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Everything posted by HowardLi

  1. Darn, if I had seen this sooner I would've jumped on it.
  2. Maybe not for the procedure the OP described, but some recipes would have you SV in a bag and then pour out into the ramekins for setting in the fridge. This has not worked for me before.
  3. This guy cooks the meat and skin separately, and reattaches them using meat glue. http://stefangourmet.com/2013/10/30/perfect-duck-breast-using-transglutaminase/
  4. Yes, but if you didn't want to use a valve to control the temperature, you could instead moderate the heat input to the cooker so that the heat in = heat out at the desired temp/pressure. Therefore, temperature control by heat equilibrium rather than by pressure relief. Admittedly, spring valves are fairly easy to set, but precise control of the heat would make it essentially foolproof to maintain the proper pressure.
  5. Don't deli meats usually have that salt-cured type of texture? Kind of like a ham vs a pork roast.
  6. I answered in a way that I thought would spur discussion. You'll note that I did not present Blonder's position as fact, merely that it was his position. If anyone has reason to believe Blonder is wrong, I would be the happiest person to hear it. To me, Blonder seems to be the one who has done the most "science" on this issue. I worship no gods.
  7. http://www.genuineideas.com/ArticlesIndex/bark.html Blonder says the color is contributed by Maillard but that the texture is from the formation of a pellicle, enhanced by smoke and accelerated in development by dryness and heat. Bark that is excessively thick is certainly not good either. However, a simple adjustment of time, temperature, and perhaps humidity should easily rectify that. @Shalmanese I don't have any BBQ handy to do that test, but I am very familiar with Chinese char siu (red BBQ pork). The pellicle on that will not rinse off, and I think that it would constitute bark but for the lack of smoke during cooking.
  8. 6) I figure that the bark doesn't really start to form quickly until the surface becomes almost completely dry. However, in a traditional cook, this only happens after the stall since before and during the stall, the surface is moist (the very definition of being in the stall). However, I want to keep the meat as tender and juicy as possible, which means keeping it under typical stall temperatures, but WITHOUT sacrificing the bark. So somehow I need to get the surface dry, while staying around 140-150F internal temp for many hours to hydrolyze the collagen. The problem is that as the meat cooks, the muscle naturally begins to squeeze out the water in its cells, adding moisture to the surface. The more it cooks, the more it sweats, until such a point that the meat is so dry it can't give out any more water... which is not what I want to eat, if I'm going to go to so much damn trouble to build this smokehouse. In theory, what could be done is to cook at a moderate temperature (200-225F) at a fairly high humidity to get a good smoke uptake going, until the internal temperature hits about 140 F. Then, drop the temperature to about 135F and cook 24-30 hours at low RH%, i.e. with an empty water pan. Because the temperature of the air does not exceed that of the meat, the meat should stop sweating from temperature rise, and the long cook time should allow for a good (maybe even excessive) bark development. It all seems a little pointless now because I just re-read one of Blonder's articles about DRIP and it seems that the bark can form even if the surface isn't totally dry. Oh well.
  9. Does having a pellicle on the meat enhance the smoke uptake? Is this enhancement of the flavour, of pink ring, or both? Note that it is entirely possible to have a wet pellicle; the presence of a pellicle does not (contra)indicate the amount of surface moisture. At what RH % does bark start to form at a reasonable pace? Is there a significant advantage to bark growth if a pellicle is formed on the meat before it goes into the smoke? Why does the stall need to be broken? In sous vide cooking, the meat (typically) never goes over the usual stall temperatures. Is it because the bark won't form unless the surface is completely dry? Given that meat with more surface moisture takes on smoke better than meat with less surface moisture (Blonder), how long should the meat stay wet through the smoke? First 2 hours? First 4 hours? Is it possible to completely dry the surface of the meat during baking/smoking, without breaking through the stall?Trying to work through my smokehouse build and have a few open concepts in my head.
  10. Chris, If you were to build it again what would you do differently? I see that the oak boards were oriented horizontally. Wouldn't it have been a little simpler to orient them vertically so that there were fewer pieces to assemble?
  11. Somewhat relevant: http://www.popsci.com/scientists-discover-new-fungal-species-salami
  12. Sorry for the very late reply. It is well-known that drier skin crisps more readily than skin that has retained more water.http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/02/the-best-baked-buffalo-chicken-wings-in-oven-not-fried-appetizers.html The vodka may assist in this manner, or others, due to any one or combination of the following effects: 1) The ethanol sucks the water out of the skin cells through osmosis, directly drying at least the top layer of skin 2) The ethanol damages the cells/cell membranes, allowing them to burst more readily (?) 3) The ethanol dissolves some of the fat in the skin, whereupon application of heat causes the ethanol to boil away and create additional blisters Reading material: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9539383 http://www.alcoholjournal.org/article/S0741-8329(02)00198-2/abstract http://www.paulaschoice.com/expert-advice/skin-care-basics/_/alcohol-in-skin-care-the-facts
  13. Now to take this in a slightly different direction: it's fairly well-known that a piece of meat, if SV cook-chilled, should not be salted beforehand so as to avoid curing of the meat during refrigerated storage, per Dave Arnold and others. However, if it is desirable to have salting through the meat and not just on the surface, how effectively does surface-sprinkled salt diffuse into the cooked meat, and does the temperature affect the salting?
  14. So we know that raw meat has no problem allowing many different molecules to diffuse through itself. Salt is the first thing that comes to mind. But how does the degree of doneness of the meat affect its propensity to allow diffusion? How effective is e.g. salting after a steak has been seared? Or can a long-cook meat be cooked separately from a braise or a stew and still be flavored throughout by the liquid, after it has been added back in? My specific question is whether or not it is beneficial to SV a meat and then reintroduce it into a stew so that it doesn't get overcooked. However, (and maybe this isn't a disadvantage) it bears thinking about whether the inside of each piece of meat would be flavored by the stew itself.
  15. As I mentioned earlier, they said it was a wear item and it would not be under warranty.
  16. I don't think it's a question of the heat being too high. Once my spring valve starts going beyond the first line, there shouldn't be any more boiling inside. But there is. And yeah, it's hissing all the time, even though it hasn't built pressure yet.
  17. The KR is supposed to keep everything contained until the pressure is greater than 15 psi. Above that point, I would definitely agree that it is supposed to vent. Otherwise, it isn't - and if it isn't venting, then there shouldn't be any boiling once the gas pressure is in equilibrium or greater than the vapour pressure of the water (or whatever it is, my high school chemistry is failing me on this point). I called into their service line a few months ago asking about this since I thought it would be covered under warranty, but they said the valve assembly thingy was a wear item and not covered. I've had it for less than 2 years and used it an embarassingly low number of times.
  18. I'm not sure if my pressure cooker is working properly or not. Is it normal to hear boiling noises while there is pressure inside the cooker?
  19. Thanks for the heads-up. I'd like to get a feel for a few in my hand.
  20. Then why not just brine the vegetables before cooking them?
  21. Johnny,Thanks, that makes sense. But if such mixing is critical to the success of the recipe, and it appears to be so, shouldn't the marinade then be drained (and added back later) so that the emulsification be done more readily? Two more questions: what is the emulsifying agent, and what purpose does the oil in the marinade serve?
  22. Did anyone have trouble with the Korean-style chicken wings? I found that the marinade had way too much oil in it for the batter to properly form after the addition of the dry goods.
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