technique who would argue this claim.

 

Reading the article, I got this impression:

 

Sous vide cook: "Sous vide is amazing because it lets to cook fork tender meat while retaining all the juices you would normally lose at higher temps!"

Scientist: "That's not accurate. Maximum moisture and maximum tenderness are mutually exclusive" --> Data follows

 

What the cook meant was that sous vide allows for much more retained moisture when compared to traditional high-heat methods. 

 

Max moisture = Raw

Max tenderness = Cremated

 

We live in the middle somewhere. 


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#404 weedy

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 12:50 PM

seems to me, judging by photos, that Keller circulates butter (or beurre monté)

 

if I were less worried about damage and cleaning, it would be an appealing idea to try



#405 KennethT

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 02:25 PM

That's a very expensive idea to try!!! Other than the glory shot or advertising ability, what's the advantage to circulating butter (or any other fat or liquid) versus bagging the product with butter and circulating water like normal? To the same point, Modernist Cuisine points out that cooking in fat does not help cooking or add flavor to the interior of the meat - the fat molecules are too big to penetrate muscle - so you might as well bag naked then brush with butter once fully cooked. Otherwise, some of your meat flavor is going to making flavored butter.

The only purpose I can see to circulating non-water is if you are cooking something that is too big to bag - like Dave Arnold's bionic turkey that he had to keep whole due to family expectations.

#406 lesliec

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 04:00 PM

I strongly advise against circulating milk - see earlier posts!


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#407 Anna N

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 04:08 PM

If cooking in butter at SV temps is really what you want to do then the Sous Vide Supreme is the way to go. Circulation is by convection but the unit is completely sealed.
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#408 weedy

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 05:58 PM

If cooking in butter at SV temps is really what you want to do then the Sous Vide Supreme is the way to go. Circulation is by convection but the unit is completely sealed.

I have one

 

but because the unit is all in one, and so not submersible, it's MUCH harder to clean than a cambro and separate circulator



#409 weedy

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 06:02 PM

...To the same point, Modernist Cuisine points out that cooking in fat does not help cooking or add flavor to the interior of the meat - the fat molecules are too big to penetrate muscle - so you might as well bag naked then brush with butter once fully cooked. Otherwise, some of your meat flavor is going to making flavored butter.
 

so by this "logic" there's no such thing as confit? cooking in fat is "no different" for flavour than in a sealed bag and brushed with fat afterward?

 

really?

You're sticking to that?



#410 Anna N

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 06:07 PM

I have one
 
but because the unit is all in one, and so not submersible, it's MUCH harder to clean than a cambro and separate circulator


I am surprised to hear you say that. I have the Demi and have no issues cleaning it. I lay it on its side, wash it out with a soapy cloth, tip it slightly and hose it. I dont find it any more of a challenge to clean than the Anova and container. Obviously your mileage varies.
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#411 lesliec

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 06:08 PM

That's what MC found.  As I recall, they blind-tasted duck (?) cooked in fat or brushed with it after cooking and found no difference.


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#412 Shalmanese

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 08:25 PM

Another use for non-water circulation is if you're doing high volume of a single item, placing them directly in the bath will cause the bath water to eventually equilibriate with the item. This is similar to the principle behind "dirty water" hot dogs in NYC. The advantage is that you can add and remove items at will and not have to deal with opening and closing plastic bags.


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#413 KennethT

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 06:27 AM

Another use for non-water circulation is if you're doing high volume of a single item, placing them directly in the bath will cause the bath water to eventually equilibriate with the item. This is similar to the principle behind "dirty water" hot dogs in NYC. The advantage is that you can add and remove items at will and not have to deal with opening and closing plastic bags.

OK - I get this for a restaurant situation turning out tons of the same dish.... another analogy would be the cooking water for chicken-rice - hawker stalls will recycle this liquid forever...

#414 KennethT

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 06:33 AM

That's what MC found.  As I recall, they blind-tasted duck (?) cooked in fat or brushed with it after cooking and found no difference.

That's what I was referring to. It was duck they tested, and they blind, triangle-tested several variations - cooked with no fat, then with no fat added; cooked in fat; cooked with no fat, then brushed with fat; then other variations brushing with other non-duck fats. They could absolutely tell the difference between non-duck fats and brushed with duck fat, but could not tell the difference between cooked in duck fat and no-fat cook and brushed with duck fat.

Because of this, when I do confit at home, I just package the duck legs naked - and you know what I find after the cooking is complete? The duck leg is surrounded by duck fat - no brushing required!

#415 paulraphael

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 08:58 AM

Has anyone seen a similar evaluation of butter poaching? This is a technique Thomas Keller used a lot. Eventually he replaced the giant pot of beurre monté with butter in the sous-vide bags. But experiments ... real ones and my own .. suggest you don't infuse any butter flavor into proteins.

 

I've SV'd steaks with melted or mounted cultured butter in the bags, hoping for the best. I didn’t do any kind of blind testing, but did a lot of eating, and really couldn’t detect any butter flavor.

 

Which raises another question: if you’re cooking protein in ziplock bags, and want some liquid to displace the air, what are the best options?

 

Assume you’re not specifically making a braise. You just want liquid for conduction, with a minimum worry of osmotically leaching more than necessary from the meat, little risk of curing or excessive tenderizing, and ideally, something wouldn’t interfere with making a pan sauce from the bag juices.

 

Thoughts?



#416 weedy

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 10:30 AM

It's in Keller's book that you can see what looks like a cambro filled with beurre monté, and a circulator 



#417 lordratner

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 01:21 PM

 

Which raises another question: if you’re cooking protein in ziplock bags, and want some liquid to displace the air, what are the best options?

 

Assume you’re not specifically making a braise. You just want liquid for conduction, with a minimum worry of osmotically leaching more than necessary from the meat, little risk of curing or excessive tenderizing, and ideally, something wouldn’t interfere with making a pan sauce from the bag juices.

 

Thoughts?

I have a couple thoughts... To answer your question, I just use a neutral oil (peanut mostly) when the goal is conduction. I don't use it for much, things like hamburger patties that have a very coarse surface. 

 

I've found that most whole proteins put out enough juice fairly quickly to surround themselves and push the air bubbles to the top of the bag. Couple that with the "fact" that small bubbles don't have a huge effect on <12 hour cooking times, I only add liquid to the bag (for conduction purposes) with chicken, because I find that chicken breasts get a weird "chicken-y" smell and taste if they don't have anything at all in the bag.







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