Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by e_monster

  1. The important question for safety is the thickness and shape of the meat to make sure that the core gets into the safe zone in a reasonable amount of time. As an fyi, the smell won't tell you if it is safe to eat. The deadly pathogens don't result in an off smell. The spoilage bacteria that give rise to bad smells are different. Food can smell and taste just fine and still be unsafe to eat. Best, Edward
  2. I think that it is important to mention that it needs a lot of thermal mass in comparison to what is being cooked. BUT, you also need a heat source that can supply more heat than s being drained from the device. So, more total mass is not always better if the shape/size of the griddle/pan is too large in relation to your burners, there can be too much surface area and mass for your stove to be able to heat properly. For example, we have a two-burner sized griddle, but it is too large in relation to our burners to maintain the 700F or so that is desired for a very quick sear. (On our stove the burner adjacent to our high BTU burner just doesn't have enough oomph to supply its share of heat with a two-burner griddle. So, a 12-inch skillet is the largest pan that we can heat to an appropriate temperature. For any given kitchen, it probably takes some experimentation to find the right pan/burner combination to get the high temps desired.
  3. For what its worth, I think MAPP is the wrong torch for finishing meat--it is simply so hot that it is hard to control. There is absolutely no need for the hotter temp of MAPP. Propane and butane are more than hot enough--even with then one needs to take care to form a crust without burning the meat. For beef, I think that the Iwatani blowtorch is great and quite controllable with a bit of practice. If the frying pan isn't working well, with the griddle preheated for 15 minutes, your stove probably doesn't have the BTUs/flame you need for the griddle to maintain the high temperature you need for quick searing. A smaller pan would probably work better. My preference is a very hot pan with no oil when I used on. The more surface area there is, the more of a challenge it is for the stove to pump in heat as fast as it dissipates. I should also say that I think torches work great for beef but have never had satisfying results with pork or poultry.
  4. In my opinion, if you have a nice dry-aged rib roast SV would not be the way to cook it.
  5. Hi Bob, Whatever you do DON'T pop it in the microwave (this is coming from someone that loves microwaves). Even a short time will undo a lot of the yumminess. You are better off tracking the temperature over time and making a prediction based on the data you are getting and a few hours ahead of time, adjust the cooking temperature as needed -- keep in mind that the internal temperature will rise for something like 45 minutes after you remove it from the oven.
  6. I use an Iwatani blowtorch before cooking. I use the lowest temperature that my oven can be set to which is 170F. I use a probe in the meat to gauge progress and periodically turn the oven off for a little bit if it looks like things are moving too fast. Min/lb is not a reliable way to go since the shape and actual dimensions of the piece of meat are what determines the time. My last roast cooked faster than expected. It came out great, and our guests loved it, but I felt like it would have been even better if the meat had stayed under 110F for a longer period of time. After resting the meat for 45 minutes, I did stick the roast under the broiler for about 2 minutes with a ball of foil under the ribs to make the fat cap the part of the roast closest to the flame. The result was an extra crispy fat cap without cooking the meat at all. The last time I did this, the roast took about 4.5 hours to get to 120. I'd like to see if I can extend the time under 120F by another coup,e of hours to see if it makes a difference. I see. Do you find that covering the roast vs. not covering makes a difference? I would think that at such a low temperature, you would really be bleeding moisture out of the meat rather than boiling it internally. Do not cover it while cooking. This would prevent the crust from forming properly. This will be the moistest, juiciest roast that you have ever had. You can find Keller's recipe online by doing a web search. I prefer cooking at an even lower temp. Btw, Bob, as you have now seen, Keller's recipe is not a super long cook a la Blumenthal. So, his version doesn't run into any of the food safety issues that Blumenthal's 24-hour method would. Keller's method works great and has only a small ring of well-done meat on the outside -- which is quite tasty. Douglas, another HUGE problem with trying to come up with tables for cooking in air is that the humidity, surface moisture, and currents in the oven have a huge influence. It took many failed attempts to cook a chicken to 140F in a 140F oven (following Blumenthal's recipe precisely) for me to realize that in the dry air that we have here that it was not even possible to get the chicken to 140F in a 140 or even 145F oven. But adding a humidity to the oven changed things a lot. So, I think it is a very hard problem to solve in a generalizable way.
