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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



#549 Leigh Jones

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 10:06 AM

The Seattle Food Geek folks have a new $199 immersion circulator on Kickstarter: http://www.kickstart...culator-for-199
On a related note, has anyone cooked a whole turkey SV? The recipes I've seen call for preparatory dismemberment. I have a large enough rig to fit a whole turkey (in fact, it uses the same cooler in which I typically brine my turkey), but the obvious concerns (other than a big enough bag) are air spaces and thickness. Almost seems like using a low sodium broth as the medium might work. Thoughts?


I wouldn't think cooking a whole turkey sous vide is ideal, either. As a minimum I'd suggest parting the turkey like fried chicken pieces and bagging separately -- a few hours at 60C/140F. Pull out the white meat, pour in a teapot of boiling water, and set the temperature to 65C for 20 minutes to cook the dark meat more fully. After a few minutes cooling, sear the skin side of the white meat briefly in butter if desired. Similarly, cool and sear the dark meat. Deglaze the searing pan with reserved bag juices and make gravy.

#550 paulraphael

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 10:37 AM

Dave Arnold makes sous-viding a whole turkey simple.

 

Just set up two immersion circulators with cooking oil, one at 50C or so for the light meat, one at 60C or so for the dark; extract the leg bones of the bird and replace with an assembly of aluminum pipes (think of it as a couple of routine hip and knee replacement operations), immerse the bird in the lower temperature oil bath; pump oil from the higher temperature circulator through the leg pipes. 

 

Brown the bird by pour-over frying, using a stock pot of 200C oil and a ladle.

 

Presto.



#551 Leigh Jones

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 10:39 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.


I hope you won't hold it against me, but I have a somewhat different method. Simply put, five nights a week I have to put the meat in the water bath before going to work in the morning, then I get home 12 hours later. This has made me quite comfortably with longer cooking times for a variety of SV meats. I wouldn't do this with filet mignon, but it works great with New York steak, sirloin, and tri-tip. In fact, they could be in the water bath all night, too, without worry. Leave the meat in the water bath until several minutes before searing, then un-bag and cool a while to protect against overcooking before browning. I prefer making grill marks.
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#552 paulraphael

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 11:07 AM

I hope you won't hold it against me, but I have a somewhat different method. 

 

I don't hold it against you. It's a reasonable way to do things in the name of convenience, assuming you're cooking at a pasteurizing temperature. I don't use this method for tender cuts because I don't like the resulting texture and moisture loss. I suspect I would like it for less tender steak cuts, like hanger and skirt.



#553 Tri2Cook

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 06:13 PM

Assuming a person doesn't have a probe that can be inserted into the vacuum bag to monitor temp, how would you determine a time for bringing a 5 lb. homemade bologna or mortadella (105 mm x ~61 cm) up to 160 F internal? I'm pretty sure this would be a case where longer is not better and I'd be shooting for a minimum time that would still assure that it's safe to eat without further cooking. I'm not opposed to checking with a thermometer and bagging again to cook longer if needed but would like to minimize the number of times I'd have to do that so I'm trying to come up with a close starting point. Also, would it be beneficial to drop them in a cold bath and ramp them up to temp along with the water? Similar to bringing up the temp in stages when doing them in a smoker.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#554 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 07:14 PM

If you don't have a needle probe.....don't worry about using a vacuum bag...insert a regular probe and hang an open bag off the side of the bath......

 


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#555 pbear

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 10:57 PM

I agree with DDF.  If I have to monitor temp, that's pretty much how I do it also.  But, I'm curious, why are you taking it to 160º?  I should think 140º is plenty safe and would give you a better texture.


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#556 paulraphael

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 08:15 AM

Assuming a person doesn't have a probe that can be inserted into the vacuum bag to monitor temp, how would you determine a time for bringing a 5 lb. homemade bologna or mortadella (105 mm x ~61 cm) up to 160 F internal? I'm pretty sure this would be a case where longer is not better and I'd be shooting for a minimum time that would still assure that it's safe to eat without further cooking. I'm not opposed to checking with a thermometer and bagging again to cook longer if needed but would like to minimize the number of times I'd have to do that so I'm trying to come up with a close starting point. Also, would it be beneficial to drop them in a cold bath and ramp them up to temp along with the water? Similar to bringing up the temp in stages when doing them in a smoker.

A probe is the most accurate way, but since you're talking about cyclinder shaped food, predictive models should work fine. MC has tables for cylinders, or you can use SV Dash and plug in the numbers.

 

I don't know any specifics about charcuterie, but in general you want to get things up to temperature as fast as possible. Forcemeats can be presumed contaminated all the way through, so for safety you'd want to make sure the core spends as little time as possible between fridge temperatures and 54°C.. This would suggest putting it straight in the preheated bath, and making sure the diameter isn't too large.



#557 Tri2Cook

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 01:48 PM

If you don't have a needle probe.....don't worry about using a vacuum bag...insert a regular probe and hang an open bag off the side of the bath......

 

That works for me. Thanks!
 

I agree with DDF.  If I have to monitor temp, that's pretty much how I do it also.  But, I'm curious, why are you taking it to 160º?  I should think 140º is plenty safe and would give you a better texture.

 

First time making either of these items so I just going to follow the recipes which suggested 160 F. If I'm better off going to 140 F I'm fine with that. Thanks!
 

