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


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#541 otzi

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 06:02 AM

Hello, new chum here. I some times use an old cloths drier to tumble marinate meat.

This last time, due to unavoidable distraction, the bag developed some holes and the meat (just) contacted the drum. The drum's not so clean.


I am seeking the best path to follow. Either


1    Use the oven


2    Blow torch thoroughly. Is this better than an oily sizzle/sear.


3    Cook at 145*F rather than 140*F . I wouldn't go warmer. 


4    Or bin and get an other, I would like to proceed with caution. If one is aware it’s worth a try.


I’ll take all suggestions This is only for myself so no other is at risk.

Edited by otzi, 20 June 2014 - 06:31 AM.

#542 Smithy

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 07:03 AM

Welcome to eGullet, otzi. I have a couple of followup questions, while we wait for someone knowledgeable about sous vide to answer.

1. What particular meat (cut and type) are you working with?
2. What, exactly, is 'not so clean' about your old clothes tumbler? It sounds like oil, possibly? What else do you use it for?
3. Why do you tumble-marinate meat? This is a new technique to me; I'd like to learn more. :smile:

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#543 paulraphael

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 07:21 AM

I want to share a strategy I've worked out for determining cooking times. This is all about short-cooking (without added time for tenderization).


When I first got the Sous-Vide Dash app, I was confused that the suggested times were all much longer than times given in the tables in Modernist Cuisine. In some cases the differences were close to 50%. I exchanged some emails with Darren Vengroff, the app's developer, who explained that the app strictly follows the best models for heat propagation. The issue is the long tail of the curves: you might get within 1/2 degree after 30 minutes, but that last final bit can take a long time.


This is why Myhrvold recommends setting the circulator to 1°C higher than the target temperature. But I find that this still leads to surprisingly long cooking times.


It occurred to me that we habitually use the core temperature as the target temperature. This makes sense in cases where you need to pasteurize food all the way to the core, but in practice it means either 1) if you set the water bath temperature higher than the target, you will have a gradient, and every part of food besides the center will be cooked higher than the core, or 2) if you set the water bath exactly to the core temperature, cooking times will be extremely long.


After a bit of experimenting, I've started following the Mhyrvold recommendation of setting the bath 1°C higher than the target temperature, but then in the SV dash app, setting the core temperature 1/2°C LOWER than the target temperature. This achieves two things. It significantly shortens cooking times, actually bringing them into a range that's roughly similar to the MC tables. And the gradient, if it's perceptible at all, puts a larger portion of the food close to the target temperature.


Of course I'm not talking about huge gradients like you see in conventional cooking. I don't notice this kind of gradient at all when cooking beef. But with salmon, it's perceptible, and can actually be pleasant. You get a very subtle range of textures, from less cooked than the target at the center to slightly more cooked at the edge. 

#544 cookalong

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 03:20 PM

I tried my hands on sous vide lobster tail for the first time the other day. I killed the lobster, twisted the tails off, and briefly steeped them for two minutes to be able to take the meat of of the shell. I put the tails in the fridge for a couple of hours, after which I put the tail meat in a ziploc bag with some oil and got a pretty tight seal with water displacements (didn't want to crush the meat in the sealer). I cooked them for 22 minutes at 49 C. I increased the recommended cooking time (Modernist Cuisine) from 15 to 22 minutes, since I didn't want to take the chance of them being undercooked, and I figured maybe the seal wasn't good enough.


Anyway, I chilled them in iced water and once again refridgerated them (I brought them to a dinner party). To my surprise, they didnt really come out tender, there was no "melt in the mouth" or anything. They were okay to eat (with aioli), but I found them a bit chewy and almost a bit crunchy. What went wrong? From what I've read, 49 C (or even 46 C) should be perfect for lobster.

Edited by cookalong, 11 August 2014 - 03:20 PM.

#545 nickrey

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 04:52 PM

I've always found that type of texture better for shellfish than melt in the mouth tender. Perhaps that is how it is meant to come out.

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#546 pep.

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 07:29 AM

I've always found that type of texture better for shellfish than melt in the mouth tender. Perhaps that is how it is meant to come out.


Definitely. Recently I was served overly tender langoustine tails at a restaurant... let's just say I'm not going back there soon.

#547 haresfur

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 07:12 PM

A quick report on an experiment I ran this week.  I had a nice piece of sirloin steak to SV and thought I would try to cut it up before cooking and searing to increase the ratio of sear to inside (Since the seared layer is so thin with SV).  But then I wondered if I would lose more moisture if I did that so I divided the meat in half and left one half whole while the other half was sliced into about 3 cm wide pieces.  I weighed both bags then put in the SV at 58 C for 40 min.  I then drained the liquid and reweighed.  Obviously the meat isn't perfectly uniform, but the cut up part lost 6% of its weight while the whole piece lost just under 3%.


So, I think that I would be better off doing the SV on larger pieces of meat and then cutting before searing.

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#548 weedy

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 01:18 PM

 They were okay to eat (with aioli), but I found them a bit chewy and almost a bit crunchy. What went wrong? From what I've read, 49 C (or even 46 C) should be perfect for lobster.

well, could be that they're overcooked.


I'd try lower and shorter

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