  7. I use an Iwatani blowtorch before cooking. I use the lowest temperature that my oven can be set to which is 170F. I use a probe in the meat to gauge progress and periodically turn the oven off for a little bit if it looks like things are moving too fast. Min/lb is not a reliable way to go since the shape and actual dimensions of the piece of meat are what determines the time. My last roast cooked faster than expected. It came out great, and our guests loved it, but I felt like it would have been even better if the meat had stayed under 110F for a longer period of time. After resting the meat for 45 minutes, I did stick the roast under the broiler for about 2 minutes with a ball of foil under the ribs to make the fat cap the part of the roast closest to the flame. The result was an extra crispy fat cap without cooking the meat at all. The last time I did this, the roast took about 4.5 hours to get to 120. I'd like to see if I can extend the time under 120F by another coup,e of hours to see if it makes a difference.
  8. Have you tried the torch then slow cook method? If not, I would try it before deciding that the seriouseats method is best. Since, they did not try the torch then cook at low temp method, I find their conclusion suspect. I have used the same method that they recommend many many times. It works quite well. But, in my opinion, Keller and Blumenthal have developed an even better method. If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it. The result is something that is surprising -- Harold McGee was apparently dubious until he tried it. Anyway, that's my .02.
  9. Hi Bob, With a nice roast, in my opinion (and I have experimented a lot), you cannot approach with SV the quality of result that you get from using a variation of the technique that Heston Blumenthal and Thomas Keller advocate: torch the meat and then cook in a low oven. Cook's Illustrated recently had their version -- and it works great. You get a sumptuous crust (easily the best part of a great roast in my opinion) and medium-rare meat nearly from edge to edge. My current favorite method is a variation of the Cook's Illustrated version and Blumenthal's. I torch and use the low oven -- whereas they briefly use a high oven at the beginning to get the crust started. When using this technique, you don't even need the broiler. Despite the low cooking temperatures, the browning that gets started with the torch continues. It is a great method and very easy -- and when we serve it, there are never leftovers. The only better prime rib that I have had uses essentially the same technique but uses a smoker at 200F for the cooking. Anyway that is my .02, E
  10. I didn't get detailed feedback from all the tasters, but from my own experience the bacon cooked SV after smoking was less smoky and therefore less appealing to my taste. When it comes to texture, while everybody's favourite was the cook then smoke sample, the next favourite was the smoke only sample. It seems flavour is king and texture may be a secondary consideration. I'm not sure I'll bother with another controlled test - I have 3 bellies curing right now sourced from 3 different butchers. I'm going to treat them identically (SV cook first then Smoke) to see if I can identify the best supplier of bellies. Cheers, Peter. I wonder if this would apply to non-cured smoked items, also. Or, if there is something about curing that might be relevant to whether it is best to smoke or sv first.
  11. That's the idea. Cold-smoke it for around 6 hours, then cook it SV for 48 hours. Even half an hour may be sufficient for the smoker. With spare ribs and baby backs, 15 to 20 minutes seems to be enough to provide lots of smoke flavor (and I like my meat quite smoky). The amount of smoke that gets to the surface seems to work its way into the meat during the sous-vide portion of the cooking. I don't think that there would be a problem with doing a couple of hours in the smoker, but I think you will also get great results with less time. So, you might light convenience dictate the time in the smoke
  12. Unless your relative humidity is 100%, your meat won't get to 130F if your oven is at 130F when cooking in air. I tried for a long-time (unsuccessfully) to execute Heston Blumenthal's recipe for perfect roast chicken. His recipe has you cooking the chicken in a 140F oven until the chicken's internal temp gets to 140F. I tried several times with different types of ovens that I was controlling with a PID -- and always noticed a temperature stall about 20F to 30F less than my target temperature. It wasn't until a discussion of the brisket stall phenomenon that I realized that the problem is evaporative cooling. When cooking in air, you have moisture evaporating from the surface of what you are are cooking -- which results in cooling at the surface. This is the famous dry bulb/wet bulb phenomemon. In short, if you are cooking in air when there is less than 100% R.H., you won't get the temperature rising to the oven temperature unless there is absolutely no moisture on the surface of the food. So, for a particular target temperature, you need to have a higher air temperature than your target. It will take some trial and error to find the right temperature since the precise needed temperature depends on quite a few conditions. It is quite possible that to reach your desired 130F internal temperature in less than four hours that you might need an oven temp of 150F to 160F. It might also work to make the smoker humid by having a pan of water on the heating element. I haven't tried that but I did notice that I could get closer to the target temp when I used a PID'ed roaster oven by having some water at the bottom of the roaster.