A probe is the most accurate way, but since you're talking about cyclinder shaped food, predictive models should work fine. MC has tables for cylinders, or you can use SV Dash and plug in the numbers.

 

I don't know any specifics about charcuterie, but in general you want to get things up to temperature as fast as possible. Forcemeats can be presumed contaminated all the way through, so for safety you'd want to make sure the core spends as little time as possible between fridge temperatures and 54°C.. This would suggest putting it straight in the preheated bath, and making sure the diameter isn't too large.

Thanks! The diameter isn't really negotiable on this one, I already purchased the 105 mm (~4") fibrous casings for this project but that answers my question about ramping up the temp. Just out of curiosity, is ramping the temp over time somehow more risky with sous vide or are we just taking our chances when we do it in the smoker?


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#558 paulraphael

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 03:02 PM

Just out of curiosity, is ramping the temp over time somehow more risky with sous vide or are we just taking our chances when we do it in the smoker?

 

The latter. A lot of the health concerns we attach to s.v. are really just about new-found awareness. 

 

I wonder if ramping up temperatures during smoking is about creating conditions that will get the smoke compounds to penetrate more effectively.



#559 agent00F

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 03:02 PM

> Just out of curiosity, is ramping the temp over time somehow more risky with sous vide

 

No, the sous-vide technical crowd just tends to be more paranoid about this sort of thing. If you're cooking to 160 for more than couple hours, there's no need for probing. You can try 150 to retain some of that rawer meat "flavor".

 

The thing to watch out for in ground-up meats is that bigger peices of tendony-type bits gelatize much slower than the meat, so avoid those in the mix if you want short/low temp. Same for meats like chuck blade where the meat tenderizes much faster than the tendon edges and therefore less unsuitable for sous-vide unless you seperate.



#560 agent00F

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 03:09 PM

The latter. A lot of the health concerns we attach to s.v. are really just about new-found awareness. 

 

I wonder if ramping up temperatures during smoking is about creating conditions that will get the smoke compounds to penetrate more effectively.

 

Meat tends to hang out in the open much more than consumers realize, and the inside of a vacu-sealed bag tends to be pretty sanitary.

I suspect it's the same crowd that's reluctant to leave the house for fear of ebola.



#561 Tri2Cook

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 03:24 PM

I wonder if ramping up temperatures during smoking is about creating conditions that will get the smoke compounds to penetrate more effectively.


I'm pretty new to this sausage-making thing but according to what I've read, the idea behind ramping the temp up over time is supposed to help with not melting out the fat. It's been a while since I read that but now that you mention it, I'm thinking maybe the idea was to allow more time for the smoke without risking melting the fat out and then bringing it up to finish temp for as brief a time as possible. That makes more sense.
 


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#562 paulraphael

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 07:18 PM

Meat tends to hang out in the open much more than consumers realize, and the inside of a vacu-sealed bag tends to be pretty sanitary.

I suspect it's the same crowd that's reluctant to leave the house for fear of ebola.

 

It's got nothing to do with hanging out in the open. The issue is that with forcemeats, you've got meat that's been exposed to pathogens that's now at the center of a big piece of food. With whole pieces of meat, this only happens to the surface. The surface of meat reaches pasteurizing temperature very quickly with any cooking method. But the center can take a long time, and is at risk of spending too long in the temperature range where pathogens multiply very quickly.

 

Because of this, with forcemeats, or any kind of ground meat, rolled meat, or cut and reassembled meat, you want to make sure that it's thin enough and that the cooking temperature is high enough that the center gets out of the danger zone in a reasonable amount of time.


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#563 agent00F

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 07:44 PM

The OP is presumably cooking this right after making it or it's coming out of the fridge. It's a matter of few hours at most esp when immersion temp is 70degC.

 

Those super-paranoid can run the thermal transfer equations against bacterial reduction curves themselves.

If this is dangerous then the time it takes for sausage to cool down from manufacture to refridgerated temps (by air not liquid) is far more so, yet we don't have the same complaints forcemeat is inherently dangerous unless flashfrozen.


Edited by agent00F, 07 November 2014 - 07:45 PM.


#564 Tri2Cook

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 08:06 PM

Yeah, I'm going to cook it right after making it. And it's going to be 4" diameter no matter how I go about it. I've never done the cook for any type of sausage sous vide but I'm not planning on smoking these so it seemed like a good option. With something like this, would I be better off setting the bath to the finish temp or setting it higher and keeping a close watch on the internal temp? I may have to buy that SV Dash app...


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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#565 agent00F

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 08:33 PM

You'll be ok. You might want a finer grind just to make sure the end texture is uniform (to prevent that aforementioned problem with bits from different areas).  You might want to experiment first with some store sausage to get an idea of what you'll get.



#566 Tri2Cook

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 08:50 PM

You'll be ok. You might want a finer grind just to make sure the end texture is uniform (to prevent that aforementioned problem with bits from different areas).  You might want to experiment first with some store sausage to get an idea of what you'll get.


The grind shouldn't be a problem, they will be completely emulsified into a paste. The bologna will be a paste of beef and pork. The mortadella will be a similar paste but all pork and different seasonings with blanched fat cubes, black peppercorns and pistachios mixed in after emulsifying the paste.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#567 paulraphael

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 10:33 PM

You probably don't need it for this project, but the SV dash app is a great resource. Takes out most of the guesswork and helps answer just about any kind of "what if" question. Playing with also helps you develop a better mental model of heat transfer ... it will help you guess better if you ever have to







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