  13. Mushy means it was cooked too long. By the way, 125F would not be a safe temperature for that length of time. If it was too mushy don't cook it so long. I would find 12 hours too long for most sirloins -- but everyone has their own preference. What I consider mushy, someone else might think was tender to perfection. Best, E
  14. If I understand you correctly, the meat has been sealed in the bag all of this time, correct? If so, then it should be perfectly safe. In fact, I don't think there was any need to pasteurize it the second time -- you could have just rewarmed it. If anything, your reheating will be comparable to just cooking it for a longer time, and since I cook mine for 72 hours at 55C, I think you will find it even better. Hi Bob, Hopefully, Douglas or someone with greater expertise will chime in. I have been led to believe that repeated heating/cooling cycles may have some issues since pasteurization is not sterilization and leaves spores intact. I don't know what the exact rules are, but I seem to recall a friend of mine who is a pro telling me that there is a limit to the number of 'safe' heating/refrigerating cycles to which you can subject pasteurized meat before it starts becoming risky. It seems reasonable to think that what Mikels wants to do would be safe, but I am not absolutely certain. So, hopefully someone with some expertise will chime in.
  15. Experiment complete. What did I find out? That the 72 hour SV ribs were indeed MORE TENDER, so much so that a blind test between the 2 was obvious in terms of texture. I am not sure about the mechanism behind why this occurred, but it certainly did. I thought perhaps the water bath temperature had creeped up in certain areas, causing higher-heat induced tenderising (rather than lower-heat enzymatic) but after checking my dual temperature loggers, the temperature stayed between 55.7 and 56.8 in both areas of the water bath for the entire 72 hours. For a little bit of fun, here are the 2 racks of ribs being dissected before being devoured for "scientific testing" It is my understanding that you get collagen converting to gelatin at these temperatures due to a simple heat-related chemical reaction. It happens much more slowly at these temps than at higher temps. But I believe that is what is going on -- just as with short ribs at 48 or 72 hours cooked in this temperature range. Since your meat was well-done to start out with, you probably could have gotten the same texture by cooking them at a higher temperature for less time without sacrificing anything. In fact, I find that with baby back ribs 7 hours at 167F results in ribs that are possibly too tender. Best, E
  16. One issue would be the cooking times. Air is rather poor at transferring heat -- so cooking times will be radically longer if you are cooking in air rather than water. So, you would need tables for safe cooking times and the time to get the food to temperature since none of the existing tables would apply. You would need to be especially careful about the length of time that the food would spend in the danger zone. There are some Heston Blumenthal recipes that do low temperature cooking in that range in the air -- all of them involve sterilizing the outer surfaces before cooking. (Either by blasting with a blowtorch or dunking in boiling water). With an oven that goes that low and has such small temperature swings, you could probably do some pretty decent sous-vide with the bags and water in a dutch oven. Pedro used to use a set-up like that pretty successfully if I recall.
  17. I've always used a little bit of citric acid and the smallest pinch of salt when using the fast extraction with mint... I found it accentuated the mint flavor and stabilized it by preventing rapid oxidation. Thank you. What extraction time and proportions have you been happiest with?
  18. I just did a second infusion of the mint rum by using the pint of rum that didn't work so well and 40 grams of slightly sliced mint. I let it infuse for 3 minutes. This time there was a noticeable color change (greenish brown). Tasted 20 minutes later, the taste was quite nice. I see what you mean about the flavors continuing to develop for 24 or more hours. My jalapeño vodka was the same after 24 hours, but the original mint-infused rum was definitely more flavorful after 36 hours than it was after 12. If I can fine-tune the mint extraction, the advantage would be two-fold: Less hassle when serving mojitos to a number of people and possibly a cleaner taste profile. But we'll see. It may end up with no benefit. My next experiment is habanero-infused vodka.
  19. How much coconut did you use and how much rum? How was the coconut prepared? Fresh coconut cut up into pieces? Shredded? For the mint, I have read that some people had luck. I used about 8 grams of mint sliced that I had lightly chopped with a sharp knife so as to bruise it. This was about 5 or leaves per ounce of rum which was what I figured I would have used if I had muddled them. I wonder if I needed to use more mint and cut it finer? Or perhaps the mint from my garden is not the most flavorful? Any thoughts on the sometimes slow development of the flavor? Does the time the flavors take to develop a function of the time to outgas or do some flavor components need to oxidize?
  20. I just got an isi Gourmet Whip and read Dave Arnold's article about using it for quick infusions. http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/08/11/infusion-profusion-game-changing-fast-‘n-cheap-technique/ I'd love to get a discussion going of what people have tried--both successes and failures. I had great success with Dave's jalapeño-infused vodka but was not successful with my first attempt at creating mint-infused rum. Has anyone had any luck with mint and/or lime. I'm planning on trying a habanero vodka, too.
  21. Hi Anna, I have found that 6 to 7 hours at 75C creates very tender ribs that will slip off the bone but don't immediately fall off the bone. So, they are tender but can still be handled. I like to smoke them for about 15 minutes before bagging them but have also put a little bit of liquid smoke and brine in the bag if time doesn't permit me to smoke them. Best, Edward The issue with the prolonged time, for me, is scheduling. I find such long times a bit of an issue with my life-style. But thanks for this suggestion. I did note that even Douglas Baldwin offered a longer time/lower temperature option. One of the great things about LT/LT sous vide where you have pasteurized the food is that you can do cook/chill. This creates more opportunities for convenience. Cook the ribs for 48 hours and rapidly chill them down in an ice bath. After that, you can keep them in the back of the refrigerator for around 10 days, or in the freezer more or less indefinitely. I have found that many sous vide cooked meats freeze very well, by the way. I regularly bag, cook SV and freeze whole deboned spatchcocked chickens. Then, whenever I want chicken for dinner, I have only to toss the vacuum-sealed chicken into a sink of cold water to thaw and then crisp the skin and rewarm the chicken however I like (broiler, torch, frypan, whatever).
  22. Bob, In my opinion, the hotter flame of MAPP is actually a disadvantage--because it will burn the food so much more quickly. Even propane and butane are much hotter than we actually need -- which is why one needs to acquire some 'technique' in order to successfully use torches for browning. Gases burn at a more-or-less fixed temperature. And all of these gases burn at a temperature that will quickly incinerate food -- much higher than any useful reaction. The hotter the flame is the more care that you need to take not to burn the food and the more that it needs to be moved. The time to brown a steak with a MAPP torch is not going to be significantly shorter than with a butane torch but a lot more care is needed not to burn the food. Now, if you were using the torch to do something like heat metal (a pan or something) there might be some benefit to using a hotter flame in order to transfer the heat more quickly. But in this case, I don't think that more is necessarily better. Best, Edward
  23. What type of torch and what are you torching? In my experience, the torch works great for beef and is not terribly useful for either pork or poultry. Someone mentioned using invert sugar -- I would NOT do that when using a torch. It is great for allowing browning in a pan at temperatures lower than are normally required but a torch is so much hotter that it increases the likelihood of burning the food. It takes some practice. Keep the torch moving. The Iwatani that I use has an adjustable flame spread and I tend to use something closer to a point than a spread flame -- as I find that by keeping it moving, I get quicker crust formation without heating the food below the crust. The more spread the flame is the more that I find the heat ends up penetrating. Also, I think that there is some confusion about the blue flame, the innermost flame may have uncombusted gas but there is what I would call an 'outer' blue flame which seems to be the sweet spot for rapid browning. At least with the Iwatani, I have never experienced off-taste or 'gas-taste' (which I did experience when mis-using my old propane torch). Best, Edward
  24. It might be a name thing. Tri-tip is called Bottom Sirloin in some parts of the country (which is what it apparently used to be called everywhere until someone in Texas started calling it Tri-Tip to see if it would sell better -- and it did). For tri-tip my recommendation is around 7 hours at 132 to 133F. 12 hours is fine but 24 hours tends to result in it being too soft. At least to my palate. I finish it off with my Iwatani torch. I also prefer to cook it and then let it rest in the bag on the counter for a a while before torching.
  25. Let us know how it goes. It is possible that you needed another minute or two at 75C or you might need to raise the temperature slightly. Have you checked the calibration of your cooking device? Eggs are the thing that I cook that are most sensitive to issues of calibration. The temperature in my device is rather consistent. I tried leaving in a few minutes more and the yellow started to set and the white was still too runny for my liking. Have you calibrated it against a thermometer of known accuracy? A set-up can hold temperature with great stability but still be off by a degree or more and with eggs that makes a huge difference. So, if you have never checked it against a known standard, you won't know whether when your machine reads 75C that it is 75C and not something else.
  • Create New...